This weekend marks ONE YEAR since the studio opened its doors at the MacDonald Street location. It's hard to believe that it's already been a year!
In addition to our last sidewalk sale of the summer (which means this is your last chance to stock up and save the tax!), I've got some other fun things planned to celebrate our birthday, including cake and lots of giveaways! To make sure you have the best chance of snagging a cool prize, be sure to stop by the shop tomorrow and check our social media frequently throughout the day.
If you've got time, stick around the studio for a few minutes when you're done shopping - I'll be teaching anyone who wants to learn how to make their very own mini skein! A word of caution: making mini skeins is addictive - once you've learned how, you'll be wanting to make them with ALL your leftover yarn!
A note about safety amidst tomorrow's festivities: While I fully intend to have a BLAST celebrating the studio's birthday tomorrow, all the new safety precautions will still be in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19. The limit of 3 customers at a time in the shop area of the studio will still apply and masks will still be required in the shop. This may mean that you have to wait outside for your turn to come in, but you can make the most of your wait by using the time to learn how to make a mini skein! If it happens to be wet outside, we'll move our mini-workshop inside to the classroom at the back of the studio, which can accommodate 4 additional people. I have set up four workstations that meet physical distancing requirements and are equipped with hand sanitizer. Masks will still be needed when selecting the yarn for your mini skein, but they can removed if desired once you have returned to your workstation.
Thank you all SO MUCH for all your support over the last year. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude to each and every one of you - you are helping me to make my dreams a reality! Making beautiful things with yarn is my passion and I am thoroughly enjoying being able to share the joy of creativity with all of you. I hope many of you will be able to stop by and say hi tomorrow during the birthday bash - I'll look forward to seeing you there!
Welcome to this week's Fresh Fibers Finds - you'll notice I've taken a slightly different approach this week, but I think you'll really appreciate what I'm sharing.
I've been dreading writing this post, but it's time for me to get real honest with you. The current pandemic has been a challenge unlike any other most of us have ever experienced. Personally, I have suffered with severe anxiety and panic attacks, and I'm sure many of you have also been fighting your own battles, whether they be mental health issues, financial problems, or some other concern that COVID has intensified.
Small businesses have been especially hard hit, and my little yarn shop is no exception. The truth of the matter is, I don't know how much longer I will be able to keep going if things don't start improving. Don't panic yet though - I'm not willing to let go of my dream lightly, and I will work as hard as I can and try as many solutions as possible before I'll be ready to throw in the towel. Many of you are already aware or will have noticed that I haven't been able to restock the shop since February - my cash flow has been tight, and anything coming in I've had to put aside to cover the less glamorous costs of running a business (like rent and electricity). I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to do everything in my power to keep the business afloat and help it to thrive, including cutting all unnecessary expenses, attending ALL THE WEBINARS (often as many as 5 or 6 in a week), enrolling in two business classes offered by the Family Business Association, and working with Symplicity Designs, an organizational design firm who specialize in helping businesses get out of crisis. I've also launched a new marketing campaign, which is why you've seen more of me in your inbox and your social media feeds. I'm committed to doing everything in my power to keep Fresh Fibers Studio open to serve the fiber artists in our community.
Since I know that my own business is not the only one suffering in this post-COVID era, this week's Fresh Fibers Finds will feature not only some ways that you can help keep the shop open, but also some other great local artisans whose products are available in the shop. Check out some of the AMAZING talent we have right here at home:
These local artisans, and many more, need our help so they can continue to make our world a more beautiful place. Please consider supporting these talented makers by following them on social media, checking out their work, and maybe making a purchase if you see something you like.
Fresh Fibers Studio also needs your support, because I want to be here to assist you with your creative endeavors long after this pandemic is over. Here are a few ways you can help ensure that the shop survives this challenging period:
Come see what's in the shop. I may not have been able to order anything new in a while, but that doesn't mean there isn't something wonderful sitting on the shelf just waiting to be discovered.
Start planning your Christmas projects or other cold-weather creations NOW. We all know the colder temperatures will sneak up on us before we know it, so we might as well be prepared. And if I don't have exactly what you're looking for in the shop, consider making a PREORDER. By preordering and paying for your materials in advance, you'll be helping me get the cash flow I need to finally place some orders and bring in new stock.
Attend a workshop or boot camp. Now that restrictions have been relaxed a bit, I am able to begin offering classes again, with safety precautions in place. Classes resume this week, so check in often to see if there’s a workshop that interests you.
