Why I quit knitting for order? Part 2

A new GK knitting help is out now, in which I show you how I do the 3 Needle Bind off Method. You can read about it here or watch the video here. You can find all of my knitting helps here. I plan to make one more episode to this series about creating an I cord and joining it to another piece of work and with that a big part of my bonnet patterns will be covered with help, so I will start to update those patterns in Ravelry and in my Etsy shop before making any new videos. If you purchased your GK pattern through Ravelry, you will get an automatic notification about the update but I will keep you posted about the process here on the blog as well.

But the main topic of today’s post would be continuing the story from where I stopped last time. And that is what I had learnt from the two years when GK was on hold. Finally I came to the conclusion that I have to follow my husband’s advice which was working with my brain and leave my heart to my family and don’t try to be successful in both fields controlled by my emotions.

This is the hardest thing for me. So far I have been working in a manner that if I don’t do something with all of my heart, I am not doing it at all. Now I have to think first and decide if something is worth the time doing it or not.

I have very limited hours to work. Kids are in kindergarten from 8 to 12 in the morning, so after coming home I have about 3 hours daily from Monday to Friday until I have to go back to pick them up. That is not much at all, so I have to be really efficient. If I wanted to continue working, I had to peel down the most time consuming parts of the job. So I have broken my whole business down to tasks, and I gave every task an indicator according to how much time is it consuming and about how much revenue does it bring. It turned out that knitting for order and the administrative tasks that come with it took about 80% of the all the tasks in GK, and about 50% of the revenue. It would have been nonsense for me if I wanted to continue that part, so I crossed those tasks down from my list. And all I was left with writing knitwear patterns.

To be honest, I don’t mind it at all. As surprising as it may have sound, I find the designing of something new just as pleasing as knitting. It is definitely more challenging than knitting by myself in front of the tv. It has a huge advantage because I am free to decide when I do the work. And last but not least, knitting remains a leisure and pleasure activity for me and not something that is compulsory.

I mentioned last time that with running a business came the editing of a website, listings, studying SEO and stuff like that. And I had to admit that I love that part, too. I have learnt so many interesting things in the past years…

The only thing I had to get used to is writing in English. Originally, this blog was written in Hungarian, and I wanted to publish my patterns in my mother language as well. After a year I realized no matter how hard I had tried making it more popular, it was not working. Looking into the statistics of the blog showed that most visitors are from English speaking regions (but they were probably leaving without understanding a word…). And I also knew that most of my Hungarian readers speak English anyway because we were already using English for communicating between ourselves in Ravelry, too (this way we don’t exclude everyone else from the conversation). So I woke up one morning, and guided by a sudden idea I archived all the Hungarian posts on the blog and started to write in English.

Long story short, GK has come a long way and is far from where I started. Everything has changed in the last 5 years. The theme, the language, the target, the materials… me… But I guess this is what life is about. We have to let go of things that doesn’t bring us joy any more and turn to something that does… I hope I answered all the questions that emerged in the past 2 weeks… and I apologize if any of the answers are disappointing for some of you.

And that is all I wanted to share about the topic in a “nutshell” 🙂 . Now you know why I chose to close down the online shop of GK and also why I don’t have my patterns in Hungarian. I can’t say for sure that I will never write anything in Hungarian again but for now those times are definitely over for a while.

From next week on I am going to concentrate on updating my patterns with tutorial links and I will go through all of them one by one in a short introduction post, so stay tuned 🙂 Until then,

Happy Knitting!


New week, new knitting help and a few thoughts about quitting, Part 1

I prepared another knitting help for today, this time it is about the Chain Selvedge Method. I advise to use this method in every flat knit pattern and it is causing confusion in my experience, so that is what I try to make clear in this tutorial. You can find the explanation here, and the tutorial video here. You can find all of my knitting helps here.

Another thing I wanted to talk about today is a few lessons I learned in the last 5 years about running a knitting business. This topic was inspired by a conversation with a dear knitter friend, Szila (please check her work out, she is amazing: Instagram: @szilacreativedesign Ravelry: Szilaa). We were chatting about the Hungarian knitter community, how non-knitting Hungarians perceive knitting and things like that and it made me conclude some things. I finally decided to share these thoughts with you because in the past two weeks, since I posted about shutting down the ready-made part of my business, I got questions every day from people about my decision. Why did I quit knitting and not designing? How could I choose between the two? So here are my honest answers for all those questions but first I have to take you back to the beginning of my story and tell you how GK was born so you can see the whole picture. It will probably be too long for one blog post, so I will split it in two. In the first part I am talking about the reason I quit selling ready made items and in the second about why I chose designing instead.

