Into the Void

Being a maker at times can be very challenging. Especially if you network and collaborate with other makers. So you’re surrounded by all of these other humans who do the same thing as you. Suddenly, you and your work, don’t feel as important or special.

It is one of those, unfortunate things, that we as people tend to experience when we are looking for validation outside of ourselves. Finding it within our maker community, somehow, will reaffirm that we are on the right path, making the right things and that everything will be just hunky-dory.

Wrong.

Here is why. When you constantly are looking at your neighbors house, admiring their amazingly green and freshly cut grass, suddenly you start to see the flaws in your own lawn. It has too many weeds and dead patches. You don’t fertilize it enough and what is that gosh-awful looking weed growing over there? You start to doubt yourself, your abilities and your motivation to further making and creation.

It is easier said then done, but, focusing on your making and not others, can help boost your self worth within yourself and your business. Does it help to have maker friends? Absolutely! It is wonderful to have someone to bounce ideas off of and talk to about how to convince your husband to be okay with your next yarn or fabric purchase.

What it is not wonderful for?

Comparing. I can 100% guarantee that whatever you are feeling, they are too. Maybe not about you (or maybe they are), but they have the same moments of self doubt, the same insecure feeling that what they are doing isn’t going to work out and all will fail in a pile of ashes in their hands.

Okay. That was a bit dramatic. It is true though.

As a maker I experience this on a daily basis. Constantly bombarded by other makers thanking their following for their love and support of their new pattern release or sale. They create this appearance that they are much more successful than they really are. I’ll admit I am guilty of this at times too.

Do I want the world to know I sold not a single thing in my last sale? Or that I still have yarn from 2 years ago that I dyed that no one wanted? NO! Of course not! Admitting that I, myself, am not a successful person, might turn potential customers or collaborators away.

We constantly walk this fine line of fact and fiction to appease our following and our egos. At times it feels like we are screaming into the void for someone to acknowledge our existence!

Almost like the no make up selfies that were so popular a while ago.

Why not do the same with our businesses?

Why not share how hard we work and the failures?

Admitting failure is not defeat. Admitting failure opens the door for improvement, and new opportunities.

So. Don’t be afraid to share your truth and your real self!

Until next time,

Keep Stitching!

Rachel

Sewn Scrunchie Tutorial

I could totally go on and on about how I came up with this pattern or how I figured it out, but I won’t. So lets just jump right in my friends!

The things you’ll need for this particular pattern are:
Scrap fabric (a fat quarter is plenty)
Scissors
3/4-1cm braided elastic
Pins or Wonderclips
2 Safety Pins
Thread
Sewing Machine or Handsewing Needle

Cut your fabric to 21 inches long and 4 inches high. The more narrow your fabric the less scrunch it will have. I would not cut your fabric any smaller than 21 inches long.

Fold the fabric so the right sides are together and sew a long the cut edge starting 1.5 inches from the end and finishing approx 1.5 inches from the other end. The larger the distance you start from the end, the larger the hole for closing up when you’re finished.

You now have a tube that needs to be turned right side out. I use the end of a large paint brush to help push it through.

Now that everything is right sides out. Take either ends of the tube and place them right sides together as shown being careful to not twist the tube as you’re doing so.

Sew these two ends together.

Now that you have a completed tube with a hole, cut your braided elastic approx 9 inches long. Take both your safety pins and attach one at both ends.

One will go through the tube, and the other will be attached at the opening to prevent it from slipping through.

The options now that the elastic is all the way through is to either tie it into a knot as such. OR. Sew it together with a zig-zag stitch. Because this is beginner friendly, I suggest you knot it together.

Next, you’ll want to close everything up nice and neat. You can use an iron to press the edges inside and pin it or you can finger press. Either way, you’ll sew along the edge of the opening to close it up.

There you have it! A whole scrunchie made of your very own!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and keep an eye out for a video tutorial soon!

Until next time,

Keep Stitching!

Rachel

Summer Fun, Fall/Winter Planning

It is hard to believe the summer is almost over!! It was a sweltering one here in Ontario so we have sadly been quite the hermits in our house. 

I have started the planning for the fall and winter line up! Hoping to have 5 new colorways for release hopefully sometime in November!

