last year

2011 was a pretty momentous year round here.

My dad was diagnosed with, had surgery for, and has now fully recovered from, prostate cancer. He dealt with all of this with a steady dignity and equanimity.

I continued the slow and difficult process of my own recovery from my stroke. There were many steps forward.

And some steps back.

Because of the continuing effects of my stroke, I had to give up my job as an academic. This was a drawn-out and emotionally harrowing process that was made even more difficult by my former employer’s department of inhuman resources. I didn’t write about any of this here, but, believe me, it was really pretty unpleasant. In September, I drew a line under the whole thing, and got rid of all of my books.

But being cut off from an institutional context did not mean that I stopped researching and writing. I published a few things I am very proud of.

And I began to support myself doing something I truly enjoy.

I brought out 8 designs in 2011.

I also fell in love with Shetland. . . .

. . . met some amazing knitters

. . . and continued to be astounded by the warmth, generosity, and genuine support of those of you that I know through the internet. (Thankyou, all of you.)

All things considered, 2011 really was a rollercoaster of a year, and I could not have got through it without the support of dear friends . . .

. . .a fun-loving dog . . .

. . .and, most importantly of all, a wonderful man.

Here’s to 2012!

155 thoughts on “last year

  1. So glad to hear that you have left all the bad things behind and are focusing on the good. Good luck for your future and wishing you all the very best for 2012. Keep writing…and designing. We love it all!

  2. Hi Kate! i just started reading your blog a few months ago, so I had no idea what a year you’ve had. I’ve just been enjoying your beautiful designs! I hope that 2012 is a great year for you.

    Also – can you tell me more about the cabled blanket? Is that one of your designs too? I fell in love as soon as I scrolled by…

  3. Have a happy 2012 with many interesting things to do, write about, much success, many steps forward on your recovery journey and lots of knitterly fun and love. I so enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for all you give to the knitting world.

  4. An eventful year. May your strength and stamina increase in 2012. Clearly, your intellectual capacity knows no boundaries. It has been a gift to follow your blog over the years and I look forward to hearing more about your triumphs and even your setbacks. Happy New Year to you, Tom and Bruce.

    PS…At my work, I call it the Department of No-Resources. It seems the same everywhere…they are all too often neither human nor a resource.

  5. dear kate , I wish you a wonderfull year , plenty of heatlh and love !
    thanks for your designs , they are georgous
    love fanfan

  6. Having just found your blog 2 weeks ago, I am quite taken with your beautiful work and your resolution to carry on in the new year. With the love and encouragement of your family and friends you will be able to weather the adversities and come out a much stronger woman. Happiest of New Years to you and yours.

  7. You have inspired and encouraged many through your honesty, your adventures, your writing, and your photos! Here’s to a marvelous adventure in 2012!

  8. In addition, you inspired so many like myself who found your blog in 2011 with your tenacity, your strength in the face of adversity, and your spirit and willingness to ‘find another way’. Blessings to you and those you love in the new year.

  9. Kate, All the best for 2012 to you and yours. As they say: What doesnt kill you, makes you stronger. You demonstrate the truth of that.


  10. Wishing you and Bruce and Tom many new walking adventures in this coming year. I very much enjoy reading your blog and knitting your designs. I draw much inspiration from the ways in which you deal with both life’s adversity’s and joys. All the best to you for 2012.

  11. My Dad was diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer this year, too. We’ll know if he is fully recovered in a few months, as the treatment just recently concluded. Stinks, huh?

    Cheers to a bright 2012!

  12. I’ve lurked almost all year so maybe it’s about time I left a comment, particularly as your blog is one of my favourites! You’ve achieved an amazing amount in 2011 and are an inspiration to many. Thank you for your interesting and well written historical pieces and your beautiful patterns. I look forward to reading about what 2012 has in store – more good things I think. Also, thank you for showing us your second-hand hand-knit cardigan. Or maybe I shouldn’t thank you, as I now aspire to one day be as good a knitter as she (I’m guessing it was a she) who knit your cardigan and I think, sadly, I may never achieve it!

