Tag Archives: small business

Happy New Year & Hello 2014!


Howdy friends and neighbors, it seems a new year has begun and that means big plans to fill the next 365 days! Oh the plans I have, not resolutions so much as grand plans for all the things that I want to get into in the next 52 weeks. Let’s see the list shall we?

  • Find a year long KAL – any suggestions would be helpful by the way.
  • Join KALs to meet even more amazing online knitters
  • Finish a sweater
  • Finish that lace beaded lace shawl.
  • Find that perfect sock formula
  • Stash bust 50% of my stash
  • Actually spin things I want to share on the internet 😉
  • Try my hand at designing more intricate things 
  • Try weaving – it looks like fun!
  • Keep all my social media up to date. aka Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook,  Flickr (my personal favorite), Tumblr and Instagram
  • Be so much better about updating my Etsy store
  • BLOG MORE!

But here is the one I am really, really excited for….

~ 52 Weeks of New Experiences! ~

I never make New Year’s Resolutions – they usually lead to disappointment. But this year I want to try something new, I want to try 1 new thing a week (or a total of 52 new things in a year). This can be knitting related or anything else my mind dreams up. Life is too short to not keep learn and trying new things. I already know what I want to do for week 1, which is really exciting!, but I am going to have to keep reading blogs, books, magazines and anything I can get my hands on to keep expanding as a person.

This is going to be a very full year indeed. So now I beg for your input friends and neighbors – what knitting are you doing this coming year? Heard of any good KALs? Seen something that tickles your fancy? Please share! I am here and sooo ready to listen!

 

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Time to Start Fresh


Holy crap I almost blog-faded! I could make loads of excuses (and more than less likely will do just that :)) but as my dear Lottie from Lottie Knits would say “it’s time to get off my bum.” Oh! Also, it’s snowing – which greatly improves my mood!

Knitting Weather!

Knitting Weather!

So, for anyone that is still reading this languishing blog, here is what has been going on the past few weeks to contribute to my blog-neglect (see? excuses already!)

– The Excuses –

  • No Dragon Speak Software – My NaNoWriMo gal has been plugging along so well with her novel that I told her just to keep it till it goes on sale on Black Friday.
  • My Mom retired – Yea! 
  • I had an order for 43 ruffle scarves – this brings my year total to….wait for it….319.
  • I have gotten a boat load of questions from hospital workers since it snowed, and now have a nice little influx of non-ruffle knitting.
  • 4 baby showers.
  • 2 weddings.
  • My father-in-law has changed Alzheimer’s medication and is being treated for skin cancer 😦
  • My LYS asked me not to come in because they were afraid my hand would scare off new knitters.

– The LYS Experience –

Before I retell this story, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already heard it, feel free to skip ahead (there’s a picture!). Also, I am going to keep this as short as possible – mainly because dredging it up makes me über cranky.

So back around the time I last posted my LYS owner called me to tell me knitting was canceled. No big deal. The week after that I called the shop to see if we were meeting that night and had the oddest reaction from a gal I’ve known for years. She told me _______ would call me back. About 20 minutes later ________ called me back and asked me not to come to knitting that night; they were having a meet-and-greet for new potential knitters (in a younger crowd than our knitting group (even though I am 28)) and she didn’t want my hand to scare them off.

My reaction was to go get on Instagram and connect with knitters who, in my mind, would be able to be objective because they’ve never seen my hand.

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I. Was. Heartbroken.

The support from knitter’s on Instagram was so overwhelmingly awesome that I should have just snapped out of it. So what? I don’t have an LYS anymore…..

Nope, not going to work.

Instead of feeling the love from the  99.9% of  knitter’s who are freaking amazing, I ran down the rabbit hole of knitting all the time to prove that I could do it. This is a fun mixture of stubbornness, OCD,  and my very own Panic Monster. I have been eating, sleeping and knitting….and not a whole lot else. I have kept all my social obligations and haven’t become a hermit yet but saying I got a little obsessive would be putting it….lightly.