Autumn leaves color scheme | Click for more fall color combinations, mood boards and seasonal color palettes at http://sarahrenaeclark.com

It is a debate between the traditional fall colors and something more bright and airy!

Autumn scenery color inspiration | Click for more fall color combinations, mood boards and seasonal color palettes at http://sarahrenaeclark.com

I love everything about these two colorways. I am still not 100% sure if I will use them as my inspiration or if I will go another way.

There will be some surprises and more bag prints for the upcoming holiday shopping season. It is hard to believe how fast this year has flown by!

Keep an eye out for sign ups for our newsletter! Be the first to get access to new patterns, bag prints and colorways!

Until next time!

Keep Stitching!

Rachel xox

FULL CIRCLE

To be honest I haven’t felt like blogging lately. Not because I don’t have anything to do say. I just haven’t felt like what I am saying is relevant or will be heard.

I have always been a believer in the thought “you get what you give”. In my life I’ve always been a giver, I naively and consistently give apart of myself away, open myself up to others and believe that if I am a good person, good things will happen to me.

This is not the case though, and it’s been a very hard pill to swallow. I support makers around me as much as I can. I love digging into my stash and knowing that each maker was someone who loves this craft as much as I do. It is a vulnerable thing to put yourself out there and hope other’s will accept your creations.

I’ll be frank, I am not a business person. I am an artist, always have been. Making things is something that fills me with so much joy and contentment. However in the last few months I have been finding myself dreading making things for my shop. Avoiding my office like a bad smell. I have been stuck in a negative thought that “why should I bother putting more of my time, effort, love and money into this when I barely make any sales?”.

This has been weighing on my heart for so long, I don’t want pity sales, I don’t want to complain, I want loyal customers who love my yarn and creations as much as I do!

I think “what if what I am making isn’t good enough” or “maybe I don’t have the right size or color”. So I put this intense pressure on myself to find a way to afford more supplies to make more without knowing if it will ever sell. The risks involved with running any business is huge. I am so very lucky to have a husband that supports my love of making and takes joy in seeing me envelop myself in my love of the fibre arts.

Sometimes staying positive is hard. 
Keeping up with ever changing trends is hard. 
Staying open, authentic and real is also really hard. 
Accepting that what I do is not unique, different or one of a kind is hard. 
I am one of hundreds of thousands of shops and makers who do exactly what I do.

It makes you feel small and insignificant. Especially in this world of social media, where the bigger makers are right there, showing you that they have made it! You haven’t. So compare yourself to them. Why can’t you make that many sales? What are they doing differently? Why aren’t you as successful? Maybe if you tried harder? Maybe you should spend more in advertising or get a new logo?

I am not writing this to garner pitty or to have someone pat me on the head and tell me how wonderful my work is. I know it’s great. I know my yarn is beautiful and my bags are well made. I wouldn’t ever try and sell something that I wouldn’t buy for myself.

But this is what it’s like to be a small maker. Those of us smaller shops struggle to make sales, but celebrate when we do. Dance parties in the kitchen, high fives from my daughter, a hug from my husband, who tells me how proud he is of me. It’s packing my only order for the last 2 months up with care, love and so much joy to send it’s on its way.

I love each and every one of my customers and I am so incredibly thankful for every sale. Growing a business is hard work, sweat and tears. There are days where I want to throw in the towel! But then I look at my stock of products ready to ship with happiness and pride and think, ‘I did that!’.

When you buy from a small shop, you’re helping a maker, like myself, believe in themselves and their business a little bit more.

So when I go to my personal stash to pick out a yarn to knit socks or a hat for my daughter, I know each one was made and packaged up with the same love, excitement and care I do with mine.

It comes full circle.

As always my friends,

Keep Stitching! 

Rachel

JUNE SHOP UPDATE!

Lots of new goodies in the shop this month to choose from!

First up is the summer colorways!! Fruit Punch, Blue Raspberry, Grape Crush, Lemonade and Candy Apple. All worsted weight and semi solid tonals!

Next up is some patterns are now available on Etsy as well as Ravelry. New patterns will be added to both as they are released! July I will be releasing the Wild Raspberry Collection!

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There is also an assortment of already spun and unspun yarns, bags and other ready made hats ready for shipping! Make sure you take a look around!

Keep Stitching!

Rachel