Over three years ago, Worsted For Wear was nothing more than a few scribbled character designs and a handful of hastily penciled/half thought out strips. I was going through what was probably the second worst depression in my life. I felt like I was failing at my chosen career as a cartoonist and I was severely burnt out. To tell the truth, I didn’t even want to draw anymore. I wanted to do something else because, not to sound narcissistic, but for most of teenaged and adult life I was always told that I had the potential to be a successful professional artist…and with all of that potential and talent, I felt like I was failing and disappointing everyone who loved me. I couldn’t bear to draw anymore. It was overwhelming and it was intimidating and everything I did seemed wrong….
So instead, I knit. I was taught how to knit when I was eight or nine by a lady from my then step-mom’s church; however, I never made it beyond the basic knit, purl, and stockinet stitches. I had a scarf I would do a few rows of every year, and then would quickly forget about and stuff back into the closet, but that was about it. It wasn’t until I finished one of my biggest and most stressful work projects, until I decided I needed to take a break, that I started to knit seriously. For several months I shut out the outside world, watched tv, and knit. It was my coping mechanism for a then undiagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It kept me from falling apart, so it’s all I did for a long while and, with the help of Youtube videos and books, I quickly taught myself how to make socks, lace shawls, and hats. It made me feel “productive” in some sense…but I still wasn’t drawing. It sounds silly, but I was afraid to. I was certain all of my creativity was gone for good.
This anxiety/depression-fueled knitting frenzy started to negatively affect my life and I knew I had to start working again eventually. Getting back to my work seemed impossibly hard, but I had to find a way to make it happen. Thankfully, I had a Josh. I don’t think Josh realizes, even now, how much he helped. Even though I know it must have been very frustrating to watch me shutdown and tune out, he helped. I had the vaguest idea of a webcomic based on my adventures in knitting in my head. I had Camden in my head. Josh is the one who encourage me to commit her to paper. He’s the one who encouraged me to just pencil a strip a day, even if it’s the only thing I drew that day. He’s the one who taught me how to color in Photoshop, who built the website, who molded this webcomic into our business…and, most importantly to me, he was my writing and world building partner in crime.
I still think fondly on our first few writing sessions at Barnes and Noble together. I still have a recording from one or our road trips where we excitedly outlined two whole weeks worth of strips together. We talked about Camden and Ellie and JoAnn and Penny as if they were real, as if they were very dear friends whose lives we knew so intimately.
It’s been so much fun watching these friends change and grow through this comic…and it is very hard to say goodbye to them now. It’s hard to close this chapter. It’s hard to end it…but one way or another, everything ends eventually…. If we’re very lucky, we get to do so on our own terms, with a sense of closure.
Three years ago, I never could have imagined that we would be here. I never imagined that Worsted for Wear would find such a wonderful and kind fan-base. I never imagined that we would have book. I never imagined that I, thinking three years ago I would never be able to draw again, would be twenty shy of four hundred strips. I never imagined my passion and love for art would come back and that I would return to my studies, pursuing a new career path as an illustrator. I never imagined this webcomic would become such a huge part of my life like this, to the point where I don’t know what I’ll do without it. To Josh, the webcomic, all of our family members, friends, and fans… I’m so grateful. Thank you for making this journey so wonderful and so much greater than all of my imaginings. Thank you for following the comic and sharing how much it connected with all of you. Thank you for your support and encouragement and love.
I have no idea where we’ll be three years from now. I have no idea what comes next. With the webcomic over, it feels almost like I am in a free fall — looking for the next rope to grasp onto…but this time, instead of being afraid, I am bursting with excitement. I can’t wait to find out what I can’t imagine.
And, in time, I can’t wait to share it with all of you again.
Go forward fearlessly,
JOANN: What’s wrong, Cam?
CAM: I dunno. It’s just that...with you and Penny getting married, Graham and Ellie going for a baby, Adele taking over the shop, Marie’s cool cancer laser...I just feel stuck.
JOANN: How are you stuck? What is sticking you?
CAM: I don’t know. I mean, I have Logan in my life now, which rocks. But I feel like I’m the only one not doing what I want.
JOANN: So what do you want?
CAM: Well, I’ve been enjoying making patterns. And some people have bought them on Ravelry, but that’s not a job…
JOANN: Of course it is. Lots of people do it. You can too. Duh.
CAM: Oh, it’s that easy? People who are professional pattern designers work for years before they do it for a living.
JOANN: Those years had to start somewhere. You can start here, today. And besides…