Friday, 28 January 2011

Folksy Friday

My new shop on Folksy has been going for a couple of weeks now so I thought I would celebrate by collecting together some lovely handmade goodies for a folksy friday. All three of the following bags are super-clever. They all reverse completely so you get two bags for the price of one. I've had a bag like this before and it was awesome to have the option of a totally different coloured bag to go with different outfits.

'Reversible Tote Bag' by "Betty P"

'Reversible Shoulder Bag in Pink, Green' by "milliemishmash"

'Petrol and Pink Reversible Bag' by "Pidgeonstitch"

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Grey Cabled Bag

I'm knitting a cabled bag for myself with some beautiful grey wool. I decided this could be another signature item that I could wear to advertise something I've made when out and about possibly talking about my shop with people I meet. I've managed a few cabled knits now and it's almost become easy and second nature. *Touch wood*.

The pattern is for a DK wool but my wool is aran. This won't matter as tension is irrelevant to bags as the worse thing that can happen is that it may be a few inches bigger. I've used 3mm needle for the garter stitch top instead of 3.25mm and I will use 3.75mm instead of the recommended 4mm to try and counter this.

There is only a chart to show you the 16 row pattern which is repeated so I am planning to sit down with some coloured pencils and colour code which squares are knit and which are purl. Of course they are coded already but you have to switch the symbol which is knit on a right side to mean a purl on the wrong side. I'm anticipating my head getting in a tangled mess so coloured pencils definitely need to be employed to aid my chart reading skills!

There are a lot of lovely patterns over on the Rowan website which are free to download.

You can download the pattern for the bag here.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Knitting Magazine

I wanted to tell you about a lovely magazine I recently found amongst the sea of craft magazines in the shops. I've been buying this for the past 3 issues and think it's absolutely brilliant.

What sets Knitting Magazine apart from others in the same sector is the photography and projects. They are simply stunning and rival the beautiful Rowan Magazine. There are great book reviews in there along with very helpful letters and a tutorial which is quite advanced but the photos make me want to have a go as they are very easy to follow. In this month's issue there is an article about famous women who knit and also a free booklet about holidays and courses which I've found helpful too.

If, like me, you had struggled to find a knitting magazine which is a bit more advanced and will stretch you then I would highly recommend this one.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Organic wool & Folksy

I finished these organic cabled wristwarmers just before christmas but wasn't able to list them in my etsy shop until now due to the complete absence of any sun!

You may remember that back in October I treated myself to some lovely hand dyed organic wool from Cornwall for UK wool week and it's knitted up brilliantly. Now they are knitted into a garment I can see the subtle shades of pink that glint through the purple...just beautiful...

In other news I've opened a new shop on folksy. I did have a folksy shop last year but shut it so I could focus my limited resources on etsy. Since then I have been challenged about this decision thankfully. Folksy is of course a UK market which makes it much more local and feels less distant. I hope if you are a UK customer you will feel like you are supporting a UK website when you buy from me there...

Friday, 14 January 2011

Supplies on etsy

'Anna Brooch' by 'yalipaz' on etsy

Just popping in to take a break from a week of spending afternoons on my tax return. It's nearly finished, but as it's still 2 weeks off the deadline I thought I would take a break and look at it with fresh monday morning eyes after the weekend.

The recent terrorist package sent to the US has also caused major problems with normal post going into America for the past few weeks so I have been dealing with various customers obviously wondering where their packages are. They will get there eventually but I'm hearing that packages can be opened and at the very least screened at customs on their way so do bear this in mind if you are in america and have your eye on something from a shop overseas : )

In the meantime I thought I would share some purchases I've been making on etsy:

Kawaii tape from an assorment by 'Charmstore' on etsy

and finally:

'Blush buttons' by 'BigFish'

Such cool supplies and items from around the world...I do love etsy!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Cut and Paste

I have finally finished all my cutting and gluing! I didn't want to stop recycling my moo cards as I was sure once I put half of them away I wouldn't get them out again. So I have cut and pasted 80 times over. What hard work it is!

I've also created a colour chart of my felted balls so that customers can make up a bag of colours of their own choosing. I used to love pick and mix in sweet shops and I feel just the same way when I shop for beads or other items you can select when shopping. It's so much fun to be in charge of your purchase that way.

What a colourful week!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Recycled Moo Cards

I've spent an hour or two re-using my moo cards which have all my old contact details on from my old shop.

I used to be into papercraft before I came off work so have an extensive collection to pick from. I had only just got business cards in September and had ordered 100 so I was left with 80 after handing them out to people and putting a couple in sale envelopes for people to keep and give away to friends or family.

It feels better now I have done this as my first 3 sales in my new etsy shop took me by surprise! Which is nice but I hadn't figured out what to use. I used up some notelets with a row of brightly coloured doughnuts on with a handwritten note up until now but type always looks more professional I feel...

It's one of those tasks which aren't that creatively stimulating but which have to be done...along with my tax return! The tax return may not be so pretty to look at though : )

What have you done with Moo cards which is slightly different to the norm?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Felting with podcasts

I've been busy making lots of felted balls while listening to lots and lots of crafty podcasts. I find the podcasts useful as they help me switch the world of the internet off for a while to concentrate and learn while making. One of the new podcasts I've found is 'iMake'. The last two podcasts I've listened to have been packed full of interesting stuff like interviews with local crafty business owners on the island of Guernsey and suggestions for makes and projects. I have also heard all about the history of Guernsey and the odd fact that Guernsey is the only place in the UK that doesn't get their christmas lights paid for by their local authority! I was particularly amused to learn that Martine is listening to the entire 100+ archive of CraftyPod podcasts just like me! A woman of taste obviously.

Expertly produced and well worth a listen...

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year. New Creativity.

'How Resolved Are You?' Art Print by thedreamygiraffe on etsy

We're three days into 2011 and already I feel inspired creatively. I have been felting away happily over the New Year Bank Holiday Weekend. There have been lots of scribblings about how long I need to work every day to attempt to make a little bit more money on etsy...more commonly known as a business plan. Now that I know to the minute how long I need to spend making each day I can relax when I finish safe in the knowledge it's all done. I've found it to be one of the most useful resolutions I've made already. This was how I organised my degree study at university...I would read so many pages a day or write so many words of an essay. If you stick to it it's fantastic and helps you meet deadlines. I've already made loads, and that's inspiring me even more (and helping me to tweet and blog guilt free!).

Happy new year and happy new creativity...
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