Store switchover + small update

Hi everybody. My knitting BFF Silver just opened their own Ko-fi pattern store, so you can shop their patterns there. They just released a brand-new shawl pattern called “Pronoun Party”, and for the month of June, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project. Give it a go!

A photo of me wearing my Pronoun Party shawl, designed by Silver.
Me modelling my Pronoun Party shawl, made in genderqueer pride colours.

As such, I’ve revamped the store that was here, moving it to an external site – PayHip. This has made Mercurial Knits load MUCH faster and also allowed me to add a pay-what-you-want scheme for my patterns which used to be at a fixed price. I changed the pricing to free simply because these early patterns of mine were not properly graded or tested, as I was very new to pattern writing. My newer ones are much more size inclusive and better written overall, and thus still have a baseline price.

For me, it’s been a tough few years. About a year and a half into my studies, my dad became severely ill, and the stress of it all while being 3,000+ miles away made it impossible for me to focus. I withdrew, and at this point, I have essentially forgotten most of what I learned. I want to go back to Korean and Japanese, but I am very, very slow with it. Then, another chronic illness added itself to my list, so I am managing that as best I can. Finally, early this year, my mother-in-law, who had been an absolute rock for me ever since I moved to the UK, passed away suddenly. Our whole family barely had any time to say goodbye – it was very painful. We are healing slowly but we still feel her loss deeply.

Eventually, I would like to finish my alphabet of fingerless mitts patterns. Can you believe I already got Q out of the way and then just stopped? There really aren’t that many letters left to do.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Changes to Patreon billing & life update

Hello, everyone! 2020 was a hell of a year, and 2021 is looking like it might be more of the same. I got through my first semester of university (well… eighth semester if you count my first degree from just over 12 years ago, but it’s my first semester of THIS university) and discovered, yes, I absolutely love studying Korean and Japanese. However, school really takes a lot of my energy, so I changed my Patreon from a monthly bill to just one tier which is per-creation. This means that you only get charged when I release a full pattern, but can still see my behind-the-scenes work if you pledge. Anyway, it’s still completely optional, of course, and the patterns I release through Patreon will eventually be available on the site for my normal fingerless gloves pattern pricing.

Another major change in my life the past year is that I have finally recognised, as a white and cis-passing person, that I am not only able to, but have a duty to use my privilege in life to stand up and speak out for marginalised people. I already had quite a few LGBTQ+ community friends and accounts I followed, but now I have been following more Black, Asian, and other POC designers on my Instagram page. It was easy to sympathise with queer people, many of whom look like me already, but I was unintentionally ignoring designers of colour almost completely. Of course, following, listening, learning, and appreciating are all good things to do, but I don’t think that’s enough on its own. Yu Ra from Knitboop Designs mentioned on her Instagram story how she chooses not to work with designers, dyers, etc. who don’t have an anti-racist or inclusivity statement on their social media or company webpage. Now, I understand that this message was more directed at large companies, but I felt moved to make my own statement and link to it permanently in my site’s top menu. If you’re interested, you can read what I wrote here; please do follow the links to amazing BIPOC makers that I’ve added. I have tried my whole life to not be racist despite the overwhelmingly white community I was raised in, but I now understand that it takes more to be truly, actively ANTI-racist – and I want to continue to do what I can to help dismantle white supremacy.

Lots of love and care.

2020 Update

Hi, everyone. I know I left you all hanging last June with the promise of new patterns, but visiting my family took up all my time (in a good way) so I just didn’t get the designs out that I wanted to. I still have a fingerless mitts pattern and a hat pattern that I made last year up my sleeve, and I’ll see about getting those published soon. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m finding I have a lot of time on my hands, but I have also been dealing with anxiety and depression which have slowed my knitting progress.

I’m glad I got to visit my family last year as it looks as though it will be impossible to see them this year. I miss them. We’d had a trip planned for May but as you might expect, that’s been cancelled. I’m not sure when we’ll see each other in person again, which is scary, but the truth nonetheless.

In February, I officially became a British citizen. I have lived here for 8 years and I want to spend the rest of my life here, and it makes me very happy that I can call England my home forever. Once I became a citizen, I applied to start studying at the University of Sheffield (and was accepted!) in Korean Studies with Japanese. I have always been interested in languages, and while visiting my family last year, my sister got me into BTS, the Korean rap / pop band. I wanted to learn Korean to sing along and understand the songs better, so I started using an app called LingoDeer – and I’ve discovered that I absolutely love speaking and reading Korean. My end goal is to work as a translator or interpreter for Korean speakers in the UK. The Japanese classes available to me in this course are just icing on the cake, as I’ve been interested in Japanese culture for many years and being able to read and speak Japanese too would be wonderful.

I find the entire pandemic situation overwhelming and terrifying, but I’m trying my best to carry on despite it all. I’m staying home and safe, and trying not to get too stir-crazy during this lockdown period. I’m wishing for the best for everyone.

Revitalised and ready for action!

Well, hello there! It’s only been… two-and-a-half years since I’ve last popped in here! I’m still alive.

Mercury wearing Knit the Rainbow Mitts.

Wearing my Knit the Rainbow Mitts. Pattern published May 2017.

As you can see, the site’s had a major makeover. That video up top features my own hands working on something for my brother-in-law. There have also been some updates to the pages listed in the menu, and a whole new page: Patterns, where I’ve collected all of my own knitting patterns to date.  This includes two that were previously only available on my even older WordPress site, Emmy Knits. Those in particular have been given a bit of a refresh and spiffed up with the full PDF download treatment.

My health has reached a relatively stable state – the mystery illness I was plagued by for so long was actually irritable bowel syndrome, and now that I know that, I have ways of keeping it in check. I’m happy to say I haven’t had to check into the hospital since April 2014. This stability has also afforded me a chance to work a “normal” job again while still leaving me some knitting time. I’m currently an audio transcriber and audio transcription proofreader, which I do fully from home. It’s boosted my self-confidence tremendously.

I’m looking forward to posting project updates, pattern works-in-progress, and newly finished patterns, as well as some more slice-of-life bits and pieces. If you’re into the slice-of-life stuff, might I recommend checking out my dear friend Silver’s podcast, Silver’s Dreamland? She has great knit-a-longs, several projects on the needles, and she’s just fun to listen to in general. Also, I’ll be a guest on an episode in a few weeks if you’re curious to hear what I sound like, and if you’re interested in what’s happening with Silver’s Knitted Treats. We may also have a video game-related pattern to debut. 😉

Closing down

As you might have guessed from the title and overall tone of my last few posts, I will be closing Mercurial Knits. I may change this site into a personal knitting blog, but for now, I have no plans for it.

I will be refunding everyone who has sent me a down payment for a commission within a month, most likely in early January. I’m sorry it took me this long to decide what to do, and I know it is likely frustrating to those of you who paid for items years ago and won’t receive these. Again, I apologise.

When I started this business, I never imagined the number of commissions I would receive. It was flattering and fun to work on them. As I got married, moved to another country, then fell ill and even suffered unexpected family tragedy, my work felt increasingly like a burden. I underestimated what the stress of all these events (both good and bad) would do to me. To make things worse, a huge amount of my yarn became infested with bugs over the summer, so I had to throw those skeins away. I haven’t replenished my supply.

The refund emails will all be clearly labelled “Mercurial Knits refund” and will all come through PayPal. Thank you to everyone who has ever enjoyed my work and/or supported me on this long journey.