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I have a new job. Or more to the point, I don’t have an old job anymore.

Though I may not have mentioned it often in this space, I’ve never exactly hidden the fact that I have a day job, either. I’ve been working, these past 15 years, as a researcher (first) and then a research manager (for the past 10 years) in computer security. For more than a decade I’ve published papers, designed prototypes and systems, and come up with creative ways to make systems harder to break into, to make it easier to catch the attacks that do succeed.

I’ve been knitting the whole time, of course, and blogging for much of it.

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A few years ago now, I started designing patterns. And then came the classes, and the bookand all the rest. And so for the past few years, I’ve been juggling my knitting business and my other career, because I loved both too passionately to let either one go.

And now there’s this crazy software thing. And suddenly, juggling both careers was just too much, even for me. So I…

…well, let’s get real. First, I denied. And then I pouted. And then there was probably some wailing and gnashing of teeth. Some investigation of cloning machines. (“No!” my husband pleaded. “With two of you, can you even imagine how many side-businesses there would be around here?!”) And eventually, I made a really, incredibly, frustratingly hard decision.

As of a few weeks ago, I’m no longer a computer security researcher. Now, I’m running my own company. And it’s about the thing I’m most passionate about in this entire world (aside from family):

It’s about helping everyone love the clothes they wear. And changing the way we all perceive ourselves. And lots of other big, hairy, and maybe-not-totally-definable things.

This is the boldest thing I’ve ever done, and it may not work, but in this moment I’m having the time of my life.

I miss what I used to do, but only when I stop to breathe, which is not very often. I’m working with an incredibly incredible team. (Hm, please allow me to take this time to drive-by-introduce Jackie and Andromeda and Carrie and Anna and Marleigh and Kat and of course, Jonathan too. You’ll be hearing much more about them. Andromeda recently wrote up her thoughts on this company we’ve built.)

It’s been hard to write this post, because I haven’t really wanted to let the old stuff go. I’ve had an embarrassment of career riches, too many things that I am passionate about and that I love and that help me throw myself into this life head-first and with wild abandon. But the time has come.

I have a new job. It’s one that I love. And it wouldn’t be possible without you.

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So thanks for being here, with me.

Comments

  1. Sharon says

    Yeah, you! How fortunate you are to have such passionate interests in your life. I’m really looking forward to what happens in the knitting realm now that your attention is fully engaged. It’s been pretty incredible so far … Should only get better!

  2. Laurel1215 says

    It’s wonderful when a dream becomes a reality. So happy for you and wish you every success as you move onward and upward!

  3. May says

    Congratulations Amy! There’s an old proverb that says, when one door closes another one opens. I hope that you will have many new happy adventures.

  4. Barbara says

    Change is hard but so worthwhile! Best of luck and rock on! I can’t wait to sample the great new stuff you are working on!

  5. Julia Hendon says

    I’m so glad you picked knitting and designing! Life takes us in inexpected directions and this sounds like a wonderful direction for you.

  6. teresa says

    this is awesome. you are totally going to rock it. boldness is inspiring. and so is your blog. im so very much looking forward to seeing this unfold!

  7. Maria says

    Congratulations! You are an inspiration! Thank you for writing this post. I look forward to witnessing your journey and — even vicariously, being along for the ride.

  8. Deb says

    Good for you, Amy, and congratulations. I wish I had the guts (and the success) to do what you’ve done. Best of luck!

  9. says

    You’re just awesome, Amy! Congrats on taking this step, even though it’s bittersweet. And congrats on taking a risk, too. That’s very admirable. If you’re hiring people who can work from a distance, please post those positions! =)

  10. Stephanie says

    This is wonderful! I knew that you had a full-time job and a family, and I often wondered how you were doing it all! I love your designs and what I have learned from you, so I am certainly glad to see this. However, will my internet banking still be secure? :D

  11. says

    CONGRATULATIONS AMY!!! I know you’ve been working crazy hard to get here, AND YOU DID IT! You’re amazing and inspiring. xo

  12. Sharon says

    Congratulations Amy!! I can’t wait to see what’s to come with your new endeavors. And I still think you might have a secret about squeezing more hours into the day than the rest of us…

  13. says

    Woohoo! That is soooo exciting! Congratulations and good on ya for taking the plunge. Nothing like being your own boss. You get all the risk, and all the rewards! I have no doubt you will succeed, so hang on for the ride of your life!

  14. KWAK says

    As a divorced mother of two young kids and two years into a 30-year mortgage, I stepped off that cliff. And I’ve never looked back. That was nearly 25 years ago, and it was the best decision I ever made. All my best to you!

  15. SarahG says

    Good for you! Being able to do what you love is amazing! The fact that you get to choose between things that you love is even more so. Thank you for doing this for all of us! Can’t wait to see what is yet to come!

  16. says

    Congratulations! I’m glad to hear that you won’t be splitting yourself quite so much in the future. Being able to focus on a passion and make it work for you and your family is a joy (and hard work).

  17. Robbie says

    Congratulations!

    I suspected you would reach this decision at some point. IT is a demanding profession and with the new software you were getting pulled hard by 2 demanding IT jobs.

