Posts made in July, 2014

Ready, Set, Retreat!

Ready, Set, Retreat!

Posted By on Jul 7, 2014

I recently came back from a knitting retreat (which I also hosted). Nearly 100 knitters gathered in middle Tennessee for a weekend of fun and fiber arts. Here’s a snapshot I took on my phone:

Have you ever been to a retreat or a conference, either in your personal or professional life? If so, you probably had a moment or two of feeling overwhelmed in the preparation stages! We’re here to help, with tips from the Interwebs.

photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

How to Prepare for a Retreat or Conference:

1. Have a Plan –

How do you want to spend your time at the event? Do you plan to sign up for activities to fill every minute, or do you want to have plenty of time to relax or network? Try to map out your schedule ahead of time, and even write it down or plug it into your phone if you want. That way when you get to the event you won’t be so distracted by all the options that you forget the true purpose you had in coming in the first place.

2. Pack a layers-based wardrobe¬†–

You just can’t always predict the weather. For the week leading up to my retreat, we were roasting in 90-degree heat. Then the retreat weekend came and the temperatures dropped by about 30-40 degrees. Yikes! It’s a good thing that knitters love to bundle up – it gave us all a chance to display our hand knitted cardigans, shawls, and hats. For your trip, make sure you pack layers – that way you can always add one or take one away if the weather gets a little wild. Even for an indoor event, you never know the temperature settings they’ll use for the thermostat, so it’s best to be prepared. Try to pack clothing that travels well (aka, doesn’t wrinkle too badly in a suitcase), looks good, and feels comfortable.

3. Make a list –

If you’re worried you’re going to forget something, make a list about a week before the event. That way you can add to it as you remember items to include, and when it comes time to pack your suitcase you won’t forget anything major.

4. Make contact –

Use your time at a retreat or conference to meet new people! Whether you’re just looking for friends or you want to find prospective business contacts, a retreat can be a great place to do that. Keep your business cards handy so you can exchange them with other retreat or conference attendees, and make sure to collect cards or contact information from the new people you meet, too. If all else fails, a small notebook stuck into your purse provides a place to jot down Twitter handles at a moment’s notice!

For more ideas on how to plan for a retreat or conference, check out these posts:

Do you have any tips for preparing for conferences and retreats? Share them with us in the comments below!

Read More

Welcome to #ThinkCreateReflect, where we take the time at the end of a busy week to do something creative for ourselves or for our businesses. We invite you to join us!

TCR button

This week, pull out your journal and answer the following prompt (or just think about it in your mind palace):

If you were going to include a product you make in a time capsule to be preserved for future humans, which product would you include? How would you describe its importance for the purpose of its inclusion in the time capsule?
Now … how can you apply that to the story you tell about your product – in your item descriptions, your listings, and your marketing?
If you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below or tag a tweet with #ThinkCreateReflect!
Read More

Welcome to Maker’s Wednesday, where we take a day out of our busy weeks to celebrate the Maker in all of us.

MakersWednesday button


This week, I’ve got shawls on the brain again! This time I want to participate in a Mystery Knit-Along: Urban Survival by Josh Ryks.

Have you ever participated in a mystery KAL before? The basic idea is that you don’t know what the pattern will look like – only the essential information. (For instance, for this pattern I know that it will be a shawl and that it will use three colors and a variety of stitch techniques, but that’s it!) The designer of the pattern reveals the pattern in stages, or clues, over a period of time and you knit along until the pattern is over.

Of course, the bad part about this is that you might end up with a project you don’t love (since you couldn’t see the result before you started knitting), but in my case I figure I can probably give it as a gift if I don’t really like it for myself. Plus, I love the other designs by this particular designer so I’m fairly confident I will enjoy this one as well.

My task for now is to figure out which yarns to use! I’ve got three options, and I’m waiting to hear back from the designer about his recommendations before I choose:

IMG_2115 IMG_2117 IMG_2118

Right now I’m leaning toward the first and last combinations, but we’ll see if he says I need to stick with the tamer combination of the second. What’s your favorite?

What about you – what are you making this week? Share it with us on Instagram or Twitter with the tag #MakersWednesday!

Read More