Saturday, 29 November 2014

Half Price Clearance Sale

I've been doing a full inventory stock check these last few weeks and come across a whole realm of wonderful products that I had forgotten about. You see they were the unique one off items that I developed for my shop when I first started , they were the inspiration for my shop. My knitted bags , messenger bags and wristlet bags were fully lined with recycled felt that I made from old wool sweaters. It made me feel so good that I coud incorporate the recycled felts in to my knitted items.  I sold quite a few of these bags on Etsy straight away , but I feel that Etsy has changed a little over the last year or so and does not favour the unique / one offs , favouring those items that sell time and time again instead.

I do want them to go to a good home though , not just sitting in one of my plastic boxes!

So this weekend (and its nothing to do with it being Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend) I have decided to offer them to you half price !  I've added a few other one off products in to my clearance sale too.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Revamping my web site

I had been talking to one of my knitting colleagues about the success of her web site, and she told me of an instance where all of a sudden she stopped getting visitors to her web site. Before that day she was getting at least one order a day from her web site and then nothing. So what did she do? 

She contacted her web site account manager and asked for advise. They looked around and found something had been changed which affected the whole thing......... it got me thinking.

You see , even though I had a web site, I have only had one enquiry from it and when I checked through Google Analytics the number of visits my little web site was having was abysmal :(

So I thought, I need to contact my account manager, see if they can see what I'm doing wrong with my web site. 

The reply was really helpful and made me wish I had contacted them earlier.

I'll break it down into blocks

1. SEO - metatagging 

I can see that you have worked on your SEO, however it can take a minimum of 6 months to make an impact with your SEO and climb the rankings of search engines. Therefore for some more advice on your SEO I'd suggest taking a look at our fantastic guides.

I can see that you have filled out some meta information, but more could be added to help improve your search ranking. Just looking at your page Meta Info, not all of the fields have been filled in. Make sure to fill in <TITLE> Tag:, and the Metatag Description: and not just the Metatag Keywords.

If you had a shop set up within your website, then you could set up metatags for each of your products, which again helps for SEO purposes. 

 So what have I done? - set up products in my shop, currently about 40. I have also completed ALL the meta data , Title , Tags and Description for all my products and all the web pages.

 2. Social media

 I would also advise using social media to build a more public personality for your business. This way you can reach a wider audience and connect with other businesses who can help you grow. Why not take a look at our guides below on how to include Facebook in your site, as well as Twitter and maybe even Pinterest!

 So what have I done? I have added twitter , facebook and pinterest widgets to my web site side bar so they get seen on all pages. I have also added some of my pinterest style guide boards to the home page.

3. Blog

  A good way to keep people coming back is perhaps setting up a blog within your website. Maybe post something one a week, to keep your readers interested and coming back to see what you have been up too. I see that you have one with blogspot, but you can create your own blog within Create. That way the numbers being directed to your website should increase. 

So what have I done ? nothing for now. I blog on a regular basis anyway here, maybe I need to make my web site more prominant on here.

4. Professional image banner 

Maybe you could add a professional image banner to your homepage? This creates a nice motion banner on your page, which gives customers something interesting to look at, as it is not static. If you would be interested in adding this, please see the guide.

So what have I done? I have set up a banner , taken some of my products and re-photographed them , added some text and made them the size they needed to be for the banner.

5. Side bar images 

Your images on the side column, which links you to your Etsy store. Instead of it being red, I may make the purple to go with the rest of the theme on your website, as it looks a little out of place. 

So what have I done? completely the opposite , I have added a red theme into my banner so it blends in more.

In my next blog I'll tell you about other features I have added to my web site. In the meantime, please browse away.


Monday, 10 November 2014

A beginners perspective

 Inspired by my yarn bombing knitting colleagues that I met in York a couple of weeks ago I decided to really have a go at publishing my knitting patterns on line. 

All the knitting I do for my Etsy shop is made up from little snippets of patterns and information from elsewhere , I make some scribbles so I can make another if I need to. I had formally written up some patterns , had them for sale on Etsy but no one had purchased them. I didn't know if they worked or not.

I was told that Ravelry was the place for getting your patterns tested by both the experienced and inexperienced knitters. Great I thought , that's one way round my dilemma. So off I trotted and posted a few of the patterns I had already made on to the ravelry testing forum.

I then went to work on a new pattern, something simple I was told , something that anyone could knit up as a Christmas present using up an odd ball of yarn.

So I came up with my headband pattern , such a simple knit I thought and such a simple pattern. I put it to the testing forum on Ravelry and I also asked my Craft Britannia team mates on Etsy. 

Jill from Fabrilushus piped up saying she could only just knit , could she test it out from a beginners perspective. 

What a great idea ! so i sent her the pattern , answered a couple of her questions and off she went.

She now has finished the headband and this is what she says

"Anyway, i am finally finished! I know you have got it listed now anyway and that it is doing well but I thought you would still like my beginners perspective.

It is a great beginners pattern! Very easy knitting, grows very quickly and gives a lovely effect. I really like it. I did find the finishing off a little tricky but managed with no mishaps. 

