Sunday, 17 January 2016

Back on Folksy

Last week I published my New Year's Resolution - to give my knitting design all I've got this year, hopefully so I can go part time at my "real" job. So I've re-opened my Folksy shop, for non-brits, Folksy is the UK's version of Etsy. I stopped posting in my Folksy shop a few years ago since it wasn't really bringing in that many sales, but this year I'm going to try to turn that around. Here's how it's looking now:

folksy, craft, online shop, knitting patterns

I've got 15 patterns and an ebook listed so far, which is about half my "pay-for" patterns. I should hopefully get all the rest uploaded this week. Here's a link to the shop if you want to have a wee peek, I would absolutely appreciate any "likes" until it all gets up and running properly! 

I've also resolved to start submitting patterns to magazines, rather than just publishing everything myself. I can be a bit of a hermit, and I reckon this is a good way to get the word out about my work. Here's a few pictures of swatches for the patterns I've been submitting:

cable knitting pattern swatch

It's a cabled hat pattern with short row shaping the make the brim cover your ears properly. I've been out mountain biking lately and while the cold wind was whipping about my ears this seemed like a particularly good idea!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

2016 Ambitions

I have decided, 2016 is going to be the year when I become an adult. I've hit 30 now and it really is time I started cleaning my room and organising my life. And I'm serious, I've tidied out my yarn stash and my emails, my workspace is looking shockingly organised, and I've purchased a shower cleaning spray that promises I'll never have to scrub it again.

Here's why: I have a seriously stressful full time job on top of my knitting design work and it is starting to take its toll on my health. I teach Maths in one of the most deprived areas in the country, and whilst I absolutely love the time I spend with the kids and love seeing the difference a devoted teacher can make, the amount of rubbish that comes with teaching these days is almost unbearable. I love teaching, absolutely love it, but I've spent the last six weeks with a virus and am getting dizzy spells from stress. Enough is enough. I need more balance in my life. 

So my plan is to sort out the knitting business properly, to the extent where I can go part time with the teaching - best of both worlds! My business model so far has been largely based on knitting what I want and writing up patterns for around half of what I knit. I'm a real Maths nerd and love the challenge of grading a pattern, working out colourwork and lace patterns for different sizes, and making the image of a garment in my head into a reality. It's a happy-go-lucky business model, publishing this and that as I go. For 2016 I'm going to need to be more serious and organised about it if I want to make it a real success. 

So I've been reading all the "New Year, New You" articles that abound at this time of year a bit more seriously and I've come up with some aims:

  1. Get more patterns published by third parties. All my patterns so far have been self published, but I feel it's time to get my name out there a bit more, and (maybe, just maybe) make a bit more cash in the process!
  2. Be more proactive on social media. I can be a bit of a social media hermit, and only post when I've got a new pattern out or a sale on. I'm really going to try to be a bit more consistent with the blogging, tweeting etc.
  3. Start up a Ravelry group. I really should have done this by now, but better late than never! I'm going to try running a few knit-alongs and run my test knitting from there too.
So fingers crossed this will all work out and I won't be posting the exact same thing this time next year!