Friday, April 23, 2010

thanks to you

i got a little bit behind on my accounts this year (ok, by about six months, but we won't talk about that). i started off the tax year with the best of intentions, planning to keep track of everything month by month. that way, when it came to putting together my tax info at the end of the year, everything would be so easy - i'd just pull out my monthly sums & add everything up.
well, that never really happened - i managed to keep it up for the first few months, and then all my good intentions just slipped away. which is how, these past few weeks, i've found myself having to go through months of orders, receipts, invoices & payments - and have ended up with some results that have truly blown my mind. of course i was aware that orders this year have been good - i've been keeping pretty busy, and have been shipping out lots of parcels every month without fail. but when i sat down & added it all up at once, i nearly fainted.
i've never been a very business-minded person - years ago, when i went to a few business start-up classes, i felt completely out of place among all the ambitious folk who talked for ages about their financial plans & how much profit they planned to make. my goal was always fairly simple - i wanted to be able to do something i really loved, to work for myself, and above all, to avoid the kind of office jobs i'd always had before (& which nearly drove me into a full-on meltdown - i don't really do well in any kind of "normal" job). what with one thing & another, we've been more or less living on the RSA's salary for a good few years now, so we're fairly used to living an economical life, without much financial input from me.
so when i started this little business, it was really more of a "hobby" - i loved dyeing, creating new colourways, and i loved what i was making - and i hoped that a few folk out there might like what i was making too. i hoped that i would be able to cover my running costs - but it never once occurred to me that within the first two years, i would be running an actual profit-making business. it's said that if you're starting up a small business, you should expect to make a substantial loss in your first 2-3 years. well, in my first year, i sold enough to cover my costs plus a little bit extra. and this year, it would seem that i've actually made enough that i'm going to need to pay income tax on it - and it's all thanks to you.
it completely blows my mind that there are so many people who want to buy what i'm making - i'm so grateful to each & every one of you. so i'd like to give you a little something in return - how does a gift certificate to the old maiden aunt shop sound? i'm giving away three - one for £15, one for £25, and one for a whopping £50!!!! to get a chance to win one, here's what you do - leave me a comment on this blog entry telling me about something you're thankful for. i'll keep the comments open until the end of april - after that, i'll get the RSA to draw names from a hat, and three of you will win a thank-you gift certificate!!
thank you all so much - i really mean it.

ETA - comments are closed!! i'll be drawing names tomorrow & posting the winners so please check back then!!


Sade said...

What a generous give away!

At the moment I am thankful that I can do what I want to do, and that is continue studying next year, after moving countries & learning a new language.

Fiona said...

Congratulations - what an achievement!

Right now, I'm really, really thankful for my housemates. My exams are coming up, the stress is getting piled on, and I don't think I've ever been so grateful for the twenty minutes or so mid-morning where we all congregate by the kettle, or eating together in the evenings. I'd be going completely stir-crazy without them.

Banan said...

Well done to you! Deserved for creating such beautiful and colourful yarns.

I am thankful for the snippets of sun making final exam-revision that little bit nicer; being able to study outside is lovely and a welcome break from dreary grey un buildings.


Liz said...

Congratulations! You must be one of the few people around at the moment to be happy to be sending a cheque to the taxman ;-)

Right now I'm thankful for G&D's chocolate brownies (munching away at one as I type).

Amy said...

Congratulations! I am thankful for this beautiful spring day and opportunity to enjoy the weekend by getting out to ride my bike. Have a nice weekend!

Becca said...

That's exciting news. Congratulations! It's nice to see that things like that are possible and rewarding to those who try for them.

At the moment I am thankful for the job offer that will finally end this long period of unemployment. It will be nice to be able afford yarn again ;)

aunty tink said...

I am thankful that I am getting a tax refund. I thought that I was going to have to pay tax so it's like finding money in the pocket of an old jacket.

Anonymous said...

These are good news! Congrats! But no doubt your colours and bases are just beautiful, so this is your success! :-)

So for what I'm thankful? I'm thankful that I know my friends and that they want to be friend to me ;-)

xo Martina

Maelys said...