Purchase a gift certificate. If you don’t need anything right now, buying a gift certificate helps to inject some cash into the shop and means you’ll have it when you’re ready to purchase for your next purchase. Gift certificates are also a great option if you can’t decide what to purchase for the knitter or crocheter in your life for Christmas.
So, now that I’ve told you how YOU can help ME, I want to know what I can do for YOU! What are you struggling with right now? What products would you like to be seeing in the shop? What workshops would like to see offered? Helping YOU is my favorite part of this business, so I’d love for you to respond and let me know the best way that I can support you through this difficult time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos the world over, but it’s also brought all of us closer together. It’s been encouraging to see the support given to those in need and the increasing trend towards shopping local. Although things aren’t looking all rainbows and cupcakes right now, I truly believe that TOGETHER we CAN help each other to rebound from COVID and maybe save a local business or two along the way.
It’s time for the second installment of Fresh Fibers Finds - don’t forget to sign up for my email list to make sure you don’t miss out on your weekly dose of fiber-y inspiration.
This week we’re making a splash as we dive into summer knitting. When the temperature heats up, many of us may think it’s time to put away our needles or hooks in exchange for a cooler way to pass the time. I’m here today to tell you that there’s no need for you to give up your favorite hobby just because it’s getting warmer outside. Read on to discover 7 reasons why you SHOULDN’T put away your yarn just yet.
Hopefully I’ve managed to convince you to give some summer knitting or crocheting a try. Here are a few of the summer projects I’m working on this year, in case you’d like to join me in taking advantage of this prime making time. And for more summer-y inspiration, be sure to follow my summer knitting and crochet boards on Pinterest - warm weather projects are some of my absolute favorites!
Are you a summer knitter, or do you tend to put away your yarn when the mercury rises? Even if you don’t typically knit or crochet in the summer, I think I’ve presented you with a few compelling reasons to reconsider. When you think you’re ready to give it a shot, head over to the shop to find some great summer yarns for your next project.
These last few months have been rough - none of us could have predicted at the beginning of 2020 that we would soon be running out of toilet paper, cocooning in our homes for weeks on end, and wearing masks whenever we go out in public. I’ve spent a good deal of time over the last few months thinking about how I can help my fellow fiber enthusiasts cope during this bizarre time and I’ve come to the conclusion that we makers have been training for quarantine for most of our lives. Being forced to stay in our homes gave us an excuse to bust out our special stash of yarn and dust off the knitting needles and crochet hooks so we could finally bring some of our project ideas to life. I won’t say that the quarantine has been easier for us, but at least we’ve had something to keep our hands busy!
With all the fabulous making that’s been going on, I started brainstorming ways I could help you keep those creative juices flowing as we start settling into this new “normal”. Fresh Fibers Finds, my new email/blog series, is designed to provide you with weekly inspiration and share some of the fantastic things I’ve found for fiber artists. I’m going to be sharing some beautiful yarns, awesome patterns, and other amazing products to help keep you inspired and creating. This week we’re exploring all things socks - stay tuned every Monday for your next dose of fiber-y inspiration. If you want to make sure you won’t miss out, sign up for my email list and get your weekly creativity boost delivered directly to your inbox.
Are you a sock knitter? Socks are a relatively quick and simple knit, they’re super versatile, and they make GREAT gifts! They’re also a great project to take on the go, since you can easily throw them into your bag on your way out the door. If you haven’t tried making socks yet, it’s high time you did. I’ll give you a fair warning though - knitting socks can be HIGHLY addictive, so if you’re anything like me, once you start you won’t ever want to stop!
To help get you started, I’ve rounded up this great selection of FREE sock patterns for you. With a little something for everybody, from beginners to more advanced knitters, you’re sure to find a great new pattern to try.
I must confess, it was SO hard to pick out only a few sock patterns to share with you - there are SO MANY great ones out there! If you’d like more sock inspiration, follow my Socks board on Pinterest, where I’m always pinning great new sock patterns that I’d like to try.
I can’t wait to cast on some Broken Seed Stitch Socks - which pattern are YOU most excited to try? Once you’ve decided, head on over to the shop to grab the perfect yarn for your new socks.
I know most of us are MORE than tired of hearing about COVID-19, but if forecasts are right, I doubt we'll be done hearing about it anytime soon.
For the protection of you, my customers, my family, and the patients I serve as a front-line health professional at the pharmacy, I have made the very difficult decision to close the doors of the shop until at least the end of March. I did not come by this decision lightly, but I feel called as a health professional AND as a human to do my duty to protect those around me.
