My Lord where do I start? What do I say?
Well I don’t want to write too much, it’s too hard, but I do need to share something here and post about my absence. I know I don’t have to, however it’s been big and writing something will help.
Four weeks ago my mum died. I have mentioned her a couple of times this year, the last time was to share how she’d been poorly and we were concerned. Well back in June cancer was discovered and within 4 weeks she had sadly passed away.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to explain all the feelings and emotions that go through you when your hear a doctor say those words. So much, so many. First of all given her dementia condition it made the prognosis poor, but they did decide to perform a minor operation in the hopes she would be able to eat again and regain some strength. At the end of June she was readmitted to hospital just over a week from the diagnosis and I dropped all things here in West Yorkshire and travelled by train with my 3 year old to go and stay with my dad.
His own condition of macular degeneration makes things hard from a different point of view. As the Teeny Girl and I stayed with him we helped him with small day to day tasks, but he showed great resilliance and ingenuity to carry out many things, and together we did things like make fruit bread in his bread machine and cooked hotpot and savoury mince to my mum’s recipe.
That morning on the 9th July when he came into me at 5.30am to say my mum had gone was like nothing else. Torn between sadness, relief at her no longer suffering, concern for how my dad would cope, and knowing within a week I’d get to see my hubby and 2 bigger girls again, was a massive mix of emotions.
Of course in the middle of it all massive work based things happened. That’s the side of self employment. It was awesome to be able to just drop and go and be with my dad. To be able to take an amount of work with me and to be able to continue some of the admin jobs like updating shops and social media. I opened a shop on a brand new site just a week after joining my dad. I wanted to be so excited about it, but it was tinged with the fact I couldn’t just focus on that and learn the new platform. I continued working on my other new shop is opened in May on the nuMonday platform where for now all custom orders will be taken. Finally I also upgraded this site so that I will eventually be able to move some of my shop and sales over here for more complex items, especially adult wear.
I’d like to take one final minute to thank the wonderful customers that I received orders from to be made in time for winter, but without the pressure to make and ship while I was away from home. These orders enabled me to have the means to go at a moments notice to catch the train and rush to be with my dad during this hard time and visit my mum as much as I was able in her last weeks.
So, that’s it. One huge update on where I have been and what is going on and now after a few weeks spent regrouping and reassessing plans I’m back and ready to show you great things 💜
Much love and blessings
It’s been a hard 2 weeks here at Indigosky2Knit HQ. A little over 2 weeks ago my mum was taken to hospital after several days of not being able to eat properly, not keeping what she did eat down, and slowly getting more and more withdrawn.
After a week in hospital we got the news that she has a tumour in her stomach with spreading to her liver. This news at the age of 81, with progressive dementia too, leaves treatment options in question. While we have been waiting to hear what the doctors have discussed about her family and friends have been trying to come to terms with the information.
As I’ve previously discussed my relationship with my mum has had it’s ups and downs, but she taught me many things that make me the woman and mum I am today, and much of how she was as a strong woman have brought me to my choices with my own life, knowing my own mind, wanting to stay home with my children, and doing what I know in my heart is right.
I know she would have chosen to home educate my sisters and myself had she known back in the 1960’s and 70’s that she could. She I know she was proud with the way I chose to set my own business and not leave my children to go out and work, she’d done the same. I do wish she could grasp now the work I am trying to do to build my business to be better and give opportunities, better than the ones I had, to my own girls.
I know that whatever happens now here spirit will continue to watch over me, be with me and my memories of her, despite the hard ones, will keep me as the strong woman I am, determined to give my Biggest Why’s the life they deserve <3
Much love to you all
I’ve quite a mix of items featured on social media this week, from baby hats to women’s headbands. If you’re shopping for birthdays late in the years or sopping for Christmas than be sure to have a browse.
More brand new items have been listed this week and will be featured next week, but you can see them here already if you wish.
Sign up to my email newsletter and get an exclusive discount code, use that code and get a fabulous free gift too
Have a fabulous weekend and happy shopping <3
Happy Monday all, if of course you’re reading this on Monday, if not Happy Day, whatever day it is <3
I am making sure I write my blog posts this week, even if I’m not entirely sure what I am writing about. I am getting a clearer idea on what Indgosky2Knit is doing in the future, both my teaching side and my creative selling side. Not only that, but am also working out how to progress my aromatherapy and crystal business in line with my position as an independent consultant for NYR Organics.
Of course attempting to grow 2 businesses and declutter a life and home around 3 children, 2 home educated and 1 toddler, well let’s just say it takes some serious planning and organisation.
Last week I got a gorgeous new planner from Cordwain Higgler which will perfectly suit my business planner inserts from Ultimate Success Planner on Etsy. Now I have my business planner, home ed diary and family organiser, and my personal life journal in 3 separate binders, which means 3 times the planning fun 😉
So this week I am working on some fabulous custom orders, an adult waterfall cardigan, starting a chunky adult sweater and a child’s ballet shrug. I am also making as many little baby items as I possibly can to add to my Etsy shop. I am also putting out my first call for beta testers of my online video teaching or adults, sign up to my newsletter for details of that, even though I’m still not sure where and how that is working, but that’s why I need some lovely testers.
