Self Care for Makers – #Makefoyoself

Have you felt burnt out from making things for your knitting or crochet business or for others? Here I share some great tips on self-care for makers.

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As makers and knitting designers/crochet designers, our craft is something we depend on and turn to for self-care. Crocheting and knitting a few stitches in uncertain moments is something that gives us calm and keeps us grounded. Whether we are making to sell our handmade items on Etsy or designing knitting patterns or crochet patterns, we spend a lot of time crocheting and knitting for others, which usually means we think of ourselves last. There is this concept of making something for ourselves as being selfish but I would like to change the narrative. I just want it to be something we do as a form of self-care! That’s where my hashtag #makefoyoself comes in.

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#MAKEFOYOSELF – What’s it all about?

I created this hashtag when I was feeling the burnout of being a maker. Designing was a whole new world to me and I was still trying to maintain physical item listings in my Etsy shop. I became anxious and stressed out because I was creating only for others. I lost my motivation. That’s when I decided to take a break and step away from everything and just work on a project for myself!

I decided to test the Tunisian Knit Cardi by Kelsey of @happily.yarn.after. This was the first time I crocheted a garment for myself! That’s when I got the idea to create this hashtag to not only remind myself but also remind other makers to take a step back and create for themselves. It doesn’t have to be a garment or something big, it could just be a small project such as an amigurumi or home decor item as long as you get that mental and physical break you need.

#MAKEFOYOSELF has over 200 posts now and keeps growing. I am so grateful for all of the makers who have contributed. Click the picture below to head over to the hashtag page and get inspired! You might just find your next project on there!

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Check out this fun version of the Don’t Rush Challenge #makefoyoself edition I recently did with my yarn friends!

Self Care for Makers; More Self Care Tips:

Here are a few more self-care ideas that we can put into practice:

Taking a social media break especially when you need to.** This one is a little bit hard for us to follow especially when we are trying to build our handmade business but it is essential! It’s easy to fall prey to the comparison game and imposter syndrome and when you feel like those are creeping into your heart and taking away from your motivation to post, That’s when you know you need to take a break!

Other ways to engage in self-care include:

  • Color
  • Maintain physical boundaries
    • This means just being away from your kids/family members for a few moments in the day
  • Dress up
    • Get dressed and put some make-up on just for yourself.
  • Do a face mask/follow a calming skin-care routine
  • Read a few pages of a book
  • Put on your favorite TV show and do some knitflixing/crochetflixing
  • Listen to your favorite song
  • Meditate and pray

Self-care looks different for each person and what works for one person may not work for another person. If you would like more ideas on self-care for makers, make sure to check out my friend Stephanie’s blog post all about self-care for makers. She has even included some great mental health resources.

Check out this chat on YouTube I had with a fellow maker, Sarah of SEKHandmade on this topic of self-care for makers! Follow her on Instagram and Check out all her patterns on Ravelry here.

More recenly I also chatted with Ashley from theloopylamb regarding the makefoyoself hashtag and we even played a fun game (there may even be a discount code in there for you!). Check the video out here. You can find all of Ashley’s important links including her latest patterns here.

Have you felt burnt out from making things for your knitting or crochet business or for others? Here I share some great tips on self-care for makers.

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Darn Good Yarn is having a sitewide 25% off sale in honor of Earth Day and there are some great project kits including DIY jewelry kits, amigurumi kits, and more at discounted prices!

Remember if you are making something for yourself – use the hashtag #makefoyoself on Instagram and tag me @noorsknits so I can see and share your work to inspire fellow makers to take that important break! You can check out my Fall-Ready Crossbody Bag which is a perfect project to make for yourself!

You can also check out some gift ideas for makers over here.

Crochet Baby Clothes – Meet Bonnie of Woodland Stitchcraft

Crochet baby clothes and so much more. Come and meet the designer Bonnie of Woodland Stitchcraft and check out all of her crochet patterns for babies!

