What a year!
This business started innocently enough:
In November of 2019, I was considering handmade options for Christmas gifts for family. I wanted to do something creative, in part to satisfy my own artistic urges, but also because, quite honestly, now that most of my close family are adults, many of us have been steering away from the usual consumerism of Christmas.
Not that there's anything wrong with that per se (you do you!), but:
- I am on a fixed income, and
- Most of us already have our basic needs met and aren't looking for a lot of 'stuff'.
I wanted to do something more personal.
I perused Pinterest and YouTube, initially being drawn in by hand knitting, and then getting drawn into loop yarn. I had vague memories of seeing loop yarn skeins in the store before (without knowing what they were), but this was my first time really looking into it.
After I finished my Christmas gifts (two scarves and two baby blankets), I was hooked and wanted to do more. I quickly knit up my leftover yarn into hats and ordered more. But I was faced with a dilemma - yarn was expensive, and I live in a 650 square foot apartment, with very little storage space - how was I going to sustain this hobby? Oops.
(Spacesaver Vacuum Bags are my saviour, by the way! Great for storing both my knitting projects and yarn, and I use the small ones to mail my blankets to you!)
After a short stint of trying to sell my hats and blankets to friends and family on Facebook, I fairly quickly ended up on Etsy, in the hopes I might sell the knitted items that were quickly accumulating. And then...
After some frustrating delivery and yarn availability issues, I decided that maybe pattern-writing might be more lucrative and satisfying. I had already knitted two original blankets at that point, so why not write them up and try to sell them? The only thing stopping me was... um... zero experience in pattern writing? Lol.
I had knit a few blankets using free Yarnspirations patterns (my Luxurious Chevron Stripe Ripple Blanket, modified from their Bernat Alize Ripple Blanket pattern is still available for sale!), and I had done some technical writing, so I just jumped into it and hoped that people might buy them.
I was very unsure in those early days if people would take a chance on an unknown pattern-writer, but with so little out there in terms of patterns for loop yarn, I was banking on the fact that other knitters who loved it as much as I did, would be anxious for new challenges.
And now here we are, at the end of 2020, and I've written a whopping 61 patterns in my first year!
- 52 blanket patterns
- 6 small project patterns
- 2 rug patterns
- 1 hat pattern
And the business has grown! What started out as an Etsy shop selling knitted goods (I started with about a dozen listings, mostly hats!), expanded fairly quickly and I now also have pattern shops on Ravelry and Lovecrafts, a virtual knitting shop on Ottawa Artisans, and now my own website! I've also started building a community through Instagram and Pinterest - and have even more chances for outreach through this website and my newsletter.
That's one of the most surprising things about this new hobby/business: I've been surprised at how much joy I get out of repeat customers sharing their work with me. I'm somewhat of a reformed misanthrope - answering questions and interacting with customers has been a really fun part of this new job. I love your feedback and when people tell me they've been inspired to start their own businesses or design their own work, that's really exciting for me!
And so, as we come to the end of 2020 (and my knitting business turns 1), I'd like to raise a glass of egg nog and say cheers to you, my customers and loop knitting family. I hope 2021 has great things ahead for all of us (and the end of the pandemic!)
Love and loops,