Figuring Out My Place in the Knitting World

When my son was a year old, I finally stopped working my Job. I worked from home, and with a medical resident for a husband, nursing, unsteady and pricey childcare (which sometimes did not stop virtual meeting attendees from hearing baby screams) and just general burn-burn-burnout, I decided enough was enough. After I stopped working my capital J Job to stay home full time with my son, it became pretty clear that I wasn’t planning on looking for a Real Job again. But now that he’s 2, I’m not so up to my eyeballs in life. I’m actually considering doing something MORE with my time and it’s really exciting to feel that way again – because let me tell you, I thought the feeling of barely treading water successfully wasn’t going to end.

I’ve said before that the knitting and fiber community is one of the most inclusive and encouraging that I know of. In it, I’ve found something that is entirely my own. It wasn’t thrust upon me and I’m not doing it for anyone but myself. At this point in my knitting journey, I’m considering where to go from here. I’d like to take this passionate hobby of mine and go more in a more career-oriented direction. I have more aspirations and ideas than fingers and toes, so it’s proving difficult to focus on one thing or even decide what I could focus on.

Pattern Designing – I’ve already dipped my toe into the pattern designing waters with a free little baby hat pattern that details how to achieve jogless stripes and a Game of Thrones-inspired shawl pattern. Patterns are really time-consuming to write (for me), but they are a really great way to express an idea that I need to get out of my head. And it’s nice passive income, should I be lucky enough to sell some copies! Designing is one thing I can do right now that doesn’t really cost me money. The cost of yarn to knit a sample is minimal (plus I either keep it or gift it), the time it takes to write and perfect a pattern doesn’t actively cost money, and it’s done during times when I couldn’t really be doing anything productive anyway. Waiting for inspiration to strike and getting in a fist-fight with impostor syndrome make it a bit of a slow process, but it at least feels like I’m doing something and contributing (since my kiddo is currently playing with buttons and in no way wants my interference).

Photography – There are definitely some skills I need to learn to up my game. I do like to do things properly and to seem professional. A lot of people in the knitting community communicate their ideas and designs through photography on Instagram. It’s a bit disheartening to lose followers because you’re pretty sure your pictures aren’t fancy enough. So I probably need to learn about photography, especially as I design more patterns.

Natural Dyeing – My ultimate goal is to have sheep raised by myself & my bff Renee whose wool we’ll have milled into yarn which we will then dye with plants we grew ourselves… but holy guacamole are there a lot of steps and dollars between here and there, so I’m not thinking about that just yet. What I am going to work on in the meantime is growing some dye plants in my yard to experiment with colors and techniques. Just for funsies.

Retailing Yarn – My big endeavor, possibly in a year or so, will be to start an online yarn retail shop. I know there are a lot of them, but I’m hoping mine will be unique in an inclusive way. There are a lot of people out there who, like me, are environmentally-conscious. Therefore, I’d like to carry many different types and brands of yarn all in one place that has an environmental advantage. Whether a patron is looking for non-superwash, local/domestic, plant-dyed, breed-specific yarn or wool from holistically managed sheep, I hope they’ll find what they want with me. This won’t be able to get off the ground for a while since I’ll need a significant amount of capital to get started, but I’m very much looking forward to this. I’m collecting a long list of brands to reach out to in the future, and I hope I get moral support from the fiber community :).

I have a lot on my mind about how I can make my hobby into a business, as you can see. For now, I’ll be working a little bit every day – selfish-knitting, writing patterns, playing with dye, figuring out What Is A Photography. And living. I’ll be doing that too.

[PATTERN] Three-Eyed Raven

Winter is coming.

Well, winter came. Winter is here.

I am so excited to share this pattern with you all! This pattern ended up being the perfect homage to a very captivating character from Game of Thrones. For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, I think you’ll love this as much as I do. I also sincerely hope this isn’t a spoiler to anyone, but Bran Stark becomes the next Three-Eyed Raven. He seems like he’s shaping up to be the character that the future of Westeros hinges upon in the rest of the series.