Crochet Baby Clothes Designer Interview – Pin it now and read later

This is Bonnie, the amazing artist behind Woodland Stitchcraft. I came across her profile when I was browsing the hashtag for crochet for children. Instantly, I fell in love with her timeless and classic patterns. I couldn’t stop browsing her feed because along with the great baby and kid’s crochet patterns, she is a mama-maker like myself.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Well, I’m Bonnie. A 33-year-old mother of three: Cole and Luke, my 11-year-old twin boys and my three-year-old daughter, Autumn. We live in the foothills of California, near my home town.

Tell me a little about your business.

The Stanislaus National Forest was the backdrop of my childhood and is the “woodland” that inspired my shop name. Woodland Stitchcraft really began as a way to filter my hobby because I had all these things I made just taking up room so I started selling it. Having an online shop has been a great way to support myself in doing something I love and is growing into a way to contribute to the support of our family also.

How many years have you been crocheting for?

I began crocheting about five years ago. My nephew Maverick was about to be born and I wanted to make him a gift. I found a little aviator hat pattern on Pinterest and wanted to make it for him. My good friend Sarah was the only person I knew that could knit and crochet and so I asked her to teach me. She taught me how to read a pattern and begin a hat in the magic circle and once I finished that hat I just kept crocheting. I started designing crochet patterns for babies about two years ago. November 10th will actually be the 2 year anniversary of my first pattern release! More recently I have also designed a few crochet baby clothes.

What are your current WIPs?

I am always working on a million things at once. I have about three patterns in various stages of being written that I am jumping around between. The Crossing Paths Bonnet pattern is finished and being released on the 17th. I have a pattern with testers right now and as far as crocheting goes I have a Halloween costume to finish and a couple of cowls that need to be finished. I am sure I will just keep adding to that list too.

What is your favorite thing to design and why?

I love to design crochet baby clothes. I have a lot of fun with finding an outfit or a look I want to create with crochet for my daughter. It’s important for me to put a piece of crochet into every outfit she wears. One of my favorite ways to do this is bonnets. Crocheting hats is what I started with and I made every kind of hat you could when I was learning to crochet and bonnets just always were my favorite.

Currently, I am in the process of designing my fourth and fifth bonnet patterns actually. I made Autumn her first bonnet in February 2017 and have made so many over the past couple of years. I also started buying her handmade fabric bonnets too. She has more bonnets than any other accessory or piece of clothing. It’s just become a favorite part of her wardrobe for me. I also love a good crochet baby dress pattern and have designed a couple of pieces that pair well with dresses including the Wildflower Pinafore, Flouncy Halter, and the Farmhouse Pinafore!

What are your goals for this year?

My goal for the coming year is just to design more crochet patterns for babies as much as I can! I have really fallen in love with pattern writing and am just going to keep doing it until I run out of ideas. And I want to branch out into more patterns for moms and home décor. There is so much you can do with crochet that I haven’t even tried and I love learning more about this craft and then using that to continue creating designs for everyone else to make as well!

How do you balance mom-life and making?

Lots of coffee and podcasts. I honestly lucked out with a husband who worked really hard to make it possible for me to stay home and I started my business when my boys were about 7 so I have built-in help. They were and are at an age where chores and self-care have become apart of their routine so they take care of themselves and I delegate a portion of household tasks to them.

My toddler is another story, she is a bit harder to work with but you just find ways. Autumn loves to craft so I do like to set her up with a project and then I’ll sit with her with some rows to finish up or ends to weave in and we can just be creative together. It’s a great way to finish up those easier tasks that don’t require too much attention because I can still engage with her on her activity. This is a system that works for us. It’s just fitting all the stuff into your life where you can!

One piece of advice for fellow mama makers?

This is a hard question! I’m still learning how to do all this stuff myself. I think the best advice I can give is what I try to practice myself, which is don’t give up. Whatever it is you want to do in motherhood or making or business, just keep doing your best and you’ll get there. I’m one of those people that love quotes and one of my favorites is, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” You can become stronger, you can always learn more but only if you show up day after day to work towards what you want. This is the mindset I personally thrive in.

