Crafting Wherever, Whenever

My favorite thing about the knitting + crocheting niche is that I am not
tied to a designated desk all day in order to get my products made.

I can stash a ball of yarn and utensils (scissors + needles or hook) in my purse and work wherever I am that day.  When I would chauffeur all day, I could knit at our stops (15 minutes here; 45 minutes there), or when I would watch an older gentleman in his home (while his daughter/ caretaker was out running her errands) I would knit while he watched a movie or we would work on a puzzle.  Sometimes I’d bring my laptop to catch up on emails + blog reading/writing.  But the best part about this aspect is that when I’m waiting in a long line or in a waiting room, I can happily pass the time productively knitting (or crocheting) without feeling like I’m “wasting my time.”

The other great part about this niche is how infinite it is.  There are so many different interpretations on the same project, let alone on the different items + styles that one can create out of yarn, that there are vast options available to the customer.

Sometimes I think it is hard to be original in this field because it may seem like everything has been done.  But then I allow myself to solve a problem with my own puzzle-solving creativity before I look to the internet to “tell” me how others have solved it (youtube, pinterest, etc).  You can see examples of my problem-solving when you read one of my original patterns.

What is your favorite thing about your niche?

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Are You a Blogger Who Makes or a Maker Who Blogs?

Because, let’s face it.  These are two different approaches to blogging.

Are you a Blogger or a Maker first?  |  knittedhome.blogspot.com
When I first discovered this idea, I was rocking my daughter to sleep + the question came at me like a riddle.  Which one are you? it wanted to know.  It took a couple of rockings for me to decide.  

A Blogger Who Makes

You blog to tell a story + if your craft or wares come into the picture, it is because they are part of your story.  You blog to put your voice out there + to hear others validate your thoughts through comments + shares.  You may blog to build a community through more interactive approaches like knitalongs + link parties.

You probably have quite a few categories of topics that you love to cover and this helps you build a large following around many topics.  My personal favorites are sustainable family living, crafting, and minimalism.

Some of my favorite Bloggers are Buckaloo View + Field*Wonderful + Thrifty Frugal Mama
 + Little House Living + High Heels & Two Wheels + Reading My Tea Leaves

A Maker Who Blogs

You blog to share your process or your wares with your fans + build a following around your product or services.  You want your readers to have behind-the-scenes access to your creative process + all that it entails.  You are most likely using your community’s feedback to better understand what your audience is seeking in your business.

Your categories are more in line with your business niche + less about your personal life (though I know plenty of business blogs that deviate from this).

I don’t find myself following as many of these blogs as the former, but when I do, I binge read them because they are full of self-help articles + pretty stylized images.  My favorites include:
Pickles + DarlingbeBrave + A Bowl Full of Lemons + Elle&Co + byRegina + KylaRoma

Certainly there isn’t only one way to blog.  And readers need a mixture to keep things interesting.  I just thought this would be fun to see who identifies with which personality. 

Ultimately I’m a Blogger first who happens to make + sell things.  Looking at how long I’ve been writing, what motivates me to write, and why I write, all point to my reason for blogging: community engagement.  That’s not to say I don’t want to monetize or mention my Etsy shop, but it does highlight the fact that those are or have become secondary to my motivation for reader engagement.

So I pose the same question to you:  Are you a Blogger who makes or a Maker who blogs?

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Stumbling upon my own Invention

Do you ever have moments where you feel like you are ahead of your time or where you “invented” something and then find out later (maybe a day; maybe YEARS later) that it was “already invented”?

I stumbled upon this email from Crochet Me and it was like being taken back to a younger self, wide-eyed & experimental…
I like that I “invented” this without ever knowing it was an actual *thing* to do.  I think I was in high school the first time I ever tried “embroidering” with crochet …. :]

How about you?  I’d LOVE to hear any and all experiences.  I’m sure I’m not the only one with moments like these.

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Navy Blue Beanie

Last Thursday I finished Michelle’s blue beanie.  A nice, classic crochet beanie with one row of white along the edge for a little pop.  
It is amazing what one dash of a contrasting color with do!
Even with EJ on the move, I’m still finding little snippets of time to sit down and craft – even if I don’t get to blog about it much.  😦  So I’ve been trying to at least make myself post to Instagram.  Hope to see you there!

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Decorating for Christmas

Slowly but surely it is starting to look like Christmas around here!

Hubby hung the Christmas lights on the house last week & I hung up the wreath on our door.

I had hopes to get three stockings knit up by now but it hasn’t yet.  Maybe next week?  Last night I got around to making this crochet star garland, though, and that is a decoration crossed off the list!

We’re planning to pick out a real Christmas tree this year so EJ has the full holiday experience.  It should be up by this weekend and I’ll update with a photo when we do.

What decorations have you put up?

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Hair Bows & Bow Ties

I finally got around to trying this nifty little pattern back in March (was it really that long ago?), whipping up quite a few more than I intended, and I’m ecstatic to introduce it in the Etsy shop!

Add a bow to any hat or headband in the shot

I think this pattern was originally intended to be a little girl’s hair bow but I have been on a quest to find cute *boy* clothes & accessories before EJ was born.  Using my grandfather and his adorable bow ties as inspiration, I think these would make wonderful bow ties for a little boy!  What do you think??

I haven’t figured out how to safely (i.e. not a choking hazard) attach these around a little neck, but I’m open to suggestions.  In the mean time, I’m also selling these under supplies.

I plan to add many more colors soon; I just had this baby blue skein to use up.  What are you working on today?

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Sweet Cheeks

I can now spill the beans & tell you Knitted Home is in a physical store!!  This adorable boutique here in Toledo has agreed to sell baby mittens, socks & longies as well as requesting shorties for the warmer weather season.

I’m so excited to receive more feedback from a different market experience compared to online and craft show shopping.

Do you sell in a physical store?  Do you have any advice or suggestions?  Pros and Cons?

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