What's a Knitnfrog?

Posted by Knitnfrog Jacobs on

a styrofoam mannequin head wearing a purple cableknit hat, set on a piano bench by a window letting in diffused sunlight

Once upon a time, in 2006, Knitnfrog was launched on Etsy (itself a new startup at the time), selling mainly knitted hats and fingerless gloves. I had originally imagined my "brand" being Autumn Knits or something, but as a long-time collector of all things frog-related, I decided on Knitnfrog. It has layers, so brace yourself. In knitting, the act of ripping out your work is either called "tinking" ('tink' being 'knit' spelled backwards), or "frogging." Tinking usually specifies individual stitches being undone one at a time, while frogging means you pull everything off the needles, and...well..."rip it, rip it." Like ribbit? Like a frog? Eh?  Anyway, beyond that aspect, it also is supposed to sound like "knitting frog" or "knittin' frog." I'm a knittin', froggin', crafty, frog-lovin' nerd, who loves a good play on words. 

beaded pink flower hairpins mounted on a white card with the text knitnfrog.etsy.com in blue

The products shifted for some time into beaded dragonfly and flower hairpins, but most excitingly for me were the commissions. I helped finish items people were too frustrated to complete. I sewed together pieces of garments that were never going to get done. Collaborating with people to go from a pattern to what they really wanted the object to become has always been a lot of fun! Unfortunately, as life often does, moving multiple times over the years, time commitments, as well as increasingly debilitating chronic health issues, all led to less time devoted to my Etsy shop, or even my Facebook page. For the most part, I've been taking orders via messages or emails and PayPal rather than through a storefront. I'm pretty excited to have a more organized platform moving forward to keep everything connected! 

The lack of a central point of focus is definitely not the main issue, but having one is a huge plus. I had been one of those people who had been a very active user on Google+ for many years, only falling away from the platform when my kiddo was born, only to have the platform itself shut down not too long after. I segued over to Instagram and Facebook Pages, but my personal Facebook was never a place I tended to add people I don't know in person. G+ had made it possible to easily keep posts separate and only accessible to people they would interest, so my regular updates on all things yarn-related weren't going to the same people that were getting my updates on my mental health, medical diagnoses, or incredibly niche gaming statuses. Unfortunately, it also meant I no longer had regular contact with people who had become very important, albeit virtual, parts of my life. I also felt with Instagram and my Facebook business page, that I had to portray a certain image to the public. I had to "be the brand." Well, after trying to do that (and instead just dropping silent for weeks or months on end), I recently shared with those audiences a candid update on life in lockdown. The overwhelmingly positive and supportive response kickstarted a much more earnest push to get this website up and running (as well as reminding me to keep actually updating people on things). It especially reminded me that I'm not here to curate a brand out of what I do. I'm here to make things, share those things, be inspired by others, and get to inspire others if I'm lucky. It's not an issue of making myself fit into someone else's expectations, but rather present a genuine face to the world. That's incredibly freeing!

It also frees me up from trying to cut down on one product to offer. Having eclectic interests keeps me inspired to always be making stuff. A lot of the time...it's not *great* stuff. But as my quite wise bearded companion says...having to tink, frog, or rip apart a seam, or start again...that's my Zen practice. I may curse and hate it at the time, but sometimes it truly is just part of the process, and, over time, it's become much easier to just accept that it needs to be done in order to make something right.

A brown haired man with a red beard, seated on a stone wall wearing a suit, next to a red haired woman in a fancy black dress, also seated on the stone wall. Both are smiling as if laughing.Fall foliage can be seen in the background.

Just look at that magnificent beard. It holds much wisdom. He also makes me laugh a whole heckuva lot, but most of all he's been my number one supporter for over a decade now. Between us and our Peanut, MJ, and our bizarre sweetheart of a cat, Duncan Idaho, we make a pretty great team. 

So...this is me, Knitnfrog. You may just be here for a mask, and didn't expect my life story. Well, now you know a little more about the human behind the sewing machine. If you're still curious about me or any of my creations, definitely send me a message through whichever platform you find easiest. Sign up for email updates (those will be shop-related. I promise not to email you about my Dysautonomia symptoms), and feel free to follow me on my various social media platforms. Masks are live in the shop right now, so feel free to peruse, and sit tight because cozy knits are coming soon! 

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