From Hobby to Business and Back Again

KN LogoThe News

I started Knitting Naturals as a small business–a way to make and sell my hand knit creations–with the intent to fully work from home and live the dream life. Well my friends, when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Which is why I’ve been transitioning from a business back to a hobby, which is how this all got started in the first place.

You may have noticed that items haven’t been listed in the Etsy shop, and the blog has undergone some subtle changes to reflect a more casual style. I’ve been selling off my stock of items to local customers and plan to be fully back in hobby-mode by the end of the year.

Travel Tissue Holder in Trellis Stitch

Why?

Because after giving it my all for almost 3 years, I realized something very important–this isn’t what I want to do with my life. I love knitting and I love sharing my creations with people, but the business was just barely staying afloat, my health and relationships were suffering, and I was forcing myself to knit. And I don’t want to force it. Knitting was my stress reliever that turned into a stress inducer, and that just seemed wrong to me.

Gray Fingerless Gloves

Future Plans

I’ll still be knitting (and crocheting and doing other crafty projects) and I’ll share the results here on the blog, because I like to share 🙂 The Etsy shop will stay in vacation mode for an indefinite period of time, but any past customers are more than welcome to message me if they’d like a special order.

I imagine I’ll still make stuff for family and friends, but mostly I’ll be enjoying the freedom of being able to make whatever I want whenever I want. Whether that’s a pile of blankets or some complicated sweater that’ll take me months to finish, I get to enjoy making them at my own pace.

I’m looking forward to sharing many holiday projects with you as the seasons change, and I’m already working on another blanket for the pile!

Until next time, happy crafting!

No new knitting this week, but I did want to tell you guys about the Tip of the Day that I’ve been doing on Facebook and Twitter.  I started it at the beginning of the year, and while I don’t do it every single day, I do share tips several times a week.

The tips can be very specific, like quick recipe suggestions, or very broad, like life lessons and general advice. I try to mix it up and include tips for cooking, cleaning, being healthy, exercising, or just being happier. Most are practical, though some are meant to be obvious and make you smile (like, don’t walk down the street with your eyes closed).

If you aren’t following on Facebook or Twitter yet, go on and do it! My links are over there on the sidebar. Who knows, you may just pick up a useful tip or two 😀

Hope you had a happy weekend!

Back to Basics in Knitting

I started knitting in the 10th grade. I bought a “Learn to Knit” kit with the intention of making a scarf for my friend’s birthday. I’d like to say that I was a natural, but I tried and failed time after time to finish that scarf. I didn’t complete it until the following year–at that point she and I weren’t even friends anymore.

Since then I’ve accumulated several sets of knitting needles, project bags, and accessories.  I learned new stitches, practiced new techniques, and tried new patterns.  I’ve wandered through craft stores for hours on end and spent more time untangling yarn than I care to admit. I even got into crochet for a while. The result:

While I enjoyed the learning process for each of these items, I’ve come to realize that what I love the most is getting back to the basics.

More and more I enjoy using simple wool yarn, nothing crazy or fuzzy or unnatural.

My first 5.5mm pair of needles sits on my desk next to the pair of 10mm needles I got in college. The rest of my straight and circular sets are neatly tucked away.

I find myself most attracted to patterns for scarves and hats with variations of the basic knit and purl stitches. I don’t have a desire to knit elaborate cabling or intricate lace or large sweaters or time-consuming socks.


For a while I thought that only knitting scarves and hats was too simple and beginner level, especially when there is so much more for me to learn. But if it’s not fun, then what’s the point? I enjoy the basics, and that’s what I’m sticking with (at least for now).

So, my first new project of 2015 uses 10mm needles, all natural wool yarn, and the basic garter stitch. It’s just fabulous, don’t you think?

How about you? Do you enjoy getting back to basics? Or is your passion fueled by exploring new things? Maybe it’s a mix. Whatever you enjoy, don’t be ashamed of it and don’t ignore it. Embrace what you love and have fun!

