Several months ago, I transitioned from selling patterns through Etsy to selling exclusively through Ravelry. There were many factors that went into this decision, one of the major ones being the fact that I knew, come Spring, I wanted to close up shop.
Let me back up a little bit here. For the past two years I have really enjoyed selling my handmade items. I did this a bit through both Etsy and Dawanda, as well as at shops and events here in Marburg. I also worked on a lot of custom orders over the past few years- working with friends and family to design something specific for their loved ones and then knitting it up for them. Though I had many positive experiences, my heart just hasn't been in it these past few months.
And it just became time for me to face the facts and be honest about that reality.
I put so much time and love into everything I make. This is not unique to me- the nature of knitting (and crochet) requires it. Our stitches create the fabric that becomes our finished items and those stitches are created using nothing but our own two hands.
For the past few months, I dealt with a lot of stress and anxiety in relation to knitting for others. I worried the entire time I was knitting that the recipient wouldn't like what I had made. That it somehow would fall below their expectations and they would send it back. And my worries were not groundless- this did happen. Several times I got sent back the items I had worked so hard to design and make (that, after the cost of wool and shipping, I had made no profit on...) asking if I could just tweak this or that, or alter the item in some way.
Obviously, this is no one's fault. I am simply not a machine that can crank out items left and right with no end. Neither am I a big box department store, with unending options for size and color all for the lowest price you can name. I am just me, sitting in my tiny living room studio with my yarn and my needles, producing made by hand, time and love intensive, uniquely designed pieces. This is what I have to offer. And I've come to realize that there is nothing wrong with that at all. Some people just aren't used to buying handmade and that is ok. Everyone needs to start somewhere. To be honest, the bigger hurdle is that I just don't feel that selling the items I make fits with what I want to do anymore.
During the Fall and into the Holiday season, I missed knitting for me. I missed knitting for Waldi (who has worn every single imperfect thing that's ever come flying off my needles and landed in his lap). I missed having knitting as a creative and meditative outlet. And I knew that something had to change.
So for now, I've closed up shop and am not taking any custom orders. I'm still making the occasional gift of course but they're mostly unexpected gifts that come from the heart. I am really thankful for all the experiences of the past few years- some were absolutely lovely. And I may very likely re-open the shop at some point.
But for now, I'm just here, trying to keep it real and do what I love.
Just as a side note, I will continue to sell patterns, and even have a few new designs in the works. You can find them all through Ravelry. When I transitioned from selling on Etsy, somehow the cowl shown above got lost in the shuffle. It was the first item I ever designed and the first pattern I wrote up to share and it has a special place in my heart. So it's been re-released today (under a new name!) and is now also available as a free download here. I know it's not the season for knitting cowls, but I hope you'll enjoy it anyways.