Crochet Baby Clothes – Lil Sprouts Shorts pattern

Crochet baby clothes and so much more. Come and meet the designer Bonnie of Woodland Stitchcraft and check out all of her crochet patterns for babies!
Crochet baby clothes and so much more. Come and meet the designer Bonnie of Woodland Stitchcraft and check out all of her crochet patterns for babies!

This is the Lil’ Sprout Shorts Pattern, a gender-neutral crochet pattern for babies! These are so cute for layering in the cold months! Great over tights and under cardigans for boys and girls. Grab this pattern on Etsy or Ravelry.

You can find all of Bonnie’s patterns over in her Ravelry shop. You can also shop the patterns as well as her finished products from her Etsy shop. Get all of her updates and inspiration over on her Instagram and Blog. Read about her experience doing the Live interview over here.

You can check out the full recorded Live video conversation over on my YouTube Channel here.

If you are a POC and/or mom knit or crochet designer and would like to be featured, check out this blog post and fill out the form! Get to know some other great makers here.

Pin This Interview Now and Read Later

Crochet baby clothes and so much more. Come and meet the designer Bonnie of Woodland Stitchcraft and check out all of her crochet patterns for babies!

Crochet Cozy and More – Meet Hannah of Lalele Fibre Arts

Crochet cozy patterns, maker motivation, and so much more. Come and meet the designer Hannah of Lalele Fibre Arts and check out all of her patterns!

This is Hannah, the amazing artist behind Lalele Fibre Arts. I came across her profile when I was browsing the hashtag for crochet home decor. Instantly, I fell in love with her Walk Along the Shore Mat. I couldn’t stop browsing her feed because along with great patterns such as her crochet cozy patterns, she had some great reminders regarding self-care and mental health!

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Hannah. I’m a married mother of three children (8, 4, and 1 years old). I was born in the UK and lived there until we moved to Romania just over two years ago.

Being a maker can be lonely sometimes. I don’t know anyone in ‘real’ life who knits and crochets and where I live handcrafts are not that popular so there aren’t little yarn shops and knit nights. I miss being able to go into a shop to squish ALL the yarn! The online community is where I connect with other makers and I have ‘met’ some amazing and supportive people online.

Tell me a little about your business.

I started my business while I worked full time. After my second baby was born, I became a stay at home mother and sold finished items, mainly baby items, blankets, hats, and scarves online. We moved to Romania and I needed a new direction. My business didn’t feel like it represented who I was and I wasn’t enjoying making all the finished items needed to stock an Etsy shop. Modifying patterns that I was using was something I really enjoyed doing. I would think of a way to change things so that I liked the finished result more or so that the garment fit better. I started writing my first pattern and that was it, I was hooked!

Last year, I released that pattern, a crochet design, and then took the end of the year off to focus on self-care and better business planning. At the beginning of 2019, I re-branded my business. It finally felt like my brand was true to who I am and the journey that I am on. Lalele Fibre Arts is a values-led business with accessibility and inclusivity at its’ core. For this reason, you will find that my patterns have a ‘Pay What Works’ structure to allow for financial flexibility, while still valuing the work that goes into the designs. Feedback has been good so far.

I set myself a loose target of releasing 5 patterns by the end of the year. As it stands, I have released 4 more patterns, some of which are crochet cozy patterns, and have plenty more in the pipeline. I have upped the target to 8-10 patterns! Juggling motherhood, a house and small business can be really hard sometimes so I don’t set my targets in stone! If I do, I pressure myself too hard to meet those targets and that is no good for my health. I’ve learned that one the hard way!

How many years have you been knitting/crocheting for?

Twenty-plus for both. It’s a bit scary putting that on paper. I can’t believe it’s been so long. My late grandmother taught me the knitting basics. She was an incredible knitter. She was one of those people who could adapt patterns including lace patterns in her head, on the needles without the need for paper and a pen. As a child, I didn’t realize how skilled she was and didn’t appreciate all of the time that she put into knitting us the endless supply of knitted sweaters. I bet she never could have imagined that those hours I sat on her bed with some plastic knitting needles would set me on the path to becoming a knit and crochet designer. I like to think that she would be proud of the legacy that she left behind.

