“You stole my pattern”

Happiest New Year to everyone! 2018 was awesome because I kept learning something at every. single. turn. That totally came in handy when I opened my instagram on a rainy December day.

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That’s MY kowl above

The first post on my main page was this beautiful cowl and my heart dropped. At first glance, I thought it was one of my pattern testers for my kimona kowl but upon further inspection, it wasn’t. It was a pattern for sale from another fiber artist. If 2018 taught me anything it was you can be angry, but you can’t let that derail you. So I got off the couch and showed Peyton the picture.

“Hey, look people do like your pattern! When did you put it on your etsy shop?” He said, smiling.

“I didn’t. Someone else created it and posted it and people love it and I can’t believe it and I should say something.” I said, kind of sweaty and out of breath from frustration.

I put on a kettle and started thinking about what I could have done differently to prevent this pattern thief from stealing my work. Then how I was going to tear her alive with my sharp tongue and some soft little fluff-ball of an idea entered my heart. You know, when you are so freaking angry and just want to explode then something touches your vortex of a black-hole heart and your edges soften, just a bit? Know that the details of the story are fuzzy and the author unknown, but the sentiment is the same:

She was hiding under her covers when she heard Inspiration knocking on her door. She had to welcome Her quickly or Inspiration will knock on someone else’s door.

How many times have you had a great idea, you did nothing with it, and a few years later you saw it online or in an infomercial? Last March I created the pattern, gave it to pattern testers, then told myself it was dumb, no one would buy it and who do I think I am to be a pattern writer? *insert self doubt here*

So as I finally made some coffee, I started to smile. Six months ago I told myself terrible things about my ability to create and here it was on Instagram with followers and everything. I started to laugh and clap my hands because the pattern was doing great! The pattern wasn’t dumb, because people liked it. People were buying it!

The fiber artist that wrote the pattern was greeted by Inspiration after I shooed it away. So I wrote her. I told her what was going on and how grateful I was for it. I know it sounds crazy, but her pattern doing well gave me a confidence boost and I shared that with her. Based on her platform size, I doubt I will receive a response but I don’t need one because I learned my lesson: Inspiration can only break bread with you when you open your home to it. In my case, I had to tell self-doubt and fear to get the hell out of my house before I can open the door to Inspiration. In the last week of 2018, I kicked them to the curb and wrote five patterns. The first is coming at you Sunday!

Want to see what happens in 2019? Read more here and find me on facebook, instagram, and etsy.

I’m dreaming of a creative 2019

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Every January I make some ridiculous resolution that I won’t ever stick to. Who’s with me? I am going to have a six-pack, I am going to cut out extra spending on Starbucks and yarn, and I am going to eat a salad a day were last years. By the third week of January I worked out every day, but I also ate tacobell and washed it down with a peppermint mocha. Judge me.

So this year, I decided to do something that I could actually freaking accomplish. I am going to share my creativity. If you look at my etsy or facebook page they are all my designs and most are even my own hand-dyed yarn. Do the patterns exist for them? Yes. Have I thought them worthy to share? No.

Tangent about value and worth: I have been knitting/crocheting for over 10 years and until August of this year didn’t believe that anyone would enjoy my work. Now 150 items sold later, I am starting to believe it. Show of hands, who can relate? Until seeing one of my patterns being sold by another yarn artist, I didn’t even believe my patterns were valuable. (That story is a great one and does NOT end how you expect, check it out here)

So in 2019, no matter how ugly or how big of a failure a design is, I am going to share it with you. I am also going to share my favorite designs the first Friday of every month in person! Check out January’s here. After each class, the design will be available on my etsy shop for purchase. Also a few of the completed items will be up for grabs too.

I also have lots of creativity resources coming your way! These are perfect for those who need a little help finding their creative spark and those whose spark turned into a fire they can’t control (aka starting 2000 projects and never finishing). Can you guess which I am? Hint: I am sitting on a pile of socks and none of them have matches.

If you are interested in receiving free resources from yours truly, drop your email below!