I'm very grateful that my granny is now cancer free. I'm now happily knitting with her and enjoying a good cup of coffee.

Thanks for a few more years with her.

Congrats for the beautiful yarns you dye.

Tanya said...

At the moment I'm thankful for the NHS. They get a lot of bad press but I had some minor surgery done on Monday and the doctors and nurses were all brilliant, despite the fact that I am a terrible patient!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, and thank you. It was a good day for me when I found your shop.

I'm grateful for my cat. It's always good to have something smaller and weaker than yourself to worry about, because it keeps life in perspective and because cats teach you to treasure the smaller things in life, like crunchy spiders and convenient patches of sunlight.

Evelyn123 (on Ravelry)

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for my family and friends. I've tried hard this year to remember them and contact them more frequently to let them know how much they mean to me.

doviejay said...

Lilith, Congratulations!

Right now I'm thankful for the fact that next year I'm going to be able to do what you did, and try my hand at my own design business thanks to my husband's new job which starts in August!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your well deserved success.
What am I grateful be alive, having been so ill last year I'm grateful for each day...especially when they are warm sunny days!

Natasha said...


I'm thankful for a time and place where many people - yourself and myself included - are free to look for work that is fun.

Melanie said...

Congratulations Lilith.

I am thankful for health, family, friends.

Flavaknits said...

Lilith , you are so kind and generous , what a lovely thing to do. I am so glad that you are doing well especially in this current economic climate.
There are LOTS of things I am thankful for (especially OMA and your lovely yarns). Yarn related things that I am thankful for are the lovely knitting groups I go to , and all the lovely people I get to meet and share with. Also , I am very thankful my good friend set up a yarn store in my home town filled with gorgeous yarn , and gives me the opportunity to pass on my knitting skills to newbies!
WEll done you , and enjoy your success (its in our interest that you do well - we get such gorgeous yarn! lol)

Lucy Williams said...

Congratulations - you did it!!!!!!

I am thankful for my family, particularly my beautiful two boys and also for creativity, knitting and the amazing worldwide community of knitters who are an ongoing inspiration and source of information and discovery.

Lucy Williams

jane said...

What a generous giveaway :)
Today I'm thankful for libraries as a general concept. One of the best ideas ever.

Emma said...

I'm also thankful that my buisiness is picking up and I'm getting new clients and am finally starting to see that I will be able to make a living off this. And for my EU passport that lets me live lots of places. And most of all, no matter how difficult it is to start a career and no matter how many discounts I no longer have, I am so thankful that I'm not a student anymore!

FionaT said...


i am thankful that my family and I are all healthy at the moment. there have been a few major blows over the past few years but this tear is looking up. long may it continue.

Sadie said...

That's fantastic - and well-deserved, because your yarn is gorgeous!

Today I'm thankful that it's Friday, and that I've finished the first draft of my departmental budget for next year, and that the sun has been shining all week and the depression that has half-crippled me all winter finally seems to be lifting :-)

fey said...

i am so happy to hear how well the business is going! doing what you love and making money at it is truly a dream come true.

i am thankful for my family, a warm fire and good food. annnnd for yarn. yup.


playhookie said...

Well done! Particularly considering the state of the economy!!!

I'm currently thankful that I have the time to work with the lovely stash I've been growing for the last couple of years and with a new job starting in September I'll have quite a bit more time. Really looking forward to it... particularly since I intend to grow my stash a bit further too ;-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Lilith . Well deserved .
Today I am particularly thankful for the handknitted socks I made with the yarn I dyed at your workshop - they are doubling as slippers in a (brrr) stone floored barn conversion in Cornwall! I am also thankful BF made it back from the states in time to come on holiday - although I would be even more thankful if there was any sign of him actually waking up ! Jet lag methinks...
kathj from rav

Ciorstaidh said...

What a lovely "thank-you!"

