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!

Yes, that’s right folks, the cookbook Fend For Yourself is now available on the Kindle store. Feeling pretty good today about this.

The “look inside” preview for the book won’t be available until next week, but you can still have a sample sent to you before you buy it.

As always, if you have any suggestions or comments I’d love to hear them. The beauty of an e-book is I can still correct myself if I made a grave error somewhere in there.

Fend For Yourself Cover

Rag Rug Woes and Other Crafty News

So I had a bunch of old sheets that we weren’t using, and had the brilliant idea to use them for a rug. It’s resourceful and eco-friendly to upcycle something, right? Then I learned a valuable lesson–I don’t like making rag rugs.

I didn’t like tearing up the sheet and all the strings I then had to individually clean off each strip. I didn’t like the ancient fiber dust that coated everything in the room from all the ripping. The weaving itself was OK, but still not my favorite activity. Then I was running out of strips and realized I’d need more than one sheet to make a decent sized rug. That was disheartening considering how much I disliked the ripping and tearing process.

So I just finished it and it’s too small. But I do look on the bright side. I tried something new and I didn’t care for it. That’s ok. Trying new things always teaches us more about ourselves, and for that I am thankful.

Here is my itty bitty rug. I added more fringe to try and make it look bigger. I’m not convinced that did much for it.

rag rug

 

I did have some crafty successes this week though. I finished a kitchen puzzle, glued, framed, and hung it in our dining area. AND I made a cozy blanket as a house-warming gift for my brother and fiancée. They just moved into their first place together! I can’t wait to go visit! Until next time, keep crafting! 😀

Crocheted in the V-stitch

Crocheted in the V-stitch

 

 

 

This was too cute not to share with you guys! It’s perfect because I use clothespins to display my knitted items, organize my desk area, keep track of random notes, and hang pictures on clothesline I hung around the room. Even better, you can use different shapes (flowers, stars, letters, etc) and customize your clothespins to suit your style or decor.

You can find all the instructions for Pacman Clothespins over on Repeat Crafter Me. Happy crafting!

Summer Shawl Complete! Ta Da!

For a couple weeks I’ve been working on making a nice summer shawl for myself–nothing too heavy but something airy and versatile and perfect for a cool summer night or breezy spring day.

It started with an experiment in arm knitting, but I didn’t like the color combination I choose and the bulkiness of all the yarn.

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I ripped out the finished piece (which I didn’t even take a picture of), and diligently re-wound 5 different colors. This took forever. Well…more like 3 Harry Potter movies worth of time.

Pile of Yarn

I used this time to brainstorm how to restart the project. I choose just 3 colors instead of 5, and decided I was going to crochet. For some reason crochet=summer to me, whereas knitting=winter. I used the same meshwork pattern that I made tote bags with.

Crochet Mesh Bag

I also did blocks of solid color, instead of mixing the colors. The resulting shawl ended up HUGE. Way bigger than I intended. When draped around my shoulders, it went far past my butt. When tied around my waist, it reached half-way down my calves. So big. Here’s a picture for reference, in the only place I could find to spread it out completely (except the floor, but the cats would pounce quickly).

Large shawl pre-felting

I had used the only kind of yarn I had on hand – wool – so decided to felt the piece so it would shrink up a bit.  The result? PERFECTION.  It’s now the perfect size and holds it’s shape well while still being flexible.

I’m excited to wear it this summer and can’t wait to try it out! It may have taken quite a bit longer than arm knitting, but it was well worth the effort.

How about you? Any projects you had to restart and decided to go in whole new direction? Were you happy with how it turned out? I find sometimes trying a whole new idea can lead you places you wouldn’t have otherwise ended up. Enjoy the new discovery!

Easter Flowers are Charming

So remember when I posted about my idea for an Easter project using crochet flowers? Well, instead of using Dum-Dum suckers for the flower centers, I used little marble charms! There were another set of leftovers from a previous project, but they turned out just so gosh-darn cute!

Crochet Flower Centerpiece

Each marble was hand-wrapped with wire and attached to a small clasp so you can use it as a charm on a bracelet, pendant, purse, or whatever you want. I actually saved a few larger ones to hang on my tree at Christmas.

The project was a success! Everyone loved them at Easter dinner and thought they were adorable. To top it off, I did it all with stuff I already had around the house!

Hope everyone had a good Easter and enjoyed time with the family 😀

P.S. I finished my summer wrap I was working on. Decided to go a completely different direction….updates soon!

Crocheted Spring Flowers

I was doing a bit of spring cleaning recently and found a whole pile of crocheted flowers left over from a project I worked on early last year.

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Trying to figure out a use for them, I ran across this post on Repeat Crafter Me for Dum-Dum Daisies. Super cute, right? I decided a bouquet of these little cuties would be perfect to take to Easter dinner in a few weeks! I even have a bright sunny flower pot I can put them in.  So in the time it takes to watch Total Recall, I weaved in all those ends and ended up with 15 flowers ready for little lollipops.

I think I’ll stop by the dollar store tomorrow and pick some Dum-Dums up. I probably won’t assemble the flowers until closer to Easter, but I’ll definitely share the result. I love spring! I’m just happier all the time 🙂 and much more inspired to be crafty!