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!

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.

DSCN5065

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!

Photo credit, Kevin Dooley

Just for fun, I wanted to share 7 of my favorite (or at least most-visited) blogs. I read these daily as they give me inspiration and insight into simple living and financial freedom. I thought about including some of the cooking blogs I visit, but there were so many that they will have to go in their own post in the future!

Zen Habits

Be More With Less

The Minimalists

The Simple Dollar

Mr. Money Mustache

Zero Waste Home

Rowdy Kittens

I hope these great writers can bring you as much motivation and hope for a bright future as they have given me. Enjoy!

Taking Stock #2

freezing fog

Making : a new cowl in avocado green
Cooking : bean soup in the slow cooker
Drinking : hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night
Reading: Mr. Money Mustache to realign my financial outlook
Wanting: a nice long nap
Looking: for new recipes
Playing: Hearthstone : Heroes of Warcraft
Wasting: time watching too much Gilmore Girls on Netflix
Sewing: the hem of my work pants and the hole in Nate’s winter hat
Wishing: for warmer weather
Enjoying: knitting with bulky wool yarn
Waiting: until after I finish this post to get myself a snack
Liking: the art I finally hung on the walls
Wondering: how long I’ll be able to keep up working 6 days a week (this hasn’t changed)
Loving: my new yarn ball winder
Hoping: things go well with the new girl at work
Marveling: at nature and the snow and the way the cold air takes your breath away
Needing: to drink more water every day
Smelling: coffee brewing
Wearing: cozy sweatpants
Following: my editorial calendar, for once I’m actually sticking to it
Noticing: that I dropped a stitch in my knitting several rows ago
Knowing: each new day brings new opportunities
Thinking: of new daily tips to share
Feeling: like I ate too much pizza this week, again
Bookmarking: knitting patterns – so many to try!
Opening: the mail…it’s just bills. no fun.

Check out Taking Stock #1 if you want to know what was going on a few months ago in early November.

Photo Credit, U.S. Geological Survey

Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right, and your head up. Do well, live well, and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living.