A new home online

Back in 2011, I started a blog. I write code for a living so my dream job was to work at Etsy, and for the longest time their job posting had a line encouraging you to share any craft you did. I wanted proof that I was crafty for when I eventually did apply, so I hopped online and spun up a website. It started out as a grab bag - some food, some photography and a lot of sewing. I already had my Oliphant Kat name and branding but I wasn’t convinced that selling knitted items was worth the time investment, so I was going all in on sewing projects.

Fast forward to 2016, and a lot had happened. I finally (finally!) worked up the courage to apply at Etsy and I landed my dream job. In April my husband and I moved to New York so I could work at said dream job. Three things quickly became apparent:

  1. Yarn is way cheaper and more easily available in the US than it is in Australia (hello, online yarn stores).

  2. Moving to a new city where you have no friends means you have a lot of time on your hands.

  3. New York is cold.

All three things brought on the perfect conditions to start knitting up a storm. As the year progressed, my journey into knitting and selling that knitting ticked on at a rapid pace - I eventually pivoted my Instagram feed to be knitting-focused, I started writing patterns and I eventually started selling on Etsy and Ravelry. You can read about it in my 2016 in Review post if you’re interested in more details and what I learned.

As my Instagram feed and my online stores gained traction, I realised that my blog was falling behind. There was no getting around it - it just looked ugly and unprofessional. So much so that I never printed out business cards and I cringed whenever I shipped packages with my URL on them, because I was plain embarrassed about my website. It also meant that I hardly every blogged - what was the point of writing if I was too embarrassed of how the posts looked to share them?

That last bit was what eventually pushed me over the edge. While I love the visual nature and community building aspects of Instagram, I find photography challenging. I work really hard at it but photography doesn’t feel like it comes naturalIy to me - I’m a little envious of my friends who just have an eye for it. On the other hand, I've always really loved to write. I just needed the space to do it.

So a few weeks ago I sat down and decided to do something about it. As much as I make websites as my day job, the eye for photography that I don’t seem to have also extends to design - unless I’ve worked with a designer, all the websites I’ve made have been sort’ve ugly (hence the problems with my blog!). Plus I wanted to get something up quickly and easily. So I started up a Squarespace account, picked a template and went to town.

The results are what you can see in front of you right now. I’m proud of both the website itself and the fact that you’re reading the first blogpost I’ve written in over a year. It’s pretty exciting!

I’ve moved all my old knitting-related posts over to the blog if you want to see what I write about. Moving forward, I’m aiming to write a new post at least once a week. I’m planning on having a mix of posts that are either tips and techniques for knitting and designing or more personal posts like this one - projects I’m up to, things going on in my life, patterns and FOs I love that I’ve seen out in the world. I’ll still be using my mailing list for news and updates, but I’ll also be sending out emails every time I write a new post, so if you’d like to get all my new blog posts in your inbox go ahead and sign up.

I hope you’ll enjoy the new content, and make sure to let me know in the comments if there’s something in particular you’d like to learn about. I’m running a sale all this month to celebrate the new website - but as a special thank you to you for reading all the way through this blog post, you can use the code LIFTOFF for 25% off any of my patterns until the end of June. Happy knitting!

PS If you’d to see a before and after for my website, or are curious about the sewing content, the old blog lives at http://oliphantkat.blogspot.com/.