business-ing

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It never fails to amaze me how much work it is to run a business by yourself. I am so immensely grateful for the support and advice of friends and family, and I am eternally grateful to my perpetually patient and encouraging spouse (for letting me destroy our basement as I reconfigured the Paper tiger studio last week), because running Paper Tiger would be impossible without that support. I think a lot of businesses like mine (especially in the craft and “lifestyle” industry) often try to make our work look effortless – you come here for fun, after all, not to read about the office-job side of running a creative business. We’re about celebrating the beauty. But the truth is there’s a ton of work – so much work – that goes on behind and the scenes and so much of it is very, very business-y. January has brought a lot of that to the forefront this year – from filing business taxes, which I do every January, to new challenges like adjusting to the new EU VAT rules which went into effect on the first of the year.

I think I’m almost out of the admin black hole, but a few relevant updates:

– I’ve configured Paper Tiger pattern sales to EU customers via Ravelry with the system that Casey has so wonderfully set up with Loveknitting. EU customers, please let me know if you run into any issues trying to purchase patterns!

– Paper Tiger has joined Kollabora, and I’m in the process of getting all the Paper Tiger knitting patterns up. I love that it’s an all-around creative community! You can find the Paper Tiger page here.

– I’ve started working on my pattern release schedule for the late winter/spring. I have a bunch of stuff that’s been simmering on the back burner and I’m looking forward to getting it out!

– I’ve also put together my preliminary schedule for tutorial posts. I’m hoping to start posting tutorials once a week, beginning next week with tips for combatting tight colorwork.

All that said, 2015 is off to a fantastic start around here and I hope the same goes for you!

a new year, tutorials, and yokes

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Happy 2015! I hope everyone’s new year has gotten off to a good start. I must admit since getting home (and it is so good to be home again) that I’ve been swept up in the new-year-fresh-slate-mindset a little bit. I decided to give in to that impulse this year, knowing that some of the changes I’ve made this first week/month of the year will stick, and some won’t; some will probably come and go depending on the weather/my mood/the time of year/any other number of things. It’s hard not to feel good about taking steps to make positive changes in my life, though. Three mornings in a row of yoga (which is kicking my butt but still manages to make me feel amazing) followed by a huge green smoothie feels like a great start, even if I can’t keep it up every day moving forward.

I’ve been slowly working my way back into work this week – I always have a hard time getting back into a good work flow after traveling – so there’s been a lot more studio organizing and a lot less hands-on work. The good news is that’s given me a chance to start planning a schedule for the tutorials I’m hoping to start posting soon. I’m aiming to address a lot of the most common questions I get about my patterns, so there will be a definite focus on colorwork! I’m hoping to cover things like different provisional cast ons and grafting together ends (used for Pine Bough Cowl and Inkling), working the thumb gusset increases for a Norwegian-style mitt/mitten (as in Seven Stars), as well as some more general colorwork stuff like how to trap long floats and ways to combat tight colorwork. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me cover, please let me know! I’ll make sure to add it to my list.

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One of the most exciting things about getting home was finally being able to crack into my copy of Yokes, the beautiful new book by Kate Davies I’ve been posting about. I have no idea which sweater I’ll knit first, or even when I’ll have time to cast on for one, but in the meantime the wonderful essays should keep me busy! I had the opportunity to read through the second chapter, “Greenlanders and Norwegians,” in advance; Kate and I did some writing back and forth about this topic and I was able to translate a few small pieces of one of the chapters in Ren Ull to help her find some information she was missing about some iconic Norwegian yokes. It was a thrill after helping her with the research to see how amazingly she tied everything together and was able to draw through-lines I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and I’m so excited to read the other pieces of writing in the book. Thank you so much to Kate for the engaging conversations and for putting such a wonderful book out into the world.

You can view all 11 patterns from Yokes on Ravelry, and you can purchase your own copy here.

new classes and events page

I’m busy with last minute Nordic Knitting Conference preparations this week, but I did want to pop in and let you all know that I’ve added a page for upcoming classes & events to the website! The Nordic Knitting Conference is listed there (for the next week, anyway), and I’m also teaching a workshop at Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon on November 15th. It’ll be a stranded colorwork workshop and we’ll be working on a brand new pattern for fingerless mitts using Brooklyn Tweed Loft and Spincycle’s gorgeous Dyed in the Wool! The cost for the three-hour workshop will be $55 and you can find more information and register on the Knit Purl website here. I’ll be keeping the classes & events page up-to-date as new events are scheduled.

a few updates

I’m back in Seattle after a few weeks of travel over the holidays, and it feels quite good to be back in the office and working again. I had a lot of fun on my travels, though. Here are a few things I’ve been up to:

I spent the new year in Oslo, which was really lovely despite the lack of snow. In addition to seeing some dear friends, my partner and I did a little bit of coffee tourism, because there’s a pretty unique thing happening in the Oslo coffee scene right now. I have to say I’m a fan (you can read about it here – thanks to my friend Kamni for the link). The coffee in the photo above is Finca Tamana at the Tim Wendelboe spot in Grünerløkka (extracted via the Aeropress, which was totally different than an espresso preparation – Aeropress is the way to go, for this one).

I went to London, where it was mostly rainy (but there was some beautiful sunshine as well). I had a chance to meet up with Meghan and Lydia from Pom Pom Quarterly which was a treat, and I hope I’ll get to see them both again sometime. I’m already looking forward to the spring issue coming out. And I really loved London. I want to go back already, because there’s so much to see! I feel like I barely scratched the surface.

I also had a stop in North Carolina, where I was able to give my mom this skein of handspun I’d made her for Christmas. It’s my third skein, a 2-ply, and much finer than the first two. It’s more even, as well, and mostly a fingering weight (with some thicker spots). I’m still enjoying spinning, though I feel quite slow at it, but I love the portability of a drop spindle.

A few other updates:

  • I’ve created an errata page for pattern corrections, which can be found here. I’m working on integrating it better into the site so that it’s easy to find, but the “knits” page needs an overhaul anyway, so I’ll probably combine those two projects.
  • I’m at work on a couple different patterns at the moment, so I’ll have new designs to share in the coming weeks, which is always exciting!
  • I have paper copies of several of my patterns now (Vasa and the F/W 13 collection) and I’m putting the finishing touches on my wholesale set-up (I’ll be distributing myself for the time being), so if you work in a yarn store and your store would be interested in carrying paper copies of Paper Tiger patterns to sell, I’d love to hear from you. My email can be found on the about page.
More soon, as always.a

projects

Lately…

Left: Hexacomb by Katie Himmelberg
Right: Waffle Stitch Fingerless Gloves by Jill Toporkiewicz

and upcoming…

I cannot seem to keep my hands off my knitting needles lately, so I am knitting knitting knitting and will hopefully have some more things to share & sell in the coming weeks. Luckily, I have generous friends who know yarn makes a great Christmas gift so I have plenty of yarn waiting to turn into finished objects. I am getting back into pattern-writing and I have lots of ideas bouncing around in my head…