• The Magpie Knitter…

    ...trying to get from "Oooooh, shiny!" to a design.
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  • Jen Johnson began knitting in 2007 while pregnant with her daughter and does most of her knitting for her daughter and son. When she couldn’t find the patterns she wanted, she added designer to her job titles of Navy wife and mother. Jen loves the inspiration she gets from all the beautiful yarns available, as long as she doesn’t get distracted by—ooh, shiny!
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Moving, moving, moving…

I know, I just got here…

…but I’m moving on.

During a chat with some of my fellow NASCAR knitters as we watched a race, someone mentioned being surprised at how many people she knew starting small businesses. “I guess I’m kinda starting a small business,” I said, surprised at the thought.

Our CPA friend assured me that I wasn’t “kinda” doing anything. Granted, for quite a while I won’t be needing to file with the IRS because I’ll be below the hobby limit…but that’s the kind of thing I need to start thinking about now.

Another thing I needed to start thinking about was establishing a professional identity…and for that reason, I decided it was time to move from WordPress.com to a hosted blog on my own domain. I didn’t want the site to look much different, at least not right now, so I’m still using WordPress…but now you’ll be able to find me at themagpieknitter.com.

themagpieknitter screenshot

The process was a lot more painful than I’d hoped–saying the learning curve was a precipice would be an understatement–and I undid a lot more work than I kept, but I’m happy with the result. I’ll need to make some changes down the road, but what I have works for what I need right now.

I have copied all of the posts and info from here over there, so this blog will be closing down in a few days. Hopefully, you’ll come visit me at the new The Magpie Knitter!


TAAT Designs

Remember how I commented in my first post that the wait to see if my design proposals had been accepted by Three Irish Girls was made easier by having friends to share it with?  Well, four of those friends have teamed up to form TAAT Designs.  In knitting “TAAT” stands for two-at-a-time, but here it means Tesia, Allison, Abigail, and Trisha, the 4 women and friends behind TAAT Designs.

I’ve only yet been lucky enough to meet two of these friends–I joined Tesia’s and Abi’s knitting group during my family trip to Seattle. I’ll admit–I was a touch nervous about meeting up with a group of real-life strangers, although I’d gotten to know Tesia and Abi (and the other ladies) quite well online. Once I’d been there, oh, about 5 minutes I really had to wonder what I’d ever worried about. It was like I’d known them for years. They even took Jeffrey’s refusal to share his super powers and Lexie’s backwards somersault out of her chair (she was unhurt) entirely in stride. So I was unsurprised to read in the first posts from Trisha, Allison, Abi, and Tesia, that they’d all bonded so quickly.

But although they’re close friends, they’re very different people–student, scientist, married, single, mom, runner, traveler, Canadian, American–with different strengths and talents that they bring to their designs and their blog. Recently Tesia posted about her Socks of Win (and no, I’m not posting to pressure her to hurry up and release the design–those socks are beautiful but they intimidate me!); Abi posted about some great design resources; Trisha once posted her thoughts about yarn and when it’s too much for her; and in an early post Allison talked about taking it one stitch at a time when needed.

One thing I really enjoy about their blog is that they take advantage of the fact that they have 4 women with diverse backgrounds–often when one of them posts on a topic, some or all of them will add a post with their thoughts, often taking the theme in a new direction. For example, when Trisha wrote about her thoughts on yarn–wanting to have a smaller, more manageable stash–Abi talked about knitting with handpainted yarn, Allison shared a story of a skein of yarn that took charge of what it was going to be, and Tesia mused about how she sees her stash as a collection, complete with rare skeins. They also have audience participation posts, asking for readers’ favorite tips or key knitting books.

So, hop on over to meet 4 great women and designers, enjoy their stories and input…and check out some cool designs.