This beautiful pattern is a shawl that encapsulates three foundational aspects of what it means to be Bran Stark.

  1. Since he is from the North, being a Stark of Winterfell, he and his fellow Northerners wear fur cloaks. The warm natural tones and addition of a mohair blend suggest the furry warmth of the necessary skins he must wear to be the most senior male Stark in Winterfell.
  2. As the Three-Eyed Raven, he is connected to and channels his power through the Weirwood trees of the North and beyond The Wall. Throughout the shawl, branches of the Weirwood spread to connect the wolf-like Stark aspects and the etherial Three-Eyed Raven.
  3. Bran becomes the Raven itself. The lace in this shawl is called “Raven” which symbolizes the duties that Bran must take on. The lace pattern even looks like a raven’s skull.



Protect yourself from the frigid Northern cold and connect through the Weirwoods as the Three-Eyed Raven!

Buy the pattern from Ravelry here!

Enjoy! ❤ Larissa

Knit Gift Giving

Gift giving around the holidays can be kind of a sticky wicket for someone who knits. Some may expect you to knit a sweater for everyone you know every year, and others literally dread if you’re going to burden them with some handknit nonsense they’ll never wear. I did crochet practically everyone a hat or ear warmer one year, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one using mine. Having knit-worthy recipients is quite a special treat.

In the last year I’ve implemented, when I can, gifting the intention of a handknit item. For three recipients so far, I’ve told them I’d like to knit them a pair of socks and that they could choose the pattern and yarn so that they will have totally personalized one-of-a-kind socks.

Alda Road Socks for Denise
Ribbed Socks for Brian
Samwise Socks for Eileen

This was a lot of fun to bombard the recipient with choices (sorry guys) and see where their own creativity takes them. I’ll definitely continue to do this method of gift-giving in the future if I’m feeling up to it. If you’re panicking over not having time to knit an item for someone who you know would appreciate it, I highly recommend gifting the intention of a knitted item!

Another avenue I’m exploring for gift-giving now is pattern design. I’ve finally gifted the shawl below to its recipient (hi Denise!), so I can talk about it now :). I’ve got a shawl design in the works, but before it was completely solidified, I had a lot of ideas to work out. I was using several shades of purple-ish leftover yarn to try my shawl ideas out, but I knew I didn’t want this lavender yarn to be the color of my official pattern sample, so I just kept going when I came across an idea that I liked better than what I had already knit. In general I’m a “keep knitting, it’s fine” rather than a “frog it and fix it” kinda lass.

That’s me ^. I’m in my reindeer sweater official December uniform.
What up lumberjack Santa?
Aww, all ready to be gifted <3.

The official design for this shawl is well underway, and I can’t wait to show it to you all. Let’s just say, Game of Thrones fans are going to love it super hard.

I have several other ideas to work out in pattern writing. Whether it takes 1 iteration or several, I think instead of struggling to find the perfect pattern to make for a recipient, I’ll knit my pattern samples with my friendsies in mind. I will say, though, if I knock it out of the park on the first try, and it’s perfect for me, I’m keeping it. No shame in my game.

Baby Hat Pattern

For some reason, when you’re a knitter, everyone thinks that “you could totally sell things” that you’ve knit. It’s mostly well-meaning, and if you’re an Obliger like me, you feel compelled to actually do it. So I did it. I started my Etsy shop to sell baby hats. I went with baby hats because 1) I have/had a baby and 2) they’re one of the few things that you can actually profit from when you factor in materials needed and time it takes to knit it.

So, I embarked on making simple baby hats that were generic but unique. In doing so, I came up with a recipe for different sizes that I liked along with a method to put simple stripes in if desired. To make my own life easier, I wrote my pattern recipe down for all the sizes I offer in my Etsy shop, and thus my first published pattern was born! It’s a free pattern called Jogless-Join Stripes Baby Hat and it’s available on my Ravelry shop. Go download it if’n it interests you!