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A Guest Blog from Julie and The Knits: A Knitter’s Survival Guide

September 23, 2016


Laura’s Pre-Amble

This week, I have the beautiful Julie from Julie and The Knits here.  She is talking all about knitting.  Just in case you didn’t know… Knitting is effing HUGE right now

I met Julie at a Vintage event at the beginning of the summer.  Whilst falling in love with her macrame plant pot holders we hit it off.  This is the beauty of heading out to your nearby Vintage events.  I was so pleased when she accepted my invite to guest-blog.  So it’s over to you Julie!

Julie and The Knits Guest Blog on Knitting, Knit

Exodus to Craft

In a world dominated by all things digital, many people have gone back to traditional crafts in recent years. 5 years ago, I picked up my knitting needles (I was taught by my grandma as a kid but gave it up in favour of a Gameboy), found a tutorial on Youtube and made my very first hair bow. Julie & The Knits was born.

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

JATK has become something I could never have dreamt of however it didn’t happen overnight. So if you’re thinking of setting up your own handmade business, here are a few things I’ve learnt along the way.

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

Find Your Niche

Knitting is huuuge. If you visit pattern sites like Craftsy, you’ll find thousands of projects. How do you make sure you stand out?

I knew from the start that I wanted to make cute and colourful stuff. I also incorporated my favourite things into my designs – kawaii, retro fashion and animals – to create a theme. I have a full time job and, despite my love for knitwear, I decided to focus on smaller items in order to keep a decent social life. I’d found my niche!

Make sure you set your designs apart and you can refine your niche even further through your choice of materials, colours or even photography.

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

 

Let People Find You

It’s no secret. Setting up your own business, whatever the size, takes time, effort and a lot of creativity. In the early days, I got so excited about making my own stuff and sharing it with the world that I often overlooked details that can make a big difference when it comes to growing your audience.

SEO it’s everything these days

Incentives help my free patterns drive so much traffic to my blog

Support your local community and they’ll support you

Get social! I’d only been on Instagram for a few months when the then-online editor of the awesome crafts magazine Mollie Makes found my work and offered me my first ever commission and I’ve worked on amazing collaborations since!

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

One Step At A Time

 

When you take up a new hobby, you’re just hyper motivated and want to know and do everything straight away but it’s just not realistic. Patience is key!

I spent months testing my knitting designs before sharing them with the world. At first, I was all about bows. It’s ok to play it safe.

When I had a good enough variety of products, I set up my Etsy shop. That feeling when you make your first international sale!

A couple of years later, I started selling my own patterns. I would never have felt confident to sell both my knits and patterns online straight away. I needed to find out first if people liked my designs enough to buy them, otherwise who would ever want to knit them? Now pattern making is my favourite thing in the world.

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

Keep Going, and Knit!

Trust me. You’re going to experience failure like you’ve never had before. Not making a single sale at your first craft fair. Spending hours on a project to then realise it’s the worst thing you’ve ever made. Getting zero likes on Instagram when you’d expected 20.

Making original knitting designs means that they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s ok. Try again or try something else. The same goes when you feel uninspired or bored with your current project.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a break from your current knit project
  • Get out of your comfort zone. I ran my first workshop this year and loved it – thank you Laura for capturing this moment!
  • Try a new craft. I took up crochet this year and have been making crochet edges to my knitted blankets
  • Treat yourself to new knit supplies. This always works for me.

What keeps me going? Seeing pictures of happy customers.

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit

 

 

Julie & The Knits has been a slow but rewarding journey and I can’t wait to see what’s next. If you’d like to find out more about my cute and colourful world, join me on Instagram!

 

Love,

Julie

The Freebie

For me there is nothing more beautiful than a handmade Christmas gift.  Why not take a browse through my free downloads for a patterns and start one off today?  You have plenty of time to get this finished, wrapped and sent off to that special someone in time.

Julie and the Knits Guest-Blog, Knitting, Knit