Nov 2, 2010

Six Month Shift

Things have been shifting around for me a lot in the last six months or so. I began writing about minimalism and the challenges of becoming more minimalist while a crafter and someone who owns a ton of stuff. I’ve written two e-books. I’ve made some amazing friends online.

While all this has been going on, I’ve been slowly knitting my way through my yarn stash – you wouldn’t know it to look at it though, as people just keep giving me yarn! This is not a bad thing, as I haven’t needed to purchase any in quite some time.

In the past six months I’ve also realized I own far too many things, and have struggled with how to get rid of them all when the attachment is still so strong. And I’ve learned I like to shop a lot more than I thought I did!

Through all of this discovery I have also been feeling a slow shift internally – a shift towards smaller and less, from big dreams to more compact, and from large desires to tinier ones. I’ve been looking around me and discovering I’ve been building up around me more and more things {websites, projects, plans and ideas} when I truth what I want is less, less, and even less.

The past few weeks have been spent dreaming and planning – I’ve been trying to imagine how I want my life to look in six months, one year, five years from now. At each timeframe, I see a few distinct things – children, a small knitting business, crafting constantly, writing – and yet when I look around at my daily life many of these things are not yet present.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during this first part of my minimalist journey has been to follow my heart and passions. We tend to focus more on filling our lives up with tons of meaningless crap when we’ve got no focus, no passion to drive us – now that I’ve been pushing myself towards my passions, I’m seeing a slow shift away from the desire for all that crap.

But to follow my heart and my passions even further, a few things necessarily need to shift, and possibly shift hard. I’m getting super excited for these next steps in my life journey, but these next steps involve a fair amount of shifting – and some of that will be evident here at Minimalist Knitter.

I’m going to begin sharing more of my crafting. While knitting is a huge passion of mine, I’ve got a love for all types of crafts that I haven’t been sharing too much in this space. In general, if I’m honest, I’ve let the rest of my crafting love fall by the wayside as I’ve embraced my knitting needles, and I’ve missed fabric and paper and glue guns and staples, so it’s time to shift back to those a bit.

This means I’ll be sharing more crafty projects with you all! I’ve got tons of fun projects either just completed or queued up and ready to go, and I can’t wait to start sharing more of my crafty side in this space.

I’m changing up the Simple Knits focus a bit. While I love sharing my finished knits, there are so many more amazing simple knit patterns out there I don’t have time to knit but would love to share with you, and so I’m making a change. Going forward, I’m going to make Simple Knits a more regular feature, and share not just what I’m making, but some of the amazing patterns out there that you may love as well.

I had tried to do this for a bit over at Knit The Day, but the regular schedule of it combined with splitting my focus left me totally burnt out for about a week – which is when I decided to combine the two into a feature here.

Now you’ll get a more round-up style post once a week {most likely on Fridays} or so with some of the great Simple Knits I’ve found on the internet recently, as well as my continuing to share the finished knits I’ve fallen in love with.

I’ve added some “ad space” to the blog. For now, I’m not charging for this space and am instead featuring some of the blogs/shops I love, but am considering adding an advertising portion to the blog. This is something I’d love your thoughts on, actually – minimalist blogs tend to think ads are for suckers, but more and more crafty blogs consider them a great way to promote other small business owners. I’m torn – I love the idea of supporting other like-minded folks, but don’t want to turn off those of you who head here for a dose of minimalist fun. What do you think?

All of these shifts are actually tied to a much bigger shift, and one I’m the most excited about. I’ve set up a small Etsy shop under the Minimalist Knitter name, and have begun listing items to the shop! You’ll be able to find patterns for sale as well as finished hand-knit accessories such as hats, scarves and even yoga socks!

My current plan for the shop is to use some of the patterns I’ve been working on in my “spare time” for the finished knits, and to list a items up a dozen or so at a time once every few weeks. I’ll be letting people on the newsletter list only know before I update the shop, so if you’re interested in that sort of information you’ll want to join up {if you haven’t already}.

 **My first big shop update {currently only a few patterns are for sale} will happen around November 10th - 15th.**
One of my big life goals is to work for myself, and this is a huge step in that direction – it will help me shift from knitting so much and so often for others for free to a better business model, while freeing me up {strange as that may sound} to do more charity knitting. I will be able to knit more of what I love, and will also figure out if I can knit enough in any given month to match what I make at my day job.

I’ve got big long-term plans for the shop as far as charity partnerships go, but for November and December I’m all about quick holiday gifts – these are the items that are perfect for almost anyone on your list thanks to their minimalist construction and neutral colorings.

That’s quite a lot of shift for a short amount of time, no? I’ve learned in the last few months that I don’t do well with sitting on ideas, letting them simmer, and working on one thing at a time. While I was writing Holiday Made Simple I was working on a few guest posts, plotting my holiday hand-knit presents, and completing the Boystown Hats project. Looking ahead, I realized I didn’t have a ton on my schedule for November/December, and so ideas began to form.
I’m excited to see how these shifts will move me closer to the life I know is perfect for me. I’m excited to look at minimalism a little closer through the eyes of a crafter, and can’t wait to explore that with you via some articles I’ll be cooking up as well as the craft projects I’ll be sharing.

I’m bursting at the seams with ideas right now, and so while these first six minimalist months have been all about settling into a new state of mind and testing the waters, these next six will hopefully be about sharing and ideas and crafting and pulling it all together in a new way.

I’m excited to begin, and hope you’ll love this new-ish ride! Feel free to ask me any questions, or let me know your opinions in the comments {especially on the whole ad-space thing} – I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments, and share more details on these shifts in future posts.

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