Friday, 24 April 2015

Join the Campaign for Fashion Revolution Day


I'm never too happy about having my photo taken and posted all over the Internet so imagine my trepidation when Wool and the Gang asked me to take a snap holding one of the "I made your clothes" posters for Fashion Revolution Day.


Well I read up about it on http://fashionrevolution.org/ and changed my mind immediately, of course I would join in the campaign on the day. 


I knit for Wool and the Gang, I have done for the last few months, a few woolly beanies and scarves made out of their crazy sexy wool. I also design and knit for my own web site and Etsy shop. Little accessories such as gloves, scarves, boleros and cardigans.

I only do a little bit of the process, the end result, knitting the pieces you wear and sewing the bits together and in the whole scheme of things I only create a tiny wee fraction of the clothes that are made for you!

But it's got me thinking more about the whole process, from start to finish, who helps bring the lambs in to the world, who shears the sheep, who dyes and spins the wool that I then knit in to something for you.

Check out Wool and the Gangs fabricated tales which tells the whole story of their recycled T shirt yarn. Their Crazy Sexy Wool (which I knit with) comes from happy sheep in the Peruvia Andes, sources with consideration so as to reduce impact on the environment. 





So I need to find out more about the wool, mohair and cotton yarns I knit with. This will be my challenge for the year, so next year when its fashion revolution day I have more of an idea as to where the yarn I knit with comes from and I can share that with you.





And I'm going to be thinking, Who made my clothes? next time I go shopping. Will you?










WHY DO WE NEED A FASHION REVOLUTION?


On 24 April 2013, 1133 people died in the Rana Plaza catastrophe in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A further 2500 were injured. They were killed while working for familiar fashion brands in one of the many ‘accidents’ that plague the garment industry.   http://fashionrevolution.org/about/why-do-we-need-a-fashion-revolution/




As an aside Etsy met up with Wool and The Gang a few weeks ago. Here's the story. on the Etsy UK Blog  
We’re very happy to inform you that Wool and the Gang are offering all Etsy UK blog readers the following code to use for 15% off at checkout: PARTY-KQAGM3

Wool and the Gang

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

I show off my latest craze in a video

My latest craze is Mosaic knitting, I'm sure you will have realised that from my numerous postings about the subject , whether its me showing off my latest cushions, letting you know of my freebie dish cloth pattern or writing about the "Mosaic Knitting" book I had recently ordered. All in All the last few weeks have been a steep but very pleasant learning curve for me.

It was very nice to see the culmination of my efforts, the final flourish of activity before I can say that my new range of summer cotton cushions is finally launched!

I have launched the range with a bang (the loudest I can do without spending loads of money on adverts). After developing The Craft Britannia Wedding Promotional Video I decided that I would make a video for the launch of the cushions. It should have been a fairly simple little thing, I was only going to show off 3 cushions! (and the knitting patterns for them).



Well just take a look at the video and you'll see how mad I have gone, with a little photo editing I have changed green grass to pink, changed a pink flower on a cushion to blue and now have a number of different coloured cushions (I didn't knit all those, honest). There are summer flowers flying everywhere and photos twisting and turning all over the place. Go on take a look. I'm even admitting to myself that it looks a bit wacky but I'm loving it too!

I'm hoping that it gets the message across that these are meant for fun, for fun in the summer sun 

Sandra x

Monday, 20 April 2015

Addicted to creating mosaic charts

Well I am truly addicted to creating these little mosaic charts. There is a certain knack, which took me a time to crack but now I have I am away.  There are designs that are impossible to recreate with mosaics due to its limitations. For example I tried to create a "heart" design a few weeks ago and gave up after a few hours of tearing my hair out. But now I think I have it sussed, learning to work with its limits and to use them as benefits.

Anyway with a lot of practise I came up with 3 new mosaic charts, all of them inspired by nature and the yarn colours I had bought specially for this project.

All of the charts are available in my newest pattern , yes 3 patterns in one!




Buy it on Ravelry here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/summer-lovin---3-mosaic-charted-pillows

Flower Power was inspired by the Fuschia colourway, I wanted something pretty, feminine and flowery. Flowers are difficult with mosaic work as it doesn't tend to work with flowery curves. Bit I think these funky square flowers are ace! 

