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Making Money from your Hobby

Making Money from your HobbyMaking money from your hobby

The cottage craft industry is growing. You can be making money from your hobby! The Guardian reported in 2015 that the Craft Council had recently compiled figures showing that there were 11,620 craft business in the UK with 43,000 employers. The overall value of craft skills to the British economy each year was £3.4 billion. I, for one, decided very early on that I loved my craft, I got pleasure from working from home, and I knew there was money to made doing what I loved to do. So here are some tips towards making a successful living doing what you are passionate about and making money from your hobby! Continue reading Making Money from your Hobby

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Schematics

How to use your schematicsschematics

When I started publishing my knitting patterns some years ago, I didn’t include schematics. I gave written instructions, yarn recommendations, and photo illustrations at various points throughout the pattern. I very soon realised that knitters want schematics! All of the original patterns that I published without schematics have now either been updated or disbanded.

I started designing my own patterns in the 1980s and always used pencil, paper, measuring tape and calculator to work out my patterns and grade them. It is only recently that I have invested in some really neat software. There are only a couple of my patterns with hand drawn schematics still available because I can’t bare to get rid of them! But all the rest have professional looking and accurately measured schematics now. Continue reading Schematics

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Craft Workshops

Exploiting Your Skills Holding Workshops

I read Marianne’s blog Fast Fashion v Cottage Craft which was a very interesting blog.  The environmental issues are something which concern me Workshopsgreatly. This is why I use organic fleece and organic dyes to avoid the use of chemicals.

Marianne also touched on learning to become a maker when suggesting different ways that we can help with these issues.  Today I want to talk about another idea for promoting and expanding your business.  Continue reading Craft Workshops

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Fast Fashion v Cottage Craft

Fast Fashion v Cottage CraftCottage Craft

Fast fashion high street brands who have their stock manufactured abroad are having a devasting impact on our planet! In recent years we all know that plastic has become a major concern, but other polluters like the fast fashion industry are being ignored. Cotton, for example, may not sound like a polluter, but the cotton production process uses pesticides in the farming stage and toxic dyes in the manufacturing stage. But even more damaging is the way in which the production process uses huge amounts of natural resourses, ie water! Apparently it can take over 15,000 litres of water to grow the cotton just to make one pair of jeans! Continue reading Fast Fashion v Cottage Craft

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Selling Knitted Items

Where do I sell my Knitted Items?Knitted items

I was asked in the Facebook Machine Knitting group the other day…”Your photos are always the best! Wondering what you do with all the garments you make after photographing them?” Thankyou Alan Mross, great question! So I thought I’d share a few ideas on where I sell my knitted items – both offline and online from my own experience.

Obviously my pattern sales are where my business is at, but yes, Alan has a point…the garment has to be knitted in order to test the pattern and get some good shots for publication, but then what do I do with them?!

There are lots of opportunities to consider, both on and offline. But here are a few that I have delved into for a number of years. Continue reading Selling Knitted Items

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No Roll Edge

Two Chunky Knits and a Videono roll edge

It’s that time of year again! Why do we love it? Because we can get out those favourite chunky cardies and snuggle up by the fire with cocoa (or a glass of wine) and a movie!

no roll edgeSo I’ve chosen to show you two chunkies – one hand knit pattern and one for the chunky/bulky machine. Plus as a bonus I’ve included a little video showing how I do a ‘no-roll’ edge for machine knitters. It works especially well for chunky yarns. Continue reading No Roll Edge

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Casalana The Woolhouse

Casalana

Here’s another great article from Karen Boyce introducing her Casalana business and giving some valuable business tips…

Casalana
Karen’s new house

Hello again.  I thought I would talk a bit today about my business and how I started as well as telling you about what I have been doing this week.

I started my business when I lived in Spain for 10 years. When we moved there we bought an old finca [farm house] at the front of a goat farm which was quite remote and in an agricultural belt of Southern Spain. The house came with a lot of land so we were pretty much self sufficient in fruit and veg. I also kept a lot of animals including goats, chickens, ducks and geese, a donkey and 2 pot bellied pigs which found their way to my home as rescue animals as did Donkey [which was her name as I couldn’t think of anything to call her at the time as I was rather unprepared for her arrival!] Continue reading Casalana The Woolhouse

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To Russia with Love

To Russia with LoveTo Russia with Love Coat

As a designer it’s not often I do this, but the To Russia with Love Coat was knitted totally off the cuff. The pattern was invented as I knitted so it really is a one-off! I just couldn’t wait to get started with the gorgeous saffron chenille I had invested in so I wrote the pattern as I went along. Normally I will come up with ideas for the design, design it in my software with all the correct measurements for the sample size, translate and write out the pattern from the software graph, print off the pattern, then knit. This routine is the same for hand knits and machine knits alike. Continue reading To Russia with Love

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Plus Sizes

Plus Sizes

Plus sizes

This article on machine knitting for plus sizes was written by Sally Butcher. Sally gives her tips on how we can use our machines to knit for larger sizes when sometimes we are restricted in needles and width of needle bed. A great article. Thank you Sally.

Sally’s Tips for Plus Size Machine Knits

-The first might seem obvious, but strangely people do overlook it, and that is to use the full bed of needles.  You have 200 on a standard gauge, and I can knit up to a 56 inch chest in plain stocking stitch using 4 ply.  Commercial patterns rarely exceed 42-44 inches, so there is a general assumption that bigger isn’t possible – it is!

-Keep your edge needles in good working order and, when you deep clean your machine, swap the centre and edge needles around, to even out the wear and tear.  On the Silver Reed machines, keep your side racks in tip-top condition, these are essential for pattern knitting on the full bed. Continue reading Plus Sizes