Thoughts on selling for Etsy.

So I’ve had little knitted blog fodder lately. You guys may have noticed πŸ˜› Here’s why: after the crazy success of my Katniss cowl pattern (which I have renamed the Huntress cowl in order to avoid copyright infringement. I don’t want to get sued!) a lot of people got in touch with me and wanted cowls of their own, but either couldn’t knit or didn’t want to go through the long process to do the neckline. So I started selling them on Etsy, and it was actually quite successful! I’ve been knitting my fingers to the bone creating these, and let me tell you, I am amazingly sick of my own pattern πŸ˜› I’ve got it completely memorized by now though, which is nice. I totally zoom through them, and the extra money is more than welcome with my research assistant’s salary. It’s just that I miss my creative time, where I could knit something different, or things for my friends, or work on new designs. My design idea notebook is getting completely stuffed with new ideas, but none of them are getting worked on and I have a bit of a backlog of creative energy. I also find that creating something and sending it off to someone you don’t know can be a little like sending out a little baby into the world to fend for itself. You worry about them being loved and cared for! (I know they’re inanimate, but I created them.) Sorry to vent on the blog, but I wanted to know how people knit the same patterns again and again without getting bored? How do you keep from feeling creatively drained if you’re selling your work? And how do you make sure you’re not overdoing it on work if you also have a full-time job? I’d appreciate any insight you guys have, I’m trying to learn to balance my fibery stuff with my real job (which I adore and also think is super important.) Thanks for listening friends!

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14 Comments

  1. I hit the same wall with craft fairs. The extra money was great, but the slog was sometimes unbearable. I ultimately made to decision to knit what makes me happy and give up mass production. I still do the odd custom job for a fee. I found I’m much happier and connected to my knitting now. But you have to do what’s best for you !

    • After this experience, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do a craft fair!

  2. Auntie

    I think it is wonderful that you are so attached to your creations. What a wonderful talent God has given you! You can reframe your view of knitting your fingers to the bone by doing it as unto the Lord Who gave you this ability in the first place. You can ask for His guidance as to how much of your time you should alot to this, and follow through…then trust Him for your provision. You need the extra money, but just how much extra do you need? Balance in life is so important in order to enjoy the journey. If you died tomorrow, would you be glad you spent your time this way, or would you choose to include time with more people and relationships?
    I pray that your life will be an open alabaster box perfuming the world with your love for the Lord. Love you, Nana

  3. It’s good to talk so rant away! This very act will help you sort life out. Why not increase the price and sell/knit less?

    • I think the craze for these things is mostly over, so I won’t be making a ton of them anymore. I’m honestly kindof glad about it, to be honest!

  4. I was in a similar boat when I used to seamstress. It really took the joy out of the craft. With that knowledge in mind, I only stock my Esty shop with what I make because I want to. No deadlines, no pressures – I have an 8-4 job to supply that! I never want the hobby I love best to become a chore.

    • Truth. And I may have learned my lesson the hard way πŸ˜› I realized that I wasn’t knitting to relax anymore, I was spinning instead! Not that that’s bad, but seeing knitting as a chore rather than relaxation time is a shame.

      • Couldn’t agree more πŸ™‚

  5. Congratulations on your success! I agree with KarinKateriKei. Don’t let it become a slog. The whole reason you got into this was because you wanted to be creative, not a drudge.

    • I know you’re right. It’s just hard to turn down extra money on a researcher’s salary πŸ˜› I have started knitting other things just to keep from going crazy!

  6. I used to knit scarves to sell at craft fairs and one year in the run up to Christmas I made over 50. That was very monotonous and I really was sick of my own pattern. But I did feel very protective of the scarves and the pattern. Some cheeky woman tried to get how they were knitted out of me at a craft fair by examining them really closely and asking lots of questions to avoid buying one and I politely but firmly moved her on, but I was really fuming inside!

  7. I agree with Lottie and atangledyarnknitter – you do what you gotta do. I made 321 ruffle scarves last year and really thought I was just going to lose my freaking mind. So I set aside 1 hour a day to focus on whatever I wanted to focus on, that hour was something to look forward to and you need that.
    You’re doing great, just try to find some balance before you start pulling out your hair πŸ˜‰

    • yeah, I like having hair! I’ve started doing a little knitting for me just to keep myself sane and nice πŸ˜›

      • I like you with hair too, it would be a shame to have to use it to stuff pillows! πŸ˜‰
        I am glad you are finding a happy balance, it’ll allow you to savor your success instead of openly despising it.

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