May 21, 2015

A Quest Update

I got an e-mail today from a lovely fellow quest person, which is when I realized it's been FOREVER since I talked about my quest to make 10,000 hats for 10,000 people. So silly - the whole reason I started this space was to help track that goal!

The hat above, an acrylic Sandoval Hat (my own free pattern), is hat 908 in that quest. I'm learning that life with a toddler and pre-schooler means far less knitting time than I used to have. And that's totally okay because these years are so fleeting! We spend our days at the park, at the play gym, searching for buried treasure (thanks to mama's hand-made map), and doing so many fun things that knitting is more often than not the farthest thing from my mind.

But still, in the evenings, or in the car, or in stolen moments, I knit a row or two. I make hats that will be sent around the world and given to folks in my own neighborhood, and I remember that this is such the perfect quest for me, using sticks and string to make a tangible sign of love.

I may post here less often, and I may knit slower than I used to. It's only temporary, as so much in life is. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

May 14, 2015

Just Two Days Left ...

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the VERY LAST DAY EVER to buy a hat from me! I will be selling hats until just before I go to bed tomorrow night, and then I will remove all the listings from the shop. The shop will officially stay "active" until I get all final orders shipped, and then it's going away. PERMANENTLY.

Again, this is a decision that makes me super amazingly happy! I love to knit, and I love especially to knit hats. But most of all, I love to give hats away. The shop was opened, and has continued to stay open, only as a way to help bring a bit of extra income to my family, and I've always felt conflicted about it.

Now, thankfully, I don't have to worry about it anymore. I'm earning an extra income (and far more than I ever did selling hats!) thanks to Younique, and I am able to go back to doing what I love best with my knitting - making hats and giving them away!!

So you've got like 36 hours people. And then the shop is gone ... forever!!!

May 11, 2015

Slip This! Hat

pattern: Slip This! by Meagan Poteete-Johnson (free pattern)
yarn: Bernat Super Value, approximately 100 yards
needles: size 9 / 5.5mm circulars

It feels so good to be sharing a new-to-me hat pattern here in this space again! For so many months I've been knitting in fits and spurts, working from the same patterns on repeat. And while I love using my "old standbys", it felt amazing to get a new hat pattern on the needles.

When my friend Meagan shared a pattern she'd been working on in the Harry Potter Ravelry group I'm part of, I jumped at the chance to make it! Meagan has offered Slip This! up for free, which is such a gift to the charity knitting community.

Just a touch more difficult than a plain stockinette hat, the slipped stitches make this hat unique and a treat to knit. It really felt like it was flying off my needles, and I worked it up in just one day, which is super quick in comparison to how my knitting has been going lately. Life is full to exploding with park dates and play dates and Octonauts and clapping and running after one another, and I couldn't be happier. Of course, this means less knitting than before, but I'll take it. These days are but a blip in our lives, and I want to be present for as many as I can.

So the Slip This! hat is perfect for right now - it's just enough to keep me interested and excited through the entire knitting, while still simple enough to knit in those moments between when the kids go to bed and we crash under the covers, exhausted but excited for another day.

If you're a charity knitter, download this pattern - your needles will thank you, and your charity knitting will explode!!

May 5, 2015

the sad truth about newborn photography props ...

... is that they really need a newborn in them to make them look cute. These rompers are off to a photographer, and will surely look adorable one a squishy newborn is in them, but today they just look like weirdly disproportionate shorts.

I'll be selling these out of the shop for the next few days, until the shop closes, if any newborn photographers out there are interested in a sweet little romper!

May 3, 2015

On Etsy Shops, Mascara, and A Change Of Direction

One month ago, I began a journey. I signed up with Younique, a makeup company that aspires to Uplift, Empower, and Validate women through cosmetics that are naturally-based and as good for you as they are lovely to use.

I signed up, hoping to make $50-$100 a month. One month in I've got a growing team, and am making more money than I used to make at my part time job.

This has meant a few changes, both online and off. My Instagram account, still full of photos of my knitting and my kids, is also now sharing some space with makeup. I've set up a biz page on Facebook for my new business, and I'm spending more time there than I have been here on the blog.

And I'm closing up shop.

One of the better knitting decisions I've made in the last decade came this January, when I decided to quit selling patterns, instead offering them all for free. What I love most about knitting is giving away what I make, and selling patterns while I was donating hats didn't sit right with me.

But I kept the shop open, hoping to make a bit of extra money to cover shipping costs for charity hats, and maybe even pay a bill here and there. Instead, having an Etsy shop has consistently stressed me out, and been more of a frustration than a good thing.

Thankfully, now I don't have to think about it. I can knit for charity, giving hats away freely and as I make them. Thanks to Younique, I'm making more money while staying home with my kiddos than I ever did when I worked outside the home, which is just about a miracle. Selling finished knits has always sat sideways for me. I love that other people can sell their hand knits, and I know I will support their shops in the months and years to come. This is about me, and what I want my knitting life to look like.

So the shop is closing on May 15. If you want to purchase anything from me, this is the time to do it. The shop will NOT re-open, ever again.

If you're looking for handmade items in the future, I will gladly point you to some of my favorites, and might even do a gift guide of sorts featuring these shops as the holidays get closer. As for me, my knitting will once again focus solely on charity, and I couldn't be happier.

Between now and May 15, all items in my shop are on sale, and the prices reflect that. There's no coupons needed, everything has been marked down at least 10%, but in most cases much more.

To those of you who are here because of the shop, thanks so much for your past support! I can't wait to share more about my Younique journey in the coming days, weeks, and months, and I hope you will be as supportive of that.