  13. Kate, I’m wishing you a happy and healthy 2012. I’m celebrating the start of the year by knitting myself a Sheep Heid now that the Christmas knitting for others is all over. Loving it already!

  14. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and marveling at your beautiful knit designs. Thanks so much for sharing your world with us. Happy New Year!

  15. Yes! I can agree with full heart how 2011 has been a rollarcoaster of emotions and events… You continue to inspire me and I wish you an incredible 2012. Lois

  16. As an academic myself, I know full well the brutality of the system. I also know what it means to walk away. I do. I have started that process many times, but due to financial reasons beyond my control, I have had to walk away mentally while still teaching and no longer engage deeply at the university. Hard and sad. Because it’s such a joy to read, write and learn about some subject that comes your way. But last week I had to take my 14 yr old daughter to the science library to write an essay. I introduced her to 4 floors of stacks, we sat on the floor and pulled books off the shelf, and then I left her to read and write for 4 hours. She loved it. She has the makings of a scholar. For me, an anthropologist, it was an amazing rite of passage. So I know.

    (will be posting about this moment today at

  17. Happy New Year, Kate! All the best (and I do mean *all* the *best*!) to you and yours in 2012 and beyond! I can’t tell you what an inspiration you are to me, and I know you are to others as well. Please keep writing and designing! I just found your blog a month or two ago and have been reading faithfully ever since. I look forward to your posts and reading what you have to say about your life is helping me get through a challenging time in my own. Thank you for your honesty. Blessings,

  18. Happy New Year dearest Kate! Can’t wait to see what lovely designs come out this year! Academia may have lost you, but the textile world has welcomed you with open arms!

  19. The pictures are beautiful, the designs are lovely, the friends are excellent, and the hikes are divine–thanks for sharing them. A happy and healthful new year to you!

  20. Lovely post.

    Happy 2012 to you and your loved ones (the 4 footed one too). Reading your blog has made me appreciate the little things that I take for granted, focus more on what is truly important, and to be in the moment.

    Thank you also for your designs which I look forward to knitting more of in 2012.


  21. Kate, I have been reading your blog for awhile now, but never comment on it, because I am not as literate as I can tell most of your readers are,by their comments. I just want to say I enjoy reading your blog very much. I think you are an amazing and very strong person and an inspiration to many. Sometimes I think you are too hard on yourself though. You’ve come along way and manage to accomplish so much. I wish you the Happiest and Healthiest New Year!

  22. Happy new year Kate! I’m looking forward to reading more of your wonderful writing in 2012!
    I get excited every time I see you have a new post.

  23. All the best to you and yours in 2012. I LOVE your blog-a recent find- and have been playing catch-up. I’m happy to report that of your 8 designs for 2011, I’ve managed to purchase 4 of them. I’m knitting on Deco at the moment and some of us on the BMFA site have a KAL going. At my LYS, 9 of us are going to start Peerie Flooers on January 10th. We would have been well into it, but some of our yarns were back ordered. I also downloaded your lovely, free gift-the Mucklemuff. I still have to choose yarn colours for that one, but thank you for your generosity.
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  24. I too suffered at the hands of inhuman resources in academic land at the end of last year. I cannot believe how you managed to put such traumas to one side to write such inspirational posts. I have turned to knitting and alas medication to cope with the stress. I wish I had half of your courage and perspective to fly through life’s crappiness. I love your patterns. I hope 2012 is a year full of nothing but goodness.

  25. Thank you for being a bright spot in my 2011. Your beautiful posts and designs have been inspirational in so many ways. I hope 2012 brings you contentment, patience, and inspiration!

