Friday, February 28, 2014

Hit a slump in my knitting aka Knitter's Block

So now that the holiday season is over and the production knitting has slowed down, I find that every year around this time I find I hit a slump - knitters' block, similar to that fatalistic problem that writers sometimes get - writers' block. Production knitting will suck the life and fun out of knitting, if you let it. The non-stop knitting I do from August until December really gets overwhelmingly tedious and I find that when that last show of the season is over in December, I breath a deep sigh of relief.

I always think to myself afterwards, that I'm going to stop, give it up and try something else and I have these questions rolling around in my head, What am I doing? and Why am I working so hard? This was supposed to be a relaxing hobby! And then I think, I love this thing that I do with needles, I don't know what else I would do if I wasn't doing this. I work full-time and run this knitting business on the side and I think that it keeps me busy, sometimes busier than I want to be, but I enjoy the challenge and I like being busy. So I take a deep breath and take a little time off. I know its to keep the enjoyment of the craft from getting stale, I know if I didn't I would lose interest altogether.

So I usually try to occupy my time with something, anything that doesn't have to do with knitting. Well mostly doesn't have to do with knitting. I usually pull out my knitting books and/or magazines and peruse patterns and stories about knitting, spinning, yarn, etc. I also go through my WIP's (works-in-progress) stash and see if there is anything I want to continue working on, mostly not, but I always look.

And when I've done all of that I treat myself to a few weeks of reading catch up. Since I don't get to do a lot of reading for the enjoyment of reading during the high knitting season, I use this time to relax my hands, un-clutter my mind of knitting and reacquaint myself with some of my favorite authors. I look up to see what new releases they have out and browse the library's e-book selection to see if the next book in the series I was reading last year is available. This keeps me from totally losing interest in my knitting and deciding to give it up altogether, which I have done with many other hobbies over the years.

So when the times again to start knitting, I'm refreshed and ready to go! I delve into my books and magazines to look for more challenging knitting patterns, read about other people who have given up their day jobs to do what they love, open a yarn shop, start a non-profit to teach knitting/crocheting, etc.and dream about maybe doing the same all while my busy hands are creating something fabulous from yarn!

Have you found yourself getting knitters' block? How often do you find yourself hitting that wall? What do you do to keep from throwing in the needles? How do you keep your knitting interesting? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Updates from Knitter Mama

So again, I've been neglectful with keeping up my blog. When you are a busy knitter, it's hard to take time out to write and keep you all updated. I apologize for that and will strive to do better in the future.

Some things that you may or may not know, I created a website that I attempted to keep up to date with information about Knitter Mama, my shop, and dates and locations of where I would be during the summer months, but I fell short. Again, it is a full-time job to keep a website up-to-date with information as well as creating an online shop on the website, time that I was taking away from my knitting. It's a great plan to have a website, but if I don't knit then I don't have product to place on my website, which kind of defeats the purpose of the website. It's this catch-22 for small business owners like myself. I work full-time, knit part-time and where do I find the time to also keep up with the digital world? With social media, websites, blogs, forums, etc...the list goes on and on. So, I decided it wasn't cost effective or a good investment at this time for me to pay for a website that wasn't accentuating my business because it wasn't being kept up-to-date. I may give it another try either later on this year or early next year.

Instead, I am going to work harder on getting my name out there through social media and learning to drive people to my existing online shop on Etsy and my new shop on Zibbet. As well as taking the time to keep up with my blog.

Speaking of my blog, you will note that I've made some visual changes to my blog and I will be making more as time goes on. But again, sitting down and deciding on what I want my blog to look like takes away from my knitting time and I tend to get anxious and frustrated because let's face it I'm not a website designer, even with the content managers that have boiler-plate designs, I struggle with color, content and overall design. But this year I've decided that if I'm going to really make my business work, I have to start working my business the way that I should.

I also will post here my locations during the summer so that if want to come by and say "Hi" to Knitter Mama you can at one of the famers' markets I like to participate in. I would like to also remind everyone that you can also follow me on Pinterest and Facebook. I look forward to a prosperous year and happy knitting!