Since May on the rare occasions that I've written a blog post I have referred vaguely to a freelance project without giving you any details.
This is because I was struggling with how to integrate this yarn related business opportunity into my personal blog. All along my policy has been to try to keep my personal life separate from my business life (i.e., off my blog) as much as possible. In the past this was easy since my business wasn't yarn related.
However this is no longer possible. I've finally faced the fact that keeping quiet about my exciting, beneficial opportunity is the cause of my recent blogger's block. So I'm laying it out there for all the world to see.
I'm running the social media presence for Knitting Fever Inc.!
Goodness, I feel better already.
Does that company name mean anything to you? It should. They are a U.S. based wholesale distributor of many fine yarn brands, including Debbie Bliss, Noro, Louisa Harding, Elsebeth Lavold's Designer Choice. The list goes on. You can see them all on the company website.
Since they don't sell directly to the public I suspect that unless you've worked at a yarn store you haven't heard of KFI, although you know their yarns. The goal of the social media push is to keep their yarns top of mind so you feel compelled to go to your LYS and buy some. But isn't that the goal of any social media campaign?
How It Happened
I have Cynthia to thank for this opportunity. Back in January when she was closing Knitting Central's physical store she asked us all what we wanted to do.
I laughed and said, "I want someone to pay me for writing about yarn."
She said, "Hmm, ok."
A few months later she heard through the grapevine that KFI was looking for someone to write a blog for them. She pulled some strings to get my resume in front of them.
Are you paying attention, young people? Everything you hear about having a strong network to go along with your strong skills is true.
So I bought a spiffy new suit (because when I squeezed my fat little butt into any of my existing interview suits I looked like and obscene little sausage), wrapped myself in a self-esteem cloak of "I am awesome!", and drove down to Long Island to meet them.
What I'm Doing
By the end of the meeting, which lasted almost two hours(!), they had decided to wait on the blog idea and focus instead on Facebook, Twitter, and Ravelry.
I have set up a main Facebook page for the company, KFI on Facebook, and pages for some of the bigger yarns they represent. I won't list them all here. If you are interested you can navigate to them from the main KFI fan page by clicking on the "favorite pages" box down on the left hand side.
I also set up a Twitter account, KFI on Twitter.
What I am NOT doing is running the KFI account on Ravelry. Since I haven't been thoroughly vetted in company policy and customer service regulations I wouldn't want something I post under that ID to be taken as gospel. What I AM doing on Ravelry is running around adopting all their yarn brands and making sure the entries are accurate and up-to-date.
The writing block was formed because I didn't have a good outlet for any of my activities since they didn't want a blog. I hadn't announced this arrangement on my own blog, but I had to be upfront about the yarn I was working with. And that is all aside from the fact that my knitting time was being curtailed because of everything going on in my life. This is no longer an issue since I'm finally being honest with you. :-)
At the end of the meeting the owner asked if I came down by train because he wanted to send me home with some samples.
I said I drove.
He said to give me some yarn, but not to over fill my car.
"Oh, I drove an SUV," I said.
And they gave me yarn.
A paralyzing amount of yarn.
Enough yarn to fill my SUV trunk.
How can I give you a sense of proportion of that box? I'm 5 feet tall and it comes up to my waist.
It is a spare samples set, which is what their sales reps take around to yarn stores to show them the new yarns and colors when the seasons change.
I called Hubby on the way home and screeched "I have a trunk full of yarn!"
What I should have done when I got home was start swatching right then and there.
But, as I said, it's a paralyzing amount of yarn. It is also all single balls, since it's just samples. Some of them are large enough to do a one-skein project because they are fingering weight or lighter. I can use them to make socks, fingerless gloves, or shawls.
Most of the others are only big enough for a neck warmer style scarf or, say, an eye pillow? Rather than have a bunch of wee scarves flooding the house I think I'm going to make a bunch of stitch sample swatches, match them by weight, and sew them together for an afghan.
Although I'm also toying with the idea of attempting to make an adult version of Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. I even bought the pattern already.
Let The Blogging Commence
So there you are. Now you know one of the reasons I've abandoned you in recent months.
But now I'm back and I'm gonna write about any thing my little heart desires.
I'll try to figure out a way to alert you up front when I'm blogging about one of my sample yarns. My current idea is to slug the post title with "KFI" and tag it in the labels as well.
Just know that until they decide to go with an official, branded blog, anything I'm working on for them can pop up here.
Hopefully it will be fun for all of us.