  26. Kate: I’m new to your designs and boy do I love them! Gorgeous work. Thank you for your craft, your words and pictures and may the New Year be full of joy for you. You may be interested in a book by a local neurobiologist here in Indiana, USA; Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My Stroke of Insight”. I haven’t read it, but she is quite an inspiring woman, recovering from her own stroke years ago. She teaches Neuro at Indiana University School of Medicine, I believe.

  27. Happy New Year Kate!
    -Like many commenters and readers, I am inspired by your writing, knitting, and creative processes. Your writing about your recovery has been searingly honest–not just the positive progress (and there have been many!), but how disheartening the residual aspects are as well. Thank you for that, and best wishes and continued recovery for 2012!
    Erin in PA

  28. Happy New Year to your family and the new you. I like to think that we shed the truly unimportant when we emerge from strokes….. Enjoy every day!

  29. I only recently stumbled upon your blog. Your story is amazing and inspiring. I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you find comfort and peace from the One who works all things for good. I am astounded by your knowledge and integrity when it comes to all things wooly and look forward to learning more from you in the future.

  30. Happy New Year to you Tom and Bruce! I loved your blog and your patterns before you had the stroke but it has been a privilege and an inspriation to be even a minescule part of your recovery – may 2012 bring you happiness and see you reaching all of your goals and more (and bring more wonderful patterns and writing for us)!

  31. Dear Kate, I hope that 2012 is a great year for you, full of happiness and satisfactions. Your blog is fabulous and source of inspiration for me, thank you!!

  32. Happy New Year to you and all your family. Thankyou for your blog, its inspirational and positive i love it. I always imagined the academic world to be kind,understanding and supportive and I think you are better off without them. Heres to 2012 x

  33. Happy New Year Kate! I hope 2012 has only good things in store for you. I wanted to say thank you for your beautiful designs and your lovely blog. 2011 was a tough one for our family, and reading your blog and seeing your beautiful pictures and designs added some brightness to many a dark day. And your Sheep Heid was the perfect knit for me to do after I returned from my walking holiday in Scotland. So once again, a big thank you from Canada for all you do.

  34. You are amazing! Your thoughtful blog, fabulous knits and beautiful photos never fail to give me and my hubby a lift. Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful new year.
    PS LOVE your patterns I’m currently knitting a funchal mobius, thank you for publishing it – can’t wait for the book!

  35. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and just want to say that you are so very talented and gifted in so many ways. You have given your readers so much to aspire to with your designs, textiles and beautifully constructed knitting not to mention beautiful photos of Scotland. May 2012 bring you improved good health and many happy days of knitting.

  36. Happy 2012 to you. I am so sorry that you encountered the inhuman flipside of Human Resources. Believe it or not, most of us do want to do the very best for all our people, but as with life there are always some who cannot see through the ‘problem’ to the person buried inside it, looking for the way out. Again – apologies on behalf of the rest of us!

    I do hope that the coming year will tilt the balance further towards positives so the negatives become absorbed into the growing! process

  37. Wow-I found your blog recently and I am ,like everyone else, astounded by your courage.My daughter was diagnosed with a degenerative lung disease 3 years ago-hers is a very tough path-she is 17 and supporting her is exhausting and a privelege in equal measure.Reading your blog has got me back into knitting fair isle-something I used to do all the time but haven’t managed to find the time for in years.My daughter Aisling and I are knitting lots now-great therapy for both of us.Your designs are really beautiful as is your gift with the word.I am bringing my 3 teenagers to the Western Isles in August and hope to do lots of walking-my way of de-stressing .All the best to you,Kate-you are truly inspirational,Mandy

  38. Happy New Year ! Finding your blog, your patterns and your articles has been a definite treat for me in 2011. I’m looking forward to more and knitting steadily on my Funchal which is my favorite project of the year. Hmm. Better make that my favorite project to bridge the change from 2011 t0 2012! Thank you for blogging. I truly appreciate it.

  39. 2011 has made you all that more of a fascinating woman of great depth, in my humble observation from afar. Next will refine even more, and I look forward to many new designs of yours to bring a smile to my face. Here’s to the next year !

