Monday, November 12, 2012

.the stresses of business.


It's been a while. I have to confess, I've been quite uninspired in terms of what to write about lately. Work has been very busy plus I was feeling stressed out about getting all my shop orders completed in a timely matter. Add blog posts onto that and I really did feel overwhelmed. Then I got sick. Boy did that ever set me back. Six days of pain and no eating threw me for a loop. But on the road to recovery, I got a lot of business straightened away. I sat down and decided I needed a new way of prioritizing orders and I set up a work schedule to get everything done well before Christmas.

I had a week in September when orders just piled in. I was so grateful. All these people wanted to own a creation I made or wanted to gift them to others. As a crafter, can you get a better feeling? But when you work full time and want time to unwind some times, having as many orders as I've received was also stressful. Would I get them done before Christmas? Would I get complaints when orders took longer to churn out than I predicted?

While some of my hats are quite quick to produce (one - two days max), other items that require more work could take 3-5 days of my time. I soon realized that I would have to refrain from taking new orders in order to complete those I already had. Frustrating, but definitely necessary. I also wanted to be able to make knits for my family for the Christmas holidays.

But I guess this is the learning curve that accompanies a new business. Next holiday season, I will hopefully have a better grasp on time management and what I can handle.

For those of you that have etsy shops and sell your own creations, how do you manage a day job and side business?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Facebook Giveaway!


I was very busy yesterday creating graphics and ordering information for my knitted hats and scarves. I honestly had a day-long date with my macbook and photoshop. And coffee. There was plenty of coffee.  When the day was all said and done, I had graphics for 8 custom items, an online order form created and 17 new followers! Followers are just the greatest, aren't they? Just by liking the facebook page, they are ensuring that my creations are reaching more and more people. So to celebrate all my new followers and shop success thus far, I decided to set up a Facebook giveaway! In exchange for "Liking" my shop's Facebook page, followers are entered to win a handmade mug cozy!

If you'd like to participate, click on the like below and enter to win! You can also tweet about the giveaway to earn extra entries! Check out the giveaway page HERE. Contest ends when The Rural Knitter reaches 200 followers :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

thankful and grateful


There is a lot for me to be thankful for this year. I have been surrounded with amazing family, have met great new friends and reconnected with old ones and work has been promising and very rewarding. I am also thankful for finally having the opportunity to take a trip with my sister and for the stars aligning to let me hold Bruce Springsteen's hand (!!!).

I'm thankful for all the kind words of encouragement and praise I've gotten from my readers since starting this blog. The love is overwhelming and it makes this girl very grateful. I am even more thankful for all of you following along on my crafting journey. As of this morning, I have reached   10,000 page views on the site and that really does warm the cockles of my heart. Knowing that so many of you keep checking in and sharing my work with others means more than you can know.

Thank you all for your support so far. Only 10 months knitting and blogging and already so many views and encouragement. It really means the world!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this weekend :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

craft fairs and polka dot clutches


What a busy time it's been for me lately. I'm still working full-time (yay!) and knitting in the evenings and it's certainly kept me on my toes. I've even had a few friends bring a local craft day to my attention so I might be setting up a table to sell my knitted items for a day. It's only a few weeks away but I'm super excited about the prospect. I'm trying to figure out if I can set up and take orders or whether I should have an arsenal of products on hand. With the limited amount of time I have, taking custom orders might be the only option I have, however. Have any of you done this?

On another note, I created a new item for the shop this weekend. I've been trying to find smaller, quicker projects that I can make and I decided on a clutch with a fabric lining. I started following a pattern but with a number of alterations, I started to make it my own. The lining was difficult to make (my sewing skills are limited but growing), but I managed in the end. I not only had to rip out parts of the clutch three times, I also had to do this with the lining. But boy, did I ever learn! And the end result is something I'm very proud of. I'm going to make this again, and again... and vary up the yarn and lining colours!

What do you think?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

we have a winner!


