Friday, 27 June 2014

Deramores love

A few months ago the lovely folk over at Deramores asked me if I would like to become one of their featured designers and list my patterns on the website. I, of course, jumped at the chance and I was super excited to see them go live on their website this week! Although I sell my patterns independently on my own website, Ravelry and in the shop I knew that being able to sell through Deramores would introduce me to a very much wider audience (plus the Deramores team are all so nice I couldn't resist!)

So I began to get these patterns up to scratch a couple of weeks ago - working on a layout that I was happy with and redesigning the logo. It's actually quite tricky to work out the best way to layout a pattern - as a knitter myself I am really fussy about how the pattern looks and reads. I spent lots of time looking at how other patterns that I like are laid out, and talking to knitters about their expectations and requirements.

The one thing that we all agreed on is that all of the information relating to the pattern should be included on the front page. So as well as yarn and tool requirements, any techniques needed to complete the project will also feature. This ensures that any knitter selecting a pattern from me will have some idea of what it involves and be able to decide whether it's for them or not. I'm sure we've all made the mistake of buying a pattern based on how the finished item looks, only to find out that every row has nupps or bobbles or somesuch thing that you absolutely HATE to knit!

I'm also really keen to add value to these pattern in the form of video tutorials. I am a big fan of Youtube as it's such an amazing resource for us knitters. If I want to learn how to do a Channel Island Cast on, a Latvian Braid, Shadow Wraps or just teach myself a simple technique with the ease of watching somebody else do it - Youtube is always my first stop.

Just 2 of the patterns that are now available to purchase in digital form from Deramores

Luckily for me, my teenage son is studying Film Making and Media and has agreed to help me to film some tutorials. I am working out which techniques are relevant to my patterns and fingers crossed, will find some time to work on these over the summer. As soon as they're available they will appear on Youtube - so watch this space!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Woolly Moo Day

Our annual Woolly Moo Day got off to a great start on Saturday, with Florence leading the way up the High Street from the shop to the Memorial Hall. She stood just inside the door ready to welcome all the crafters with a smile and a quick chat about classes and cake!

I am so pleased to say that this years event was a great success with the 3 classes all better attended than last year, and most importantly lots of lovely positive feedback from all who came along. There really is nothing so nice as learning a new skill and crafting along with people who all have the same interests - we knitters and crocheters just seem to love the fellowship that this sort of event brings.

We started the day with coffee and homemade cakes (yes, I was VERY busy the day before baking lots of lovely treats!) and then settled into a morning of crafting. Each of the classes brought something different - with Bekky teaching Continental (or 'Funny') Knitting, Phyl teaching crochet and me showing my ladies how to embellish their knitting. I know that my group went away with some new skills and as I looked around the room, there seemed to be a lot of bowed heads and concentrated faces so I'm sure that everyone learned something to add to their crafters toolkit.

Phyl with her class who all look very happy!

My class studiously learning how to embroider onto their knitting

Bekky helping Liz and Jill with their 'funny knitting' and Daimen looks on as the crochet class is in full swing

After the classes we indulged in a delicious lunch (I definitely had something to do with this too!), and then many people carried on with their projects from the morning while we listened to some really informative talks. The Alpaca Boys were incredibly entertaining as usual, telling us all about their alpaca farming and yarn business, Bekky unravelled the mysteries of Ravelry, and Babs gave a very comprehensive talk on the history of knitting.

Daimen loves to talk! He was happy to answer all sorts of questions and help some of the ladies make their purchases

Beautiful yarn from The Alpaca Boys, Du Prem Alpacas

As the afternoon wore on it was time to say a final farewell to the Knitting Hut Chickens, who were raffled off to raise money for Willen Hospice. The flew the coop one by one, well actually two went to a very good home, and we raised a splendid £72.50 for this amazing charity. Thanks to all who purchased tickets and a special thanks to those who now find themselves with chickens to look after . . .

The Knitting Hut Chickens were excited to be flying off to new coops

Our day finished later than expected, and after a quick tidy up of the hall, we wound our way back down the High Street to the shop. Heather had done a marvellous job of womanning the shop while we were enjoying ourselves at the hall and was then greeted by a hoard of knitters eager to indulge in some retail therapy before the day was done. Most of my lovely customers bought my latest book, Knitted Dogs and Puppies and as I signed the last one, I finally sat down - exhausted but super happy that the day had been such a woolly success!

Friday, 6 June 2014

An exciting early delivery!

It is always exciting when one of my books arrives in stock but even more exciting when it's early! Knitted Dogs and Puppies wasn't due in until at least the middle of June but to my immense surprise and enjoyment -  it turned up at the beginning of this week!

It's fabulous to see it in print and I forget all about the many hours spent agonising over designs and editing that go into producing a book. It's also quite a long drawn out process - from my finishing the designs and all the knitting, to actually seeing it in print, is quite a long time and so when I first get my hands on a copy of the book, I get rather excited all over again!

All the dogs and puppies are dotted around the shop and look fabulous sat next to a pile of books. The pre-orders have all been sent out and now I am facing the challenge of getting all the yarns in stock to go with the book, and then beginning to make kits of some of the dogs to go with the book.

As well as my unexpected delivery this week, I've also been working on getting all my patterns sorted out on Ravelry. Some of them needed updating, some needed new photographs and some had never made it onto Ravelry in the first place! Now they are all there, looking great and I have also added a few new free patterns, Summer Bunting, Summer Bunting Egg Cosies and Little Hutty Duck.


It took a whole day just to put on all the projects from the new book, listing yarns and adding pictures but it is so lovely to see them all there and I know it will be useful to anyone buying the book. Also, from my point of view it's really interesting to see which projects have been 'favourited' the most. Cuddle Pup looks like a clear winner so far with 24 favourites. Why don't you have a look and let me know which is your favourite. The top five will be the first yarn kits I put together to accompany the book!

Don't forget you can buy a signed copy of Knitted Dogs and Puppies from my website, RRP £9.99 but £8.99 directly from me!