XOXO
Evie

Why I Hire Pros in my Small Business

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*ding* Messenger: “Evie, can you make me a scarf in two weeks?”

I checked my calendar. I need to make a logo, take pictures for my etsy shop, finish a few hats, finish four blog posts I had started, work on my etsy shop, start working on taxes, and the list continued.

I responded with a “No, sorry I have too many other commitments at this time.” Seems like that is my normal response now as I fumbled around trying to make a social media plan, marketing plan, and keep my receipts in order. All I really wanted to do was create a few new patterns, write a blog about them, and then sell what I made. I didn’t want to do all the extra crap associated with running a business! I just wanted to do the fun things.

How often do you say “if only I could hire someone to do that” then follow it with a big ole “,but…”????  

For me, the but was always 1. I don’t have the money to do that 2. I can just do it myself, it isn’t that hard 3. it’s my business, I should be able to run it by myself. So let’s talk about each of these pitfalls and when you can throw those “buts” in the trash.

  1. I don’t have the money to hire someone There are seriously times when this is the case. When I first started making items to sale, I had enough money for yarn and that was it. So I decided that until I sold $200 worth of products, I couldn’t afford some of the marketing tools (logo, pro photos, website) that I knew I would eventually need. BUT that shouldn’t stop you from getting out there and crafting.

But, if you have some spare cash in your business account, hire someone for just a few hours to do the thing you hate the MOST in your business or the thing that takes the most time. Your time is actually worth a lot of money. Think about all the time it takes you to write shipping labels and drive to the post office or how awful it is to do your own taxes when you just have a box of receipts. I could be spending time with my family or knitting instead of terrible tasks!

2. I can just do it myself, it isn’t that hard. Have you ever had just one task that you are dreading? Maybe it’s the dishes or laundry? If you are anything like me you will keep putting it off until you don’t have any spoons or underwear. Sure, creating your own website isn’t that hard and I am all for taking ownership of your business, but do you really want to? What could you be doing instead of yelling at your computer dreading editing another photo? Playing with your kids, date night with the husband, or working out?

3. It’s my business, I should be able to run it by myself. If I had a dollar for every time I said that, I could have spent that money on someone to create my website. I don’t know when that got programmed into my small kid brain, but even when I was little I wouldn’t ask for help because “it is my homework I should be able to do it.” If given a challenge, I assumed I should be able to fully rise to the occasion with 0% help.

So as a somewhat adult woman, I look at my small business and think the same thing. I see big businesses with their 50-500000 employees and think that I am nothing like them. I am just a small knitting operation and I can control it all. At least for a little while. I will save you the gory details, but that kind of logic ends up with too many responsibilities, too little sleep and an eventual burn out. That burn out can mean a hiatus of a few weeks or a complete shutdown, which is easy with only one worker. So why not hire someone for a few hours to get your logo done or help answer your emails? You don’t have to pay them $300/hr on a full time basis or even by the hour at all (hello contract jobs).

So my biggest question for you is: Which of the “buts” do you use? 

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I hired my friends to help me with my small business because it gave me more time to do the fun parts of being a creative businesswoman.

 

Want to know more? Check out my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fiberflorafire/

FiberFloraFire Update: December

Do you ever get so excited that all of a sudden you are getting up early, staying up late, and constantly doodling ideas in your Idea Notebook? Organization goes out the window and you are just brainstorming and creating your way into a happy dance!

That is where I am right now, so I want to share my ideas with you in greater detail than I can on social media.

Crochet Classes

I am offering two types of classes: Monthly Crochet-a-longs & a quarterly Introduction Class.

  • Monthly classes are hosted on the second Friday of each month. There is a maximum class size of 10 people because my little house can’t hold much more! Check my Facebook for all of the events in 2019!
  • Intro Classes are once per quarter and can be found also at my Facepage.
  • Private lessons and group lessons are available, facepage me for more information!

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April’s Crochet-a-long above!

 

Pattern Releases

In the past three years, anything I have sold has been an Evie original. I am only one person and can’t make a headband for every person. So with that in mind, I am finally writing down my creations. Patterns for the monthly crochet-a-long will be available the first of each month on my etsy shop ! This winter I will be releasing some free patterns right here on this blog!