As knitters and crocheters, we are well equipped to keep ourselves busy while following the Public Health recommendations for social distancing. In fact, this may finally be the time some of us make a significant dent in our never-ending yarn stashes! That being said, I understand the frustration of being SO CLOSE to finishing a project and realizing that you are missing some essential element needed to complete it. Or the letdown after the excitement of planning a new project, only to discover that you don't have the needles or hook you need to get started. So I have come up with a way to meet your fiber-related needs without risking virus transmission - you will notice a new "SHOP" button in the navigation bar at the top of the page.
In the new online shop, you can browse the yarns available in the shop, check out the wide array of knitting needles and crochet hooks, or find that missing tool you need to finish your latest project, all from the comfort of your living room couch. Once you've found what you need, you can pay for your order online and select a time to pick up your order at the shop. When you arrive at the shop, I will have your order packaged and deliver it to you at the door. At the moment, the online shop is very bare bones, but I will be working diligently to update the item listings with photos and descriptions over the next week or so.
I am working on coming up with an online alternative for boot camps and workshops, but this will not happen overnight. All classes scheduled to take place this week will be postponed for ONE WEEK while I finish figuring out what their online versions will look like. I ask that you be patient with me as I work hard behind the scenes to make these changes.
For those of you who have already started your socks in this month's boot camp and might be concerned about the idea of learning online, please know that I will NOT just be giving you a YouTube video to watch, because I am committed to truly TEACHING you and holding your hand (virtually) through every step of your first adventure in sock-making. I will make sure that there are open communication channels throughout the classes and plenty of opportunity for interaction. I will provide additional information about these changes before the beginning of next week.
Thank you all for your ongoing support during this trying time. Stay home, stay healthy, and stay tuned - I'm dedicated to finding a silver lining in this storm cloud and I'm hoping this may be just the motivation I needed to come up with some new and innovative ways of serving you in the future.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. I will be happy to serve you on Tuesday when the shop reopens. Have a happy Family Day and enjoy your long weekend!
Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed some quality family time during the holiday break. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to relax and unwind with my family and friends, although I must admit, my knitting needles didn't get much of a break!
I have always loved this time of year, especially the days between Christmas and New Year's Day. I love the feeling of new beginnings that comes with the start of the new year, and this week is the perfect time to reflect on the past year, decide what worked and what didn't, and dream up some ambitious goals for the coming year.
I will confess that I started my reflection process a bit earlier this year. I have been excited to share with you some of the fun changes I have planned for 2020. The first of those, as the title of this post suggests, is revised studio hours. As of January 2nd, the studio hours will be as follows:
Tuesday 10 am - 5 pm
Thursday 11 am - 7 pm
Friday 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
You will notice that the biggest change is the extension of studio hours on Saturday afternoon. The decision to do this was multifactorial, but was based primarily on two things:
1) Many of you indicated that you had attempted to stop in on a Saturday afternoon, only to be disappointed when you discovered that the shop was not open; and,
2) After taking some time for serious reflection, I have come up with what I think will be a much improved children's program. This program is called Creative Kids, and will be running on Saturday afternoons from 1:30-3 pm. Unlike the workshops I have previously offered for kids, this program will NOT be project-based but will instead focus on teaching kids the basics of knitting and/or crochet and allowing them to learn the craft at their own pace. As the children progress in their knowledge and skill, they will be able to select projects that interest them, and I will help guide them through the entire process, from choosing a pattern and materials to adding the finishing touches. I think this is the change I am MOST excited about, and I can't wait to see what the kids will create!
Another result of my reflections over the past week has been a change to my workshop schedule. I doubt that many will notice much of a difference, but believe me when I tell you that the change will undoubtedly have a HUGE impact on my home life. Moving forward, all workshops and boot camps (aside from Creative Kids and technique workshops) will be held ONLY on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I've made this change to allow me to be more present at home in the evenings so that I can help more with extracurricular activities and bedtime routines. The biggest change for YOU is that the Loose Ends Drop-In will now be held on the last THURSDAY of the month (instead of the last Monday) and there will be no evening workshop that week.
I have a few other exciting things up my sleeves for 2020, but I will leave you wondering for a bit longer. The growth of my business and your incredible support over this past year has been more amazing than I ever could have imagined, and I can't wait to see what 2020 will bring! Thank you all for joining me on this incredible journey. I look forward to seeing you all in the studio someday soon.
Hi! My name is Lindsay and I am the creator behind Fresh Fibers Studio. I am a creative and craft-loving wife and mother of three wonderful children.