Wednesday, October 28, 2015

FPK: A History Lesson

  I know it's been a while since I've had much of a presence online, and it's time that all changes (I hope).

I think we'll kick this post off with a little FPK history lesson.  Here it goes:

Back in 2009, I discovered Etsy. I was fascinated by the idea of being able to create and be a part of a community of makers.  I've always enjoyed 'doing'- making things with my hands and having a tangible product for my work.  I love to be able to stand back at the end of a day and have a sense of pride in the work I can clearly see before me.

Although I had a full time career at the time, I still had time on my hands.  I was looking for the creative outlet that my job lacked in providing me, and I found it in Etsy.  I opened my shop and started designing some simple chunky knits that were easy to get on and off the needles.  I poured myself into branding my products and loved the rush of a sale (even if they were very few and far between).

A couple months after opening the Etsy store I started experimenting a bit with felting.  I had felted before, but I had a pair of ballet flats that I had a vision for.  I was hoping for a pair of slippers that looked just like them- basic flat, single strap with button across the toe.  The French Press Felted Slippers were born and soon selling like hotcakes.


It was fun for a while, but our house kind of turned into a slipper factory.  My husband and I both worked full time jobs and would come home every night to 'knitting time'.  I'm pretty sure I had us on some kind of quota to meet.  Oh yeah-  Did I mention that Joe had to learn to knit so I could meet this slipper quota?

It wasn't long before knitters started contacting me about the slipper pattern.  They all seemed to suggest that I get on Ravelry and offer the pattern up for sale.  At this point, I had heard of Ravelry, and had actually logged on... and quickly turned away because I thought there would be too much of a learning curve.  I was busy enough between my job and this Etsy world, right?!

Wrong!  (You knew that was coming, right?!)  I started by posting some FO's.  Many were projects I had whipped together for the Etsy shop, slippers included.  The love from knitters started pouring in. Again, I was asked to write up the pattern and decided it was time to go for it.

So, that being said, let' talk a little about my French Press Felted Slipper Pattern.  Can I admit that it's not your typical knitting pattern?  I wrote this pattern long before I knew about tech editors and test knitters.  My confidence in publishing came from the fact that I had knit about 200 pairs and could orally recite the pattern to you if I needed to.  It doesn't look like a standard knitting pattern, and more like a step to step guide to making felted slippers, with many pictures along the way.  Updating the pattern has always been on my 'to-do' list, but I don't want to completely lose what it is.

  Anyway, soon after publishing my first couple patterns, I started to immerse myself in the world of Ravelry and it literally changed my life.  Knitting became my passion, and the knowledge I acquired from forums, patterns, and conversations with other knitters taught me so much about this new obesession.  

I stayed active with the blog and knitting, but 2010 brought more change for our family.  2010 was the year we became parents.  

At first, things were no big adjustment.  I was on maternity leave and my very cooperative little one would sleep most of the day and I knit like the wind.  But before too long, I was back to work.  

And then soon after that, Elise was on the move.  And somehow, we managed to have 3 kids in 3.5 years.

If all this wasn't crazy enough, there were even more changes coming for the Bernardi family.  For the past 10+ years, my husband and I have worked with the high school youth group at our church.  Through these interactions with students, my husband decided to go back to school to become a teacher.  He left his family company, where he has worked his whole adult life to gain experience in a school system and then enrolled as a full time graduate student.

So the big question over the past few years has been: Where does FPK fit in to our lives?!

To be continued...
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  1. It's been quite a whirlwind. I can definitely relate. Can't wait for part 2!

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  2. Thanks for your "story" and sharing. I have always admired your knitting and when I see an email from you, click on that one first. I also wait patiently for "Part 2"!
    Joan from Wisconsin

  3. Thanks for your "story" and sharing. I have always admired your knitting and when I see an email from you, click on that one first. I also wait patiently for "Part 2"!
    Joan from Wisconsin

  4. WOW. This little history makes me feel really old. Mostly, I feel old, because I remember reading your blog back before Elise came along and seeing that last picture of you crew makes me realize how much time has passed since that point. It's great to see you back online!

  5. Glad you are back! Im still eagerly awaiting the merriment bonnet pattern! Oh please oh please!!! 😍

  6. Ohhhh, husband in grad school with three kids. We did that too- and survived! Best wishes to you all!

  7. Hi! I was really excited to see your blog pop up in my blog roll :-) I remember the days when you posted all the time and I wondered how on earth you had time, because we had our first children quite close together and I definitely did not have time, and have had less and less since, to do much knitting (or spinning or sewing). I barely knit at all any more. Not that I don't want to, but I physically don't have time. And I've been a stay at home mum since having my first, so for the last five and a bit years. I hope you have the extra time you are anticipating in the day now you've left your job :-) I started a cooking blog when I realised I cook all the time, so am already producing the work I want to talk about, whereas with having a craft blog, I wasn't producing anything to write about. I was getting frustrated when it seemed other mums who have small children seemed to churn out patterns and projects and I just wasn't. I totally agree with wanting to do something mindless at the end of the day too. It happens to me every day - I plan what I'm going to do in the evening in "my" time, but when it comes, I'm wiped out. The cooking blog is going much better for me though, and I'm pleased I changed my emphasis. Anyway, I'm really glad to see you back, and I'm looking forward to reading your blog again.
    X xx Sam