  40. Happy New Year Kate!! You are an amazing woman who does amazing things. May you continue to impress us in 2012. I look forward to reading about your adventures and hope to knit one of your patterns this year.
    All the best.

  41. Kate, you’re an amazing, strong woman and talented as can be. I so admire everything you’re doing. I hope you, Tom, and Bruce have the best New Year ever! (Oh yes, and Jesus who we hear so little about!)

  42. Here’s to 2012, indeed. I wish you and your family a wondrous new year and for you personally, further recovery and creativity. Your work inspires me.

  43. Kate, your post brought tears to my eyes. Your writing is beautiful, your stories are inspirational (especially those about your progress and set-backs in stroke recovery…you have such a strong spirit!), and I love your designs! I wish you ease and peace in the new year, and look forward to another year of blog posts. All my best to Tom and Bruce, too.

  44. A bit of a harrowing year but love how you made something good of it ~ takes a strong person to do that ~ opportunity out of difficulty.
    Happy New Year Kate!

  45. And a new year is here with all of it’s potential. I am sure you’ll make the most of it! I truly look forward to your designs. They are lovely. Here’s to 2012, may she treat you right! (Give Bruce a pat for me, he’s adorable!)

  46. Hi Kate
    Happy New Year to you and your family. I love reading your blog as I am new to knitting (self taught this summer) and find it inspiring and enjoyable to read. I am currently knitting Owls, my first ever jumper. Hope 2012 is a good year for you, I look forward to more fab designs to knit, but tell me how do you stop Bruce from stealing your wool?? I have a 6 month lab retriever and her favourite retrieve is my wool!

  47. Happy New Year to you Kate! I enjoy your blog so much and look forward to following it in 2012. You have also inspired me to take up my knitting needles again after many years and begin to recall everything I thought I’d forgotten.

  48. A very thought-provoking post with fine photos as always. May the days of 2012 be merry and bright and that you continue to enjoy and be fulfilled by the new direction your life and career has taken. God Bless!

  49. Happy New Year Kate and thank you for that heart-warming blog entry.
    I am always utterly enchanted by your writing and your pictures. Also, I discovered your blog last year and it is such an inspiration and always encouraging.
    May your progress go on. May you still write such amazing posts and designs in 2012.
    Thank you.
    Annie from Germany.

  50. A quietly happy 2012 is my wish to you all. May the only not-so-quiet events be all happy ones. I had been wondering about your leaving the academic world and hoping that your not mentioning it was a sign that it had happened peacefully and in a civilized manner. But you can be proud to have found a means of supporting yourself, as you say, that is in many ways deeper than the essentially verbal work of academy, since you add making, sight and touch to language. Congratulations, and thank you for offering that lovely muff pattern so generously. I’ve always loved muffs and think they have been unfairly neglected in the modern wardrobe. More than anything, thank you for your beautiful and interesting work.

  51. happy new year and continue like that, through hard times and great accomplishments you are inspiring. 2012 has all the potential to be great, thanks for the company during 2011!

  52. Happy New Year! In the last 6 months I started following a few peoples blogs (I’m all new to this!) but now I only really look foward to yours,thank you for sharing everything, and I hope 2012 is everything you wish.

  53. Happy New Year to you Kate! I look forward to following your blog in 2012. I wish you health, happiness and continuing success in 2012. x

  54. Thank you Kate for an inspiring and motivating blog and sensational patterns. You’ve helped me to understand my mom’s condition (after her stroke a number of years ago), especially fatigue. All the very best to you and yours in 2012.

