When Kathleen Cubley decided it was time for a career change, her plan was simple: move back to her hometown of Spokane and enroll at Eastern Washington University to get a teaching degree.
She’d worked in educational publishing for 20 years, the last 10 for Mountaineers Books in Seattle, in several different positions including as an editor. But the traffic and cost of living in Seattle were driving her nuts.
“I was on my way to making this change, and then KnittingDaily.com called,” Cubley said.
Instead of going back to school, she accepted a position as the Web site’s new editor.
“I guess I have a special skill set that’s hard to find: I love knitting and I have a strong writing background,” said Cubley.
Knitting Daily is a Web site that’s part of Interweave, one of the largest arts and craft media companies in the United States. The site serves more than 300,000 knitters and has just expanded with more videos, blogs and knitting forums.
Aside from the daily editing duties, Cubley writes a blog entry three times a week that’s sent out as an e-newsletter to knitters who subscribe to the site’s daily e-mails.
“At Knitting Daily, we define fearless knitting as facing your knitting fears, mastering them, and then using those previously feared knitting situations with gusto,” Cubley writes in a recent post.
She moved back to Spokane, but she could have settled anywhere in the country: Cubley works from home. Interweave is based just north of Denver, and the previous editor – who’s now a contributing writer and blogger – works from her home in Toronto.
“I do like working at home; it’s been a very nice change,” Cubley said.
It’s becoming more common, especially for internet-based companies, to have employees spread all over the country, telecommuting to work from their home offices.
Cubley has never worked from home before.
“I have regular hours, yet I’m not tied to the office – I like the flexibility that I have, but I do miss the camaraderie sometimes,” Cubley said. “You’ve got to make sure you get out of the house and meet people on a regular basis.”
Her best tip to other people considering working from home is to make sure the company can provide the technology that’s needed for Internet meetings, and to have a place set aside specifically for work.
“When I worked in an office, I left work there and didn’t think of it much until the next morning,” Cubley said. “Now, because my work setup is in my living room, work stares at me all the time.”
Working at home doesn’t mean one can sit in pajamas in front of the computer all day.
“You need really good focus,” said Cubley. “I don’t get up in the middle of everything. I’ve gotten really good at completing a task before I go change out the laundry.”
Knitting began as a hobby for Cubley, when her mom’s friend taught her how to knit eight years ago. She soon joined a knitting group in Seattle, and she was hooked.
“I’m a sweater knitter and I like to do socks,” said Cubley, who also teaches a class at A Grand Yarn, a knitting store on South Grand Boulevard.
She clearly loves the craft.
“Awhile back I confessed that I might not be knitting as much as I usually do for the holiday season. Well that turned out to be a big, fat lie!” Cubley writes in another blog post on Knitting Daily. “I’m sure many of you can join me on the Island of Frenzied Gift Knitting, which is very close to the Island of Misfit Toys if you need to orient yourself.”
Cubley is really happy that she found this job at a time where many writers are looking for new careers.
“I just really love it,” Cubley said. “And the Web site has turned into a great forum for knitters. We have free patterns and knit-a-longs and lots of forums and blogs. It’s been a great transition.”