Saturday, 24 January 2015

Knitting Diagonal Stripes with mosaic knitting

A little mosaic knitting

I always thought that knitting diagonal stripes would be very tricky. Yes I could see that Fair isle knitting would work, but I wouldn't fancy knitting the wrong side, I'm sure I would not only get my threads in a tangle but my mind too, working out which way the stripe was going. 

Right side......>

 So imagine my amazement when I found this great little trick with mosaic knitting. Not only is it really easy to do , once you have done the first 4 rows , but there are no tangled threads and you can't go wrong really.    

And the wrong side is nearly as cool as the right.

<......Wrong side

My daughter, Michelle watched me this morning whilst I worked a couple of rows and she summoned the process up in a way that I never thought. 
She said that whilst you knit the row in one colour you leave stitches behind so that they could be knit in the other colour later on.  I think she summed up mosaic knitting rather well. 

The article below nicely explains the difference between fair isle and mosaic knitting when working the same pattern. It's a great intro to mosaic knitting.

Friday, 23 January 2015

You are the One! My Valentine treasures from the UK

To celebrate Valentine's Day I thought I'd bring together a selection of Etsy hand made items all from the UK.   Hope you like them......

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Valentine GiveAway 2015

Cool Valentines GiveAway - hand knitted cowl in a stunning Red !

Knitted in a Debbie Bliss luxury chunky tweed yarn 85% wool , 15% Angora
Circumference 3' / width 8"
More of a fashion statement than designed to keep you warm.
Winner will be drawn 7th February 2015. All entrants will receive full instructions on how to knit the cowl themselves.

All I'm asking for in return is that you subscribe to The Feminine Touch email list, where once a month you will receive notification of free offers, giveaways, news & tutorials from one of the leading skilled and experienced UK knitters.

Thank you and good luck!  

Sorry , but the GiveAway winner has been drawn now , click here for details 

Found these great knitters font!

Wow! , that's all I can say. 

These have been on my "to do list" for the last few years. I thought some unique knitters fonts would brighten up my photos that I put in my blog and I had been planning on making some myself. It's one of those jobs you never get round to doing as you know it will be a mammoth job.

Last night , whilst scooting around BlogLovin I found someone else that had done them and most importantly she is letting both you and me have them for free.

I'm talking about the great Knitters fonts that you can see in my crafty Mosaic knitting WIP photo below. 

I can't keep a secret , so here's where I downloaded them from - Laylocks Designs wonderful blog

 I so LOVED knitting this mosaic knitting. 

Come back later to see the finished article and to access the knitting pattern, where I have simply explained a little of the mysteries of mosaic knitting. Its a knitting technique I plan to come back to again and again so watch this space.

Tweedy Mosiac knitted shawl for Sale

Tweedy Mosiac shawl knitting pattern 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Follow my blog with BlogLovin

 Just found BlogLovin, Now why didn't I know about this before?

"Bloglovin' is a better way to read, organize and discover your favorite blogs on mobile and desktop. Currently reaching over 20 million monthly unique visitors globally"

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Come join in the fun , get lovin those blogs ! 

Bloglovin' is a better way to read, organize and discover your favorite blogs on mobile and desktop. Currently reaching over 20 million monthly unique visitors globally - See more at:

Bloglovin' is a better way to read, organize and discover your favorite blogs on mobile and desktop. Currently reaching over 20 million monthly unique visitors globally - See more at:

Monday, 12 January 2015

Good Customer Service - Be Reliable and don't make promises you can't keep

A few days ago I had what I call a bad Customer Experience when buying from an on-line retailer. It wasn't an experience that left me financially worse off or anything, it just left me very frustrated and determined never to venture near that web site ever again.

The story starts at the weekend when I was browsing the store, its a store I have visited before and frankly never had any problems with, but this time it was just after Christmas and I was hitting the sales.  I has been feeling a bit frumpy over the Christmas period and decided that I needed some new clothes (and to go on a diet, but that's another story) to get me out of the dumps. I knew I needed some new long sleeved, long bodied tops and I found some of a certain make on this web site. I altered the query so it brought up just those few that were available in my size and I narrowed it down to just 2. So bang, in goes my debit card details and Woosh! the tops are ordered. 

and then within a few hours I get an email saying:-

 Dear Sandra
We're sorry to let you know that the following item is no longer available: 


 Hope you are not too disappointed and as a way of saying sorry I would like to offer you a 15% discount* off your next order.

 and then 5 days later I get another email saying the other items isn't available and offering me yet another 15% off.