  55. Absolutely, Kate, here’s to 2012, and I’m warmly wishing a sparkling year for you and yours.You seem to be going from strength to strength in so many ways, and you’re an inspiration, not least in your creative drive. Thank you for the seasonal gift of ‘Mucklemuff’ :)

  56. Kate, Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope 2012 turns out to be a wonderful year for all of you. I am so inspired by the way you deal with your stroke and the challenges that it has made you face. Your blog has given me so much insight into my Dad’s stroke induced dementia and such comfort. I’m his caregiver and there have been days when I felt I could no longer go on and then your blog would give me some inspiration. I loved Bruce’s pictures so much that when our old dog passed away I found another rescue dog and brought a kitten into our home. Pet therapy has turned out to be a joy for my Dad and myself — and those 2 do get into some wonderful predicaments that just make us laugh. Your photography is beautiful and your knitting patterns are so original and such a tribute to Shetland knitting. I know how difficult it is to give up a job you love but it may turn out that you find a much more rewarding path for the future — and no one can take your love of books and literature away. So please remember, that when your days are not the best, you are providing hope and inspiration to other people. Here’s to new adventures in 2012 — all the best, Charlotte

  57. Chère Kate
    Je vous souhaite le meilleur pour cette nouvelle année, la santé d’abord et aussi le succès que vous méritez .
    Continuez à nous faire rêver avec vos merveilleux modèles :)
    Avec toute mon amitié

  58. I am so happy to have met you through the internet Kate.
    Every time you make my day, with you happiness, your sadness, your joys, your courage, and of course your knitting.
    This summer I was in Edinburgh and I also walked in your beloved hills.
    Take care Kate and happy New Year !

  59. inhuman resources.
    self-employed has its privileges, and i have every confidence that you will not shirk its brilliant peaks nor its thornier solitudes.
    keep on truckin’.

  60. Happy new year to you and yours, and the best in the coming year. Good luck, good health, and thank you – for your writing and designs, and the inspiration that you foster!

  61. What a beautiful, inspirational summary of your year. Sharing these experiences and challenges with you is such an honour – your attitude to life is so full of courage and creativity. Closing doors is often a painful process, but you have been opening so many more, and I truly hope you find more enriching new avenues throughout 2012. May this new year bring you love, joy, walks, and many more designing and knitting adventures (and may you continue to share the latter with us, we are so lucky to have your talent!) xx

  62. Happy Happy New Year to Kate, Tom and Bruce.

    May the wild winds from the West
    Sweep the old cares away
    Bring new light to your stitches
    And woolly warmth all the day.

    Love from Lydia
    Licks from Woody….

  63. Wishing you a fantastic 2012, Kate. Everything I want to say sounds so worn out, but truly you inspire me enormously and I am really thankful that this blogging thing works for you as well as us, your readers.

  64. All the best for a great 2012; 2011 was hard for many people I think. 2012 is a year of recovery and rebuilding here in Canterbury, NZ. Further recovery for you I hope too. A new year with new hopes and dreams.

  65. It was wonderful to revisit all these momentous 2011 happenings in this post via your words and wondrous photos… I am especially heartened to read about your Dad’s recovery. I also very much enjoyed your thoughtful review of the transition you’ve made this year from your previous post in academia to your self-employed position as TEXTISLES GENIUS.

    A Very Happy New Year to you and Bruce and of course to wonderful Tom, and here’s to all the adventures to come in 2012 x

  66. Kate, I wish you and all your loved ones a year of pleasure, good health and satisfaction in everything you do!
    I’m admiring your strength, skills and attitude and enjoy you writings and not in the least your patterns. Thank you!

  67. I realize I’ve been following you for a number of years now and want to thank you for sharing your designs and life in your beautifully-written blog. All the best in the New Year to you — !

  68. Happy New Year to you and Tom! I wish you joy and many good days. You are still my favourite blog writer. Thank you for everything: the pictures you take, the designs you knit and the posts you write! All very inspiring!

  69. Dear Kate

    Can only echo much of what has already been said – you bring us beauty, inspiration and creativity, along with a great streak of dry humour on occasion. I love it, and wish you, Tom and Bruce all the very best for 2012 and beyond. As I have battled migraines-with-a-twist (new medication, great neurologist) in the wake of finishing my PhD, occasionally only being able to feebly (but very defiantly!) wield my little bamboo crochet hook at the world, knowing that someone like you is out there has been a huge encouragement.