My first giveaway is over. I had a wonderful response from current and new readers and I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad to announce that the winner of my first giveaway is.... *drum roll please*.....


Dawn G. is the winner of a pair of hand-knit slippers, a mug cozy, AD space, etsy store credit, professionally edited photos, and a Starbucks gift card! What a haul. 

A huge thanks to all my sponsors who have donated to this giveaway: Autumn Bee @ Gypsy Bee, Alyssa @ Sugar, Spice and a Dash of Advice, Meghan @, and Vicki @ The Domesticated Me.

Thank you all for participating. For all you new readers out there, thanks for joining me on my journey and I hope you enjoy reading about my crafting adventures!

All the best,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

september sponsor love


Can you believe September ends tomorrow? I certainly can't. The kiddies at school are very excited though. October is a very fun month at our school and I know I can't wait to see all of their ghoulish drawings and awesome costumes come at the end of the month. But that's at school. Here at the blog, the end of September marks the end of my first big month. I mentioned it in an earlier post (the one about my super cool GIVEAWAY... which ends tomorrow!) that September has been so amazing for me in terms of support, both from readers and the lovely sponsors I have met since offering advertising space on the blog. A girl can't be more grateful. From twitter mentions, giveaway prizes to constant support, these ladies have made September an amazing first month blogging. Thank you ladies for sharing this month with me! 


I'd love to help other bloggers reach out to my readers as well. If you'd like to sponsor The Rural Knitter in October, there are still spaces available! Check out my sponsor page. There are four different ad options and hopefully one appeals to you. I offer FREE button swap space for smaller buttons but if you'd like to swap ads of a similar size, please email me. I'd be more than happy to give you a promo code for a bigger space. 

Here's to bigger and better things in October!!

PS. Don't forget to check out my GIVEAWAY. It ends tomorrow! Enter for your chance to win ad space, gift cards, etsy store credit and handmade knit items from moi!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my etsy shop is open!

I've been a bit asbsent from the blog the past few days. That's because I've been very busy taking pictures, figuring out shop policies and working up ads for my very own ETSY SHOP! I'm terribly excited for this next step. I've had friends and family asking for custom made items since I started knitting seriously last fall, but this seems like the smartest next step for me. An etsy store gives me the opportunity to reach more individuals, to highlight my pieces in one place and to act as a catalogue.
Currently I'm working on adding more items to the shop each day. So far I've listed hats that I have already made which are ready to order and there are also custom listings for slippers, mug cozies, and cabled cowls. There are even swatches of available colours on each listing to help you see all the options to choose from.
I'd love it if you checked it out. Click the link below to see all my current listing.
 I'm so happy to be able to share my work with all of you.
Snapshots of the Shop


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Outport photo shoot

A few days ago I mentioned that I modelled for my cousin in a photo shoot. I've seen a preview of a few of the pictures but last night I got to see the final shots. I have to tell you, I'm thrilled with the result. I really wanted the chance to get some professional photos of the hats I've knitted lately and these are above and beyond what I expected. The hat I'm wearing is the hat Gwen Stacy (aka Emma Stone) wore in The Amazing Spiderman. I finished it last week and my sister is wearing the slouchy version of the Seed Beret that I made for her for her birthday. 

My sis, cousin and I went out to my grandparent's old place in Webbers and took a few props with us and we had an amazing time. The scenery there is breathtaking and I'm so glad this could be the background for the shots. Isn't Newfoundland just gorgeous?!

A HUGE thank you to my cousin Stephanie J. for taking this beautiful shots!

While I don't get there often, this is one of my favourite places in Newfoundland. The cliffs remind me of Ireland and looking in at the harbour of Lawn is a spectacular view. Webbers also has a very rich history and is tied to a very memorable naval disaster that occurred in 1942 when the USS Truxton and USS Pollux ran aground here. It is also a site of Resettlement. My grandparents and all other families living here in the late 1950's were told to move their houses to a larger nearby town or they would not get access to the same amenities as these 'growth centres'. So with the money the government gave them, my grandparents put their small salt box house on a flat-bed truck and drove the house down the harbour to place her on a piece of land in Lawn, NL. In many other outport town in the province however, houses were floated across the water and into the harbour by boat. 