I’ll be teaching local home educated children tomorrow, as well as taking my own girls to their various classes and groups through the week, we have art, football and a couple of social events. Then before I know it it’s Sunday again and I’m planning another week!
I am loving this journey though, this journey to living the life I want, giving my children the freedom they deserve and watching my husband find and follow his dreams too <3
Have a great week lovely readers, and maybe I will get another post or two written this week. Oh yes, it’s great to be back.
Much love and best wishes
So I thought it was time I wrote a little bit on the subject of pricing and hand knitted or crocheted items. This is something that over the years since I began Indigosky2knit in 2012 I have become more and more passionate about.
Imagine this: you are wanting to begin a business venture, you want to use that venture to support your family, to pay bills, feed your children the best food, make the best choices for education, and maybe have a little left to put aside for some fun. You have skills and want to use those skills to earn said money to support your family. Those skills are time intensive, they create beautiful and often unique items, those items last many years because you choose the best kind of materials.
When you are starting your business well meaning individuals, some of whom do the same crafts, and some who sell their own products, tell you that ‘you’ll never make an hourly wage doing that’, ‘people won’t pay you more than a couple of pound an hour for the time it takes’, ‘it can’t be your only source of income’, etc. They don’t mean any harm, they think they’re helping. But are they?
Do you know how long it takes to knit a baby hat, even for a skilled and fast knitter? Do you know how long an age 2-3 cardigan takes to knit? Do you know how long it takes to crochet some baby booties, or an adult unicorn hat? I expect your guess is out by an hour or two for small things, or many hours for larger items.
Say it take 6 hours to make a toddler cardigan, age 12-24 months (and that’s for a simple cardigan with no seams and a few buttons added, made by a speedy knitter)? How much do you think a person’s time is worth for doing that? £3/hour? £5/hour? Or are they worth more than the UK minimum wage, which currently stands at £7.83? Factor into that the cost of materials, the extra time to choose a yarn, to market the item if it’s to be listed on a website and needs some form of advertising, and is it really too much to ask for £10/hour that it took to make the cardigan? Yes that makes that toddler cardigan a value of £60. Is that really too much?
Well here’s a few more things to consider. If that cardigan is made from high quality yarns it will last for many years, so it can be handed down to siblings, or friends. Many find high quality knitwear lasts beyond any stated age. The design I use is in fact aged at 2 year increments from age 2, and the age 10+ would likely fit into the teens. I have a blog post in the writing with customer experiences of how long some items have lasted, but my own experience for now from my own children. My eldest daughter fitted many of her hand knits for 2 years, baby items for up to 12 months. My middle daughter then wore one or two of those and still fits a couple of age 5 items at the age of 7. My youngest daughter (who was a 99.9 centile born baby weighing in at 11lb+, so the size of your average 3 month old) fitted a 0-3 month cardigan I had made her before she was born until she was close to 9 months old. The £45 that is worth would be money well spent for a cardigan that lasted almost the first year of a baby’s life.
Do you think spending that little bit extra for something that lasts many years is worth it? Many people feel it isn’t. It saddens my heart when I see skilled yarn and fibre artists pricing their work for so much less than the time it takes to create. I feel it undervalues not just themselves and their skill, but the hard work that many others put into their own craft. Is a person really only worth £1/hour, and yes I have seen some items priced so low that even if the person doesn’t need the money, they are seriously undervalued. If you don’t need the money from selling goods, why not gift them to the many family charities or homeless organisations who would gladly accept them as donations, and you would feel just amazing for being so generous, probably much better than the feelinsg felt when you spend several hours creating something and receive £5, £10, or even £20 for something that took you 6 hours to create.
If you create beautiful things, take a minute to consider if you feel you and your work are worth more, if they are then charge more. If you shop for hand made products that you know take many hours to create, then consider offering to pay more for an item or shop from sellers that charge their true worth. If you don’t think a person is worth £10/hour for their time? Well maybe rethink that idea, or buy your products from shops where goods are made in sweatshops, and consider the ethical implications of knowing workers are paid £1/hour, but don’t expect a skilled craftsperson to be earning so little.
Much love and best wishes
(and make sure you charge what your worth whatever your craft)
It is Monday, and it is planning time for me.
As I am still in a relatively quite time with custom orders I am thinking of plans for the business as a whole, dreaming up ideas for the products which are most popular within my Etsy store, and thinking of ways to make more new items that will be well received. I have spent today writing a list of all the things I need to have set up and running this year, my mail list (for 2 businesses), my website for Indigosky2Knit, videos for knitting and crochet tutorials, ideas of how I want to move my aromatherapy and crystal business forward, the list gets longer (and that’s aside from all the home life ideas 😀 )
Did you know that imagination is key to moving your ideas forward? What you think of first is what becomes your reality. I have huge aspirations for what I am doing this year, and I have been working on visualising these to get them clear in mind. Then when the opportunities to help them move forward present themselves I am ready and jumping at the chance.
