Never Stop Improving

It’s been a very busy, crazy first few weeks of 2017 so far and is already flying by. My car already has a new windshield (thanks to a small chip and cold weather), my fence has a nice gap into my neighbor’s yard (thanks to our nice wind here) and I’ve finally opened an Etsy store.

I decided to go full tilt and open the Etsy store because of my new hours at the craft store I work at. I avoided it as long as I could only because of all the competition on the Etsy sight and how many hours it was going to take out of my schedule. My new hours now give me enough time to work on updates and make new items. But, I had to find out what my style was. After thinking about what I like to knit and what I like to make I narrowed it down to a few things to focus on.

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Hats, cowls/scarves, stitch markers, bags & digital patterns. I already had many things completed and ready to import into my online store, it just took a lot of time to complete the data entry. My biggest feat, however, was uploading all my digital pattern designs I made for my knitted squares of the month from last year.

When I had originally came up with the idea of teaching students to improve their knitting skills I thought it would be simple to cary out. It was a little more complicated and involved than I had anticipated. Each month I had to come up with a pattern, write it, make a sample and have it in a month early so the craft store could have it ready for people to sign up for the class. Some months I was able to stay ahead of the game while others I was literally scrambling to get things just right and turned in on time.

My classes in January 2016 started with 6 people and I had a basic outline for all the techniques that I felt would be best to help teach knitters improve their skills. As the year progressed I changed a few of my main patterns and a few of the students got too busy with their own projects and had to drop the class. Designing the squares each month pushed me to increase my own knowledge as well as help my students. My biggest challenge was the fair isle square. I must have made five different initial patterns trying to get a nice pattern simple enough to help students practice but not frustrate them.

Through out the classes during 2016 there were times my patterns had errors and boy that was very humiliating – but a good learning experience for my students. They worked it during the class, found where the pattern was off and I was able to gave them corrected and updated versions.

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Student design from intarsia class

The best part was being able to see the students’ finished work, their enjoyment in learning new things and being able to use the new found wisdom to use on other projects.

After about 6 hours of data entry I now have each pattern added to my Ravelry which links to the Etsy store. You can try out just one or buy all 12 for a cheeper price.

Do you have any plans to improve your knitting this year?

 

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