Friday Update Blanket Squares and Ancient Egypt.

FO: Success! I have finished the hitchhiker shawl (see last weeks update) and given it to my mum as a thank you for all her help recently. I loved the pattern and I already have plans to cast on another one. 

WIP: I am taking part in the Enchanted Cottage Knit Along in Knit Now magazine. Twelve squares should knit up into a lovely blanket. This month’s square was a crochet pattern which looked beautiful, but I know my own limitations and crochet is sadly one of them so instead I am knitting last months pattern in the colours of the crochet square. 

CURRENTLY READING: I’ve been faffing about with different books but I’ve finally landed on Isis in the Ancient World by R E Witt. I was listening to A Good Read on radio 4 last year and Joann Fletcher was on it. She recommended this and I am enjoying it, although with the knowledge it was first printed in 1971 I get the feeling some of the details might be a bit out of date. Joann Fletcher did mention she might be writing a more up to date book on the same subject, which I would love to read. 

LISTENING TO: This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee. 

I’ve been finding out about Wyatt Tyler and the reign of Richard II. A very interesting period especially when you know it leads to the War of the Roses.

WHAT I’VE MAINLY BEEN DOING THIS WEEK: Trying to keep the house as tidy as possible for people to come and view it, whilst planning for a weekend of viewing other people’s houses. 

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Friday Update Blanket Squares and Ancient Egypt.

Hashtags

This week has been all about hash tags for me. I find my instagram account is getting plenty of likes but they aren’t translating to Etsy views, let alone sales. That is because alot of my likers are fellow makers. I am of course very grateful to have any likes at all, and approval from other makers is always welcome. I would however be happy to get a few more likes from people or organisations with an interior design angle as I think this is the market most likely to be interested. So I have ‘done a google’ (Grandmas House reference: anyone else remember that excellent BBC2 comedy). I found a blog by Brabantia which listed 19 of the best interior design hashtags. I have taken screen shots of what other makers of cushions use hashtagwise and I have been seaching google and buying platforms imagining I am after a brighter sofa. What would I type in if I wanted to buy my cushions. It’s quite tough to switch your think around like that,but worth a try. 

So far my likes have remained roughly consistent but I have been picking up followers at a rate of knots, about ten in the last two days and Etsy is seeing more views. I know this probably seems little to propel with wizz-bang accounts but it’s progress for me.

I have also started selling on Folksy too. I find it much easier to list items, especially having longer tags, you can be more inventive with your descriptions. However, no sales there either. The higher price point is certainly putting off the kind of buyers I am able to attract at the moment, however I cannot drop the prices by too much and still call myself a business. The solution is to try and attract different buyers, and that requires a bit more work on my part. The Handmade Fair will hopefully push my profile up, along with a few other projects I have in mind.

 As ever the battle is to find the time to do all this, do my day job, look after my family and lose some damn weight. It can’t be impossible though, busier people than me have managed it. And if someone can do it, it must be possible, if it’s possible, then I can do it. 

Hopefully in few years I’ll look back on the days when getting 11 views on Etsy and no sales felt like a success and smile to myself as I am packing up yet another big order for posting. 

Hashtags

Stash Attack

I have run out of my favourite wool, the wool which I know how to work and which I know like the back of my hand. Due to the well known slow time over the summer months, the finances are lagging behind too. So I have been looking at my stash with inventive eyes. 

I have a wool which is so thin I struggle to put it through the machine. It is a felting wool which I bought when I was just starting machine knitting and I had no idea what I needed to buy.I have two cones in two separate colours. If I run them through the machine together they produce a nice speckled effect. Combine with grey as a contrast colour and the result is really rather lovely.

I knit it up with a grey felting wool. The difference in the two types of yarn show once felted and the patterned panels which would normally make 40×40 cm square cushion covers have come up just over 28×28 cm in width. I was prepared for this. I am eyeing up a foot stool which needs recovering and I think that would be a good use of my tiny panels. 

Stash Attack

Folksy

I sell on Etsy, I have been for a while now. As part of writing the business plan I began to think about other places to sell and I found the UK based Folksy. With an emphasis on handmade craft it suits my offerings really well. So I opened a shop.

I like the look of it. Unfortunately I have misspelled my own name (typical) and I’m not sure how to change it! It’s all part of the fun of starting a new venture.

Folksy

On and Off The Needles

This week I am running low on wool but I am pushing on while waiting for supplies to arrive.

Last week I made eight cushion covers without a hitch

Last week I made eight cushion covers without a hitch, this week this kept happening.

A familiar scene to any machine knitter I am sure. The yarn gets tangled and then breaks, half the stitches come off the needles. This is a very grabby yarn which doesn’t do well with ripping back so instead I’ve been sewing up.

I will then felt it and if I am very lucky you might not be able to notice the join, if that doesn’t work, I will have cut around the welt and use it to make a smaller cover.

Off to the washing up bowl for a good soak. I’ll let you know how I get on.

On and Off The Needles

Mass Production

I am working on mass production. In preparation for the Handmade Fair in September. I have an aim of ten items every two weeks, with is doable but I have to keep my foot down. This last fortnight I have managed to make eight cushion covers, but I have had a bit of paperwork to do too which has been taking up my time. That was sent off yesterday, and today I refocus on my wooly world.

I have a pile of cushion covers which I have sewn up, with new patterns. I am resisting the temptation to put the cushion pads in until I can take photos at some point today. More pictures to follow.

Mass Production