    And – thank you for the vicarious travel opportunities. I want so much to go to Shetland! One day…..


  70. Have a splendid year. And if you felt like posting the link/pattern for that cabled blanket I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only grateful one! (And happy to buy it of course, if it’s one of your own.)

  71. Dear Kate,
    have a happy and above all healthy new year! I hope that you will continue your wonderful, extraordinaire needle-works!
    Greetings from Germany

  72. Dearest Kate – Thank you for a year of so generously sharing your words, images, colours, patterns, landscapes and insight. Wishing you, kilty Tom and bouncy Bruce a new year full of goodness.

  73. Happy New Year, all the best to you and yours for 2012!
    Aside:I felt sure you did more designs in 2011, perhaps it is because the blog is stuffed with ideas, inspiration and creativity. More power to you!

  74. Kate,
    I have never posted on your blog, but I have followed it since well before your stroke. I just want you to know that you have been a source of inspiration and courage for me as I have faced an auto-immune disease and my own struggles with my position at an insensitive academic institution. You are an extraordinary human being, Kate. Thank you for sharing your journey, your joy, and your struggle.
    All the best in 2012!

  75. I think your whole family could teach us all a lot about dignity and grace. It was certainly a roller coaster year but I hope that
    2012 continues on an upward trajectory. I’d also love to tell you that I bought my first pattern from you just before Christmas –
    Owlets and in the space of a week had knitted a 6 month size and an 18 month size – and if you know the speed I knit at you
    would say that was a miracle! To trying more (but must master colourwork first!)

    Have a great 2012

  76. I just discovered (and fell in love with) your blog in 2011. Here’s looking forward to a great 2012! All the best to you and your family.

  77. Your blog is excellent; the content is really interesting (I love to knit, have a black lab – what’s not to like?) and your knitting is beautiful. Great patterns too. I look forward to each post, and often send them on to friends and family.
    Hope your health continues to improve.

  78. Je vous souhaite le meilleur pour 2012 !
    Mon anglais n’étant pas parfait je ne comprends pas tout, mais suffisamment pour adorer votre blog depuis que je l’ai découvert.

  79. What a harrowing year! I’ve been truly inspired by your determination in the face of it all. You have obviously inherited a good deal of your father’s quiet dignity and equanimity. Thank you for sharing with us.

  80. A big change in life with the support of those who matters, the ups and downs of everyday life and supporting yourself doing what you enjoy. Your post is quite inspiring.
    Happy New Year!

  81. Dear Kate, I wish you and yours a fantastic 2012. One of my target for the new year it is knitting again OWLS pattern.
    I’d like you can write Quails instructions in 2012 … all the best, Lucia

  82. Happy New Year Kate.
    I usually read your blog without leaving a comment but want you to know that I am inspired every time. Beautiful writing, photography, and knitting. There’s so much pleasure to be had in life from wild wooly walks, daft labradors, and true Scots men, I like knowing I’m not the only one who feels that way. I love your work and hope you keep it going for many more years to come.

  83. Hi Kate, I too came across your blog by chance late in 2011 and have enjoyed it ever since. I love your knitting,your style,and your can-do take on life despite the crap it can throw. By chance I happened upon it at a time when I am helping support my mother-in-law with the after-effects of a devatstating stroke. Reading back through your blog was so helpful in reminding me there can be the hope of recovery, though I can tell that you have had to use every ounce of your determination and strength and the great support of friends and family to get where to you are now. So – my great thanks, and my even greater respect for you and your continuing achievements and optimism.

  84. Love all the photos on the blog, especially the montage of Tom pics, with Bruce.
    Thank you for your blogs they are very special, and I have looked forward to hearing and seeing what you are doing.
    Happy New Year 2012, the year of the Dragon I hear.

