Last month I participated in the wonderful March Meet The Maker challenge. I blogged about the first half of the challenge here, telling you what it was all about and my posts for the start of the month.
This blog is all about the second half of the month since I still want to share it with you but a blog post a day is a bit too much for me to handle. Here is the remainder of March Meet the Maker:
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.
Day 14: Dreams and Plans
I don’t know where this quote came from but it says it all really. My dreams are to make my little hobby something I can be proud of and my plans are to work hard and make it happen. Watch this space…
Day 15: Boomerang
Boomerang is an app which takes a 3 second video and loops it. It’s lots of fun, so if you haven’t used it before, please have a go. It’s completely free.
Just look how yarn and I magnetise together! We are meant to be! Soul mates. I love yarn and yarn loves me.
I love a good boomerang.
Day 16: Helper
I have 2 main helpers, soon to be 3 since Kaden will be helping out too, but that bit’s a secret.
Rowan is my mini helper. He models the boys and the unisex things for me and tries most things on in his size to make sure I’ve got it right. He loves it and prefers to wear a hat most days now!
My other helper is Terry. Not only is he an excellent father to our children, he watches them while I get my job’s done, cooks all my meals (he’s a much better chef than me!) and listens to my moaning about a knitting equation I can’t work out or a yarn I’m using that’s not doing what it should, even though he hasn’t got a clue what I’m on about.
I couldn’t do this without them.
Next year, when I do this again, Kaden will be on the list but I’ve already told you, that’s a secret! ?
Day 17: Customers & Feedback
My customers are always so wonderful, esp the ones that share their photos with me! Nothing makes my day more than seeing my knitwear out there being loved and used.
I also get truly amazing feedback which I appreciate more than I can say. People tend to forget to leave feedback so everytime someone writes some for me I am completely over the moon.
There are a few of my wonderful reviews at the bottom of this post, but first, look at this gorgeous customer photo of her daughter wearing her Ophelia Bonnet. Just classic and beautiful.
Day 18: Inspiration
I get inspired by so many things but I selected a couple today for the photo.
My stitch bibles are huge inspiration. I see a pattern and know what I want to do with it straight away. The problem is there are just so many!
Nature inspires me so much. The colours and shapes of flowers and trees and just everything. Even down to which colours look good together. Nature is so beautiful. How could you not be inspired?
The other thing is yarn. Sometime I see yarn and just know what it needs to become. Some yarn is just meant to be a pretty hat or a manly jumper!
I am also inspired by other designers. They spur me on, make me think differently, make me see colours in an unusual way.
So now it’s your turn. What inspires you?
Day 19: Can’t Live Without
Yarn!!!! Omg can you imagine a world without yarn! ?
Coffee and my planner come a very close second. I NEED coffee esp in the morning to wake me up and the planner keeps me present and correct.
That being said, I obviously couldn’t live without my two children and my partner!
But no yarn though… ?
What would you struggle to live without?
Day 20: Tools and Materials
Here are a few of mine. I never realised before that it’s mostly pink and blue!
Day 22: Sketchbook & Lists
I don’t have a sketchbook really. I usually use scraps of paper and keep them in a little box. These three are my sketches for the popular butterfly bonnet, my tides beanie and my honeycomb bonnet which is also in progress in the bottom left.
As for lists! I have so many! But my main list is in my awesome planner. That book is the only thing that keeps my head straight! Honestly.
Day 23: Hands at Work
This is me knitting a new hat I’m working on. I find the clicking of the needles quite soothing so I’ve left the sound on.
Day 24: Achievements
I was a bit worried about this one, thinking I haven’t really won any awards, I don’t have thousands of followers…ahh what have I achieved?!
But then I thought about it a bit longer. I haven’t been doing this for long. The knitting, I’ve been doing that for years, but rowrow and kades is new. It’s still learning and growing and finding its little newborn feet.
Before it I was designing patterns, mainly for Let’s Knit. I have a design in every magazine in this photo and that’s not even half of them. Those are just a selection with one of my designs on the cover. I sometimes forget that I can do that part of this job. I automatically start knitting a new design without even realising that I am creating something new from my brain, that doesn’t already exist in the world. It’s an achievement to remember that! I am hard on myself. Brutally sometimes. I need reminding of the things I’ve achieved. That’s another reason I love meet the maker. It forces you to think a little harder and not plod on with the day to day.