I used to have wild dreams as a kid for the future, but you know the usual thing of life getting in the way and you slowly forget how to dream. Well I am back to having massive ideas come up in my dreams for my business, my home, my family, even for the kinds of holidays we will have. I am so excited for the future, that even the occasional blip life throws at me doesn’t stop me being super excited for what is happening this year, or even right now, in this moment.
Enjoy and be thankful for all you have right now.
Much love to you all
Never underestimate the work going on in the back ground of a small business/entrepreneur/mompreneur. Much of which we are doing in our ‘free time’.
I seem to spend most of my days at the moment writing lists and working out plans for how and when I can do things. A lot of these plans are dependant on how much income I get from my businesses, and January and February have a reputation for being quiet.
I literally have no new orders at the moment, which is unusual for me, and only a couple of outstanding ones to work on. On the plus side this is giving me time to work on some new things, which is part of the bigger plan, but the quiet time does mean I can’t follow through just yet on working further on those bigger plans, like setting up my website or buying new equipment to set up my video work.
Times like this have made me feel like I should give it all up, it’s time to go out and find a ‘proper’ job which is reliable, but then I’d be more limited on what I could do with the Big, Small and Teeny girls home education, in fact that possibly wouldn’t even be an option. So as I watch my Small girl playing football, and take my Big girl swimming, and see the Teeny girl at our local messy play group, I remember this is why I have chosen this life, and I work all the more at trying to work out how I can best serve people who will support me in my businesses.
If reading this consider taking a look around my Etsy Store and picking up something that this week will help me take my kids to their various activities and maybe even move that website forward. Or if organic skin care and natural products are more your thing, be sure to check out my Neals Yard replica site
Much love and gratitude to you all
Hey all you lovely people. This is a deep and personal piece from me today, but I feel I need to share to ease the inward emotions and turmoil. You know sometimes, despite all the best intentions and inner work and self care, life has some lessons to teach you that you’re not necessarily ready for.
Last week was one of those weeks. My super supportive and enduring mum is 81 years old next month. For some time now she’s been suffering the effects of dementia, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Over the last few weeks my dad, himself 82, has seen a deterioration in her, and last week he was concerned enough to start asking for more help.
Having to face their mortality this last week has been a lesson to me, a lesson in my own feelings towards life, and towards death. I am hoping that the medical assistance she’s been getting for a few days will alleviate some of the recent problems, infection can after all play games with the mind, especially of the elderly. However, I do have to accept that at 80 years old she is not going to live forever in this world and what does that mean for me?
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have mixed feelings about my mum. Society and association she had when I was a child, meant she did certain things she went on to regret, namely disciplining me physically and my being left as a toddler to cry myself to sleep at night. This has caused me feelings of resentment over the years. I’ve never denied her motherly love for me, or my daughterly love for her, she has just been super supportive of everything I’ve ever done, but I did feel hurt for those early years, I have to admit it.
However, a few months ago I was loaned a fabulous book You Can Heal Your Life by the late Louise Hay. In this she talked about forgiveness and how important it is to forgive those who hurt us. She talked about how children choose the parents they will born to, and how if you feel your parents did wrong by you, then you need to seek the lesson that taught you and feel forgiveness in your heart. Well, do you know what I did when I first read that? I shut the book! I shut the book, and thought ‘no, nope, I am not accepting that’. I didn’t even realise just how strong that resentment was until that moment. This idea that my soul had chosen to come and be hurt in ways that still affected me so deeply? No, I wasn’t accepting that.
So I closed the book and never planned on completing it, I didn’t think it was right for me. Over the course of the next few days those words and some other wise words I was listening too and ready in my self-help, self care journey, made me meditate deeply on those feelings that had come up, and do you know what I found? I found forgiveness! I realised that YES, I had chosen my mum to be my mum, because she needed the wild spirit that was in me to lighten and brighten her life. And me? I needed those harsh early lessons in my life to teach me a better way. So that when my children’s souls chose me as a mum, I would find a more gentle approach to my parenting.
In all of my childhood experiences my dad and one of my older sisters taught me about peace, patience and long suffering, and I found happiness and kindness. Now when I think of that elderly lady lying in her hospital bed, telling my dad over and over how much she loves him, I see the loving and caring mum who was in there being forced by society to be hard on a free spirited and strong willed little girl, and I am more determined than ever to show my girls that love, respect and compassion that is deep inside my mum.
Whatever you do and however you feel about your parents, remember without them you wouldn’t have life, and without life you wouldn’t be able to find the joy that is always there, just a breath or a thought away <3