I started my small business 5 years ago just like most of us start it: I was a fresh mom of 2, I had no chance for a full time job but there was the social expectation around me to earn money, because “it puts too much pressure on a man to be the only breadwinner in the family” (actually and fortunately that was not the case for us, my husband is a system developer and he has never felt that making money would be too much pressure on him – on the contrary, he loves his work and he is good at it, so work always finds him – but everyone else around us was keep forcing me to do something for a living). I really loved knitting so I thought it was a great opportunity for me to strike two birds with one stone: do what I love when I want it and shut the mouth of society.

Little did I know by then that a knitter’s small business consists of all but knitting. I was naively imagining myself knitting and watching TV while children are in kindergarten… what a perfect picture of making an income! But instead what happened is in no time I found myself in the jungle of tax system, billing, website and online shop editing, social media platforms, SEO, creating marketing materials and such. None of them because I fancied the topic so much… It was rather because I wanted to run a successful business alone, so I had to learn how to manage every part of a business. Alone. And it was really hard for a creative person like me.

I soon realized I would have been better off working 8 hours anywhere else and then come back home to my family. That would have involved more knitting for pleasure, too, I guess… and much less stress… But by this time I was in the middle of it. GK was running, I worked basically 24 hours a day… I had the time for it, because our daughter had no need to sleep so I was awake with her through the nights, too (later she was diagnosed with ASD, I wrote about this in the same post – she is fine now). And I wasn’t making money. At least not the amount one would expect for working 24/7.

After 2 years I was really tired and burned out. And I know many fellow entrepreneurs running a small business feel the same way after a while. I know because I talk to them regularly. We have the idea of running the perfect business but it is not like that in real life and by the time we realize this, it is too late to turn back. We have put way too much work and money into something that is not working the way we imagined it, trying to change things for the better. This is especially true for knitters in Hungary. The market is really small here as most of the people still think knitting and hand knitted garments are out of fashion. But this leads to another thread of the story which I will write about in my next post.

When I realized my income was way too far from what I would have liked it to be, I started to blame myself for it. I thought there was something wrong with me. The more work and energy I invested in the knitting business, the more I took away from my family, so finally I was failing as an entrepreneur and also as a mother. I started to go downward spiraling myself into really dark places but then my husband jumped in and told me to observe things from another perspective (once again, he works on the IT field, so he basically sees everything as 0s and 1s… 🙂 he uses his brain to work and not his heart like me…). And that perspective was:

  • declare how much money I want to earn in a month (I opted for the Hungarian average income which is less than what I had earned before I gave birth to my children. But you know, that is the life of an average woman who decides to have children… I was happy to be able to do what I love, at least)
  • count all costs of my business in a month (taxes, yarn, packaging, tools, online shop fees, marketing costs, table rent fees at design/handmade markets, the costs of designing new collections, price of photo shoots, etc.)
  • add together the two amounts mentioned above and divide it by the average price of my hats to get the number of items I need to knit/sell in a month to earn that money
  • decide if it was achievable or not

It turned out I should knit and sell over 200 hats in a month to earn that money. TWO HUNDRED. If I want to count how many working hours is that, I have to multiple 200 by 2 because I knit a hat in an average 2 hours. That means 400 work hours a month, 100 per week. And that is only knitting, it doesn’t include the time spent on designing and testing new items, marketing, website, social media and online shop editing times, all the other administrative tasks, standing in line at the post office to send packages, etc… And as I mentioned before, that actually took up even more time than knitting. Basically there is not as many hours in a week as I need for working if I wanted to run this business successfully. I could hire someone to do the administrative work but then I have to knit and sell twice as many hats to pay their salary, too. It was the moment I had to admit to myself what I want from this business is simply not manageable. And it is not my fault. Even if I had 100 hours/week to knit, there is no way I can sell 200 hats in a month in Hungary. This is not the country for so many handknitted hats in every month of the year.

