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BIG CHANGES for The Knitting Broomstick in 2018!!!

Hello everyone!  I feel like it has been far too long since I have chatted with you all.  It's so nice to finally be posting and sharing some things that have been on my heart for awhile now.  I will warn you in advance that this post is long, so feel free to skip over the parts that don't interest you! 

You will find updates in this post concerning my personal life, crafting, the Knitting Broomstick podcast, the 13 Months of Magic KAL (and other KALs), and the Knitting Broomstick Etsy shop.  I have added headers, in bold, so that you can easily skip to the sections that are of interest to you.  And if you read the whole entire thing; I owe you a massive cup of tea!!!!  ;)


First, I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season!  I can't believe it is almost over, but it has been a great one and I'm thankful for the time I have had with my family.  It was definitely a different holiday season; a bit of a slower one for us, and that has been nice. 

Almost every year, I overdo like crazy in December.  The holidays are such a fun time, and I feel like I want to squeeze out every last bit of goodness before they are over!  However, this year I felt the pull to slow down a little bit.  Do LESS; not more.  Some of the ways that we brought this goal to fruition were by doing less presents, and enjoying our together time more (less presents also meant less time wrapping; that is a good thing!). 

I also usually bake almost nonstop from Thanksgiving until Christmas eve, and this year I pared that routine down as well.  Instead of doing multiple types of cookies, flavored breads, and other sweets like I typically do every year, the kids and I just did one double batch of iced sugar cookies, and one double batch of marshmallow fudge (which was super simple and totally yummy!).  We were still able to enjoy one of our favorite holiday traditions without having to feel overwhelmed by it.

Lastly, in the past couple of weeks, I took a big break from social media.  I wasn't completely absent, but kept it to a very bare minimum.  I think this was the best thing of all.  Don't get me wrong, I love social media; but I have rarely taken breaks from it, and I had no idea what it would be like.  It helped me to feel less frantic and be more present each day.  This process has inspired me to plan regular social media breaks (perhaps one weekend per month) to keep myself centered and focused on my priorities throughout the year. 

For some reason it was a bit tough for me to let go of that desire to do EVERYTHING, but having a more low-key holiday was definitely worth it. 

And really, this whole idea and process of simplifying has been a theme with me for the past few months.  It is something we have been working to incorporate into our daily lives, and not just during the holiday season.  A few months ago, I heard a quote from author Lara Casey that literally stopped me in my tracks.  She said:  "If everything is a priority, then nothing is."  I felt like she was speaking directly to me.  I am totally that person that wants to do EVERYTHING (as you well know if you have watched my podcast in the past), and somehow I thought that having focus in your life and boundaries on your time meant failure on some level.  Obviously this is the opposite of true, and as I embrace the concept of priorities, I am feeling less overwhelmed and stressed with daily life.

I have been taking a brutal look at my life and the things that need to be a priority.  Lara Casey goes on to say (I'm paraphrasing here) that "you can't do everything and do it well," and I have definitely seen this at work in my own life.  I have felt such relief in realizing that it is okay to say NO to some things so that you can focus on what truly matters, and cultivate it more fully in your life.


In that spirit, I have decided to take a sabbatical from podcasting.  I don't think this will be a huge surprise to any of my regular viewers, as I have struggled to produce regular episodes in the past few months (and really, this whole year).  Recognizing that it is okay for me to take a break has been a huge weight off of my shoulders.  I am by no means quitting or saying goodbye; I am merely giving myself some mental space to allow other things to flourish and grow.  I am also feeling called to use different social media platforms to connect with the crafting community (for example, I am LOVING Instagram stories lately!).  As we go into the New Year, I will be more active on Instagram and doing more IG stories on a regular basis.  Connecting with the community I adore so much will always be important to me! 


This does mean that I will be taking a break from KCALs, as well.  This was not a fun decision to make, but I knew without plans to podcast regularly, it just made sense to do this.  So yes, I am canceling the 13 Months of Magic KAL for 2018.  Please know I do so with a heavy heart.  I have loved hosting this KAL over the past year, and appreciate everyone who has participated, enjoyed it, and extra big thanks to those who have donated prizes.  On January 31, 2018, the current round of the #13momKAL will end, and a new round will NOT be starting (as I had originally planned).  Thank you all for understanding this, and I do apologize for disappointing anyone.  I do not, at this time, have plans to host or co-host any other KCALs this year.


Another thing I have had to finally face and accept is my own physical limitation.  About a year ago I started having really bad pain in my elbow, and I noticed it would worsen whenever I spent time knitting.  Honestly, it kind of freaked me out, so I have spent the better part of this year trying hard to ignore the pain.... ha!  Those of you who have dealt with this will know that I have tennis elbow.  I am under the care of a physician and doing what I can to treat it.  I have had to slowly acknowledge, however, that I simply cannot continue to obsessively knit and crochet the way that I have in the past.  I am by no means giving up knitting or crochet; I am just accepting that I have to do WAY less of it than I am used to.  The positive side of this is that I am being more selective with the projects I start and work on, knowing I won't be able to produce the normal amount of FOs that I do in a year. 

