craft business


I am extremely pleased and proud to introduce my first published pattern – Frosted Windowpanes.

Frosted Windowpanes hat

I was honored when Debbie (pictured above) asked me if I wanted to write up this pattern to be published on the Sweet Paprika website as part of their Fall 2009 collection of patterns and I agreed to it immediately. They had seen an earlier version of this hat that I had knit years ago when they first started their hand-dyeing business and remembered it. Back then, I hadn’t done very much color work and my stranded knitting was so tight that the hat didn’t fit too many people (I ended up gifting it to a friend, Beth, who likes her hats SNUG). Luckily, my tension has improved since then. 🙂

They sent a few skeins of yarn and I started knitting and writing up the pattern as I went. I sent the hat back to them to be examined and photographed and was incredibly happy when I received an email including the .pdf file of the pattern expertly formatted and written up by the Sweet Paprika crew. I am so grateful to them for this opportunity and hopefully this is the first of many of my published patterns.

The Details:

Pattern: Frosted Windowpanes available for FREE at Sweet Paprika Designs.   Ravelry Pattern Page

Yarns: Sweet Paprika Designs “Dolce” in African Violet and Sweet Paprika Designs “Minuet” in Deep Purple

Needles: US size 7 (4.5mm) circ.s and/or dpns

I LOVE working with these beautifully hand-dyed yarns. Dolce is a DK silk/merino blend yarn which is hand-painted in a variety of breath-taking variegated colorways. Minuet is a bouncy DK superwash merino yarn with subtle variations in color that gives a look of depth to the knitted fabric.

I’m back from the Ottawa Ladyfest craft fair – Tarts N’ Crafts. It takes place twice annually in fall and spring, so if there are any local readers out there who missed today, keep your eye out for this fair in the fall.

I arrived early in the hopes of finding some spinning fiber and I did! I’ll show photos of the beautifully hand-dyed wool/mohair blend roving I bought in the next post.

I forgot to charge my camera, but managed to take a few pictures of some of the high-lights of the fair before the battery ran out.

The first person I met was Kristyn who is the spinner behind Pleasurecraft on Etsy. What a great name for a craft shop, I love it! She was really sweet and I loved her colourful yarn and spinning fiber, they were super soft and squishy.

Next, I saw a familiar face from high school – Haley. She sells her handmade goods through her Etsy shop, Swing Low Studio.

Her stuffed animal designs are adorable and are made with really beautiful printed fabrics.

Another seller of cute plushies (among other things) was Adrienne from fabricawakuwaku stuffed animal collective. Her work has a great variety of textures and bright colours and she uses a lot of recycled and vintage fabrics.

A big thank you to my buddy Jayda who escorted me to the fair today! Lots of chocolate was consumed and we had a wonderful time 🙂

Yesterday I decided to indulge in some retail therapy at one of my local yarn shops. They carry merino wool sliver hand-dyed by Fleece Artist. I love spinning with this wool, it is so soft and the colours are really vibrant.

spinning fiber

This morning, I admired my new wool and thought about what I am becoming – a small business owner. Yay! I think yarn spun from these braids would be great first items to list on the Etsy shop that I plan to open 🙂

spinning fiber

Fleece Artist does an amazing job with their labels, check out a few from my collection:

fleece artist labels

I love how even though there is no picture of yarn or fiber on the tags the feel of the company comes through because of the great use of colour and the ram logo.

The exciting announcement alluded to in the last post is that I have decided to start my own business! I am really happy about this because being self-employed has been my dream for a long time.

mystery berries

Over the past few weeks I’ve had some really positive feedback on the yarn I’ve been spinning. That gave me the boost to start taking my crafting hobby seriously and take it to the next level. At this point, I am developing a line of hand-spun yarns. It is a lot of fun, frustration and hard work!

As I have been immersed in the “business” side of the craft business recently, I thought it would be nice to make up for the lack of spinning and crafting content on the blog and share some of the links I’ve been gathering. I would love it if anyone else wants to add their thoughts or links to relevant websites in the comment section.

Here are some high-lights from my growing list of craft business resources:

Craftypod.com has a number of great podcasts with a focus on crafty entrepreneurs – one of the interviews that most struck a chord with me was Kim Werker‘s Craftypod interview “Making a Creative Career”.

-The Craft Sanity Podcast has a category for craft business featuring some great features on self-employed crafters.

Chris Campbell’s blog has a great recent post full of advice on starting and running an Etsy shop (originally written by Susan Sheehan).

Etsy.com has a huge collection of resources in blog/article form and in the forums for small craft businesses. My absolute favourite Storque column is “Quit your Day Job”, featuring stories of how people have taken their craft from a hobby and into a full-time job. It is very inspirational to read how others made it happen! I read it when I need a pick-me-up and to remember “This is possible!”

-The groups and forums of Ravelry.com are an amazing source for finding answers to questions about starting and running a business. This site requires registration at this time but is well worth it if you are a knitter, crocheter or spinner. Some groups specific to entrepreneurs there are Entrepreneurial Dreams, Yarnies United, Small Business Owners, and Etsy Shops which has over 3700 members!

dew berries

The pictures in this post were taken by me last year.