If you are thinking about creating a small business that sells handknit hats, I won’t talk you out of it. I’m not telling you that the same applies to every knitter. Everyone of us is different. Maybe you are a faster knitter and knit a hat in under half an hour, so less working hours are needed for knitting… or you don’t have that many costs to your business because you don’t run an online shop. Or simply you higher the prices of your products because you live in a country where you can do that (in Hungary this was not an option. I had already been asking for the highest prices possible). Or you don’t have any children, one of which diagnosed with ASD, so the number of working hours doesn’t matter to you. It is different for everyone. All I want to say that it was my decision considering my own circumstances. I can’t manage a business 24/7 that is not making me satisfied 100% and even if it did, my family still needs me.

My moment of enlightenment actually was the same moment when we realized that we needed to start investigating the problem of my daughter ASAP because it was getting out of our hands, too. You already know the end of this story: I pushed the pause button on GK and started to sort out my family issues. I spent two years concentrating only on family and in my free time I was brainstorming about GK and how I can turn this into something that I feel more satisfying without taking anything away from my family. What I came up with will be the topic of my next blog post. Will you join me next time, too? 🙂 Until then,

Happy Knitting!


It’s been a while…

…since I last posted here. I am so sorry I have neglected all of you. But there are times when life puts so much weight on your shoulders, you must decide which to carry on and which to drop. I don’t want to make excuses because I don’t like them either but if you are interested in what happened to me, please go ahead and read the story of my last three years… If you prefer not knowing anything about me because you are so angry at me, I totally understand, please just skip this post then, I was struggling writing it anyway because I don’t like to take my family-related stuff out to public. Just know that I feel terrible guilt to neglect you.

If you decided to stay with me for the rest of this post and get to know the reason for my absence, let’s jump into the middle of it… About two years ago my daughter was diagnosed with ASD and it was quite a shock for my family. The thought that something is not right with her wasn’t new to us, life had always been hard with her, she literally never slept, someone (usually me) had to be awake with her through the nights, too and she hadn’t started communicating with humans like other children do (by communicating with humans I mean she didn’t even seem to notice anybody. But she did notice dogs… in fact that is how she finally learnt to speak: with the help of dogs… but let’s not jump that far ahead in the story just yet…). The year prior the diagnosis was extremely hard with more and more frequent meltdowns, therefore I had less and less time and energy to focus on work. We needed to do something about it so we started to investigate the problem. After about a year, at the beginning of 2019 she got the diagnosis. We started to search for educational possibilities immediately and we soon realized that we need to move to the capital city to be able to provide her with the help that she needs. So we packed everything – including my mother 😀 – and sold both our house and my mother’s house to buy one in Budapest. We found a house that had a small apartment attached to it (for my mother – this way she would always be around if we needed help…). They were cheap (by cheap I mean according to other real estates in the capital city. According to our budget it was the only thing we could afford) but they needed renovation badly and the previous owner had a huge amount of bank depth on the houses, so they were in a state before auction. We decided to make a deal with the bank and buy the houses even if that meant that we need to do construction works while we are living in the house.

A few days after we signed the contracts in March 2020, the pandemic reached Hungary and everything was shut down. I don’t know if you have ever tried to sell two houses and buy a third one at the same time with all the stuff being moved from the two houses to the third one. Top that with a pandemic, a renovation (during a pandemic), a child with ASD (who doesn’t like changes, during a renovation, during a pandemic) and the struggle with bureaucracy to clear the depth of the previous owner in the estate records (during a pandemic). This was the worst. There was a misunderstanding between the bank and the land registration office and even though we settled all payments towards the bank, the land registration office didn’t want to delete the mortgage from the papers. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget about the problem that the previous owner had nowhere to live anymore so he tried to stay in the house as long as he could with his daughter, two huge dogs and a huge cat… and we let them live with us in the smaller apartment for months because we couldn’t bear the thought that they haven’t got a home any more because of us (I know. It was not because of us. We payed their depth, and their depth was not our fault… the bank would have taken the house from them anyway… but still. We wanted to move in a house that we payed for – and that meant they have to leave at some point. By now they managed to find a small apartment nearby and took out another loan to pay for that apartment but they are not homeless at least…). All in all, I don’t want to say we have tough two years behind us but WE HAVE TOUGH TWO YEARS BEHIND US…