For this reason, I have put a great deal of yarn up for sale on my Ravelry destash page.  It seemed silly to me to have so much yarn just sitting in my stash, knowing that I won't realistically be able to use even a fraction of it, in light of this condition.  I am not going to lie; it has been hard to part with some of it, but it also feels good to finally accept that this is the season of life I am in right now.  This is what my body needs.  And that is okay.

On the positive side, I have the time and space to enjoy other crafts a bit more!  Lately I have been completely obsessed with cross stitch, and you will probably see a lot of cross stitch progress pics on my Instagram in the coming months.  It is such a joy to be a beginner again, and to learn a new skill set. 

My love of planning and paper crafts is also expanding, and this month I did a memory book of my family's holiday season (inspired by Ali Edwards December Daily).  It was so much fun, and now we have a special memory book to remember this season by!

I also have BIG plans for sewing this year!  In addition to sewing bags for my Etsy shop (more on that in a minute), I am determined to finish at least one quilt this year (and who knows.... maybe more?).  Sewing has unexpectedly become a huge passion for me, and I keep discovering new ways to express that joy.  In addition to quilting, I am learning all kinds of new methods and items to make, and insatiably reading sewing blogs and books for new, innovative ideas.  So yeah.... I am REALLY inspired to sew right now!


As for my Etsy shop, I have a lot of big and fun plans for it in 2018!  I so appreciate the support and love you all shown me since the shop opened in August.  It has truly been a huge learning experience, and I am incorporating some of those ideas as soon as the shop opens again in early January.  I wanted to share with you some of the changes right now, because I am super excited and cannot wait to tell you!

1.  I will begin having regular shop updates.  YES!!!!  I am SO excited about this!  This change is based on feedback I have received from customers, and I think it is going to be a great change for the shop!  Beginning in January 2018, I will be having regular shop updates twice a month.  They will take place every other Friday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time.  This time may change at a future date, but for now that is the plan!  The first update of the New Year is scheduled for January 12, 2018.  Items are, of course, available on a first-come first-served basis.  Once they are gone, there is no guarantee they will appear in the shop again.

2.  I will no longer be taking custom orders.  This has been a hard choice to make, as I have enjoyed stitching up special things for my customers.  However, with the plans I have for the year ahead and knowing my time is limited, I had to make this choice.  I truly hope you love the new things coming to the shop, and my apologies for any disappointment this may cause!

3.  I will no longer be offering fandom-related items.  Again, this was a difficult choice to make because I am such a big fandom lover, but it is in the best interest of the shop.  Fandom items that were previously available (bags inspired by Outlander, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Gilmore Girls, for example), will not be offered in the shop again.  The GOOD news is that I will have items, on occasion, that are inspired by classic literature (you will see the occasional Gothic Bronte bag pop up every once in awhile, and you'd better believe that there are Jane Austen items in the works!!!  I can't wait!!!!).

4.  There will be a LOT of quilted bags and specialty, vintage fabrics in the future!  As I mentioned above, I am so enamored with quilting and sewing right now, so it is only natural that this obsession would carry over into my shop!  You can expect to see a TON of one-of-a-kind items, quilted bags, vintage fabrics, and other fun and unexpected things.  I think you all are going to love the things I have coming up!

5.  SPOILERS!!!!  And lastly, I can't say too much about this just yet, but keep your eyes peeled because you never know what surprises (or collaborations????) may occur in 2018!!!!!!

In conclusion, there are a LOT of changes going on right now, and some are easier to adjust to than others.  But ultimately I feel like it is all such a blessing and is moving me in a more positive direction!  I am beyond excited for 2018 and all of the wonderful things that I know are on the way for all of us. 

I look forward to connecting with all of you on Instagram, Facebook, Ravelry, and other places.  I am truly thankful for everyone reading this, and for the wonderfully crafty community to which we all belong.  CHEERS!!!!!!



Etsy:  The Knitting Broomstick

Instagram:  @theknittingbroomstick (Etsy shop account)
                     @veganjilly (crafting account)

Facebook:  The Knitting Broomstick 

Ravelry:  veganjilly
                The Knitting Broomstick Ravelry Group


  1. Good for you!!! I know it's hard to make these decisions and letting some things go, but it can also be freeing. It's also healthier for you and your family. I think you're going to have a fabulous 2018.

  2. Good for you! We all should unclutter our lives a bit. Life's too short to feel stress at home, when that's the place we should feel the most relaxed. I'll miss your podcast. Good luck to you and your family!

  3. I know I'm not the only one who will miss your podcast. I also understand needing to take a step back and re-evaluate things. Take care, Jilly.

  4. Hurray for making good choices for you and your family! I will keep following you on IG and stalking your shop. :-) Life is a balance, I'm glad you are finding yours. Happy sewing, cross stitching, and family loving!

  5. I'll miss your podcast but its good to know you're finally taking time for yourself and slowing down some. Enjoy the new endeavors and I can't wait to see what you come up with in the coming year.


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