Saturday, November 26, 2011

We've reached over 350 views of the blog, but we still need followers!  If you like the blog, please follow us.  :)

Current Projects
I feel overwhelmingly lucky that I get to spend my days doing a lot of things that I enjoy and taking pride in some of my greatest accomplishments.
  1. I get to spend time with the most adorable two year old I know,
  2. I can knit for as long as I want,
  3. and I can do all of this in the comfort of my own home.
I dream of the yarn store and I dream of expanding this little business, after all, I did get an MBA and I want to know that it was worth the time and the effort.

 I've got an order for 10 hats from my brother-in-law and hat #3 is under way.  Peanut modeled one hat for me, so that I could show that the hats would fit almost anyone, from a kid to an adult.  I think he's pretty much used to me snapping pictures of him, so he poses for the camera without prompting now.

I'm also experimenting with different yarns and knitting stitches.  I've been stocking up on more of the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (thanks to Fiddlehead Yarns), which I've decided is my favorite yarn right now.  I've also been researching patterns that contain measurements for the different sizes and looking at industry standards for design and sizes.

I do all of this so that I can start the task of getting my own designs and patterns out there and finally start earning money with the business.  I plan to post some free patterns here soon!  In the mean time, I'll be sharing some easy project ideas.

For those who read regularly, what would you like to see more of?

Coming Soon
More winter items to get us through these cold months!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Block Busted!

We've reached over 300 views of the blog, but we still need followers!  If you like the blog, please follow us as we begin to build the business.  :)

Knitting Madness
I finally got a little inspiration today. Back in May, when my aunt came to town for my grandfather's funeral, she asked me to make her a couple of pairs of socks. She had recently heard of my sock knitting obsession from my mother and wanted some funky socks to wear to school (she's a gifted artist and art teacher). I quickly made her one pair, th Pink Swirl socks.

For the second pair, she wanted something in blue and ivory/off white. I initially tried doing some entrelac socks in alternating colors, but didn't like the results. So now, I picked out a wavy lace pattern in which I can alternate colors. I also discussed some business with my hubby at dinner and confirmed that it will probably be a good idea to start on some of my spring knitting as soon as I finish knitting Christmas gifts for family members and the 10 hats I am making for my brother-in-law.

I still may include some more winter items for the Etsy shop, but will focus on spring and Easter kids designs and see if I can do well with that. I also want to get back into the yarn dyeing since I've put that off for a few months (my husband does not like the smell).

Coming Soon
Thanksgiving is around the corner. We are thankful for the opportunity to grow the Cherished Moments shop this year and forthe support from friends and family in the process. Tell us what you are thankful for.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Yarn Addict with Designer's Block

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I realized that out of all the bins upon bins (upon bins) of yarn that I have, there are not many balls of yarn that are "girly" colors.  So, yes, I went out and bought way too much double knit yarn in pinks and purples all with dreams of frilly or lace cardigans in mind.  Of course, when I got home, I immediately got designer's block!  I sat in my room for 6 hours wondering what I could do with all this yarn and not one project came to mind. 

Cabled Sweater Vest - Newborn
I spoke with one knitter at the Knitting Knook regarding this issue, mainly that of finding books on designing for babies.  Yea, you can look up measurements for babies, but without a baby girl in your house to try things on, you're kinda out of luck.  And I wondered, what is actually out there for little girls and how can I make something a little different.  My mind kept wandering back to sweater vests, especially since I just finished one for my Etsy shop.

Why are girls so much more complicated?  When it comes down to it, they really aren't.  My problem is I want to do seamless sweaters and dresses, but I don't have anyone to measure to make the proper sized yoke.  I know what measurements to take, but I'm lost on where to start or even estimate the average size of a baby in sizes like newborn or 6-12 months.  I've really only been a "yarn addict" for less than a year.  I see it as learning the ropes of a new job, training myself as I go along.  One day, I'll look back at my naive stage and laugh about how I was stressing over simple things.

Reluctantly modeling a hat for Etsy.
I hate having my picture taken,
but, the fam seems to like the picture.
Of all things though, my extended family has liked the few hats I've made.  I'm even making some for them for Christmas.  My brother-in-law also requested that I make handmade hats that he could give away with his band's name on them.  Ten hats in all and he'd pay!  Even though I avoid fair isle at all costs, I agreed.  I designed a knit chart for the band name, "Suboscillator" in block letters and actually did a good job on the fair isle part.  It wasn't tight or anything...but the prototype was a little too big.  Tonight I'm re-working the hat design, mainly just using smaller needles and a different rib pattern on the brim (which bro liked better anyway).  The stressful part is that I have to finish it by tomorrow evening so the hat can be delivered to another band member to show off at a concert (I'm taking "working" a break right now).  Wish me luck.

Coming Soon
It's going to be 2012 soon...gotta start thinking spring.  In the meantime, some yarn dyeing?  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make it Happen!

We've reached over 300 views of the blog, but we still need followers!  If you like the blog, please follow us as we begin to build the business.  :)

Knitting Madness
Yes, the craziest time of year is quickly approaching, and I'm still torn about what sort of items to post in my Etsy shop.  I also have the choice of filling an order for 10 hats (all the same) and just resting on my laurels until the new year hits.  What to do?  What to do?

At the same time I'm wondering how I can get more exposure and increase my sales to people that are not family members.  It all comes back down to writing the business plan.  I have this vision in my head of having my own yarn shop while also doing some sales on Etsy as well, but will I have the time.

While sitting down and knitting with my mother, it just hit me, "See, we need a yarn shop where we can just sit and do this all day.  Share knitting advice, make some sales, have some classes and just have a nice relaxed atmosphere.  But how do we do that?"  My mother, surprisingly agreed!  So of course, my brain is going, Make it happen!

Peanut helps with the pumpkins
for Halloween

This is a tough economy, and the one thing that scares me is that I won't have enough sales to stay afloat with a new business.  My other worry is if I chose between a brick-and-mortar shop or an online shop, will I regret not making the other choice.  Business plan, business plan, business plan.  Since Peanut is such a wonderful helper, I definitely want to get him involved, even if it means he's just there to say "hi" to people.

Either shop choice, I definitely want to give back to the community and also involve business students and teach them how to run a business, give advice for business plans for retail ideas, and even have those who are interested in the industry get involved.  Almost like having a yarn apprentice.  That's one thing I miss about teaching (I taught at ITT Tech for almost 2 years), having promising students do well and have intelligent discussions about so many different things.

I'm also looking into some marketing solutions, in case I decide to do an online shop.  I was told that might be a little bit more difficult to do, especially since there are so many widely respected online knit shops already.  I know some brands that I would like to include: Millamia, Cascade, Holiday Yarns, Berroco, Debbie Bliss, etc., but I definitely want to be smart about marketing in this area.  I do love all the LYSs that are in this part of the state (see my entries about the Yarn Trek).  We'll see!

Coming Soon
I'm thinking about doing a giveaway for Christmas time, so those of you that read the blog, begin following to get more details as they get hashed out.