– The Fresh Start –

So here I am friends and neighbors, ready to get back to what makes me happy. I love writing and I love reading your blogs. Both of these things have been severely neglected. So there will be some catching up to do (lots of catching up to do) so please be patient. I am slowly going to try to work the comments and questions that I’ve received – especially regarding patterns – but it may take a little longer than normal.

Also, I follow loads of you on Facebook – I haven’t “liked” or commented on your blogs because my Facebook account and my WordPress account aren’t linked – but I have been reading your work. Rob’s Surf Report and A Tangled Yarn are just two that I read every single time they post. The Knitterly Hook-er is one of my favs to follow on Instagram. If you want to follow me on either of these sites click → FACEBOOK LINK ← or → INSTAGRAM LINK ←. Both of these sites get updated daily because I can use one hand to upload and type.

– SPOILERS!! –

Stick with me and I promise I will try to give you something awesome to read or stare at – as awesome as I can make it! Here is a itty-bitty preview of what I’ve got up my sleeve:

This took three and a half hours to type friends and neighbors, every minute both cathartic and totally renewing. I can’t wait to catch up, happy Tuesday!

Surprise! I Have ANOTHER Question!


I know at some point all you wonderful bloggers are going to throw your hands up, scream “Enough Already!” and quit giving me fee advice. Here’s to hoping I haven’t hit that wall yet! 😉

So here it is:
I received an email asking me questions about TNNA – which I know nothing about. After looking at their website I don’t feel any smarter or helpful. Hopefully this is where you awesomely kind and knowledgeable bloggers come in. So here are her questions:

1. What is TNNA?
2. Do you need to be a member?
3. How do you become a member?
4. Is it like the Knitters Guild?
5. Do you have to own a business?
6. Is there anywhere I can find more information about it than just their website?

Any and all comments, suggestion or words of encouragement that I can pass on would be greatly appreciated!

Oh…I’ve been knitting too!

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More on knitting when I get a day off – hopefully Sunday. Also, if you are doing October’s #yarnpadc you can keep up to date with my pics on Instagram, although my plan (oh how good I am at planning!) is to do a weeks worth of photos every weekend.

Well friends and neighbors it’s time I get back to work…:( Miss all your shenanigans and can’t wait to catch up with all if you!

Where Would I Be Without You?


If this doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what will!

Trevor and Alissa and Yarn

 

For those who don’t know, I am incredibly arthritic in my right (and dominate) hand. When the great Ruffle Scarf Endeavor started I was okay with the knitting, not okay with pulling all the yarn apart. By the end of the night my hand was a ghastly purple bruise, even with ice and Advil the swelling was hard to control. My Etsy Shop had never really done any business until the ruffles, and since I was helping to contribute to our household I never said no to an order.

After a while though my hand was a mess, I couldn’t hold utensils to eat and my knitting was slowing to a snail’s pace. Well, here came my incredible family to the rescue. It started with my husband. Trevor started pulling apart yarn and placing them in the reusable bags we use to grocery shop. My hand was starting to heal but still lagging, and I felt pretty darn guilty for asking him to help.

Then, miracles or miracles, my niece…my Gloria…wanted to help as well. She’d come over after school and just pull yarn without ever being asked. It seemed natural to her to just hunker down and help. That’s just how she is. Before you know it, I was back to full knitting ability and my hand almost looks flesh-colored again!

Trevor and Max and Yarn

If I’ve ever lamented over anything, and I mean anything, then it was because I didn’t realize just how lucky I am. Being rich would be nice, no doubt about that – but I would never trade it for these moments, these amazing people in my life. Somehow I am lucky enough to have my two favorite people (and my favorite cat) helping me to do what I love, arthritis be damned.

Seriously friends and neighbors, does it get better than this? ♥

All Night KAL – Week 3 – I Need More Spare Time!


