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Hand-Dyed Yarns

Woolfiend Hand-Dyed Yarns

Hopeful Beginnings

Blog

Hopeful Beginnings

Emily Swenson

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I have long anticipated the first post of my blog on fiber crafts.  Here it is, and all I have to say are general thoughts on the industry and my own participation in it.  

If you don't know me already from Instagram, Ravelry, or my Etsy store, my name is Emily.  I knit, spin, dye, weave, crochet, sew.. You know, crafts and such.  I started a video podcast and my Etsy store in 2016, where I sell hand-dyed yarn, fiber, and some notions.  In 2017 I had a baby, so I had to close shop for a while to get my family back to "jiving properly."  

The video podcast - "The Woolfiend Podcast" - was a run-of-the-mill podcast, and I honestly didn't have the time to devote to trying to get it to take off.  I may return to the podcast, but I likely won't unless I figure out a way to make it stand out.  It's quite hard to reinvent the wheel when it comes to knitting podcasts, especially if you don't have a filming partner!  The template for success is also the template for failure - why would someone want to watch your podcast instead of the hundreds (thousands?) of others available?  We are all, ultimately, knitting the same things, with the same yarn, from the same suppliers (for the most part).  I'm sure the other, smaller podcasts have similar feelings surrounding this subject. 

Enter the blog!  I noticed a dip in the number of knitting blogs around the time Ravelry came about - in fact, Ravelry basically killed the need for a blog.  Most of them are just podcasters posting their embedded podcast episodes with shownotes.  Sitting and reading calculated thoughts, and being able to sincerely contemplate someone's process on a more visually appealing forum than Ravelry can be somewhat humbling.  I feel also that Instagram is sometimes too fast of a way to display such a slow craft.  The stories, IGTV, feed photos - it can all be sincerely overwhelming.

When I had my son, I felt an extreme amount of pressure to continue to knit, to therefore stay relevant and make sure my business stayed afloat.  This pressure should never exist!  Was it purely self-imposed?  Or is this a feeling shared by other hand-dyers/knitters/podcasters?  I had to take a break, especially from social media, to stop that stifling feeling of not ever being able to get enough done.  I find it interesting that everyone talks openly about the good parts of crafting - the coffee shared with friends, the hand of a good wool, and stash acquisitions - but it's not often publicized when things go wrong, or anxieties take their toll. 


I guess that's a good start, and touches on some of the thoughts I've had since I stopped dyeing 7 and a half months ago.  My goals for this blog are to create a community in a more manageable way than my podcast was able to, and to display all aspects of my creative process in a more easy to digest and realistic way than Instagram/Youtube is able to.  Most of my content will be philosophical and informative in nature, as well as an artistic catalog of my projects.

Here's to a hopeful beginning!  Much love to everyone who took the time to read, feel free to comment if you feel you have something to add!