This is one of the most iconic pictures that captures 'resettlement' in Newfoundland. 

It is history and culture like this that makes me so happy that I moved to this wonderful province as a teenager. If I hadn't, I would have been missing out on so much of my family's heritage, I believe.

Want to win some amazing prizes? How about hand knit slippers? What about gift cards? Or Etsy store credit? Check out my very 1st giveaway by clicking the image below!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

My first giveaway!


I'm so excited. I finally get to host my first giveaway.While the blog has been up and running for a number of months, I've been blogging seriously for almost a month now, so I'm thrilled to be hosting my first giveaway as a way to celebrate my first big month. September has brought so many good things my way and I'm very grateful. I have new followers, and sponsors who are AMAZING and I've almost reached 10,000 views! Isn't that awesome?! That's a big deal for a small town girl like me who never would have thought anyone would want to keep up with what I do. So to celebrate I'm offering some great goodies to those of you that love knitting, vintage, coffee, professional photo editing and blogging.

Autumn from Gypsy Bee
Blog | Shop | Pinterest | Twitter

What's up for grabs from Autumn? A $10 credit to her Etsy shop!
Hello Darlings, I'm Autumn Bee, blogger from The Busy Bee and shop owner of Gypsybeee Vintage! I'm a wife, vintage hoarder, home maker, amateur chef, and stay at home mommy to two littles. On my blog you can find all things vintage (mostly focusing on mid century goodness), recipes, DIY projects, and all kids of other random things that inspire me. Come on over and say hello!

Alyssa from Sugar, Spice and A Dash of Advice
What's up for grabs from Alyssa? A $5 Starbucks e-gift card!
Hi everyone! I'm Alyssa and I blog over at Sugar, Spice, and a Dash of Advice. I write about everything in my life from baking to beauty to real life issues, and everything in between! I love to write about things that bring bits of happiness into my life. I love making new friends so come visit me sometime soon!

Meghan from
     Blog | Facebook

What's up for grabs from Meghan? 1 month large AD space and 5 professionally edited photos of winner's choice.
Hello friends! My name is Meghan and I blog over at I am a Celiac who loves to get creative in the kitchen. I'm a health nut and am always soaking up ways to live a healthier, simpler and more peaceful life. There are several things that make my heart happy: Jesus, my husband, our dog Dakota, photography,playing outside,creating things and traveling! I'd love for you to come over and pay me a visit. Say hi and stay a while! 

Vicki from The Domesticated Me
Blog | Facebook | 
What's up for grabs from Vicki? 6 months of advertising on my blog with a 250x250 ad. This includes a monthly feature post about their blog/shop whatever they would like me to feature.

I'm Vicki. I live in a small country town in Australia with my completely amazing daughter (we shall call her Monkey). We are both obsessed with all things DIY and crafty. If you ever visited us you would our dining room table is always messy with our latest project. A couple of years ago we moved from the city to the country. I have to say that it's the best thing I have ever done. Life in the country is so different. Moving to the country somehow kick-started what I like to call my "Betty Crocker" phase (code for: I love to bake).

Ever since I was kid I have always loved home renovating, but we live in a rental (houses are expensive) and so I'm pretty limited in what we can do. Thankfully I have some awesome landlords who have allowed me to paint (they even paid for it!), and so room by room we are giving our place a "cosmetic"
makeover. I sell things from around the house that we no longer need or use, and we put that money into new things to decorate the house with. (yes I am a frugal mum as well!)

And finally, what am I giving away? 
I'm giving away a hand knit pair of Eyelet slippers, a mug cozy (both in a colour of your choosing!) AND Large Ad space on The Rural Knitter for 2 months! 

