Scratching the Knitting Itch
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Trying to start the sabbatical

For quite some time i’ve thought about starting a professional / personal blog, to talk about some of the challenges and triumphs of being a small business owner. Then I realised this is the perfect place to do it – to write my way through this sabbatical and put down in words some of the things i’m thinking about and dealing with to improve our processes.

2014 has been a challenge. Not so much in the way of having two shops, but more in the fact life still happens and doesn’t care if you have a million and one things to do. Two shops would have been a whole lot easier to manage if life didn’t also throw the funerals of two family members and a dear friend our way. Add in about 14 trips to Auckland to spend time with my step-daughters (time I wouldn’t give up for anything), 3 major yarn events, volunteering at a week-long conference, and being supporter no.1 as the Mr helped organise and run another conference. We also moved house, and, well, opened that second shop at the beginning of the year.

All of that really pushed me towards making the choice to take this dyeing sabbatical. I was too busy, too stressed, and trying to do too much. Throw in any one of those major events and the already unbalanced work-life scales would fall over. So: sabbatical time. It officially started about a month ago, but there is one more dye day that must happen so I can make one of my planned knitting projects, plus a few other customer orders to finish off. Already, though, I have no idea how I managed to fit dyeing in around everything else.

What it has done is free up some head space to plan for next year. We’ve launched the Indie Shelf Project to fill the gap left by there not being any Knitsch for the year, and for the first time in 4 years i’ve managed to put together a class schedule well in advance. I’m trying to fit in all the different classes we are asked for often, but my main concern is having to teach a lot of them myself. Which means, as usual, i’m over committed before the year even starts. Working through the list and adding them in to the calendar I kept trying to find some space to squeeze a holiday in as well, but right now the chance of holiday in 2015 is looking pretty slim.

At least all the planning in advance means knowing how busy 2015 will be, and trying to organise life to fit in self-care alongside all the crazy business stuff. If you ever hear anyone say how incredibly hard it is to own a business, they aren’t kidding. Taking care of myself always, always comes after all the work is done, the family stuff is taken care of, after the house work has been sorted.

The goal for writing all this work / life stuff in one place is so you can see a bit of behind-the-scenes of running a yarn shop, and also help me along the way of finding balance amidst the crazy.

What’s on my mind at the moment:

– needing to sort out the home office and turn it into a bedroom for the 2.5 year old

– buying and making Christmas presents

– planning a list of things to do in the shops while they’re closed (cleaning, mostly)

– anticipating the bills that will come due over our closed period


What’s on the needles:

– the golden dress for our town shop window

– a cardigan for a shop sample / the 2.5 year old

– a sock which is entirely selfish knitting



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