Etsy Shop

It will be updated on the first of every month and it will be super different than what you are use to. New items include:

  • More plushies
  • Hand dyed yarn
  • Patterns
  • Carrot scarf
  • Winter hats/scarves/cowls with some extreme colors

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Peyton & Evie Phelps originals

Phew, that’s enough to keep me busy in planning and creating for the next few months. Click that “like” button on FB to keep up to date with me!

thanks for all of the support in 2018, y’all are amazing. See you in 2019, XOXO Evie 

Christmas Crafting Lessons

Guys, this year has been crazy! Between buying a house, getting married and trying to raise a small zoo, I have been so behind in my Christmas crafting. Anyone else feeling the struggle?

Usually, I wait until the last minute and spend ten days before Christmas knitting, crocheting and hot gluing my way into insomnia and panic attacks. This year is no different, here we are 9 days until Christmas and I have just piles of yarn and regret lying around. BUT last year taught me four valuable lessons that I am going to use this year!

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Christmas Crafting Lessons

  1. You do not have to DIY for everyone. I have approximately 20 people I give gifts to. If I made a sweater for every single person, I would be in pain, crying constantly and have to quit my job. So know that if your Aunt Karen wants a sweater, it doesn’t mean that everyone needs one too. Just because you are crafty doesn’t mean that you can’t give a really great gift of store-bought soaps and wine. (My family, act like you didn’t just read that and you will be pleasantly surprised Christmas morning)
  2. Your DIY doesn’t have to be huge! Look at the sweater example above, could you make 20 sweaters? I don’t have time for sweaters, but I definitely have time for 10 hair scrunchies and 10 headbands. So reflect on what time you actually have and scale way down from your sweater-for-every-person campaign. It is still a huge sign of love that you made them something, no matter how small.
  3. Your DIY does NOT have to be perfect. If you are going to rip out that sweater one more time to redo it for one small dropped stitch, STOP IT. If your wreath is a little wonky on one side, leave it be. If your cookies don’t have enough chocolate in them, do not make another batch. You are the only one that is going to notice it and it isn’t worth you wasting precious time.
  4. Your DIY does not have to be on time. Okay, here’s the hard truth and some may say “lazy gift giving.” If your DIY is going to take you three weeks and you have 9 days, your friend will be okay getting it late. Life is insanely busy with work, kids, chickens, and on and on, so do not feel like you have to be super woman. Seriously, it isn’t lazy if you are going to give a quality gift and need a few extra weeks.

And my secret weapon for gift-giving: order it online. For those who aren’t crafty or are short on time, check out my etsy shop. I have some really cute gifts I will ship directly to your family and friends. #lazycrafter4life

If you have a small business that sells adorable crafts for Christmas, drop your link below because I still have half my family to buy for. XOXO Evie

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6 Biggest Mistakes of Knitters

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I do not pretend to have this whole knitting thing together. I mess up. I use the wrong needle, the wrong color, or the wrong yarn. I miscount and end up with a cat size sweater when I wanted an Evie-size sweater! So I have decided to tell you the six biggest mistakes I have made in the past ten years. Ready for some serious truth bombs?