So let's get to it. 
- Complete all the entries to get as many chances to win as possible and show support to my blogging friends.
- The giveaway ends on Sunday, Sept. 30th at midnight.
- Please be honest with your entries. I'm going to look into all follows before picking the winner. 
- One winner takes all!!

A huge thanks to my sponsors and those of you who have participated in this giveaway!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend Giveaway Excitement


Exciting things await you this weekend. Tomorrow marks my first full month at serious blogging and to celebrate I'll be hosting my very first giveaway! I'm quite excited. I hope you enjoy all the prizes and share the love by entering and visiting my lovely sponsors and giveaway participants.

On a similar note, one of those lovely sponsors, Vicki from The Domesticated Me, is hosting her own giveaway that I'm involved with.  Click the banner below to see what I'm giving away!

Stay tuned followers. A big giveaway awaits and I'll finally get to share some of the amazing shots from the photoshoot I was in this weekend past.

Exciting things to come!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

teacups and bears


I finished Henri. It took me forever, but I finished. It took me so long because I am terrible at sewing, but I'm very happy with my newest little teddy bear. I'd love to try this project again so I could work on my sewing techniques, however. How ever do you sew a leg onto a body without a huge seam? I couldn't wrap my head around it. 

But, as long as you don't turn Henri around, he's quite adorable. Great for a first try if I do say so myself.

Now to find my next project. Maybe another plush toy?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Henri, the one-armed bear


I recently fell in love with an adorable teddy bear pattern and I had to pull out some scrap yarn and start it right away. I had never knit a toy before, so Henri is my first attempt. He's not even done. I think he's so cute that I had to share it with you mid-project.

Henri is one-armed at the moment, and completely legless, but isn't he the sweetest? If you want to check out the pattern and try it for yourself, you can find it here

Tonight I've been spending the evening getting well aquainted with my couch and Netflix. I just discovered the very amazing British TV show Misfits and I can't get enough. I'm also counting down the hours until the season premiere of Bones. I love TV season!

Are you looking forward to the return of your favourite show? Which one?

Sunday, September 16, 2012



It's been a great weekend. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my sister and extremely talented cousin, Stephanie, partaking in a photo shoot of some of my most recent knitted hats. We went out to my grandparent's land in Webbers and got to model in the grass, overlooking the cliffs. I've had a chance to see them now and they are so lovely! I can't wait to share them with you. 

And today is my sister's birthday! She's 24 today and we had a family BBQ for her last night at my grandmother's house. I love a nice family gathering.

Happy birthday, sister!

Friday, September 14, 2012

An exciting announcement!


What a great day today is. Here in Newfoundland the sun is shining brightly and its quite warm out for the middle of September. As a teacher, these are things that make our days even better. Well, that and coffee. I'm quite addicted to the stuff again (I normally take the summer off from coffee drinking and stick to colder drinks) and that morning routine of standing in line at Tim Horton's seems to set everything right before I step into school. Even the smell of caffeine brightens my spirits these days.

On another, non-caffeine note, I have an exciting announcement to make. I'm participating in my very first giveaway, right this very minute! The lovely Alyssa over at Sugar, Spice, and a Dash of Advice has started the giveaway on her blog and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. Head over to the site to see what I'm giving away and get your chance to enter.

Also, if you haven't had the chance to yet, check out the new idea board on Tumblr. I'll be filling it with lovely pictures in the coming days. You can find it HERE.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An idea board...


I've been absolutely inspired. During a evening of pinterest perusing, I stumbled along a beautiful Tumblr theme and just had to start an idea board with. I collect pictures I think are beautiful and inspiring, so I thought this would be a great way of sharing those with you, without bombarding the blog. Of course I'll still be sharing my favourites here though.

So if you're a part of the Tumblr community, or just love beautiful pictures of a little bit of everything, come share the love at The Rural Knitter's Idea Board.