Honey Pot was named after I knit this design, it reminded me of bees bussing round the honey pots.

Leafy Greens was developed to portray a leafy shape, the pine tree just emerged by accident! that's the joy of mosaic work, you just don't know what's going to emerge sometime.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Free Mosaic Pattern for a scrummy cotton dish cloth



This is the first time I have tried knitting a cotton dish cloth but seeing as though I had a little spare cotton yarn and I wanted to try out my newest mosaic pattern , I decided to give it a go. I loved the finished result and because its an easy knit and I want all you knitters to love mosaic knitting as much as me here are the charted instructions. 


Instructions


The finished dishcloth is 8" x 9". If you are wanting a larger cloth then increase the number of repeats (each repeat is 16 stitches x 32 rows).

Yarn: Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Mustard and Nature.
Needles : 4.5mm / US 7 / UK 7

1. Cast on 39 stitches in Nature using the cable cast on technique (gives a neater edge I think). 39 stitches is for 3 knit stitches + (16 stitches for the mosaic pattern x 2) +1 extra stitch to make the pattern neat + another 3 knit stitches.

2. Knit 3 rows.

3. Start Mosaic pattern. Knit 3 stitches at the beginning and end of each and every row. The mosaic pattern is worked in stocking stitch.

4. Knit the mosaic pattern twice (64 rows).

5. Knit 3 rows in Nature.

6. Bind off.

7. Weave in ends.

8. Block the work (this spreads out the mosaic, taking out all the kinks).


Mosaic pattern





The charts are fairly simple but different to other colourwork charts such as fairisle. 


If you have never used these charts then please read through the instructions below


















1. You will only ever knit one colour at at a time.
2. You will work the mosaic in stocking stitch, knitting the right side and purling the wrong.
3. The chart legend at the right hand side, with black and white square, indicates which color yarn (MC or CC) you should be knitting with on the next 2 rows. Black indicates the mustard cotton yarn, white indicates the cream cotton yarn.
4. You will knit the stitches as charted , knitting the colour according to the legend and slipping the other stitches. The slipped stitches should be taken at the back of the row (the purl side).
5. You will repeat the same row once, this time in purl
The other yarn just sits quietly at the start, waiting for its turn, so you don’t need to carry it along, and there are no floats like in fairisle work. If you come to a stitch that has been slipped twice already (it will look stretched) and you think the chart says you need to slip it again, count and make sure you are following the chart correctly. You will never slip any stitch more than two rows at a time for mosaic stitches.

This pattern is great for border work

or for a full blown mosaic


so please use it as you wish , most of all have fun x



Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Launch of the 1st Craft Britannia Promotional Video


Today I'm launching the 1st of the Craft Britannia's team videos.  We talked about it in one of my earlier blog postings here.

This is a collaboration by the Craft Britannia Etsy Team to show some of the things we offer that can make your wedding day extra special. 

To find each item shown in the video, go to https://www.etsy.com/uk/pages/craft-britannia or find the team at craftbritannia.com.




Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Resources for promoting your Etsy shop online




This is not me being clever , I found these very useful links to help you promote your Etsy shop on another site. I needed a place to keep them safe (for me to refer back to) and I thought they would be useful for my Etsy shop readers too.





Resources for Promoting your Etsy Shop Online:
_________________________________________

Whats Your Social Media Personality Type?:
blog.etsy.com/en/2015/whats-your-social-media-personality-type/

Social Media Tips from an Etsy Expert:
blog.etsy.com/en/2014/social-media-tips-from-an-etsy-expert/

How to Promote Your Etsy Shop with Pinterest:
blog.etsy.com/en/2013/how-to-promote-your-etsy-shop-with-pinterest/

8 Pinterest Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season (that can be applied year-round):
blog.etsy.com/en/2014/8-pinterest-marketing-tips-for-the-holiday-se...