  1. I got super angry when a project wouldn’t work out. Looking back, I just want to hold that girl who threw her first sweater away because my pattern didn’t work out. It happens, we get frustrated. I want you to know, lovely, it happens to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have been knitting for a day or a decade, we screw up and it is such a huge part of the process. So don’t throw your mistakes away, frog them out and start over. I promise it will be worth it.
  2. I compared my process and victories to those around me. It is so hard not to compare you beginning to someone else’s middle. I would look on Instagram and say “my scarves aren’t anything like hers.” Then I would go to knit group and say “I don’t knit as quickly as she does.” Beloved, love your victories even if they are not like someone else’s. Love your process even if it is different than your social media feed.
  3. I undervalued my work. How many times do we get a compliment and then say “oh that old thing?” or “no, my hair is a mess and doesn’t look good.”? I did the same thing with my knit garments. I would wear them out, feel self conscious and then when someone would compliment me, I would shut them down and belittle my work. Hello, sounds like self-deprecating behavior to me. Although in that moment, I couldn’t feel proud of my garment so why in the hell would I let anyone else do that for me? So after all this time, I have learned to say “thank you,” instead of excuses.
  4. I undervalued my worth. It is uncomfortable to talk money when we are talking about craft therapy, but here’s the deal: I needed to be compensated for my work. If a friend would ask for a scarf, I would charge them just cost on the materials. Then it would take me way too long to finish it and by the time I did, they had forgotten that they asked me for it. Why was I toddling? Because I wasn’t valuing my time and, thus, I didn’t feel motivated to continue. And at the end of the day, it was never about the money. In denying that my time was worth money, I was unconsciously saying “I do not feel like my time is valuable, thus, my talent isn’t valuable.”  Honey, your time is soooo valuable. Money is a renewable resource and you can ALWAYS make more, but you cannot renew time. So charge that $10 an hour for your hand knits, or $200 if that is what you feel is you’re worth. I cannot tell you what that number is, but it should make you feel somewhat uncomfortable asking for it.
  5. I didn’t listen to my pain and discomfort. Anyone else keep knitting until your hands hurt too intensely to continue knitting? That was totally me in college. I would have an order that needed to get done and I knitted until it was done. It didn’t matter if it was an hour project or 14 hour project. Needless to say, fatigue sets in fast if you let it, so now I knit a max of 45 minutes at one single sitting. Listen to your body and when you start to feel off, stop and take a few stretches! (Coming soon, yoga for knitters video)
  6. I was afraid to share my craft. Look back at not valuing my worth above. Seriously, I still have a complex about teaching others because I think I am not worthy. It is a similar feeling to if I ever meet Oprah. I would fall to my knees and scream I am not worthy until she eventually called the police. So this is how I viewed my knitting, like a cute little hobby that I am not worthy to teach and there are so many more talented knitters than I that SHOULD be teaching. Not me. But I heard the best quote ever a few weeks ago:                                                                                    “There are so many people doing what you are doing, but no one could                                                                    ever do it like you do”                                                             No one is going to teach like I do, write f*ck plastic on a knit market bag, or make terrible jokes like I do so why do I expect them to? I set myself up for failure because I did not see my unique worth. I saw what others were doing and I wasn’t doing that exact thing, so I must be doing it wrong. I never stopped to think “what do I do differently” and celebrate the hell out of that answer. So what is your unique gift to share with the world?

5 Reasons to Knit

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I am sure you are wondering why knitting has been such a big part of my life. This August is my ten year knitting anniversary, so I have decided to share with you my top five reasons to start knitting TODAY.

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  1. Portable :                                                                                                                                  Not all crafts can be transported on a plane, train or automobile! Have you ever tried taking a glue gun on a plane? It’s hard to find an outlet and you never have enough space. This is not an issue with knitting.
  2. Distraction :                                                                                                                             Have you ever had to wait in a waiting room? My God, the amount of time I have spent in a waiting room on my phone probably adds up to at least a month. So why not bring a project with you? Instead of watching cat videos, you could be making a scarf while you watch cat vids at the doctors office!
  3. Stress Reliever :                                                                                                                     After a long, hard day nothing lets me unwind like just one row. Of knitting, not a white substance that resembles sugar but is definitely NOT sugar. For five minutes I can focus on just knitting and the rest of the world fades away.
  4. Community :                                                                                                                                 I have found such an amazing fiber arts community in southern Indiana, which was really unexpected. I have met so many ladies who are expert knitters, crocheters, dyers, and spinners. I swear knit night is more than just knitting, it is therapy! If you want to join us, get on the email list at the bottom of the page.
  5. Feeling of Accomplishment :                                                                                              Girl, I cannot express fully how great it feels to finish a sweater and then proceeding to wear that sweater every day for three months. It is like you just won gold at the Olympics. When someone asks “did you make that?” It is like you won gold and then placed first at the Derby.

So what is stopping you from learning how to knit today?

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