Market Yourself by Tara Swiger | On My Bookshelf

Posted on by MK Carroll

Market Yourself: A Marketing System for Smart + Creative Businesses

Cooperative Press, May 2012
Available as print or digital (PDF and ereader)

Full disclosure: I am part of the Cooperative Press team (although not involved with this book) and received an advance PDF copy.

In this book, we're going to take the noun marketing (which has a bad reputation for being slimy), and turn it into a verb, marketing, something do-able in a non-gross way.

I'm a speed-reader. It's not unusual for me to read 2 or 3 books per week, and what I love most about e-readers is that I can immediately pick up another book and start reading instead of having to wait until I get to a bookstore or get a book delivered in the mail. When I got the PDF of Market Yourself, I looked at the page count (169 pages) and figured I'd finish it in a day by reading it on my bus commute to and from my day job.

I was wrong. A week later, I'm still reading it, because I keep stopping and taking notes, printing out pages, and working through worksheets. What you need to do is straightforward (know who your "Right People" are, for example), but it can feel overwhelming. That's where this book went from being interesting to being gripping for me: Tara breaks all this down in a friendly, conversational way and provides worksheets and helpful tips (like "16 Questions To Help You Write A Douche-Free Bio" by Kelly Parkinson). There's still a lot of work that you need to do - this is not a book to pick up if you don't want to have to do some serious thinking - and it is laid out in a clear, helpful way. It's like knowing that you are going on a hike, and picking up this book means you have a checklist for the equipment you need, a map that shows you where you are and where you are going, and you know there will be clearly marked signs along the trail. That's a lot better than looking into the woods alone and wondering how to get through to the other side.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have another worksheet to fill out (Worksheet: Your Business Card), especially since I plan on going to Rhinebeck this year and need some new ones to hand out!

Yarn: Tasted!

Posted on by MK Carroll

So the yarn-tasting at the Hawai'i State Library downtown this past Saturday went well - but I didn't take any pictures, and when I realized that, immediately thought "great, now nobody is going to believe me." I had capped attendance at 25, figured we'd be lucky to get 20, and then 30 people signed up (and I think a couple more showed up).

Fortunately for me, Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin was there, took photos, and blogged about it (thanks Nadine!)

Yarn 'Tasting' at the library (Fashion Tribe)

There were a couple of things I wish I'd managed to do differently - I'd wanted to talk more about knitting/crocheting for charity, and I also wanted to chat more with the attendees! I did get to talk briefly with a few people, but I wanted to hang out with *everyone* who attended - I hope I'll get to see some of them at an Aloha Knitters meeting, 'cause like I said at the tasting, you people are the ones I need to talk to - you don't need to be listening to me. Seriously, you should have seen some of the gorgeousness being kipped/cipped in that crowd! Thanks to all who attended, and for reals, I want to hang out with you all.

Most of the yarns in the tasting came from Isle Knit. The Maui Yarns came direct from Sara, and the Peaches & Creme came from Wal-Mart (and as I mentioned at the event, Wal-Marts nationwide are closing their craft departments - Ben Franklin has Sugar 'n Cream; if they don't have Peaches & Creme you might want to ask them about carrying it).

Oh, and someone had asked about a knit clothes hanger cover pattern in a book - I knew I'd seen at least one.

Twinkle's Weekend Knits by Twinkle Chia, and Glamour Knits at Home by Erika Knight both have a pattern. However, the library doesn't have those books at this time. There's a free online pattern by Sara Golder (Easy Coat Hanger Covers), though!

Yarn Tasting at the Hawaii State Library

Posted on by MK Carroll


My current plan is to have a short talk on the library collection of knit/crochet books and specific books particularly applicable for our climate, and then a quick review of the yarns. I haven't chosen and acquired all the yarns yet; Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton and Skinny Cotton, Cascade Eco Wool, Lana Knits Hemp for Knitting, and a seacell/silk blend are on the for-sure list, though.

Quick update:

"Come to the library for quick reviews of knitting and crocheting books in the library collection and a yarn-tasting! Sample bags will include mini-skeins of yarns good for tropical-weather garments as well as yarns good for use in felting and making warm garments and accessories for cold-climate friends, relatives, and charitable organizations. Feel free to bring a project to work on during the presentation, or to show off afterwards if you like. There will be a brief Q&A session if you have any questions about knitting/crocheting in Hawai'i. No how-to knit/crochet/spin lessons will be given at this event; reviews of instructional books, videos, and DVDs will be included in the presentation, though, and a handout of yarn shops and where you can take lessons will also be available."

Japanese Craft Books: In English!

Posted on by MK Carroll

Chronicle Books, it seems, has taken note of the rising popularity of Japanese craft books - they have published three books of patterns translated into English, and have plans for more (Woolly Embroidery and Fuzzy Felted Friends are will be released later this month). I haven't had a chance to look through these books, but I recognized the projects on the covers of Lacy Crochet and Amigurumi. The prices are reasonable and I'm putting them on my Amazon wishlist, so hopefully I'll be able to review these in more depth.

Amazon is still carrying the English translation of Ondori Basic Knit as well.

Basic Knit (Full Color Illustrated)