It’s now April, which means we are one quarter of the way through the year. It also means Spring is coming, winter is ending and there’s a lot to look forward to. Before moving onto the months ahead, I’m spending some time reflecting backwards. In doing so, I’ll be setting myself up for what’s to come and how to stay on top of it.
I will be organizing this post to match my 2021 goals post from late last year (early this year?) and go through where I am at with my goals.
Heading into 2021, I really had no goals set for knitting. I knew that my year would be different than most and why bother planning for it. The two goals I set for this year was to work on an advent pattern using my 2020 kit and work on my charity items.
2020 Advent kit – still not touched. I did start on it late last year, but I haven’t worked on it since. I am currently working on the Ambah MKAL and my goal is to pick up the advent pattern once this is done.
Charity – have not worked on charity items, but it is on my list for April to re-organize and process. I’ll be doing a vlog and post here on it in May, so stay tuned for that!
Otherwise, my knitting has picked up a lot in 2021. A lot of that has to do with my business being a little slower right now and for a few other reasons that we will get to later in this post. Here’s what I’ve accomplished so far:
1. Slipstravaganza Shawl – finished this marathon of a project earlier this year. It was quite the project in all honesty and deserves to be considered project 1 – 500. It was so worth the effort and the timing for when I finished it was meant to be because I was able to take photos in the snow.
2. Golden Dusk Shawl – I also finished this other mystery knit a long project earlier this year. This was a very beloved project and one that was sad to finish. It came out so beautiful and I’m proud of both the yarn and the finished project.
3. Hannah’s Aurora Sweater – this was the first project of 2021 that was started and finished this year. My niece made a remark about being sad that she had outgrown a sweater I made for her and so she got a new one. She opened it up this past week and was very excited about it.
1. Vanilla Oink Socks – Just about at the ribbing of sock 2
2. Moduloncho – Just started on this and can’t wait to dive in
3. Caladenia Shawl – Ambah O’Brien MKAL – At the end of clue 4 (of 5).
While this probably doesn’t sound like a lot, to me, this is way more knitting than I could have anticipated. I’m enjoying the process more and excited to keep on working on it.
No, I haven’t spun yet this year, but I do plan on it happening. For quarter 2, I would like to start spinning for a total of 30 minutes per week, broken up however it works out.
This is where a lot of my goals resided for this year. Here are my updates:
- Vending – it seems very likely that this will happen this year. But, TBD
- Collaborations – this is something that is always on my list and I’m working on. I’d like to work on this more than I have, but these things do take time.
- Sample Knitters – this definitely has happened. I’ve been working with a lot of sample knitters so THANK YOU all for your excitement around this. I’ve already received some socks back from sample knitters that I can use to show how colorways knit up. I am also waiting on a few non-sock projects to come back to me that I’m excited to share with you all. I plan to continue setting up projects, but there are a few things I learned in this first round that I will be working on moving forward.
- Rainbow Club – is live! You can sign up for the rainbow club now through April 10th. If you haven’t already signed up for the limited edition club, please do so!
- Pattern based kits – I’ve started adding these to the shop and there are more coming soon. Pattern based kits include: Hakea Hat and Emelyn Mae Shawl kits. To make it a pattern based kit, the amount of yarn you receive for the project is just the right amount you need for it. It’s a more cost effective way to shop for yarn and make beautiful projects with hand dyed yarn. I will be adding more of these throughout the year.
- Staying ahead – I feel like I’ve overall been doing a great job with this. I have had yarn for new colorways dyed up more than one month in advance. I’ve added in new routines to my business that have allowed me to stay ahead and work efficiently:
- Day to day – I dye for 2 hours in the morning before work. At lunch, I soak the yarn and hang it up to dry. After work, I prep yarn for the next and package up any orders that are ready to go out. Doing this has allowed me to keep to my 3-5 day turnaround time, mostly at 4 days. Prepping the yarn the night before has been a game changer.
- No dyeing on the weekends. I do not dye yarn on the weekends anymore. This has allowed me to have downtime (see all of the knitting I’ve been doing), keep up with chores and have more relaxed family time. It also keeps me on track during the week to make sure by the end of Friday, all (or most) of the current orders are out the door.
- Personal dye day. Having one day a week dedicated to non-order dyeing has allowed me to keep adding new colors to the shop. I’ve also been able to stay ahead of dye with me vlogs (this week is an exception).
- Computer work/recording on the weekends – Keeping up with recording my vlogs on Sunday morning means that everything is usually all good to go long before the air date. In the past, I’d be rushing around to have everything edited in time and I haven’t had to do that for a while. I also try to do other various computer work on the weekends because it is easy to pick up and put down as I need to (unlike dyeing).
- Personal dye day – included this above.
- Daily routine – Also covered above. I’m not yet commuting yet and so I haven’t had to worry about working around that.
I mentioned it a bit above, but I have found myself in more of a routine with YouTube. Interestingly, this has caused me to want to change things up. Why? I record my vlogs on Sunday, which has allowed me to stick to my goal of 2 vlogs per week. However, my initial goal for the channel was to have it more vlog style and less sitting in front of the camera. Because of the routine, I take out my recording equipment on Sunday morning and then put it away and don’t record until the following week. Lately, I’ve been keeping my camera out a bit more to capture projects along the way and be less “here’s what happened” and more “here’s what’s happening.”
I have also started livestreaming! I’ve been doing about 1 per month and it’s been a lot of fun. I generally have my WIPs available to show you all but we generally just chat. I do need to schedule my next one so keep an eye out.
I did take a break from the blog for a bit. I thought maybe it just was something I was okay with not doing, but I’ve really thought about how watching YouTube is not accessible for everyone. I want to be able to share my channel and my business with anyone interested in hearing about it and so I’m back. I’ll be blogging 2x per week in conjunction with the vlogs over on YouTube.
One of my words for the year has been growth. There is a lot of growth described above in regards to all of the new offerings I have in my shop. My social media accounts are growing as well, which is all great. As my business grows, I also grow as a business owner. Adapting to that needs of my business has been working well for me with the new routines. I also have learned more about having sample knitters for the shop. It’s been a changing year for sure and I’m happy to grow as a businesswoman with it.
I’ve also grown with an entirely new product as well with my craft journal sticker kits. I have had these in my mind for probably almost a year at this point and finally was able to do something about it. I love these kits and have so much fun with my craft journal. I already love flipping through it and looking back on everything I’ve laid out so far.
With a new year comes new expectations. It’s easy to assume that everything will stay with where it’s at and just keep becoming bigger and greater. Even though we are only 1 quarter of the way in, I’ve had my tests handed to me with the business. Things have slowed down quite a bit and rather rapidly. I think that’s probably the norm for this time of year, but as a newer business, it’s a trend I do not have the data for quite yet (actuary over here…). That being said, every day that I get to do this, I’m very grateful for it. I remind myself that a lot of the downtime I have is because I’ve been able to make my business more efficient and steady. I have the festivals to look forward to, monthly clubs that always seem to come back around and the popular dye with me vlogs to chat with you all about. It’s been a good year so far and I’ll keep working my behind off to keep that going.
I mentioned a few things I want to keep up with throughout this vlog, but I am just mostly excited for that starting fresh mentality. Spring is here and it’s time to rejuvenate and reset. I’m excited for plans that I have for the business but I constantly remind myself to keep working because time really does fly and fall sweater weather will be back around before we know it.