What are your current WIPs?

At the minute I have a couple of WIPs. A new knit cowl design which I am hoping to have finished very soon and also the Breeze Racerback pattern from Jessie Mae Martinson. I am also searching for the right yarn for a sweater for my husband. He is LONG overdue this sweater. I told him I would have one finished for last winter and somehow it never happened. Since then, I have frogged the sweater and used the yarn in a pattern test (oops!). The Marshland Sweater by Tin Can Knits is what I finally settled on since I want to make him something special. I can’t wait to start another WIP. I really am not a one-WIP kind of person!

What is your favorite thing to design and why?

I go backward and forwards on this one. Designing bits for the home like the crochet cozy patterns I have in my store has been really great, but I have also loved designing my shawl and the cowl that I am currently working on. I have a whole mix of designs dotted down in my notebook. What I work on next really does depend upon how I’m feeling at the time.

What are your goals for this year?

I would like to continue to learn and grow. I will focus on self-care, making sure that my mental health is in a good place. Without this, I can’t do anything! This year I will be releasing more patterns. My long term target is to start designing garments. I am learning as much as I can about sizing and grading at the moment so that I can put out beautiful, size inclusive designs. I have made a good start on this goal already. By the end of 2019, I would like to have a clearer understanding of sizing and grading (no one should feel excluded from making patterns because they stop at an M or L!)

I also started the SWATCH Studio Course by Francoise of Aroha Knits this year. By the end of the year, I would like to have finished the main parts of this course by the end of the year. I already had a lot of the skills, but hearing them set out as a good way to do things, has really increased my confidence and I have picked up some great time-saving tips so far.

How do you balance mom-life and making?

This is a hard one! I mainly work at night so that I can be present and be a mum during the day. Looking after them and managing the house is a full-time job in itself. Children are only small for a short amount of time and I don’t want to miss that! It means a lot of late nights but little fingers playing with your yarn is no help at all and untangling those knots takes FOREVER!

It can be hard knowing how much faster patterns and makes could be completed if I was working on them full time. I constantly have to remind myself that this is my journey, at my own pace and not to compare myself to any of the other designers or makers I see online.

Hannah’s mental health journey as a mama maker.

At the end of last year, I was really struggling with my mental health. I couldn’t focus to create and that was a hard place to be in. I didn’t feel like my husband or children were getting the best from me. After I talked to my husband about it, I had to take a step back to refocus and take time to take care of ‘me’ without feeling pressured to carry on as normal online.

Hannah’s reflections and resources for maintaining positive mental health.

I have started bullet journaling. This has helped me more than I could ever have imagined. Setting up the months is relaxing for me. I enjoy doing some drawing and coloring. I’m not an artist but that doesn’t matter! I make a basic plan for the month ahead and every evening I complete my journal and fill in the tasks for the next day.

I have never really been consistent with standard diaries. They always felt too rigid and didn’t have space to properly track the things that I needed. Bullet journaling is great because it is so flexible. You can use it for whatever YOU need. I track my personal and work life, as well as self-care. Planning pages and business tracker are things I use daily. I track my moods and my health. A monthly habit tracker is also something I use to track my daily routine, self-care, cleaning plan, water intake, etc. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. Everything is written down in small tasks which I can tick off as I do them. It keeps me focused.

This year I started a cleaning plan called ‘The Organised Mum Method’. I used to spend far too long cleaning and this has helped me to break it down. Every day has a different room to focus on It with the end goal of everything being cleaner, all the time because you are focusing on one room at a time rather than trying to do everything at once and missing bits. It really works!. Cleaning doesn’t feel like an effort anymore and I don’t feel anxious about it. I have a clean house, spend less time cleaning and more time with the children and I like that!

One piece of advice for fellow mama makers?

