The beauty of small things
When staying small feels just right
Happy Sunday, fellow makers!
I took this self-portrait a few weeks ago while on a hike with my friend (on the right, and who is also an amazing shawl designer; links to Ravelry).
I am so lucky in the San Francisco area to have wild and natural spaces all around me. This particular hike is a flat 2-mile, out and back, walk to a sheltered cove. It’s a gorgeous walk through California’s golden hills to the Pacific Ocean.
As we walked, I was enchanted by looking at all the tiny details: burrows in the grasses where critters had come out. Small brown birds, nothing special, but also small amazing beings. Tufts of grasses as they ripple in the wind.
In this season where I am slowly expanding back out into the world after two and a half years of pandemic isolation, I am realizing: the things that make me happiest are the small things. A walk on a warm day. The sound of our laughter as we hike. Watching a tiny bird tip-tip-tip out of the bushes. The smell of ocean and sand.
I took this photo as well, of the rippling grasses, and it reminded me that some of my favorite knitting photos are the close-ups. The ones that show tiny details: a shoulder, or a tendril of a shawl. The small things that make life sweet.
My Bookmarked collection, developed with Hunter Hammersen, is small, too. The pattern creates small knitted books: tiny, impractical, but joyful things with secret compartments inside. They’re just the right kind of small for me. They make me feel like a kid, with the very best Harriet-the-Spy and Nancy Drew energy.
As a grown-up and business owner, this collection—and how much you all are loving it—has been small, too, but small as in so meaningful. A larger company, selling hundreds and hundreds of kits, can’t efficiently connect with each order or each person ordering. But for me, doing things the way I do them, I can. The number of orders you all are placing are very meaningful for me, but would be considered small for a larger craft kit company. And this is how I like it.
I like recognizing your names, as they come into my in-box. Some of you have been ordering from me for years and years. I love seeing new names and give a hearty welcome to those of you for whom the Bookmarked kit has been your first order. I like being able to honor Hunter’s introductory pattern discount. (She offered you a 10% off the $10 pattern, and I have been sending you back $1, too, if you bought the kit with a pattern.)
I will enjoy wrapping each kit and dyeing each skein. It will be meaningful to me to share pictures of the yarn as it dries outside, in my small backyard.
Thoughts of small things also remind me of the election that happened this week in the U.S. It turns out that young people—Gen Z, first-time voters—were a small but meaningful group who helped Democrats win in crucial races and helped stem a red tide. This lovely opinion piece in The New York Times says it all, “Maybe Gen Z is Just Kinder: How America’s Youngest Voters are Shaping Politics.”
I am heartened by small things. I am heartened by young people. I am heartened when I slow down and connect, whether we are making a kit together, knitting stitches together, or walking to the beach together.
The Bookmarked collection is available for preorder for just one more week
I have gotten such a kick out of sourcing and finding just the right tins and boxes and chipboard covers for the Bookmarked kit. (I actually hand-wind each little skein of embroidery thread onto a wooden bobbin, too!)
Kits also include a guided knitalong with me, where I’ll be knitting along with you and answering questions or giving advice as we all open up our kits and make our knitted books. The guided knitalong will have two Zoom sessions and I’ll be making a recorded video for knitters who aren’t able to attend either session.
If you haven’t already, you can …
Small things are so beautiful.
Small enough that I can wrap my arms around them. Small enough that we can all fit in a simple Zoom call. Small enough that it’s not daunting or noisy or awkward. Just small and quiet and full of meaning.
Thanks for being here with me.
The introductory discount period is now over, but as of Saturday morning, I was all caught up on sending dollars back. If you ordered later on Saturday, or if you bought the pattern separately, I’ll take of you on Monday morning!
Small things really usually are underestimated, be it small companies or small pleasures. To be able to enjoy them is a good quality in a person, and not always an easy one to find. Thanks for an enjoyable piece of writing.
As always, your newsletter is full of thoughtfulness and care, giving me things to ponder and appreciate. Thank you! Can't wait to make small books with secret compartments soon.