Wow!

So, almost a year to the day since I began this blog and, well, not far off a year since my last post. Really quite depressing since I was hoping to get in to this whole blogging lark.

I guess though, life has just taken over in so many respects over the past year. So much so, that the number of projects I’ve been working on has come almost to a standstill. I’ve completed a number of things for my now Godson James – the little chap who has featured in this blog before! – including a jumper and matching hat which went down very well and also a tank top. I’m currently on another tank top for my cousins little boy who will be 1 at the end of August. It certainly has given me a bit of impetace to get on with it!

The other spark of inspiration I had was not too long ago on my birthday. A huge parcel arrived addressed to me, although, to a Mrs as opposed to Miss. I knew I hadn’t ordered anything myself so assumed it must just be a present. Turned out, it was 15 balls of wool! Beautiful wool (admitedly not what I would have chosen myself but beautiful non-the-less) but…I was still confused! There was no pattern so I didn’t know what I was to make with it all! Turned out someone with my name had ordered over the phone and they’d ended up sending it to the wrong Helen. I sent it back and as a courtesy, the buisness have offered me 15% off my next order which has got me looking at more than just their website and I’m feeling rather inspired. I have a few pieces from last year which I could maybe attempt to sell at some point before this Christmas and just maybe bulk the collection up a little.

We shall see what happens!

Latest Projects

I feel like whilst I’ve made quite a lot of headway in to sorting out a “business”, I also haven’t! My cards arrived and I love them although haven’t had a great deal of opportnity to give them to anyone but friends and family which doesn’t really help! Having said that I met a lady, a sort of friend of my mum whose daughter runs like a mother and baby group so she offered to give some to her. I don’t know how that would work out since they wouldn’t have seen anything I’ve made but it can’t hurt I guess!

I have actually started making things to sell though. So far my count is just one pair of bootees, maybe two depending on the size of the baby! Maybe you’ll see what I mean…

As you see…one pair is considerably smaller than the other! The smaller pair was billed as “newborn” and the larger is 3-6 months. I really am at a loss as to when newborn ends to be honest because if it’s a small baby it could be 4 months and wearing newborn! So I decided really that unless someone wants the teeny tiny pair then they can be a display model because I think they only really would fit a premature baby.

Here is the larger pair by itself. I have to say I do think they’re very cute. And a quick knit as well (for my speed of knitting anyhow!).

So, as well as my buisness cards I’ve also been thinking of the selling side in terms of how to present everything. I think the easiest way to package after selling is in paper bags, like this, kraft bags apparently. My projects aren’t going to the so big that they will really need anything bigger but I think any smaller things would be a bit too packed in. I also bought a small pad of scrapbooking paper. It actually took a lot of restraint to not buy more because scrapbooking used to be something I did all the time until I got so much stuff it was no longer portable and it would take me maybe an hour to sort everything out before I even began designing pages! So anyway…it’s a regtangular pad and I figure I can cut the sheets in to threes, write on them the size, the type of yarn and the washing instructions as well as the price. So I have my tags! I also bought some cute little pegs (as seen holding the bootees together) to maybe attach the tags to the items but I don’t think that would work ever so well so instead I think I’ll probably thread a length of yarn through the item (the same yarn as it’s knitted in) and punch a hole in the tags. I will have to see of course.

As always, thoughts/opinions/feedback are more than welcome, whether it be about the projects themselves or just…a thought!

Project Complete

So the cardigan with the Scotty dogs is finally complete…

It didn’t take me too long to re-do, not as long as I anticipated anyway. I think I was knitting like a woman possessed in order to get it done having had to un-ravel before! So above is a picture of the finished article, I didn’t take a photo of the intarsia dogs close up actually so I can’t compare too well but below is my first attempt at the intarsia…

Although it’s still on the needle I think you can see how tight I’d done it at the bottom, it was a bit bunched up! I’m glad I re-did it anyway.

