We've just returned from a 2 week road trip through the western half of the US and I've gotta tell you guys, it was amazing! Not only was this exactly what we needed as a family, but I didn't realize how much I truly needed a break and a chance to reset.
Most of you know that designing knitwear patterns is a lot of work, but add to that running the day-to-day management of a small business, creating and implementing a marketing strategy, creating and managing a website, being a mother and wife, working 30-40 hours at a day job, & volunteering with some of my favorite crafting groups both locally and on-line and you'll see just how full my plate has gotten. I'm not complaining, far from it, I am so incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that I've been given and the life that I have, but there is a better way than what I've been doing.
Up to this point, I've managed all of the above almost completely on my own because I love every aspect of what I've taken on. However, there are only so many hours in a day and one of the biggest gifts that I received from our vacation was injuring my hands by knitting too much in the week leading up to the trip and within the first 2 days of our vacation. This meant that I was forced to take almost 2 full weeks away from the needles. On top of that, I had almost no cell reception for most of the trip so spending time on Ravelry & Instagram was also out of the question.
For most of you (and myself initially) two weeks on the road with no knitting/handcrafting options or cell service sounds like a form of torture, but it gave me time to read, think, play a favorite game on my long-neglected-GameBoy, and actually talk with my family while looking them in the eyes. So many of us are so busy trying to multi-task (whether it's with handicrafts, our phones, or even making dinner) while we spend time with our family and friends that we forget about the connections that are formed when we actually give the other person our full attention.
During this time away, I realized how much I'm missing at home with my family and how I'm not serving the crafting community in the way that I know I can and in the way that I want to. This is because I'm great at saying "yes" to helping out with everything, because everything involving yarn & fiber is so exciting to me and I want to be a part of all of it. I don't think that I'm alone in this either, so if this is you as well, please understand that we just can't do all of it. There are only so many hours in the day.
There are some things that we can do really well for the long term, some things that we can do really well for the short term (then pass on to someone else), and some things that we should just let someone else experience completely. I'm working on selecting which things I will continue to do myself, which things I will get help with and which things I just have to let go. Because even though I know that I can do them, I don't have the time to do them all as well as they need to be done. By sharing tasks with others it will also give someone else the chance to do something that they're skilled at or that they would like to learn while still helping me to accomplish my goals. (And, in turn, get you better content more often!)
This post is quite a bit different from my normal posts and is pretty meaty, but it's all very important information for some changes that will be coming up in the Yumi Yarns world so please stay with me and read ahead.
Tour de Fleece
This probably impacts crafters local to me more than those abroad, but I wanted to be sure that I communicated this to everyone just in case.
Unfortunately, this year I won't be able to organize events surrounding TdF. I really love this event because it helps me to broaden my horizons for spinning and I love seeing how much everyone can accomplish so this was a really hard decision, but I just can't do it this year. I hope that everyone will continue to participate and have lots of fun with it. (Personally, I'll be spinning for 30 min/day during the tour.) You could spin as a member of Team Lanterne Rouge and/or join one of the many teams that are still accepting spinners in the Ravelry Group. For more info and to join the fun click HERE.
I'm really sorry if this is disappointing to anyone, but I just can't give this the attention it deserves this year and I hope you understand. Hopefully, next year is a bit more organized and I can pick up this event again at that point.
Blog Posts & E-Mails
For quite awhile now I've been wanting to incorporate more tutorials in my e-mails & blog posts, but I get myself all worked up over timing for things and content and I end up freezing up and not posting anything. To remedy this I'm going to be doing more posts that are broken up by days rather than weeks and I'll be adding some additional content that may or may not be completely related to a knitting pattern. Also, each type of post may not appear every week. (Ex: I won't be posting a tutorial each week but when I do, I'll post it on a Wednesday.) This way if you're someone who just wants to learn new techniques, you know that you can check the blog on Wednesdays to see if there is a new one available. (Or use the Search Box that's located at the bottom of every page on YumiYarns.com.)
Mondays - Pattern/Kit Releases & Discussion
Wednesdays - Tutorials/Walk-Throughs/How-To's
Fridays - Lifestlye (Something new!)
If you've subscribed to the e-mail list (something that you really should do), you know that you automatically get a notification when I've made a new post. This new format means that you will probably be getting a few more e-mails from me. If this is something that will bother you please let me know so that I can take you off one of the update lists. (Say you don't like the Lifestyle posts on friday, tell me and I won't e-mail you when one goes up. Simple as that.)
My goal is to provide you with more relevant content, not to spam you or flood your inbox with garbage that you don't want/read. So please just let me know if it gets to be too much or if you would like to hear from me more. (I can always talk more, lol.)
With Club Yumi, there have been more curve-balls than I was expecting but it's been a great learning experience and I can't thank everyone enough for sticking with me and supporting everything that I've been doing with it. The enthusiasm for each new kit and pattern has been amazing and I can't tell you how much that means to me. Thank you so much for that!
Unfortunately, there have been some errors/issues with a few of the past patterns and I'm working on resolving them and re-formating the patterns. I'll post the updated patterns to Ravelry and will send out messages as soon as these updates are available. I'm very sorry about this, but sometimes things happen even when you're trying to cover all your bases before pattern launch.
In an effort to keep issues from arising in the future, I'm asking for anyone who would be interested in test knitting and/or sample knitting future kits to reach out to me. I'm looking for knitters who are on the speedier side (can knit between 400-850 yds of fingering weight in a month), have a diverse knitting background and who aren't afraid of trying new things. As compensation, you will get the kit (including the members only gift) that you are testing along with any one of my single patterns from my Ravelry Store. I'm looking for at least 2 test knitters per kit to add to my current group of testers.
If you are interested in test knitting, please send an e-mail to shaina(at)yumiyarns(dot)com.
Please include the following
Ravelry Name (if applicable):
Average Yards Knit Per Month:
Preferred Yarn Weight:
How Long You've Been Knitting:
Approximate # of Completed Projects:
Why You Would Like To Be A Test Knitter for Club Yumi:
Since we had to push the club shipments out a month awhile back, rather than shipping 2 kits this month, I'm adjusting the dates for the next 2 Trios so that there will only be 1 kit each month. This means that the Loving Local Trio will run from August - October 2017 and the Handspun Holidays Trio will run from November 2017 - January 2018. I've already begun preparations for the 2018 kits, so I'll send out updates as soon as I have things more solidified for those.
Thank you for hanging in there and reading this beast of a post! I promise that there are good things in store for the YumiYarns community & I hope that you have all been having a wonderful summer thus far.