So the progress on the Jayashri Sweater continues, very slowly. It’s been a really busy week; several custom orders have come into the shop (yea!), along with several (28 – yes, twenty-eight) ruffle scarf orders. If you don’t take into account having 1) a job 2) a husband and loving niece and 3) social life, well then I guess I would have my pullover finished by now.

Wanna see some progress? Because I really want to share!

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I am still keeping a very vigilant count of all the stitches that go into this wonderful pullover, it appeases my OCD as well as my genuine curiosity about how the garment is coming together. I am getting to the decreases that are written in the pattern for the waist, decreases aren’t a problem and I can see (both on the picture of the sweater and in my head) about how this supposed to turn out. It is the short rows and increases for the bust ( of which mine is….ample) that I am a little worried about. I am watching the Short Rows Class on Craftsy to get a better understanding of how these stitches are worked and it has done wonders to bolster my confidence. Of course I am saying this before I’ve actually worked a single row. 🙂

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It is a bit daunting to put your first attempt at anything on the internet – especially when you spend every minute of your spare time seeing other bloggers amazing, flawless work. Perhaps it will be a way to motivate me to spend the extra time to learn the construction of a garment – I mean, who wants to fall flat on their face in front of such amazing talent? Either way it goes I am just remembering to breath and enjoy the knitting.

So friends and neighbors it’s question time! What was your first handmade garment? Did it end with smiles or tears? Is there any advice you would wish to share?

As always, it is a pleasure to blog with such great company! ♥

 

My First Custom Order!


First, here is are the pictures of that adorable baby hat I whipped up for my Dad’s friend.

Secondly, here is a the finished product of my Baby Sophisticate Sweater. I am super proud of this little guy – I cannot wait to gift it!

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Progress…

Finished!

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

You’ve heard it here first friends and neighbors, I have received my first custom order! Best part, it is not a “custom order” for ruffles! I have been presented with the opportunity to make five hats and two scarves in whatever fashion I want! It has been so exciting so far, I’ve been in every stitch dictionary and design book that I own – or my local library can provide.

There is never a downside to an order, but there is a way to self-sabatage your business. I quoted the lowest price that I could think of (thinking that they would say no! you are far to talented!). Seriously, what goes through my head, I’ll never know! Either way, this is the first opportunity to really knit my heart out and show off what I can do.

The hats are for three children: ages six, three and 5 months. The hat and scarves combinations are for two adult females. This is what I’ve done so far. I created a hat for a three year old from a circular needle stitch pattern book complete with the easiest hat closure possible.

By the way...it's actually purple.

By the way…it’s actually purple.

I am thinking of putting the pattern on my Ravelry page, but it just seems like that pattern would be a little to obvious. So I will see what you think! Here is the pattern:

** FREE PATTERN **

→ For worsted-weight yarn – going down to baby weight you will need to find the correct gauge (for me it was increasing by 32 stitches and going down a needle size).

→ CO 88 stitches (any multiple of 8 will work) on size 6US (4mm) needles – 16″ Circular
→ K1, P1 across for 8 rounds.
→ Switch to size 7US (4.5mm) 16″ circular needles.

Repeat the following 12 rounds three (3) times. (this was how long it took me to get my height)

  1. Knit
  2. Knit
  3. Knit
  4. Knit
  5. *4st. Left Cable, 4st. Right Cable* rep. till end of round. (front to back cable pattern)
  6. Knit
  7. Knit
  8. Knit
  9. Knit
  10. Knit
  11. *4st Right Cable, 4st. Left Cable* rep. till end of round. (back to front cable pattern)
  12. Knit
  • 4st. Left Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold front, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.
  • 4st. Right Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold back, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.

→ Switch to DPNs when needed.

  1. *K2, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  2. Knit
  3. *K1, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  4. Knit
  5. *K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  6. Cut 12″ tail and sew up remaining stitches tightly to avoid a hole.

