Making time for more

Fringe Association: Frequency and focus

The number one thing you guys tell me, especially when I get to meet you in person, is that your favorite thing about this blog is that it’s daily. (Every weekday, anyway.) You tell me you look for the email first thing in the morning, or you just call up the ol’ URL, and you read the day’s post with your coffee. And it melts my heart every time. So this is a decision I’ve taken a really long time to make because you’ve told me it matters, but: I am slowing down the pace.

I’ve seen this happen to so many people who have blogs and start businesses, and the businesses get busy, and they stop blogging. I don’t want to do that. Blogging feeds me — it’s the part of the day where I feel most like myself, and most like I’m so lucky to get to do what I’m doing. But the reality remains that I am spread way too thin. I’ve been working 60-70 hour weeks for as long as I can remember, and being stretched so thin has affected my ability to feel good about what I’m doing with the blog. (Not to mention my time to knit and sew.)

I used to have a rule of thumb for how many posts were about what I’m doing versus how many about other people — whether a Maker Crush or an interview or who’s putting out great patterns or developing a new yarn or hosting an interesting event or whatever. And the more stretched I am, the less time I have to look up and look around and dig in, which has resulted in there being less content here about other people, and that’s my favorite kind. 

I’ve tried to decide and declare this before and then I slide back into my 5-day habit, because that’s how habits work. But I’m holding myself to it this time. And I’m also thinking a lot about ways to make all of the amazing people and information buried in the archives more accessible, starting with the people. Starting with literally putting the word People in the top menu up there. Populating that means going back through the entire history of the blog and retagging the posts that are about someone other than me, and so far I’ve only done 2018, but right now you can click that and scroll and find everyone from Teresa who handspins Brusca in her home in Portugal to Daniel Day Lewis and his gansey, and the interview with gansey expert Dib Gillanders that followed. And so much else! 

I’ve also included all the Elsewheres in the People scroll, because those are inherently lists I’ve made about other people doing and making interesting things. (Note that I’ve only included New Favorites in cases where they are hooked on a single designer’s work.) So I’ll keep adding to it, and I hope you’ll explore it. And then there will be more!

It means a lot to me that you take time out of your day to come read what I’ve written, and I want to do right by you. So I’m going to try a 3-days-a-week approach and see how that goes, and I hope you understand this decision! I’m so grateful to you for reading. 

. . .

Pictured above are the most recent 12 people to have been individually highlighted on the blog in some way, so here are the shortcuts to those posts:

New Favorites: Yuko Shimizu sweaters
Meet Steekalong insta-panelist No. 1: Kristine Vejar
New Favorites: Sari’s cable hats
Steekalong q&a: Mary Jane on choosing yarn
New Favorites: Wearable superbulky (Tara-Lynn Morrison)
1-Q interview: Megan Elizabeth of Making Things
Slow Fashion October q&a: Gina Stovall
Maker Crush: Llane Alexis
New Favorites: Brandi’s neck sculptures
Slow Fashion October q&a: Katrina Rodabaugh
Slow Fashion October q&a: Martha McQuade
Maker Crush: Natalie of The Tiny Closet

35 thoughts on “Making time for more

  1. Congratulations! Thanks for your writing, your thoughtfulness and your sharing. And thanks for setting a good example of generosity that includes generosity towards yourself. Wishing you all the best and many happy discoveries as you shift your scheduling.

  2. As much as I love daily readings of your blog, I totally understand the need to be fresh, non-hurried, and intentional! We (your readers) will adapt! I will say I was worried the absence of daily blogs was connected to what you had recently experienced. And that made me sad. I think it’s a great idea to revisit rich content from the archives! Writing as you do is so much better than the brevity of “snapchat” posts! Rock on, Karen!

  3. Karen- what is the best way to send you an email? I’d like to offer up some of my time to help you with going through your previous posts. Your blog has been a regular part of my daily life for years and want to show you my appreciation.
    Cheers! Meredith

    • That’s super sweet of you, Meredith, thank you. But it’s a task really only I can do, and want to do! It’s helpful to me to revisit, on many levels.

  4. Yes of course it makes sense to make life manageable and balanced. Also I think three days of your blog given the quality of the writing and information shared is still a gift. Thank you.

  5. Karen – thanks for being a great example of self-care. We all need this message from time to time: it’s ok to step back from something that’s not serving you, at least not at the moment. I’m one of those people who looked forward to your posts every morning, but on behalf of all of us – we’ll miss the daily posts but we’ll survive! Now we will just look forward to 3x/week posts! Congratulations on having built such a thriving business – enjoy!!

  6. You can only work the candle at both ends for so long before (the likelihood is) you land in a really bad place. To stave off nervous exhaustion by changing your habits is laudable, because the one who suffers if you collapse, is you (and of course your loved ones and friends who care about you, but you’re victim number 1). Three interesting posts a week sounds like a great compromise – a way for you to indulge your love of writing but not so intense that you can’t use the extra time on introspection and maybe even more knitting :-) I wish that more peeps in the workplace – esp. women of our age and stage – would speak about this with such honesty.

  7. No complaints from this quarter about a reduction in posts per week! Not everything that gets written on a blog appeals to me (for example, I have no interest in steeking so I don’t bother with those posts); I am just happy that there is reasonably regular content to read. As you say, more time to concentrate on what you are producing will reap rewards for you and your readers.