I posted about my mental health on Instagram. People seemed to appreciate the openness and honesty. I will continue to share more about this on my online platform. I think it is important to be ‘human’ and to get away from only showing the perfect side of everything. You look online and all the photos are perfect, edited beautifully, the wording is happy and everyone is smiling. That is great but isn’t a reflection of real life. By being open about our struggles, our feelings, and experiences, we and others feel less alone. We are real people with real emotions and real lives. It does not make you less of a person to share those. I want other people to know they are not alone and it is ok, not to be ok sometimes.

Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember to look after yourself and your mental health. Although it is hard, do not compare yourself to others that you see online. Your journey is your journey. It is ok to take time off to rest and regroup. If you are not feeling yourself everything is harder.

Hannah’s crochet cozy patterns and more

Crochet cozy patterns, maker motivation, and so much more. Come and meet the designer Hannah of Lalele Fibre Arts and check out all of her patterns!

I released ‘The Explore Collection’ which is a collection of three crochet cozy patterns. These crochet cozy patterns were inspired by nature and the sea: Pebbles, a boardwalk and little stones. The crochet cozy patterns have been designed to complement one another as a set or to shine as stand-alone pieces. For this reason, I made these crochet cozy patterns available to purchase as single patterns. My own covered cans sit on my desk and I use them every day!

You can find all of Hannah’s patterns over on Ravelry and you can get all of her updates as well as great maker motivation over on her Instagram.

You can check out the full recorded Live video conversation over on my YouTube Channel here.

If you are a POC and/or mom knit or crochet designer and would like to be featured, check out this blog post and fill out the form! Get to know some other great makers here.

Nicolle -Mama Designer of Cute Baby Blankets

Nicolle is a fellow mama designer and has designed some amazing crochet baby blankets. One thing I love about her work is that it is always so neat! Her focus is on DIY with a simple and timeless touch.

Nicolle is a fellow mama designer and has designed some amazing crochet baby blankets. One thing I love about her work is that it is always so neat! Her focus is on DIY with a simple and timeless touch.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.

On the mom side of things, I have 2 kids (1.5 and almost 3). I am a veteran and my husband is still in the AF, so we move around a lot. It’s a challenge to parent without family around. So that’s a big part of things too. I’m a meteorologist by trade, and kind of as a tangent to that I’m a huge Earth lover and maybe a little bit of a tree hugger. I just started blogging regularly this past year, mostly crochet inspiration & patterns but also some other DIY things (I’m kinda big on holistic stuff). Baby blankets are my jam though! My patterns are available in my Etsy/Ravelry shops, but I don’t sell finished products because I don’t have the time! However I do have a life goal of doing a craft fair.

How many years have you been knitting/crocheting for?

I’ve been crocheting for a little over 20 years, which makes me sound really old, ha! When I was 11 years old, I learned from my grandfather’s wife. I made a blanket for my baby cousin, which I actually saw in recent years and and let me tell you it’s pretty horrific! But I’m honored that she kept it. She’s in college now. My friend taught me to knit a few years ago, but I haven’t explored that too much yet.

What are your current WIPs?

Always so many – I’ve been working on All About Ami’s Granite Cape for almost 3 years now! It’s almost done :). I mostly like to come up with my own stuff though. I’m working on a new baby blanket, a blanket for a friend’s May baby, and a temperature blanket that will represent my daughter’s first year of life. Clearly my fave thing is making baby blankets!. There is also a half finished throw blanket that honestly I probably won’t pick up again until Fall.

What is your favorite thing to design and why (Spoiler alert: it’s baby blankets)?

Blankets are really my jam. I especially love baby blankets, because I love trying to incorporate the receiver’s nursery theme and personality, etc. Since blankets are just simple rectangles, they are like a blank canvas and a challenge for making something interesting and worthy.

What are your goals for this year?

I want to put out 10 new crochet patterns. I’m working furiously on creating the projects now before I get more busy with the kids. So far I’ve put out 2, have 4 in progress and 4 more planned out. Most are blankets 🙂 I hope I can get to them all!

How do you balance mom-life and making?

