Abso-Knitting-Lutely Interview and Discount Code

Nadia, we need an icebreaker so tell us, what is on your sticks?
That’s a loaded question! I have a few WIPs going at the moment including the beautifully lacy Koi Rama shawl I started last Christmas. It is basically finished, but I haven’t woven in the ends yet because I want to undo a whole pattern repeat to add alterations. I am a perfectionist! Other than that I have some socks on the go for Christmas presents. My family have suddenly developed a taste for my socks and some of them ask for a new pair every year.

Which knitwear (or crochet) designer do you have a crush on at the moment?
I no longer do, I have to admit! The first designer whose work I really loved was Cookie A. who designs fantastic socks. I still love those, but I tend to no longer love designers, only some individual pieces they design. No matter who it is, there is usually a design I will love, but also lots from that person that don’t interest me at all, so I focus on the item instead of the designer nowadays.

Stitch Markers
See that broke the ice, didn’t it? I feel like I already know you better, so let’s talk business, Nadia. How did you come up with the name for your business?
Pure luck and TV, I have to say! I have always been very good with words most of the time so coming up with a good name wasn’t too hard. At the time, I was setting up my blog and needed a name. I came up with Abso-knitting-lutely because I had just seen a trailer for Sex and the City. I never watched the series, but that trailer ended with Carrie saying, “Abso-fucking-lutely.” That sparked the idea for Abso-knitting-lutely and I love how positive the message is: it’s knitting, absolutely, and I love it.

I know you from your adorable stitch markers, but you make and sell other things as well, don’t you?
Yes, I do. My stitch markers are my main product, but I also design knitting patterns sometimes. I should really do that more often to be able to offer more variety. In spring I took a class to learn how to design shawls, which was really helpful, so I hope to make one soon. Apart from my stitch markers, row counter bracelets and knitting needles, I sometimes make beaded jewellery too, but only for my Dawanda shop.
When and why did you start selling your creations
The timing was just right. I resisted for a long time because I never wanted to be self-employed. It’s too unreliable and unpredictable and I would rather have the (relative) security of knowing I’m regularly going to get paid a certain amount at a certain time. However, we hit a recession just as I came to the UK and, despite good qualifications, I had to move from one bad short-term job to the next with low pay and terrible hours until I was made redundant. By 2012 I was so frustrated and stressed from always looking for the next job that I decided to take a break and just set up my business instead. Not only does it keep me occupied, but I get to do what I enjoy. I bet this is a familiar story to many who suffered through the recession.

Do you sell your beautiful wares in different places or stick to your Etsy store?
I have three online shops at the moment. The main one is on Etsy and you can get to it directly via www.absoknittinglutely.com. This shop focuses on supplies for knitting and crochet. I also have a knitting pattern shop on Ravelry and fairly recently added a shop on Dawanda in order to access the German market. Since I am German myself, I feel I should connect with my customers there as well.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Usually, I’ll see something that will spark an idea for a new design. I like googling for pictures when I want to make something new, until I come across something that I know can be easily rendered in polymer clay. Food and animals always make great stitch markers. My customers also make suggestions from time to time or ask for custom orders, which then makes me try out some new things I hadn’t considered yet. There are lots of things I would like to make which I decided against at some point simply because the stitch marker would have been too fragile or too difficult to make. Sometimes I’ll have to make alterations and simplify a design just so it will be practical for use and still look cute. As long as it is colourful and cheerful, I’m happy!

What is your favourite item to make and why?
Hm, that’s a tough one. I don’t think there is any particular item I like to make more than others. My favourite is always the latest design I have in mind because it’s new and I need to figure out a way to make it that will work. What I like best about that process is changing the design a little here and there until it is just right. I get bored very quickly if I only make something I have already made before. It’s the same when I knit: I never really knit the same thing twice.

How much time do you devote to your business each week?
I work on it throughout the day, including evenings. On some days I work fulltime and then there are days on which I do very little because I have enough stock and only need to get orders ready when they come in. Most of my day every day is taken up with promoting my work on social media, my blog, and other platforms. Twitter has proven to be extremely useful and you can find me on a few Twitter hours throughout the week such as #HandmadeHour.

And finally, what are your goals and dreams for your business?
A while ago I took a class on how to teach craft workshops. That is something I would love to do. Originally, before I set up my business, I worked at university and also taught a few classes there. I realised I’m actually pretty good at teaching although I never ever wanted to be a teacher. I would love to teach knitting and spinning at some point and really have to start working on lesson plans and samples if I want to get started. A really big dream of mine is to have another book published. My first one has nothing to do with crafts at all and is all about my academic work. Now I would love to compile a book of knitting patterns, either by myself or in collaboration with someone else.

I would like to say a  BIG thank you to Nadia for sharing a little about herself and her business here with us. 
Nadia is offering all of you a coupon code for 20% off everything in her Etsy shop and get this, it is good for the next 2 months. Plenty of time to get some stocking stuffers or nice little gifts for the fibre  loving people in your life, or treat yourself to some new needle bling.

The code for 20% off from October 8th to December 8th is ULDENT20.

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