8 Ways to Deal with a Lousy, No-Good, Rotten Bad Day

Rough days present themselves in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  Some come with low self-esteem from a poor work evaluation, a failed assignment, or a fight with your significant other.  Other days you’re running late the whole day, stressed and overwhelmed and not a single thing seems to go right. Whatever happens, we all have those days–downright rough lousy no-good days.

mondays day day

Bad Day – Photo Credit, Dawn

So I have some strategies to make your day better! And none of that “there are people who have it worse than you” advice. While that’s totally true, it does absolutely NOTHING to make me feel any better. I bet it doesn’t make you feel any better either. Guilty maybe, but definitely not better since I find comparing yourselves to others is never helpful.

Keep in mind these may not all work for you, but I’ve found them extremely helpful and I wanted to share in case even one of these suggestions can help your day get a little better.

1. Music

Peppy music to lift your spirits, soothing music to calm your mind, rock music to make you feel like a bad ass, or any song you can sing at the top of your lungs.

2. Remember Who You Are

You are awesome. You do so many good things in your life. Don’t forget it! Remind yourself of the good things you’ve done today (or this week, or this life) or look at how much you’ve accomplished. Just remember, don’t compare yourself to others, only compare your own personal progress.

3. Pump Yourself Up

We say in my house, “Get jazzed.” Drink some coffee, pump up the jams, watch an inspiring video, find something that makes you say “Yes, I can do this!”

For example, recently I had a bad day at work (I deliver the mail in case you didn’t know). It’s raining, I’ve walked about 10 miles already, I’m having some feminine troubles (which makes everything worse), and my boss tells me I have to go back out in the rain for another hour. I just kept telling myself over and over in my head, “You can do this, you can do this, you are strong, just a little further, push through it, a warm bed is waiting at home, YOU CAN DO THIS.” Sounds silly, but it helped me get through.

4. Recognize Those Who Help You

When you’re having a bad day, sometimes it just takes one person to do something nice to turn it around. Recognize that. Appreciate that. Don’t just focus on the negativity. Don’t ignore those who help you.  Allow that niceness to seep into you.

It may be a coworker who offers to finish a task for you, or a friend who brings you funny movies and a whole carton of ice cream. Maybe it’s a total stranger who helps you when you’re a little short on change at the grocery store. Whoever it is, and whatever they do, say thanks and smile.

happy day

Photo Credit, Vinoth Chandar

5. Tomorrow Will Be Better

You’ve had bad days before, right? And you got through those, right? I’m guessing so since you’ve alive and well enough to be reading this.  It’s likely this bad day will be like the others and tomorrow will be better.

“When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe
Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow”

-Bon Jovi

6. Go to Bed Early

Sometimes things are too bad to get any better (or you’re too exhausted and drained to try). In these times it’s okay to give up on the day and just go to bed, even if it’s hours before your normal bedtime.  Remember, tomorrow will be better.

7. Don’t Hold It All In

Let the negativity out! Sweat it out, sing at the top of your lungs, or have a quick cry in the bathroom. I’ve done all of these things and every time it helps me. Granted, crying may seem overly dramatic, but some days you’re just so overwhelmed with bad emotions that the tears start rolling.

The important point to know here is DON’T let your frustrations out on other people.  That will only make things worse. Trust me, I’ve done that too and it is not a good strategy to make anyone’s day better.

8. Exercise

Go for casual walk or work up a sweat at the gym, as long as you get moving. Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy!

happy dog

Photo Credit, Britt Selvitelle

Have any suggestions to add to the list? Put them in the comments below! What works for you may help someone else. And I hope your bad day gets better!

A few months ago, I finished my last post in the series, Guidelines for Greener Living.  Using my posts as inspiration, I expanded my ideas and compiled them all into an awesome new eBook! Yes, that’s right, you can now get the Guidelines for Greener Living book through the Amazon Kindle store!

You can click the affiliate link below to go to Amazon.  Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can use the Kindle app on your phone or computer to read it.  Thanks for all your support!

Guidelines for Greener Living: How to Lead a More Eco-Friendly Life (affliate)

Guide to Eco Friendly Living

 

Note: I am part of the Amazon Associate program and will occasionally post affiliate links to Amazon products that I believe will assist you on your journey to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.  Any proceeds I receive from these affiliate links goes into growing Knitting Naturals and researching new eco-friendly products.  Thank you for your support!