Day 25: Being a Maker Means…
It means being there for my boys when I’m needed. It means letting my brain think up lovely things and being able to get that to appear in real life with some woolly string and two sticks. It means freedom to be my own boss and do something I truly love. It gives me so much joy so see something I thought up being worn by someone else. I love being a maker.
Day 26: Books, Blogs and Podcasts
I used to read a great deal. It was when I went to bed at night mainly. I would read Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. But since having a toddler that time has past. Now when I go to bed I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow. Toddlers are exhausting.
The main books I have for knitting are my beloved and well worn stitch bibles.
I also used to read lots of blogs, but again, not so much. I dip in and out of blogs like Lauren Aston Designs and MollieMakes but I’m not religious with them. I tend to read a lot of the Handmade Seller Magazine which I pay a subscription for. It’s a fantastic resource.
Podcasts… I just haven’t got on that band wagon yet. I might flag a lift next time it passes.
Day 27 : Recommended a Maker
I would like to recommend a few makers today. I’ve met so many wonderful people since doing this challenge but my first shout out goes to Donna at Make Your Own Happy She is just starting out and doing a marvellous job making lots of craft kits for every occasion, from Easter to Halloween, she’ll have a kit for your kids or you to do. All while entertaining her daughter!
My second shout out goes to Lisa Green Designs who makes beautiful bunting from fabric that she has designed herself! Amazing talent and beautiful work.
Lastly I’d like to mention Jane Burns, a fantastic knitting and crochet pattern designer who thinks up the most amazing things from her brain! Jane designs everything from kids tops to cushions to Christmas door stops. And awesome socks too.
So there are my 3 recommend makers. I hope you click through and visit their pages to see how brilliant they all are.
Day 28: Organised
I hear a “dun dun dun dunnn!” here because it should really say “unorganised”. In fact, I wasn’t even organised enough to know what I would be uploading to my grid today.
However! I do much better in my organisation since getting my awesome planner because it literally saves my life. Daily. I don’t know how I managed before it. It has sections for my day to day, my social media, my in comings and out goings and generally keeps me on my toes with little tasks to do. An amazing piece of kit I am so happy I own.
Other than that, I have a drawer unit in my living room dedicated to yarn, plus the cupboard that stores our towels has an extra shelf and floor space for more yarn ? It’s organised into type as in, this is the yarn I use for these patterns and orders etc. I know where stuff is. Mostly. My desk is kinda tidy….
Day 29: Community
This is a tough one. My own personal community is all online. I’m quite shy in real life – although people who know me would disagree with that because I’ve got pretty good at hiding it. I don’t go to craft groups or knit and natters because I’d be paralysed trying to get through the door. I know it’s silly but I just can’t. So instead, I have my knits and natters online.
I have a couple of communities there. My Kelly Menzies Designs group on Ravelry, and my RowRow and Kades Wool Baa on facebook. Come and join either of them, you would be so so welcome to join us whether you are a knitter or a wearer!
Instagram has also become a lovely community for me. I have lots of lovely messages from customers and fellow crafter’s and it’s such a wonderfully supportive place.
Day 30: Top Tip/Advice
This is my advice to anyone starting out and selling their craft. Seriously. Charge what you are worth and don’t apologise. I see so many crafter’s selling their makes for next to nothing and it drives me mad. There is nothing worse than seeing someone undervaluing their art. I used to do it and now I have learned. My prices are calculated by how long it takes me to make the item plus material costs. No extras. As much as I love my customers I cannot work for free. They must pay for my time. Otherwise I would just knit all the beautiful things for me and my little family but where is the fun in that? I love what I do, but it is for a reason.
If you are a crafter wanting to sell your goods, please, at the very least, charge an hourly rate. You wouldn’t go to work and expect to sit for hours toiling at your job for free.
Day 31: Creative Friends
Well, truthfully, I have zero creative friends in my actual reality. None. I would love to have a pal to knit with, but sadly, I don’t know anyone who is crafty inclined. All of my crafty chats and people who get what I’m going on about (esp when I talk about rolling about in lots of yarn!) are all online. I’m not going to start listing them all. They know who they are. My little tribe of knitters. One day, I will get the guts to walk through the door of a knit and natter, but I will always chat to my online buds ?
Lastly, here are the lovely customer reviews I chose to include in my March Meet the Maker post:
So that’s it. March Meet the Maker is over and we are now heading off into April. I hope you have enjoyed reading all about my little knitting venture and I would love to hear more about you in the comments below.