Some photos of the renovation for you to get a picture of what I was talking about… 🙂 (the last of the works were finished in March 2021, that is when we could finally took over all parts of the house):

With all the above going on, as much as I would have loved to continue working on Gynka Knitwear, I just couldn’t manage. All my yarn, needles and even my computer were in boxes in a garage for months. At first I tried to read and answer all mails and Ravelry messages at least but after a while I had to let go of this too, because I couldn’t keep up and I was tired to excuse myself all the time for being so slow on reacting. If you happen to be someone who hadn’t got an answer to a question, I hereby apologize and please feel free to contact me again via email: gynkaknitwear@gmail.com. I will monitor this email daily from now on and start to catch up.

As to our struggles, we are over the worst part now and everything is settling down. We cleared the depths from the estate records, construction works are finished (inside at least. But before we start the works outside we have to take a deep breath to forget the hell of the last two years…). We were able to find a kindergarten for my daughter which she finally loves and she slowly starts to communicate with us (she is 5 now). She has also learnt the difference between night and day so she started to sleep 6-7 hours at night and we couldn’t be happier because if she sleeps, we can sleep, too.

Now that life is getting back to normal (if life can be called “normal” nowadays…), I would like to slowly get back to work, too. I decided to stop making ready-made items, so I shut my online store down. It is too much work for me right now and I had to choose between knitting and designing. I will continue writing patterns and I am currently working on something totally new to GK… I hope to announce it soon because I am very-very close to being ready.. I also hope you will like it. I am also planning to continue to write new posts to this blog biweekly or so, this way I can keep you updated about what is happening. It is hard to promise anything at this stage because you know… we have good weeks and bad weeks with my daughter… it is hard to tell whether I will or won’t be able to do any work regularly. But I will try my best, as I always do. I know some of you are relying on me, and I won’t let you down.

I also won’t spam you here with my private life anymore but in case you are interested in the end result of our new home, I have an Instagram account dedicated to my hobbies (creating our new home, indoor gardening and knitting) I would be more than happy if you joined me there, too! Please follow my account: @plantaknit on Instagram to see updates.

At last but not least I would like to say a huge thank you for being here, for reading my blog, for knitting my patterns, I can not tell you how much it means to me! You are the best! Hope to welcome you back next time!

Happy Knitting!


Holiday Mode: off

I tried so hard to stick to the Christmas tree and the holidays but let’s admit: we are in the middle of January… holidays are over… I should have some work done here…

Anyway, I wasn’t completely inactive during the past few weeks. I was knitting for family, friends and of course myself – only… There are still some WIPs left but I hope they will be FOs soon… 😀

Here’s a successfully finished object, a Christmas gift to my daughter’s therapist at Bethesda KIDSz (pattern is Lemmy K. by Isabell Kraemer):


It knitted up very quickly (I needed two days from cast on to bind off, and another one to wet block) and it turned out beautifully. My mother fell in love with it instantly, so I will have to make another for her as soon as I have two days off… 😀

This past week I tried slowly getting back to everyday routines like planning, designing and posting on social media sites.

My first announcement on my Facebook site was an announcement I’ve been excited very much about and prepared for months. I’ve always loved newborn photo props but I wasn’t sure if I should design any as I have several other things in my mind that seem more important. But I had several referrals from photographers and I didn’t want to disappoint them. One day last summer I was searching for something on Etsy, and a shop hit my eye accidentally… It is a Bukarest-based shop, selling knit patterns and I was shocked by all the beauties there… and I quietly asked myself: “do I have to design every single piece myself in the GK webshop or is it OK if the Newborn section is designed by someone else, like this really talented Romanian designer…?” You problably know my answer… I bought some of their knitwear patterns, knit them up and we had the first photo sessions by November… and so GK Newborn was established…



More photos are coming soon and ready-made pieces will be available in the GK webshop from February.

For those of you who would like to browse this beautiful pattern shop I’ve talked about above, here’s the link: 3PLittleKnits

Photos were made by Englert Orsi Photography – Orsi, if you happen to read this, I’m blown away by your pictures – again… ❤

From this week on, I will write weekly blog posts and next week will be an important milestone in the life of Gynka Knitwear with a little surprise, so stay tuned ;)!