Friday, September 26, 2014

Designing And Publishing Versus Knitting And Selling

I learned to knit the way I do now in my early twenties while doing my hairdressing apprenticeship. The two women that I worked with knit all the time and they taught myself and the other apprentice to knit as well... or re-taught in my case. I'd previously done some knitting using the throw method and they taught us the continental method which is smoother, faster, and a lot better for elbows sitting side by side on a bench in a small staff room.

One of the great things about knitting is its portability both inside and outside the home. You can knit just about anywhere. Before I started writing and then running my own business, I did a lot of knitting and then as life got busier, knitting went by the wayside until about six years ago when I joined a group as a way of getting out of the house and meeting other women. I've enjoyed getting back to knitting.

AND... as is typical of me... I've been learning how to improve my skills, particularly with aspects like buttonholes and ways of sewing the garment together plus different methods such as top down or side to side or in all one piece or in sections. As with sewing, I've explored fit with knits and how to construct a garment that is more individualized and flattering. Knitting is much slower than sewing but equally satisfying.

I've changed existing patterns and I've developed patterns of my own. At first, when I decided to set up a knitting business, my intent was to knit items to sell. That idea quickly changed. On my drive down and back through Washington and Oregon, I stopped at a lot of galleries, showed them my scarves, and asked what could you sell this for? The answer was often far less than the yarn to say nothing of the twenty-one hours it took to knit the scarf below. Selling at prices like that would not only be discouraging personally but would not create a viable business and therefore not qualify for the deductions.

Even though  my objective is to legally meet the requirements for the in-home business deductions - which I have to say is a fabulous perspective from the perspective of doing whatever you want to do and not worrying about what "they" would buy - the idea I'm working on has to make sense SO...

...plan B is to knit prototypes and develop patterns and then publish and sell the patterns. Both the blue and the teal scarf are my adaptations. I'd say original design although I do have to wonder with all the years and years and years of knitting that's been going on if there are actually any original designs left. The pink is the center of a scarf I designed last year. Each end is lacy and the scarf is knit in two sections with a seam in the middle - the fatal flaw. I'll redo the design and change that aspect which will mean learning a new skill. And this is good. And so is designing and publishing versus knitting and selling.

Above is yesterday's painted piece. Again, it started with a sample from the workshop that was rather blah. See below.

With knitting, my focus is on having fun while meeting those in-home business requirements to legally qualify for the deductions. With painting, my focus is on having fun making marks on the fabric and seeing where they lead me. Having fun is a good focus. Play is good for us. We should all play far more often.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a new knitting direction

Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it. 
- Ernest Holmes


  1. Ooh, Myrna, that sounds like a cool idea! Are you going to sell your patterns on Ravelry? Or at least test them there? (I just did a test knit for a really fun scarf pattern so that's why pattern testing is still on my mind.)
    Just got caught up on your awesome trip posts. It sounds like it did you a world of good. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to seeing what grows out of all that inspiration and insights.

    1. Thanks. I'm not sure if I'll sell them on Ravelry although that does make sense. Definitely on the blog. Perhaps in an Etsy site. I'd love to know more about test knitting. I'll write and ask you that privately.

      The trip was fabulous - yes, it did do me a lot of good in many ways. I've set up the paint place and I am painting. This is progress.

    2. The paint place - I like the sounds of that. I'm getting ready to dip my toe into dyeing fabrics (as soon as my dye order comes in). I emailed you back about test knitting.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.