Podcasts for Creative Souls

I haven't shared my current playlist in a while. I used to do a summary around Christmas time of all the wonderful knitting podcasts (audio and video) that I had enjoyed that year but I've realised that increasingly, my podcast list runs wider than a purely knitting focus these days.  (If you want a great knitting list by the way, you should check out knittingpodcast.com as that's where I head when I need a fibre fix for my ears). 

These are a few of the podcasts I turn to when I'm itching for some creative and smart topics. These women have brought so much new information and inspiration this year that I feel so glad to have found them. 

6 podcasts for creative souls 

6 podcasts for creative souls 

Elise Gets Crafty- Elise runs her own creative business and draws from both her own experiences as well as her amazing network of business friends and peers. She explores topics and themes around blogging, business, creativity, inspiration and motivation. Interviews feature heavily and makes it feel as if you're listening in on a professional conversation while sipping coffee together- the perfect blend of focus and accessibility. I always some great 'ah HA!' moments listening to this one. 

Woolful- If you have a passion for makers' stories, sustainability, great story telling and fibre, this is the podcast to go for. Ashley hosts this audio podcast and does an amazing job of sourcing interviewees and interesting companies who are creating businesses with great commitment to an authentic product. Each podcast usually covers 1-2 makers which means an indepth focus on each that I find utterly mesmerizing each time I listen. 

Craftlit- I love Heather's commitment to literature! Heather has a beautiful voice and sources other great voice artists to help deliver a sort of audio book with a twist. Each episode includes crafty chat, an introduction and exploration of the book segment about to be featured and then a reading from the chosen book for that season. My favourite so far has been Dracula but there's a great back catalogue to tempt you to spend just an hour more crafting and listening. 

Fluffy Fibers- Isabelle is a charming host who shares her many creative endeavours including knitting, crochet, sewing, spinning and her love of literature. I love how she gently shares her making journey and explains the choices she made. Listening always makes me crave more time to make as Isabelle is very good at immersing you too in her creativity with her gift for explaining process. One for crafters everywhere and now includes video too. 

Knit.fm- Sadly this podcast is on hiatus but there's a back catalogue that I am happily revisiting as there's so much good information in there! Hosted by Hannah Fettig and Pam Allen, this is an informative look at our knitting craft from two very knowledgeable designers and business owners. I sincerely hope this makes a return as it was a rich learning experience for every knitter. 

Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert- Elizabeth is the incredible author of 'Eat Pray Love' and more recently, 'Big Magic'. True to her books, this podcast explores creative identity with a wide range of guests from Oprah to Brene Brown and more. Expect a lot of food for thought. 

If you miss Hannah's voice, tune into the A Playful Day podcast this week for an interview about her forthcoming book 'Home and Away'. 

What podcasts do you like to listen to? 

Helpful Resources for Getting Started for Knit and Crochet Designers

It's been wonderful sharing the skills and tools that designers use to produce high quality knitting and crochet patterns to sell. In this post, I'm sharing useful links and resources to help you plan your Creative Business. Whether it's getting more training on vital skills such as marketing and pricing or getting your head around a business plan and accounts, setting up your own business takes some careful planning. Once you've done all that, how you communicate it with the world takes some careful consideration too. So here's some of the free resources I've found really useful when supporting clients. 

Useful Links For Starting Your Own Creative Business

Useful places to look for support:

The Design Trust - I love this website that's packed full of free resources and 1000's of useful links to follow up on if you're a Creative wishing to turn your skills into a serious business. You can register to become a member and there are regularly webinars which makes this UK based company much more accessible for everyone. 

The Creative School for Start Ups- A UK based course aimed at entrepreneurs looking to start up their own creative business. Not in the UK? Their Twitter and social media feeds are some of the most useful in my timeline so a great one to follow. 

http://ukhandmade.co.uk/ - A website that showcases Handmade Businesses. There's a community element with boards and forums as well as a Directory and their magazine has proven very inspirational as the featured makers in each edition are a something like a case study for how to go about creating and selling your handmade products. Again, useful for those outside the UK as well as within. 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/community - It's always worth becoming a member of the forums and community boards for each platform you use to sell your products. There is advice and tips from other traders as well as webinars and resources constantly being shared. I have also used these to find local Etsy support groups that run events to train up their sellers on how to effectively plan, sell and market their products. 

http://talk.folksy.com/ - Another sellers platform worth dipping into. 

Enterprise Nation- The blog alone is worth adding to your regular business reading but I also love the funding it regularly highlights for entrepreneurs as well as resources and courses. Their newsletter makes me eager to learn all the time!

CraftBlogUK- Written by Hilary Pullen who recently published Online Marketing for Your Craft Business' (I reviewed it here). Hilary shares lots of tips and tricks for free on her blog such as increasing your blog audience or adding social media share buttons. 

With all of these links I've shared, their social media streams and newsletters are worth following to keep up to date and source new business support. The number of times an article has been shared or a course announced that I was pondering seeking more information about is quite uncanny!


A specific issue raised in the Designalong discussion thread was VATMOSS. Here's a few useful links to get you started:

Ysolda's thorough blog post.  

The Storify link to the Vatmoss Twitter chat Ysolda hosted 

Emerging advice for Small Businesses on how to deal with VATMOSS changes

Ravelry's response to VATMOSS 

How the new changes to EU VAT rules effect your Digital Products via Blogtacular. 



Wish to join the Designalong and win tech editing, business support and yarn support for your published pattern? Find out more here.

More design inspirations heading your way tomorrow from a designer who crochets and hand knits!

For the Love of Writing

A few nights ago I was melancholy. There were various events over the last week that left me listless, dissatisfied and a little emotionally raw. In the past I kept a journal which I poured my soul into but having stopped the habit years ago, picking up a pen now feels overwhelming.  I felt like that was what I needed though and while the blog helps my urge to write and tell tales, I don't have that same release any more.  

I started at an empty page wondering where to start. I needed to work through, cataloguing things to find a pattern, a catalyst and hopefully reach a resolution. I didn't know how to any more though. I was overwhelmed by the words I suddenly didn't have and still, there was this noise in the background, making it hard to focus. I wanted it out so I could move on. Nothing BIG was wrong. I was just blue and struggling to move on. 

So I put out a plea via Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry and found others who kept journals. A few different systems were suggested:

- Bullet Journalling (I NEED this in my life too, also I need something reflective too though..... how to incorporate?)
- One thousand Gifts. (while not religious myself, I found the idea of finding joy in each day interesting.... this could easily be included in the Bullet Journal format)
- Every few days, writing highlights and notes, collecting pages, adding details through tickets or photographs (note: I would love a polaroid for just this reason)
- 5 year diaries. A small note each day that you return to year after year. My grandfather has done this for decades. I hope to inherit these as I understand the preciousness of the daily act. 
- A journal with additional clips and sticky notes, colour coded for different types of note such as knitting, anxiety and shopping lists. I liked this idea a lot. 
- Doodles, yarn swatches and a visual index of things that have provoked a reaction. 
- Journals with prompts such as quotes or images already on the pages.
- Describing your immediate setting as a way to launch a meditative entry. 

I've been left with lots of ideas that I like so I wanted to share them with you. I might try and develop a 'system' and share it again, inviting you to join me. 

Do you write? And if so, how? Come tell us over in the group. There's more than just me who'd appreciate the inspiration I can assure you!