Thursday, 30 September 2010

Free Cabled Hot Water Bottle Cosy Pattern

I've been checking out the free patterns on ravelry (ravelry account needed) lately for some lovely cosy winter knits. I stumbled across this gorgeous free pattern given away by 'Trampled by Geese Patterns.'

I've gone from hating cables and finding them really fiddly about 18 months ago to absolutely craving them. With the right colour and yarn they can be quite easy and simply stunning.


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Noodle the Elephant

I received a wonderful gift this morning from Irene Strange thanks to the giveaway on the UK Handmade blog. I'm amazed at how perfectly made Noodle the Elephant has such a neat shape. I've just started to learn some addition stitches to go with my basic single crochet but haven't progressed to shaping yet so it's very impressive.

I have just had a meeting with my Prince's Trust mentor who has given me a gentle push towards a weekend christmas craft fair. I have been on the go for two weeks constantly and have picked up a horrible cold but I am hoping to make a start on some beautiful wool I bought after making a couple of sales...all to prepare for the show : )

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Prince's Trust & Organic Cotton

Regular readers will know that in July I blogged about getting in touch with the Prince's Trust as I was thinking about taking my handmade items offline more to see if it would increase sales. Well, two months later, I can proudly claim that I managed the four day course this week although I am completely exhausted today! I was determined to complete it and I knew I would feel tired during the week. I'm sure that if I was any less passionate about making and selling handmade I would have drooped halfway through...

The main lessons I learnt in terms of selling was to be more confident when talking about what I make. At the moment I'm not used to that and I felt a bit embarrassed. People picked up on that and of course they lost interest and certainly didn't feel confident enough to buy from me. Also I need to buy and wear more handmade items. I make for my shop now far more than I make items for myself. I need to take the time to make duplicates so I can wear one of my handmade bags or scarves when I'm out...and also talk confidently about them of course!

If you are in a position to access a Prince's Trust course or know someone who is I would definitely recommend them highly.

I took a walk during lunchtime yesterday at Weston Super Mare where the course was held in an attempt to find some supplies. The wool shop I was looking for had gone out of business in October 2008. I found this out from a lady in a more diverse craft shop which sold a bit of everything. It looks like being a more diverse shop has kept her going through the recession. I found some lovely organic cotton in her shop and bought myself a new crochet hook as I'm currently borrowing all of mine. Having some new yarn was so nice after a couple of weeks of being at the bottom of my stash from knitting so many mittens for my shop...I'm going mad with red and pink stripes : )

Next week I will be away from my shop again as I am going to be in Yorkshire on a writing residential from Monday to Saturday. I will keep my etsy shop open so you can browse and buy. I will send any orders on Monday 20th September...

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