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.

Pin this post to your favorite boards

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.

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.

Summer 2018 – A Recap of My Summer

An Ode to Summer

Summer rolls around and I am usually that person who keeps saying “ugh, it’s too hot”. Although I prefer cooler weather, there are some things that I do love about summer. I love being able to walk out in sandals and not having to bundle up Bubs in a huge jacket! Sunsets during this season give me all the heart eyes. Since I’m Indian, summer weddings usually each last a week and are full of fun dancing and singing. So naturally, I love dressing up for them.

I am also thrilled that I get to see my family from near and far! Essential seasonal fruits like watermelon and mangoes make me drool. I find them to be so refreshing and delicious! I also love popsicles and ice cream although now I have to share with my little man anytime I eat them. Whenever I have a popsicle or ice cream, it takes me back to my childhood when I used to enjoy these treats with my cousins during the hot summer days while watching shows on Nickelodeon. Speaking of popsicles and ice cream, if you haven’t yet, you should check out my blog post about an upcoming creamsicle baby blanket pattern over here.

Recap of My Summer

Our summer began with Bubs turning 2! 

Summer 2nd Birthday
Bubs turned two and on his birthday we took him out in his new ride!

A few weeks later we celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr, the Eid that follows Ramadan!

Bub's Eid Outfit
Here’s Bubs counting the money he got for Eid-ul-Fitr while sporting the prayer hat I crocheted for him!
Eid outfits
Me and my hubby in our Eid outfits! Yes, I crocheted the prayer hat for him as well!

Bubs and I had many moments of random dances throughout these past few months and I loved each and every one. Whether it was after dinner, before breakfast, or randomly in the middle of the day. However, my absolute favorite dances were the ones under wide open skies with rays of sunshine beaming through while walking the beautiful trail near our home!

Summer Toddler Dances
Here’s a quick snap of bubs and I busy dancing in the middle of the trail!

Those dances were good practice for the wedding we attended! 

Summer Wedding
Bub’s enjoying the singing and dancing at my sis-in-law’s brother’s wedding.

We also took Bubs to the zoo for the first time, that day we just wore a couple of cute hats on a hot day and stared at a lioness falling asleep because I mean how else are you supposed to do summer, right?

Summer First Zoo Trip
Bubs and I enchanted by the sleeping lioness.

Then off to Canada we went to spend the last bit of summer and celebrate Eid-ul-Adha with family and friends!

Eid Outfit Pic
A funny pic from our Eid-ul-Adha photoshoot! Pretty much sums up our relationship!

And we ended our summer by taking a long overdue trip to Niagara Falls!

Summer trip to Niagara Falls
We ended our summer with a long overdue trip to Niagara Falls.

I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about what summer means to me and how I spent my time this season! Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list here to get updates.