I gave it to the girl I’d knitted it for on Wednesday although she was a bit reluctant to try it on she did give the very sensible answer of “I’m already wearing one”! Quite right!

In other news, I’ve ordered some Gladys and Nellie’s business cards! I had a special offer, 250 cards for £1.49 so I thought for that I might as well! Although in the end, by the time I’d added a graphic of my own, selected the card I wanted them on and paid for delivery it still came to about £10 but I still didn’t think that was too bad. It is very much a speculative purchase as well. I’m not going to be ready to sell anything in time for this Christmas I don’t think. I’ve already begun my next project, which is a jumper for James, the boy in the photos on my previous entry. He’s one next month and one of my other cousins has just had a little boy, on the 25th actually so I was going to knock him up a little hat. After that, I think I may only have the time to do little bits and pieces and if one of my friends is willing, I can use a small corner of her table at craft fairs (she makes jewellery) to see how it goes. Following that, I can hopefully have some stuff ready for this time next year.

My main concern is cost of items for my prospective customers. I’ve seen some beautiful designs (mostly Debbie Bliss patterns) but at £4-5 a ball, some patterns need a minimum of 8 balls so I’m looking at charging £40 before I’ve even started making anything which, as beautiful as the pieces are, I’m not sure people would pay it. Maybe I could just do a couple of items like that!

Learning Curve

Following on from my last post I decided to bite the bullet and un-ravel the cardigan. It hadn’t taken me that long (in terms of constant knitting) but…all that work! I’d sewn a sleeve on and well, it seemed a shame untill I started again and have, I hope, improved on my previous attempt. I am relatively new to knitting, particularly projects like this (much of my earlier stuff has had “easy knit” printed on the pattern, something which I expressly searched for but this pattern was so lovely I had to give it a go!) and it has been a learning curve but I think I have faired reasonably well. I do hope so anyway. I haven’t any pictures to hand at the moment but I do plan on posting some photos of the intarsia, a before and after as well because I did take a picture of my first attempt so hopefully there will be improvement!

In the meantime, here is a photo of a waistcoat I knitted for my cousin’s son James. I don’t think he wore it for too long though as he got a whole lot chubbier from me starting to knit it to me finishing it! Questions, and particularly comments and feedback are welcome here!

I hope these photos post as I’m not sure I’m doing it right…another part of the learning curve!

Intarsia

My current project, a childs cardigan, uses intarsia (it has a row of little scotty dogs around the bottom) which is something I have never tried before. I think I managed it quite well for a first attempt but some of it seems to be a bit tight which will, I imagine, have a bearing on how the cardigan hangs when worn. I didn’t cut any of the ends due to the nature of the pattern but as I understand it isn’t necessary to cut ends when working intarsia anyway?

I’m wondering if anyone can help me with something though…if I cut the back of the work in an attempt to loosen it up, will this ruin it or will I be able to sew the ends away as you would with cast on tails etc? I don’t want to cut an end and it all suddenly unravel in front of me! I can’t imagine that would happen but would like a little advice before I try it!

Thanks in advance!

Starting Out…

My first blog, my first blog post and I’m so confused…am I doing it right, what do I write about, will anybody read this?!

I’ve been thinking about starting to sell some of the things I’ve knitted for a while now and it just feels right…I’m motivated to get going and totally inspired by some of the wool and patterns I’ve seen that I could use. The problem is reining myself in and not buying everything that I coo over! 

I’m currently finishing off a cardigan for a friends little girl but once I’m done with that I’m going to start thinking about projects I can eventually sell at craft fairs and markets. I’ve got a deadline in mind of 28th October. Too soon?! It’s a small craft fair local to me which I think could be an ideal starting point. It’s also close enough that people might be thinking about Christmas gifts. I think I need a deadline to work towards, I generally do better under pressure and with the possibility of Christmas gifts…well…that inspires me that little bit more!