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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First e-Pattern

I’ve been writing my own patterns nearly as long as I’ve been knitting + crocheting.  However, it was only when I started teaching + using my simple, beginner patterns that I started to seriously write them out for others to use. 

Luckily my students have been very forgiving as well as constructive critiques to help me get the pattern written correctly for beginners to follow easily.  

You can check out the new pattern here. 

Does anyone else write + sell their own patterns?  What words of advice would you offer?  I’d love to check out your work; please leave a link to your listing in the comments!

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Lots of Winners

This post may be a day late but it bears a lot of GOOD NEWS!  Due to a low number of entries, I’m happy to announce that everyone will be receiving at least one pair of needles!

Cathy S – the bamboo size 10 straight needles

Chickie717 – size 8 straight needles

Craftsonthego – the metal size 10 straight needles + the circular (size 10.5) needles.

Kim – the long Size 1 + size 10 straight needles.

Meghan S – Size 5 (red) straight needles.  It’s time you had a pair of needles to get you started on your first scarf! 🙂

Ladies – please leave your emails in the comments of this post so I can get your mailing address or send it directly to my email address: knittedhome[at]gmail[dot]com.  Your needles will be in the post by Friday if not before!

I hope you’ll consider posting about your projects with these new-to-you needles when they arrive!  I love the comradery that knitting brings.

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Knitting Needles Giveaway

Today I’m hosting a giveaway for knitting needles!  These were handed down to me from another friend who was cleaning out his mother’s home in hopes that I could get some use out of them.

Since I already have quite a collection of my own, I thought it was time to share the wealth with other friends who are still building up their collection.

Sizes up for grabs: Circular US 10 1/2, 29″ long  /  Straight Needles: 1, 5, 8 & 10 (x3)

To enter, comment below with the sizes you are either lacking or already own along with a current pattern you are working on.  For additional entries (one per share), share this post via Tweet/ blog/ facebook/ Instagram/ Google+  and comment with your link(s).

I’ll close entries by Sunday evening, March 15, and announce a winner Monday morning (16th).

So, what size knitting needles are lacking in your collection?

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Purging + Organzing

Even though this blog has been relatively quiet the last week, I’ve been spinning my wheels around the house purging + organizing like crazy!  Little EJ is well on the move and nothing is safe.  So I’ve frantically been baby proofing and chasing her nearly every minute of the day.  Naptimes have been devoted to chores + more purging.  Today was a big virtual purge day of old files from college and even high school!  I’ve found a couple fun documents that I shared on my private blog but perhaps I’ll post them over here in the future.

Teaching has been picking up pace.  Monday had 9 people signed up for Arm Knitting!  NINE!  My second largest class was only 4!  It was definitely a new experience, but a fun one for me.  I hope all the rest of my students enjoyed themselves.  Nearly everyone left with a completed double-wrap cowl (only one person gave up, our resident Crocheter who has always refused to learn to knit) and an enthusiasm to return for the Yarn Night in March.  Maybe I can convince our Crocheter to give Arm Knitting another try…

Tonight I finished my own Arm Knitting cowl that I didn’t have time to complete Monday night – and I even had enough to make a single-wrap cowl with the left over yarn.  While knitting, I came across this post by Kyla Roma and I loved the idea of interviewing your clients instead of “imagining your ideal customer.”  I have never been good at “guessing” who my ideal customer is because I am always (happily!) surprised at who stops at my table, what they pick up, and even their comments/suggestions educates and inspires me.  Maybe I can start handing out a brief questionnaire and ask them to fill it out in exchange for a discount?  Would that peak your interest at your local art fairs?

Help me write an inspiring + constructive questionnaire.  What questions do you wish your favorite craft biz owners knew about you?

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