Monthly Archives: February 2009

Having an Etsy shop is addictive

I’ve been to a few knitter gatherings around town lately, and finally ran into Kristin of Craft  I found her site a while back, have chatted  with her through Ravelry to get the inside scoop on fiber activities in Ames, and had heard about her from others, but we hadn’t met until a couple weeks ago.

At that point, I had just started working on my Etsy shop, had maybe 3 items listed and hadn’t sold anything yet.  We were talking about Etsy and she warned us to “Watch out, Etsy is addictive”.  I was skeptical at the time, but now I see why.

It is such a thrill to get an e-mail in my inbox telling me someone has purchased my creation.  It has made me want to make more, make them better, come up with other products and generally spend all my time in my craft workshop.  A few sales was all the encouragement I needed to start a full time obsession.  In general, I’m as happy as I can remember being in a long time.  Even though Scott has to work such long hours and goes back to work after dinner every day, being busy makes being alone a lot less lonely.

I’d say I should have started this earlier, but this is the first time we’ve moved in 10 years that we don’t think we’ll be moving again soon.  Having time and space to develop something counts for a lot.

I’m very thankful for the sales I’ve had so far, and it has driven me to list new items.

Shameless promotion time:

A notions pouch in black, white and red paisley.

An organizer set for hat and mitten sized DPNs

And my newest set:

The Sock Knitter Set which includes 6 dpn holders, cards for recording sock recipients’ foot measurements in a custom holder with grafting instructions on back, a stitch marker holder and a work in progress (WIP) holder.

I think next I may change gears and work on another holder design, rather than stocking the shop.  Or I may just make another one of each of these in a different fabric.  I guess it depends on if the creative juices are flowing, or I’m in a production mode.  The flexibility of a little online shop really suits my work style. 🙂

I think I’ll end this rambling post, but heed this as a warning: Etsy Shops are addictive!

There’s always a learning curve…

Well, I have a long way to go before I’ll be comfortable saying I run a business, but I’ve learned a lot already.

I’ve learned there is a lot to be done to get things made, photographed, posted, and ready to ship.  I can tell I am still just ramping up, since I have been knitting for pleasure and sleeping 8 hours.  🙂

Taking photos that measure up to the Etsy average has taken a lot of time and learning.  I built a collapsible light box from this Instructables tutorial, that has definitely helped, but I could still use better lighting.  I’ve read a bunch of articles on Etsy about taking better pictures and have fiddled with my camera until I finally got something decent and then I fixed the white balance some more with Gimp.  I’m still learning, but after a couple of photo shoots, I got pictures I was content to use to list new items. Here are a couple examples.

As you can see, I got some new fabric (with a gift card from my mom to Crafty Planet in MN) that happens to have a 1 inch pattern that lends itself well to the top edge of the bags.  Getting the color right in the photo is still a tricky proposition and the real color is probably somewhere between these two.  The second item is my latest addition to what I hope to be a set of tools for the serious knitter.  🙂  I have a lot of double pointed needles, and I don’t want to carry them all around, so I use these little individual pouches to just carry what I need.  This set is for the mid-range needles, used for hats and sleeves and mittens.  I hope to make a set of smaller pouches for smaller needles some time this week.

Smaller needles have been on my mind since I got my book “New Pathways for Sock Knitters” by Cat Bordhi on Saturday.  This  book has been on my mind for a while, ever since Larissa got it and was excited about it.  I resisted a while, but I finally broke down and bought it.  This book was mentioned by the Yarn Harlot on Nov. 14th 2007 and it has been on my mind ever since. As the Yarn Harlot states:

” I think “There has got to be a simpler way” and Cat thinks “Screw simpler – get curious. There has got to be ANOTHER way.” and then all of these door swing wide open and it turns out that there really are whole new ways to knit stuff that you I thought were pretty firmly established.”

This is my kind of knitting.  I don’t really like doing the same thing over and over, even if socks are small and utilitarian.  This book has 8 different sock architectures with master patterns and tables of numbers to help you get the perfect fit.  She has different toe and cuff patterns to mix and match, too. I was so excited, I even used Inkscape and MS Word to make these little cards to store people’s measurements.

Card to be printed on Avery Business Card 8371

Card to be printed on Avery Business Card 8371

I plan to print a sheet of  business cards to carry around and get family foot measurements if they express an interest in wearing hand knit wool socks.  Want to use these cards yourself?  Try downloading the  Foot Measurement Cards-corrected pdf for a full page of business cards. I used Avery Business cards with template 8371, but plain paper would do.

ETA: My Cut and paste technique had some problems that have been corrected.

I’ve got one sock from the “Riverbed Architecture” nearly finished and I think I will try a different architecture for the other sock.  As long as they are the same color and the ribbing looks the same, who’s going to notice?   I may never make a matching pair (for myself) again.  🙂

Well, I guess I should get back to work…