I'm thankful for my own space, for friends who understand, for skills that provide hours of pleasure for minimal outlay and for my Brownies who always make me laugh. I'm also grateful for my boyfriend being back in the UK and that he didn't need to spend three days on trains to do it, and that we've got a whole three weeks before he goes back out to the Middle East until Christmas.
~Kirsty xx

Anonymous said...


I'm thankful for so many things: my two beautiful children; my health; their health; my wonderful husband who supports me in what I need to do to be happy; so so many things! I feel truly blessed!

Tabellaria said...

I'm thankful that my parents are in better health now, that my twin and I are finally living in the same country for the first time since forever and that spring is now here!

Karoliina said...

Congratulations on the success Lilith! You deserve it :)

At the moment I'm most grateful about the fact that I have friends and family who love me and people who have enough faith in me to give me the chance to take part in something potentially amazing.

Edie said...

Well deserved congratulations and kudos to you, Lilith, for sharing your creativity with us!

I'm thankful for Ravelry, as it's provided me with an amazing supportive community of wonderful knitters and fiber-philes, and facilitated me to find some pretty amazing indie yarn dyers, like OMA! That's been a comfort during the past 1.5 yrs since my dad died.

Alison said...

Congrats Lilith!

Right now I'm thankful for lots of things. Firstly my family, my fab DP and gorgeous DS who is growing up way too fast. I'm thankful that the baby I am carrying is fit and healthy and that I'm keeping well.
Finally as it's ANZAC day here (similar to VE day) I'm thankful to those who fought for our freedom and wish to remember those who were lost.

Tricia said...

I'm not surprised you're doing so well, Lilith, as your dyeing is so beautiful. Congratulations!

I'm thankful for my two lovely, funny boys, all the great people I've met through knitting (I went to a new to me yarn shop the other day, met someone I'd met before a couple of times at other knitting groups and ended up going for lunch with them, it was lovely!) and for Green and Black's Creamy Milk chocolate.

Pinkpug said...

Congratulations! I love your yarns and am planning to buy some more when I get a job after my studies!

I am thankful for all the support given to me by friends and family helping me to finish my PhD, especially my boyfried who buys me lots of treats to cheer me up :)

Hattie said...

I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in the fridge. That I can turn on a tap in any number of rooms in my house and get clean water for drinking and washing. That I do not live in a society where women are oppressed or faced daily with untold humiliation. That I don't live in a war zone. That I am not disenfranchised from my home and society. That I am loved, and that I love. Those are just the headlines - there is so much to be thankful for in our society, and we are so much more fortunate than very many others.

Well done Lilith!

marie-alice said...

Congratulations Lilith.
I am grateful to all the women of my family who handed down through the generations their wonderful knitting and crochet skills. They were poor farmers and beast of burden for their family and still managed to find some freedom and express themself through this medium.
The joy of creating and the beauty of colors and textures has always been for me, as for them, a safe haven.


Girl in Red Shoes said...

I am thankful for my wonderful parents and siblings and all of my friends who make me smile. I am thankful for organic food and a comfortable place to live. I am thankful to be in a position where i can help others, but do not require help myself.
Hurrah for you!

Anonymous said...

Well done you - you so definitely deserve to be successful!
I am thankful for all the skills that have been passed on to me from my Gran, Mum & fellow Ravelers; this means I am never bored, I always have a new project to look forward to, I have made wonderful new friends, I have nice warm woolly things to wear & I can give my family & friends lovely unique gifts that truly mean something.

Jenny (aka gra55hopper on Ravelry)

Dixie said...

I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head, a job, and enough food to eat. There seem to be so many anymore that don't have even these necessities.

Kate said...

Lilith, your success is very well deserved - your yarns are quite simply the best.

I'm thankful for so many things, but at the moment particularly thankful that, when so many people elsewhere were left with nowhere to stay, no money and no way of getting home during the recent flight cancellations because of the ash cloud, we had comfortable beds to sleep in and were very well fed, watered and entertained by the in-laws (in Germany) for a week longer than anticipated, who professed to be extremely happy to have us for longer (but then they'd hardly say they hated having us there, I suppose!)