And I'm thinking....... but there is nothing else I like that's in the sale and is my size! and why didn't you tell me when I ordered?  and when will the money be refunded?

and I still felt frumpy and in my frumpy mood I emailed them back to complain.

This is an extract of what I received back.

" We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that there's enough stock to meet our customers' demand, and our website is updated regularly to reflect our stock levels. Unfortunately, some items will always be more popular than we expected, and sell out sooner than anticipated.

If an item sells out we'll keep it on our website for a few weeks, just in case our suppliers are able to source new stock. Plus, if other customers who've ordered the item decide to send it back and it's in a re-saleable condition, it'll become available again. Of course, we can't guarantee that we'll receive returns in the size and colour you require, but if you really have your heart set on a particular item it's worth checking back on our website at a later date.

At the moment we don't have the facility to alert you if an item that's currently unavailable comes back in stock - but we'll update our website straight away if this happens"

So basically , the stock levels on their web site are never correct!

and then

"We don't charge items to your card until we've received confirmation that they're on their way to you. As the item hasn't been dispatched, the cost has not been debited from your card"

Why didn't they say so at the time of telling me that the item was not available?

Now I have moaned to you about my moan , I will tell you why I'm writing this blog posting. I just wanted to make it clear to any prospective buyers that I have a real thing about Customer Service. I can't bare this sort of attitude to customers. All customers should be treat as individuals and I think that is where these big retailers with their corporate web sites and systems fall down. 

So this is the 1st item in my Customer Service Charter

Be Reliable and don't make promises you can't keep

Even though I have my Etsy store and my own web site, I will endeavour to keep stock levels correct at all times. The stock levels will reflect items that I have already made , or items that I can quickly make up. If I have to buy yarn in to make up items, I will say so and I will let you the customer know within 24 hours when I anticipate the order to be completed.  If, for example I have a problem getting the correct yarn, I will let the customer know, as soon as I start hitting the problem and I will offer a solution, another type of yarn perhaps or something custom made for them.  I will not glibbly offer %discounts with coupon codes, what is the point when the customer does not want anything else from your shop at that moment in time. 

Nothing annoys a customer more than a broken promise and I now understand that from my personal experience.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Heart full of hearts

I took a little time off yesterday, away from my lap top and away from those knitting needles. I decided to have a play with some wooden heart boxes I had acquired and an idea I had to cover them with recycled felt.

I used the rib from some old sweaters I had felted to wrap round the edge of the heart shape. I didn't have any glue (why would a knitter have glue?) but I did have some fabric interfacing , so I used that, trying my best to iron it down without burning my hands in the process. I had to sew the pieces together at the heart point as there was no way it was staying stuck together. Another piece of felt I stuck (again with the fabric interfacing) to the bottom of the box

I stuck some of the recycled hearts that I use for the heart garlands I sell on to the side of the other wooden heat shape , just to see if they would stick and heh! yes they did. I now have a treasure trove of hearts , somewhere pretty to store all my spare heart shapes.

It's not a perfect technique , but i did think it was worth sharing with you all. I love recycling things and if I can make something nice and pretty out of it then that's even better.

More Free tutorials from The Feminine Touch can be found here 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy new Year - My 1st day - pattern writing !

I feel like I'm at the very start of a big adventure this next year. I've just spent today finishing off doing all the maths calculations for a knitting pattern that will be published in the KnitNow knitting magazine in May. Quite daunting stuff , seeing as though I have only dabbled in pattern writing these last few months , going through the testing regime on Ravelry and publishing a few simple patterns on their site , plus Craftsy and in my Etsy shop.

KnitNow have kindly agreed to publish BOTH patterns that I submitted to them a few months back. So I have been spending the last month knitting up the garments and writing up the patterns. Both have been quite challenging for me. Its been great to see my ideas come alive in front of me , in different (but yet beautiful) yarns than I had originally knit them in. I can't tell you much about the yarns or the patterns (sneak preview of colours below), but I can tell you that I have improved my charting techniques (and incorporated new stitches in to my charting software) and my pattern writing skills 200 fold! It's been quite a learning curve. 

So the 1st day of the year I have been busy finishing the patterns. Now they are finished I can send both the knitted items and the patterns to KnitNow tomorrow and sit back and wait. Keeping fingers crossed that not too many questions some back at me.  

(sorry couldn't resist the silly cartoon image above , its so reminds me of me , a few years younger with shorter curlier hair) 

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