  85. Hi Kate, I have been reading your blog for a while now and I keep recommending it to colleagues at work. I work for my local social services and I have learned a lot from your thoughts and experiences which I then try and pass on to colleagues. I find particularly thought provoking, your writing about recovery and what this means to you as an individual. We do try to treat people as individuals but sometimes this gets lost in the fight for resources and the constant budgetry pressures and the demands do more with fewer staff and less money. It is good to be reminded. I wish you all the best for 2012 and for your continued recovery. I will continue to read and learn. Thank you . Jo

  86. There is a trite little saying of what does not kill us makes us stronger. You made it through some pretty bad stuff; and have recreated yourself to fit how you are now. You go, girl!

  87. Hello, Kate – Your blog is a recent discovery for me; I find it inspiring on both a knitterly and a human level. I look forward to learning more from you about the art and craft of knitting, and I wish you continued recovery from your stroke. All best wishes for the New Year.

  88. Dear Kate, I want you to know how much you mean to me. I’ll try not to go into much detail either (because who wants to focus on the negative?), but my husband had a catastrophic health event at age 51 that left him unable to work, and even now, four years later, we continue to be astonished about how inhumanely his place of employment (22 years!) treated us. Their “little mistake” in paperwork that they feel “just awful” about has left us struggling to survive financially and caused us to have to move 8 hours away from our family so I could undertake employment that would support us. He is doing well, by the way, but his stamina is not dependable enough for him to work and he has days when his brain just doesn’t work well. I know you understand. But we too are surviving. In fact, like you, we’re doing more than surviving. We have carved out a pleasant life and are working for the day when we can get back home and spend more time with family. Whatever your dreams are for 2012, I hope the reality far surpasses them. Melanie

  89. You have courage and wisdom beyond words. Thank you for sharing with us. Blessing and love to you and yours (special hugs to Bruce…I, too am a “Lab lover” and I miss my girl who passed in 2011 very much).

  90. Dear Kate, your story about the year past is indeed very moving. You managed to pull yourself out of a quagmire of negative thoughts and a situation brought on by circumstances beyond your control, you turned negative events into a positive new beginning. You are a woman of courage and incredible talent. Thank you for letting us share your talent and your life. It is such an encouragement. My husband had a stroke almost four years ago and although he is quite
    old he is steadily working on getting better and he does. Every new day brings new hope and a step forward is
    not beyond reality.
    Your designs are proof of your exceptional creative talent and we hope that you will be able to realize many more of your ideas.

  91. As a Human Resources Director, it saddens me to hear that your transition from academia was so harrowing in the face of all you had to deal with.

    Despite that, I want to wish you an absolutely awesome 2012!!!!! My prayers and thoughts are with you as you deal with the after effects of your stroke while picking up some of the old pieces of your life in addition to creating some new ones.

  92. Kate,

    you are such an inspiration – in so many ways. I wish you all the best in 2012 – and please continue to share your life with your many readers.

  93. Kate — What a treasure, this gift we have of perspective. Kudos to you for seeing the good, for wiping your hands of the difficult, and for discovering such a lovely niche!

    Happy, happy!

  94. Happy New Year lovely Kate. Made me cry this post – what a year. Wishing you all the best for a good 2012 and hoping that you don’t have to speak to anymore inhuman resources people again. Lxxxx

  95. Happy New Year. You are just amazing. Your talent, good nature and creativity shines through in all you do and say. What a pleasure to have met you in Dublin. I wish you every happiness and success in the future. —-P.S. What a beautiful fun loving dog you have!

  96. Echoing my fellow readers of Needled to wish you all the very best for 2012, may it be a wonderful year for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your life and creativity in this blog. I know how hard it is to find a place in academia, but can’t imagine how hard it must be to leave after dedicating so many years to it. Your writing has had a profound effect on me over the years.

  97. From a very very new reader of this blog, who was recommended it by a knitting friend, wishing you a wonderful new year and I can’t wait to read more….

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)