Anonymous said...

No surprise you are doing so well, your colour sense is miraculous, I am thoroughly enjoying knitting my sister a Daybreak with Midnight Owl and Put on the Day. My second Daybreak in a short time and I thought I would struggle to get enthused but the colours are keeping me beautifully entertained.

The something that I am grateful for - beautifully dyed yarn - it gives me immeasurable comfort and joy. A balm for these tough times.

aKnitOnTheSide (ravelry)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, your yarns and service are incerdible so I'm not surprised at your well deserved sucess!!

I'm thankful that my dad came out of hospital yesterday and seems much better. Fingers crossed he keeps improving.

Heather (hebs Ravelry)

justliz said...

Congratulations on such a great six months and thank you for sharing your success.

Today I am particularly greatful that I have had to order a skein of lace weight midnight owl so that I can knit up an Ishbel in time to give a dear friend from Tasmania ... it's been nearly seven years since we met and I wanted to mark her June visit with something special.


Aspen said...

I am thankful I finally convinced my flatmate to learn how to knit. Now I can drag her to yarn shops without feeling guilty!

mirja overheu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mimsen said...

Congratulations on your upcoming tax payment - you deserve it!

I am just overall thankful for my life in general and that I can look at myself in the mirror and say out loud how lucky I am to lead this life. Also I am really enjoying my pregnancy and am looking forward to meeting Babykat who'll arrive around June 1st :)

All the best!
Mimsen (on Ravelry)

p.s. Would you consider a newsletter of some sort about the limited edition skeins you dye? Or simply dying more? ;D It seems I am always late for the specials.

Victoria said...

I am grateful that I am able to take a year's maternity leave to spend with my daughter. And that I have enough yarn to see me through this period!
Congratulations- you totally deserve your success.
Victoria (Spiderknits Rav)

Cadence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
20somethingknits said...

Well done you. It is always nice to see small businesses(spelling probably wrong on this) doing well. Long may it continue!

As for what i am thankful for, i am thankful for my new job, which is so much nicer than my old job, this makes me happy, and I am thankful that my husband is now happy persuing a career that he enjoys and that he helps people(he is a student nurse).

Good luck too all, whoever wins is going to be very happy with Lilith's generous giveaway.

Cadence said...

Congratulations on your success! Your site is wonderful, and I'm so glad that such happy things are happening to such a fantastic person!

As for me, I'm thankful that school went so well this year. I've performed in two operas, three requiems, and Carmina Burana, as well as keeping up with my job and my grades. I'm so thankful that I've been offered the opportunities that I have this year, and that God has given me the ability to handle all of the responsibilities that came with them.

Maria said...

i'm thankful for my beautiful partner, who puts up with my bringing new yarn & fiber into the house practically every day...

and your gorgeous yarns, which have lately been the daily delivery :-)

Roz said...

Congratulations! It's always cheering when lovely peopleand excellent quality succeed in business.

I am thankful that I have finally realised what I want to do with my life, and I have a plan (ish) for the first time in a very long time.

Hope your good fortune continues.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Lilith - your success is no less than you deserve!!

I am thankful that I never listened to the Health Visitor who said that 'Zack is going to really struggle. It's HARD for these 'special people', and handed me a huge tome on autism 'that I should follow'.

Zack has always been Zack - and he is a fantastic guy. He is now a pretty regular teenager who just *happens* to be autistic (but please send earplugs, because the guitar playing is driving me crazy)!!

Oooh - and he has also just started dyeing his own t shirts. Can I send him over, because my kitchen frankly can't take much more?!? (Although I think you would be rather impressed with what he's coming up with)!!

Warmest Wishes and again, WELL DONE!!!!

Marie - stashsiren (Ravelry).

hannah said...

What a wonderful giveaway! Thanks so much! Something I'm thankful for is being halfway finished by degree! And I'm thankful that I love what I'm learning and I can't wait to keep going, but after a nice knitting break for sure.
Thanks for the awesome giveaway! -Hannah