    I think it’s the only way you’ll be able to make this software and all your other creative ideas into their full potential while still being able to make time for the people who are important in your life.

    Good luck. I’m definitely going to use your software when it’s made available to the general public. I can’t wait for you to sign up other designers to publish thru your system so that many creative designers can offer custom fit sweaters

  18. says

    Congratulations! I’m a freelancer, and while there are challenges to being your own boss, the benefits make it worth doing. Thanks for making the jump, for all of us who love what you do.

  19. Leisa says

    I left a corporate job after 20 years to open a garden shoppe. 17 years later, can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made. Terrifying at the time, but luckily I have,as you do,great support team!

    You will do well Amy, and we all support you.

  20. Pat says

    As someone who is very familiar with the demands of science/technology research, I’ve wondered how long you’d be able to continue managing both your jobs! I’m so thrilled for you that you’ve been able to create your dream job, and that your dream job helps all of us create clothing that makes us (many for the first time in our lives) feel great about our bodies.

  21. Helen says

    Congratulations on your tough decision! I know it must be difficult to follow your passion when you have so many (I speak from experience), but the timing seems perfect for freeing yourself to focus on your new business. I look forward to hearing more about your new endeavors.

  22. says

    I HAD to comment for what I think is the first time ever in the years I’ve been reading. Because I saw you mentioned an Andromeda and I was like “Hey! I know an Andromeda. Wait a minute. She’s a programmer. You’re talking about software. OH MY GOD. My library life has finally intertwined with my knitting life.”

  23. Candace says

    Awesome! And very brave to let go of something you know, are comfortable and secure with, to follow a dream…..and I am so glad that you made the choice to follow your dream…we will all benefit from it. Best of luck, and congratulations!!

  24. Alyssa says

    Congrats to you all! You’re going to continue to be super, and we’re all here to back you up. I dream of doing something like this some day. If y’all get big enough where you need a SQA person, hit me up, please!

  25. says

    Here with You! I love your positive energy! Thanks to you to be there too and congratulation and good luck on your new path! We will be here and support you!

  26. Laura says

    Wow – congratulations on taking the leap! And how very, very lucky for all of us knitters who enjoy knitting patterns that fit!

  27. Sandra David says

    Yep, letting go of something that’s comfortable and great for something that’s a little scary and exciting. Tough decision. I’m doing my part to make it worth your while (already got my LYS to sign up for your newsletter, get your book, and consider a study/work group based on the book). Can’t wait for Custom Fit – I’m getting my swatches ready. Congratulations!

  28. says

    Congratulations Amy! It’s a BIG deal. I know Andromeda and Marleigh … if the rest of the crew is as awesome as them (and I think they probably are), this thing will be truly amazing.

  29. says

    Congratulations! :) You’re basically single-handedly revolutionizing the way knitters think about sweaters so I think you’ll be just fine!

  30. says

    Wishing you the best in your new journey! I’ve dreamed about having this moment in my own business, but I’m not quite there yet! I’m sure you’ve made the right choice, you’re a smart cookie and a great designer. xoxo

  31. Yvonne says

    Congratulations!! Sometimes in life you have to jump in with both feet and you’ve done it, wonderful!

  32. says

    I (internally) predicted this long ago, when I saw the tutorials morph into the book. When you announced the software side of things, that clinched it – I knew it was just a matter of time before you announced a new career! :) Congratulations on so many achievements. I am proud of you!!!

  33. Julie says

    Well done, Amy! The passion you have for what you do just jumps off the screen when I read your posts and now I see that you also have the courage to follow your passion.

    I skimmed through the sites of your team members and was struck by the comment made by Andromeda: that you have formed an almost all female tech start up. How cool is that? I live and work in the SF Bay Area and appreciate just how rare and amazing that is, most especially when you are also mothers of young children.

    You go girls!! You are inspiring.

  34. Sharon M2 says

    Congratulations on the big step! Honestly, I was trying to figure out how you were doing everything without being in two places at once. See you at the retreat next week.

  35. Marie says

    Bravo. I love how women have such wonderful opportunities to take the fork in the road. Your passion will propel your success and we knitters are the better off for having you. Your book and Fashion Fridays have changed the way I look at clothes. Thank you, Amy.

  36. heather says

    that’s awesome! glad everything is working out so well for you. i’m excited to try the software too!

  37. Patricia says

    I can imagine this must have been a big decision for you and your family .. but AWESOME for all of us who follow your knitting life. I look forward to seeing what you will do — congratulations!

  38. says

    Very well done, Amy, and best of luck with the new, old business. Looking forward to many more wonderful designs and fitting advice from you!

    Wil4ds on Ravelry

  39. Heather says

    Congratulations! What a bold move. I’m very excited and happy for you, can’t wait to see all the new designs and the “software thing”!

  40. says

    Congratulations Amy! All the best to you and your team. Thank you so much for doing what you’re doing, and steering me in a new way of thinking with my knitting. I love what you do, and so thrilled it is now your full-time career ♥

  41. Connie says

    Congratulations and I’m impressed with how brave you are! Can’t wait for the release of the software!