Katie is listening to: When the Summer Dies by deadmau5 and Lights
(all makers are asked what their current favourite song is and we’re making a playlist of them all) Maker’s Mix on Spotify
Full disclosure on this very first Featured Maker interview, I asked Katie, the talented human behind Mindfulness Makes notions and yarns, to be my very first subject, because we have been encouraging each other for over two years now and I am so happy so see her charms and her yarn being used by other makers!
I use these stitch markers every day, and they just make me so happy. My current favourite is the yellow candy, but my all time favourite is the Christmas tree. I love it so much that when Nacho got to it and chew it up, I immediately ordered another one even though it was not at all in season. 🤪
I also want to take this opportunity to gush about her collection of yarns with matching charms. It’s a brilliant idea, and the yarn is available in two bases, the suri and the fingering and you can hold them together!
Even though I know Katie and I was there to witness part of her path to opening Mindfulness Makes, it was really fun to read about the process and of course, some knitting talk towards the end.
Have a peek at her shop to see all her fun charms and beautiful yarns!
Your shop started with a handful of stitch markers, what made you decide to take the leap and open the shop?
This was through encouragement from friends and family, including you! As well as I’ve always made things and thought, I can’t just keep all of this for myself. Being at home through the pandemic also helped push me to do this since I had the time.
All of your charms are so sweet and cute, and as a customer I can also attest that they are very well made. What is the process like for you from idea to finished product?
First of all, thank you very much! Seasons and upcoming holidays really get me started. Then I think of cute items surrounding those that would look even cuter with faces. I’ll then take a piece of clay that’s a scrap and test out the charm with that. Then once I like that I decide what colours I want to use and mix those up. Then the charm comes to life with colours and the first actual charm being made!
This may be an impossible question, but which charm is your favourite?
Yes, this is a really hard question! I think I’d have to say the ghost because he’s just so cute and he glows which amazes me. I also have an unreleased gingerbread person which also is just absolutely adorable.
It’s been so fun to see you add your own hand dyed yarns to your shop, with so many coordinating and matching colours! Had you planned to include yarns in your shop or did it just happen organically?
I actually started dyeing yarn before I started making charms. I just always did the yarn on a small scale and was very much experimenting. Having the store and an actual business gave me the push to buy wholesale bare yarn so I could increase stock to be able to put it online. I don’t have that much space so dyeing yarn is a bigger process since I have to make sure I put everything away after. Charms take a lot less space to make, so that’s what I started with!
How long have you been knitting?
I have been consistently knitting since fall of 2017. I remember going to my parents and my grandmother was cross stitching, like she always was, and I decided to start a cross stitch project. It was a free flower pattern from DMC, and is still not finished! Shortly after I think I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole and found some quick knit Christmas gifts and that’s where it all started!
Do you remember what your first finished object was?
I believe it was a super chunky garter double wrapped cowl. It was in colour changing yarn from Michaels and I think I made about three or four for Christmas gifts that year.
What was your most recently finished object?
I am very much one to cast on many projects and switch between them. So a finished object is rare around here currently! The last thing I finished was actually a machine knit item, the reversible hat by Lacelegance on Ravelry/Instagram.
What are some new patterns you’ve added to your queue?
Are you interested in pattern design?
I am! I actually have designed mittens but life has gotten in the way so far and they haven’t been released yet. I really like the ideas behind designing, and I am definitely a huge math nerd. One day maybe I’ll dive a bit more head first into this!
Do you have any advice for someone with a full time job that wants to start a shop of their own?
It’s hard! One piece of advice I got recently that I thought was good was dedicating chunks of time to your shop rather than trying to squeeze it in when you have breaks from work. You need those breaks from work to actually take a break, you don’t need it to do another job. Try to be as realistic as possible as to what time you can dedicate to your shop and don’t be too hard on yourself if something has to be delayed.