This is a huge challenge and the reason I’ve been working on my Granite Cape for almost 3 years. My son is almost 3…coincidence? lol. There are a few things I’ve realized recently though. First, if you want something bad enough you will make time for it. Maybe “find” time is the better answer. I literally carry my project bag around the house with me, and the moment my kids are playing self sufficiently (and not wrestling each other) I pull it out and make some progress. It also helps when I bring it with me everywhere I go because car naps are a real thing with my 1 yr old.

Also, I know I need to be intentional with my time and not go down the rabbit hole on Instagram or get caught up with the TV. That’s time that can be used effectively to get things done. It’s also important to have intentional rest time. I’m a huge introvert and I neeeeed to rest. I’m also 30 weeks pregnant – yikes. What I still need to work on is balance. Balance is a big one for me. Trying to balance the “work at home thing” and dedicating time to work while trying to be an attentive parent is challenging . Mom life comes with so much guilt, so I try to make sure I’m not taking away from my job being a stay at home mom. Some days I just don’t get to do what I want but that’s life (preaching to myself here!).

One piece of advice for fellow mama makers?

Just be understanding of your limits. It’s true that you can make this work, but maybe you won’t grow quite as fast as you want to, or maybe you’ll have a lot of setbacks. But that’s okay. Your priority is your family. Don’t make excuses for not reaching goals, but give yourself some grace because momming isn’t easy and you’re doing the best you can.

Here is one of Nicolle’s beautiful baby blankets. This is called the “Sweet Georgia” baby blanket, which she made for a Georgia girl. It’s an infinite granny square with a scalloped border and ribbon/bow, and definitely has an heirloom quality to it. She loves the intricacy of it while still having a timeless feel to it. This was the first baby blanket she made after taking a long hiatus moving to Germany and having kids, and it’s extra special to her because the mama she made it for had tried long and hard for her baby girl. You can find this pattern on her blog and in her Etsy shop.

You can find Nicolle on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog. Find her patterns in her Etsy and Ravelry shops!

You can find a recording of the Live that I did with Nicolle here!

If you are a mama designer and/or a poc designer and would like to join me for a Live interview and be featured, you can fill out the form here.

Knit and crochet patterns for children – Why I want to design

Knit and Crochet Patterns for Children – The Journey 

I initially opened up shop to sell my finished knitted and crocheted pieces (read more about that here) but never really thought about where it would take me. Over the course of this past year, I have learned so much about the Fiber Arts industry/community. I have learned even more about myself and what my true passion is when it comes to working with all things yarn. My heart is in creating unique knit and crochet patterns for children. 

My contribution to last year's Little Hats Big Hearts Campaing held by the American Heart Association. These hats were made using free knit and crochet patterns.
Here’s my contribution to last year’s Little Hats Big Hearts Campaign held by the American Heart Association!

Knit and Crochet Patterns for Children – The Heart of the Matter

I want to capture all that childhood brings with it and put it out into the world as knit and crochet patterns! I want to be the source of inspiration for other mama-makers to make cute things for her little ones. Something that is fun and exciting for her and will end in a finished piece that she can wrap her little ones in with cozy handmade love. I want this to be true whether she has infants, toddlers, or older children.

Most importantly, as a mom, I know how hard it can be to convince ourselves to take pictures. Matching with my toddler gives me a big reason to smile and get in front of the camera. I want to be that reason for my fellow mama-makers to proudly get in the frame with their little ones!

Knit and Crochet Patterns for Children – Are you Ready to Join Me?

So fellow mama-makers, are you ready to make all the cute things for your lil’ bug(s)?!

Here are Amy and Josie sporting their Mommy and Me set of Butterflies Fluttering by Ear Warmers! How adorable do they look?! Get the PDF pattern on Ravelry or Etsy

Amy and Josie posing with their matching mommy and me set of Butterflies Fluttering By Ear Warmers. Follow along for more Knit and crochet patterns.
Amy and Josie looking adorable in my first published knitting pattern: The Butterflies Fluttering By Ear Warmer pattern available on Etsy and Ravelry!