How to Market Your Shop with Instagram:
blog.etsy.com/en/2014/how-to-market-your-shop-with-instagram/

Etsy's Guide to Facebook:
blog.etsy.com/en/2011/etsys-guide-to-facebook/

Etsy's Guide to Twitter:
blog.etsy.com/en/2011/etsys-guide-to-twitter/

3 Clever Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Business:
blog.etsy.com/en/2013/marketingstrategies/

3 Ways to Make the Most of Promoted Listings:
blog.etsy.com/en/2014/3-ways-to-make-the-most-of-promoted-listings/

How to Find Teams to Help Grow Your Etsy Shop:
blog.etsy.com/en/2013/how-to-find-a-team-to-help-grow-your-etsy-sho...


happy reading and promoting   xx

Monday, 13 April 2015

Craft Britannia Team Love

I just had to share this great comic strip with you. It just sums up really well what its like to be in the Craft Briatannia team on Etsy. It was taken from the Etsy UK Captain Summit 2015.

More information can be found here on the Craft Britannia blog.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Craft Britannia Wedding Video (Demo)


Yesterday I read the the latest Etsy Preneurship announcement with interest , that about Crowd promoting and I thought as a UK based crafty team the Etsy Craft Britannia team should be able to do something to pull in the crowds, get new customers (and existing ones) to come a looking at our little Etsy shops. 

My mind was humming with activity , how could we pull in the crowds? what could we do that was a little different to everyone else? what could we do that might have the potential to go viral? what could we do to get more sales?

I chatted to the team, to see what interest I would get , a plan was formulating in my mind. 

A few weeks ago, I had a video made, just a simple little thing based on my etsy shop, that showed off a few of my products mixed in with some words. I had paid (just a fiverr) for it being made. At first I was pleased , then not so sure about the quality so I looked around the Internet for bits of software that I could use to develop my own. Well I found a few  and had planned at some stage about compiling a video showing off a new range of products. 

Could I use this technique to show off Craft Britannia products, in a way that a treasury or a blog posting couldn't do. The more I thought about it and the more research I did, the more I thought that this was the way to go. Seems that both Twitter and Face book are now entrenched in displaying little video clips, seems that watching people make a fool of themselves is the way that these things go viral. Oh well, I won't be producing something that funny!, but I will be able to produce something that will display the BEST of Craft Britannia in one small video clip.

The team seemed to be on board, they agreed that the idea was good, bringing in a little humour was even better. The idea of developing a video story was born, one to music (created by a Craft Britannia team member). This would take time of course......

So in the meantime, back to my thinking, could I develop a video based on just my products? wouldn't that be a bit boring? No, not if I used similar products from other team members, not if I developed a video that showed off our glorious wedding products. Excitement set in, and the wedding video demo was developed, just to establish whether the concept would work.



I planned on letting potential candidates for the video know about my plans, to ensure that they agreed that their product photos could be used in this way and to find out if they would help with the crowd promoting. 

Here is a preview of some of the potential candidates



So once , the video was finally made could I rely on the Craft Britannia team to make it go viral (as viral as possible), would they post and share on all the different social media channels? would they twitter about it? would they share with friends and family? would they drool over the photos with their beloved? would they pass on to their favourite wedding planner? would they share with their newly engaged friend?


Please let me have your comments ..... 


PS Here is the final version of the video, impressed?

Monday, 6 April 2015

Cute little feminine top to buy now or to knit yourself

Available from my web site
I just had to show off this little cute top I hand knit for the shop. It started off as a pattern submission for the summer edition of the Knit Now knitting magazine but for some reason it failed the submission :(. 

The submission call asked for

This collection is all about creating tactile knits that you'll love to wear. I want to see stitch patterns that just scream "touch me!" 

so I included 2 great tactile knitting stitches, one for the bottom half of the top, a lovely open star pattern which just makes you want to slip your fingers into it and the other the loopy neckband. 

I thought that this pattern would be a great one for this summer, a lovely soft gentle slip on top for your little loved one to wear. 

I have this one available in my on line shop -  Size to fit 24 inch / 61cm chest where the Actual size is:
chest 26 inch / 66cm
Full length 14 inch / 36cm


I also have the knitting patterns for sale on Craftsy.  

  • To fit chest 56 cm / 22 inch - 76 cm / 30 inch
  • Needles:- 5mm / US 8 / UK 6 4mm / US 6 / UK 9

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

Thanks for reading.... but don't stop yet, take a read at old blog posts or other blogs I like below