  8. I’m new to your blog, and really, just getting back into knitting after many years. I, too, look forward to reading in the morning and enjoy your honest, informative writing. Glad you are taking care of your self without completely dropping off blogging.

  9. I applaud your decision. Blogging is unbelievably time consuming. I read your blog to stay current with what’s happening in the making world, and three days per week is more than generous of you. I recently deleted my Instagram account in part to allow me to focus my attention on my own making and less on others (Lucy Neatby makes a point of actively avoiding looking at the work of other designers!). Social media can take over your life. Here’s to quality over quantity!

  10. While I love having you there in my inbox five mornings a week, I totally understand. I’ve often wondered how come you had so many more hours in your day than I, so it’s almost a comfort to know that you too are human. Selfishly, having you three days a week is far better than none…..and just think of all the creativity you will share with us. It’s good that you are taking care of yourself. We all love you and want you well and creative. Knit on!

  11. I totally understand and support your decision, though I will missing seeing a post every weekday.

    I’ve been sad to see so few people blogging…in my opinion Instagram is simply not the right medium for expressing oneself in words. But I have seen even veteran bloggers like the Yarn Harlot dial way back. If it feels too hard, you should make a change!

    We’ll look forward to hearing more about how you are finding balance. Very best wishes!

  12. We all experience a little rush of pleasure when we see Fringe Association pop up in the inbox, but I’ve always been amazed at how you managed 5 days a week to come up with something new. What you’re doing now makes complete sense, and I’m sure we’ll all find that there are all kinds of delicious things in the archive that we’d overlooked or forgotten about. Thank you for all that you do.

  13. NO! And… good for you! Take care of yourself, please oh please. I’ve been wondering for a while how you can keep up these thoughtfully written daily posts and do all you do. (And that’s only what I see from your posts.) Whatever you post is a gift and being able to access past posts means the gifts just keep giving. Thank you for all you do.

  14. Less is more! burned in my head since a graphic design teacher said it 40 years ago in class.
    I already noticed that I missed the Jan. 16 post featuring Yuko Shimizu yet had purchased her Sunburst pattern about 2 weeks prior. Thank you for 3 days a week.

  15. As someone who reads you faithfully 5 days a week, I will miss your daily voice. As someone who reads you faithfully 5 days a week, I get it. You are working really, really hard! You do such quality work in everything you do, and put a lot out there in your posts for all of us to see and think about. Thank you for the gift that is this blog. 3 days a week is still great!!

  16. Take care of yourself and we will appreciate your posts and anticipate them even more! I love the people you feature. I look them all up and expand my horizons. I still want to take your Portugal trip!

  17. Every Spring is different, but all are welcome and beautiful. I’m happy and grateful for all you share. So whenever and however often I see FA in the inbox, it will be eagerly opened. Best to you!

  18. Blogging takes time, a lot of time. While I really appreciate your regular posts, I will continue to appreciate your less frequent posts, possibly even more. In fact, there are some blogs I have stopped following because they were posting too often (like, three of four times a day). If you feel like you’re close to burn-out (or steadily moving towards it), then it is definitely time to slow down before it is too late (been there…). Take care of yourself Karen.

  19. As I have really really missed the posts you used to do much more of , the ones about other knitters & makers, great patterns and yarns, yay! to content quality over quantity and yay! to your living at a more human pace. ❤️

  20. I just attended a class this morning in self-care. The quote we closed with was “You weren’t born to be perfect. You were born to be real.” Thank you for being real with us, Karen!

  21. So glad you’re going to take care of yourself this way, Karen! It will make me savor even MORE the times I get to read your blog posts….they will become even more special than before. Sending you hugs and peace. :)

  22. Three would work but so too would 2/wk work for me.
    And, certainly not because I’m uninterested. I’m simply more interested in having
    more time, in general, for doing all I want to do.
    The “less is more” approach really does work!

  23. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and I love your thoughtful, helpful, inspiring posts. I’m glad you’ll be continuing to blog – at a pace that makes sense for you!

  24. You negotiate all of these passages with grace. I read your blog with eager anticipation every weekday, and now will know to anticipate on M, W, F. Do what you need to to maintain joy in your work and creativity in your output. Thanks for everything you’ve done so far.

  25. Well done Karen! And thanks for putting it out there so we all get a good reminder to reevaluate every once and a while! Like a commenter above said, I believe this is super important for women particularly.

  26. I hope you find your balance, something that works for you. Take care and enjoy the journey. I hope you can slow down and be more rested. Best wishes!

  27. I’m one of the ones who reads you with my morning cup of tea . . . I’m grateful for whatever you produce for us and hope you find something like work/life sanity

  28. Thank you Karen for all that you give. I look forward to you sharing the inspiration that will surely come from giving yourself some space between blogs.

  29. Cheers to keeping this beautiful blog and resource sustainable and pleasurable! We will eagerly read whenever and however you choose to share. What a great example of self-care and healthy boundaries. Kudos.

  30. Karen, thank you. Your blog is such a joy to read and the parts of it you want to spend more time with are the topics/designers/tools etc that I love. Three days a week can make you and your readers happy! Best to you

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