 I found that I couldn't actually get my 3rd needle through the stitches whilst they were on 2 needles so I got around it by transferring each individual stitch on to the working needle and then knitting them together! The tieing off bit to pull it together was fine.

I think the pattern does make sense for a beginner and I love the photos.

I only have one comment where I think you could add something and it is purley for Numpty beginners like me...... you mention that if you wish to have a narrower band to just reduce the number of stitches. I think it may be worth saying that it must be an odd number of stitches otherwise the pattern will not work. I did not know that until you told me and suspect that other beginners won't.

Thank you so much for letting me test your pattern. Sorry it took an age! I am attaching photos for you. The ones of me are terrible as they are selfies with my phone but I did want you to see that the finished article is perfectly wearable. Even makes a good mini cowl and I have actually worn it like that with my coat this weekend. It works well if you don't want lots of bulk" 

 If you want to try out this same pattern , then it can be purchased here 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Angel Cable

I came across a cable pattern called "Angel Cable" a few days ago and I was intrigued to try.  I have worked with cables for a few years now , just straight forward cables going up and down your work , twisting in and out of stitches, but this cable intrigued me because it was incorporated into some clever stitch increases and decreases.

I wanted to adapt the pattern I found though , wanted to make purl columns narrower , wanted a finished edge to each side, maybe with the potential of making something like a headband with it.

So I decided to use a little bit of software I have just bought. Nice and cheerful Interwined Studio can create charts out of written instructions or can work out the written instruction from a chart. Either way its pretty nifty and I wanted to play :)

I won't go into the ins and outs of what I did , but just to say , adapting the original pattern was a lot easier than knitting the piece and nearly as enjoyable (remember I am a computer geek).

So here's the finished results.  And yes , I did adapt the knitted piece beyond the pattern. I got carried away you see.

and for those of you interested here is the pattern , both the chart and written instructions

Cast on 26 stitches
Row 1 (rs): k9, p8, k9
Row 2 (ws): p9, k8, p9
Row 3 (rs): k7, ssk, p3, m1, p2, m1, p3, k2tog, k7
Row 4 (ws): p8, k3, p1, k2, p1, k3, p8
Row 5 (rs): k6, ssk, p3, m1, k1, p2, k1, m1, p3, k2tog, k6
Row 6 (ws): p7, k3, p2, k2, p2, k3, p7
Row 7 (rs): k5, ssk, p3, m1, k2, p2, k2, m1, p3, k2tog, k5
Row 8 (ws): p6, k3, p3, k2, p3, k3, p6
Row 9 (rs): k4, ssk, p3, m1, k3, p2, k3, m1, p3, k2tog, k4
Row 10 (ws): p5, k3, p4, k2, p4, k3, p5
Row 11 (rs): k3, ssk, p3, m1, k4, p2, k4, m1, p3, k2tog, k3
Row 12 (ws): p4, k3, p5, k2, p5, k3, p4
Row 13 (rs): k2, ssk, p3, m1, k5, p2, k5, m1, p3, k2tog, k2
Row 14 (ws): p3, k3, p6, k2, p6, k3, p3
Row 15 (rs): k1, ssk, p3, m1, k6, p2, k6, m1, p3, k2tog, k1
Row 16 (ws): p2, k3, p7, k2, p7, k3, p2
Row 17 (rs): ssk, p3, m1, k7, p2, k7, m1, p3, k2tog
Row 18 (ws): p1, k3, p8, k2, p8, k3, p1
Row 19 (rs): k1, p3, c8b, p2, c8f, p3, k1
Row 20 (ws): p1, k3, p8, k2, p8, k3, p1
Row 21 (rs): k1, m1, p3, k2tog, k6, p2, k6, ssk, p3, m1, k1
Row 22 (ws): p2, k3, p7, k2, p7, k3, p2
Row 23 (rs): k2, m1, p3, k2tog, k5, p2, k5, ssk, p3, m1, k2
Row 24 (ws): p3, k3, p6, k2, p6, k3, p3
Row 25 (rs): k3, m1, p3, k2tog, k4, p2, k4, ssk, p3, m1, k3
Row 26 (ws): p4, k3, p5, k2, p5, k3, p4
Row 27 (rs): k4, m1, p3, k2tog, k3, p2, k3, ssk, p3, m1, k4
Row 28 (ws): p5, k3, p4, k2, p4, k3, p5
Row 29 (rs): k5, m1, p3, k2tog, k2, p2, k2, ssk, p3, m1, k5
Row 30 (ws): p6, k3, p3, k2, p3, k3, p6
Row 31 (rs): k6, m1, p3, k2tog, k1, p2, k1, ssk, p3, m1, k6
Row 32 (ws): p7, k3, p2, k2, p2, k3, p7
Row 33 (rs): k7, m1, p3, k2tog, p2, ssk, p3, m1, k7
Row 34 (ws): p8, k3, p1, k2, p1, k3, p8
Row 35 (rs): k8, m1, p2, p2tog, p2, p2tog, p2, m1, k8
Row 36 (ws): p9, k8, p9

Quick View of Woolly Goodies available on my web site

Quick View of Woolly Goodies available on my web site
Click on photo above to see detail / to purchase