Simple! Too simple to put on my page though? I dunno – child sizes with worsted weight yarn is almost always between 82-92 stitches and the cable is just following a book. Well, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

So along with the KAL, I have a custom order and tons of ruffles. I’ve gotta say, I am really in my happy place right now! What about you friends and neighbors? What gets you into your happy place?

There is Always Time for a Quickie….


Post! Your dirty minds should have seen that coming a mile away! 😉

I cannot believe I have somehow managed to neglect my blog for a week and a half – it this blog was a child the state would be involved. There was drama but frankly I am just not in the mood to dissect all of it at the moment (or ever). Not to mention the fact that whenever I go near my computer I am bombarded with all the things that need to be done of the silly machine like:

  • Making new business cards.
  • Making care instructions for all the new knits.
  • Updating my Ravelry page.
  • Updating my Etsy page.
  • Replying to a million emails I would rather avoid (the ones I want to respond to I try to do in a more timely fashion).
  • and of course…Updating my blog.

It’s been a bit of a struggle since I’ve been on a ruffle scarf binge again. I wanted to be able to buy a pair of needles for the Katniss Cowl. I got the needles but managed to much up the pattern so badly that I am seriously considering just doing it all over again – I owe it to my niece  and more importantly I owe it to Lolly over at Lolly Knits. Silly genius made me a perfect pattern and I’ve mucked it up.

Let’s talk about what the hell I’ve been up to – if you’d like to, of course.

** BOOKS **

  • I read Delirium to see if it would be something Gloria would be interested in, since I have heard such wonderful things about Before I Fall. The whole romance thing is something she wouldn’t be interested in and I found it a bit lacking, especially since reading quite a bit of really good YA fiction. If this can count as a review here it is – this book is the first in a trilogy and I haven’t bought any of the other books yet. Enough said.
  • The End of Your Life Book Club was…Amazing. It is one of those that after you finish reading you almost cannot start a new book, it feels too close to cheating. I love this book, and if you are a lover of books, reading, family and life then seriously go find a copy.
  • I am so glad I am almost done with The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club – it’s bloody awful! Set outside of London the completely formulaic story may not have sucked that bad if the author would capitalize ever-single-solitary word she wants to emphasize. Every time I saw something Capitalized it took me right out of the story.

** MUSIC **

I could try to explain why I love this music but eh, I just wanna share what I’ve been listening to. Here is Imagine Dragons Radioactive though, the music video is painfully stupid but if you just listen to the song it’s all good!

** KNITTING AWARDS **

The lovely bloggers who’ve nominated me for these wonderful awards deserve a proper “Thank You” shout out, which I will put in the Award section on the upper part of my blog. But if I blog it here their blogs might get read twice!

Go check out some amazing blogs and keep posted for their long overdue tributes on the Awards section of the blog.

** KNITTING **

  • The Reversible Cabled Scarf was a stash-buster which made me so utterly happy that I made two. I found it on Ravelry originally, but when I went to find the link it’s gone. I remember it was free though so if you have an interest lemme know.
  • The Herringbone Stitch cowl is made with the same roving yarn was the cabled scarves, in honor of Lolly and her Katniss Cowl pattern. Plus, I wanted the yarn out of my stash.
  • The cowl was a purchased pattern from my LYS and it turned out amazing! And yes, I did find another WIP in the bottom of my bag – it’s like Mary Poppins’ freaking knitting bag!
  • The baby hat was from Itty-Bitty Knits with a few alterations on my part, when the I-cord is place I will get a proper picture. I am pretty sure it is going to be adorable.

** THE END CREDITS **

If you’ve made it through my ramblings good for you because I don’t think I could! I can’t wait to get down and dirty with the Knit Along details, get some more knitting under my belt and do Lolly some justice with that cowl. You know, if I didn’t have a full-time job I could get a lot more done! 😉 Well Friends and Neighbors, hope all is well, cannot wait to catch up with all of you and hope to hear from you soon!

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This is the scolding look I get from Max when I don’t blog enough. Scary, isn’t it?