Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Annual Stock Take 2017

Now that Lucy's shut up shop for the winter months I have got all my 'stock' back so before I embark on the Christmas markets it's time for my annual 'taking stock' of things...

last year and 2015 & 2014 (just for comparison, as it's always good to look back on these things)

This year I currently have a total of 82 listings in my Etsy shop.

  • 32 listings in my wristwarmers and cuffs
  • 30 in my hats and headbands
  • 1 in my bags section
  • 13 in my seaglass/shells
  • 1 in my greetings cards
  • 5 in my scarves
 I've had 1034 sales to date and my feedback rating is still 5* overall with 537 people leaving me feedback.

I've decided to just let my greetings card listings expire rather than keep on renewing them - they don't seem to sell well on Etsy so it's pointless to keep on and on renewing them in the hopes of an odd sale or two. 

So my listings total is down again on the previous year (I'd 88 this time last year) and on the years before that. I had that big order for scrubbies from Airmid earlier this year so that slowed down my production of wristwarmers/hats etc (the money was so handy though and I'm hoping that they will need more eventually!)

Things really to have been slow for me on Etsy lately so it's good that I have a few Christmas markets to go to and hopefully bump up my takings a little bit...next year I will be selling locally in Lucy's centre again as well as the Daly's craft shop on their farm in Valentia so hopefully things will continue to improve.

More New Listings...


This is the silvery grey sparkly scarf that I was working on - I brought it over on holiday to England with us as it is a bit slow to make. People at the markets are always asking if I have any scarves so at least I will this time round -- and I think they make the mannequin look a lot better (rather than sitting there with just a hat/headband on and a bare neck and shoulders)


 
This cowl is made with some wool that I was given as a present by a friend on the ferry - it was a NIGHTMARE to work with as it's one of those yarns where it's hard to see where the stitches are, but I really like it now that it's finished. It's 100% polyester but is so soft!




 And these two hats are ones that I've just remade in the last couple of days as the original versions had sold in my Etsy shop - again they are made with yarn that I was gifted (by a friend of one of my sisters this time) - I have enough in the blue for one more copy of the hat but I still have plenty of the silvery grey.


And finally, this is a hat that I made a while ago, using some of the yarn that I'd bought in New York city - from KnittyCity. I'd made it just as a plain hat - there was only just enough wool in the skein for the hat but wasn't happy with it just being plain so I was going to try making a toning flower in a different yarn. Then I found this great big button in my collection and it seemed just 'right'.



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Listings



As you can hopefully see, I've been busy lately! It's taken me a while to get round to getting these photographed and listed in my Etsy shop and Facebook page but it's all done now.



 I'm really hoping that some of these sequined wrist warmers will sell for me at the local Christmas markets. 



This is the last of the King Cole 'country tweed' that I have in this shade and it's been discontinued so I think that they will be the last pair that I will make in it. I do hate it when they discontinue yarns for no good reason - you'd understand if there was a fault or if the dye ran but when it's something that's a good seller it's a real shame.
 





I've been listing some of the items that were in Lucy's shop in the village through the Summer months - the more listings I have on Etsy the more hope I have of getting sales.
 





Saturday, November 18, 2017

New Colours

We're just back home after a flying visit over to family in England so of course I had planned a trip to the local wool shop while we were staying in Kidderminster with Beth and Mark for a few days.

I wasn't sure what to expect of it this time - when we went last year I only bought a few balls of wool (and my pompom maker!) as it seemed like they were going down the line of mostly stocking baby yarns in pastel colours and cheap acrylics...neither of which are what I would choose to use.

I was quite hopeful though when we were looking at their window display -- they have started to be a stockist for West Yorkshire Spinners so I was keen to go in and have a look at what they had. 

As you can see from the photos I ended up spending a fair bit!

They always seem to have a range of discontinued lines - I don't know if it's just that they don't sell an awful amount of wool in their shop so they still have it as stock? I bought the Wendy 'celtic' again and the King Cole 'galaxy dk' - I'm pretty sure that the 'ocean' shade has been discontinued now.


I was impressed with the quality of the West Yorkshire Spinners yarns so I bought a few of them for hats and wrist warmers. I'm honestly not sure when I'll get around to using up all of these though, as I am pretty much full to bursting when it comes to yarn...

I've been really good and only buying stuff that I need really for particular orders but it's different when I go on holiday!!



I bought three new (new to me at least) shades of the Cygnet 'Boho Spirit' - I'll make them into wrist warmers too; I still haven't really made my mind up on that yarn..it feels like it's trying to rip off King Cole's riot.
 

This fluffy one is by Sirdar and when I tried googling it it turns out that it has been discontinued as well - I'm a bit nervous about using it as it might turn out to be a nightmare but we'll see...the ball is 300g so it should be enough for a scarf.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Magic and Sparkle


 Yay! The battery has charged up on my new camera so I've tried taking just a few photos to see how I get on with it (so far so good)

This is what's in my work basket at the moment -- for some reason I do like to go through 'phases' with my crochet -- so lately I've been working my way through the King Cole 'Galaxy' dk -- I have four different shades in my stash. Hopefully they will sell at the Christmas markets (this seems to be my mantra these days) as everyone likes a bit of 'bling' in the darker months.

 

 ..and I've been meaning to take a photo of this in recent days! Cathy Watson gave me two of these great big old glass battery jars when she was having a clear out -- I know I've posted about them before...anyway I've decided to use the bigger of the two as storage for all my oddments of yarn. They are little scrap balls that I make up when I've finished a pair of wrist warmers or whatever.

I think it'll look great when it's full (and then I can always take them out and use them up on other projects or donate them to someone who wants them) but it's going to take me a long while yet...


Keeping Warm


I've finally listed this pair of items in my Etsy shop - I've had them made for some time now but sometimes am slow to get around to taking photos and then listing the items in my shop.



The wool is 'Studio Donegal' aran tweed in pure wool - lovely lovely warm wool that isn't scratchy against the skin.


I must take some photos of the hat and cowl that I made for myself - I'm very happy with how both of them turned out. I needed to use both skeins of the thick/thin purple wool for my cowl and it's so snuggly and warm.

My old camera had broken (I think it had got sand inside the lens casing) so I've been borrowing an old camera from my Dad recently. My brand new replacement arrived in the post just now; I've gone back to a 'compact' style camera rather than a 'bridge' one - I think I prefer the handy size and shape of a camera like this. I always found the bridge one kind of bulky.

The battery is still charging on the new one so I'll be testing it out later!


Oh and I got a tshirt in the post today! I found this great big plastic thing on the beach recently and someone on facebook was able to id it for me -- it turns out that it is used in seismic research!

I got in touch with the company who makes them and they offered to send me a tshirt! :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Purple!


Oh look at these lovelies - purple really is my favourite colour - it is the colour that I tend to gravitate towards in the woolshops and could happily use it as the only colour in my crochet.

I bought the two skeins to the right in the above photo in Knitty City in New York earlier this year and made hats with them in the last couple of days...I love how they turned out!



The colours remind me of watercolour paintings - with drops and splashes of different colours that blend into each other. :)



and this one below is for a hat for myself! I had made myself one a couple of years ago in similar colours but then managed to lose it on a coach trip in Iceland - I still haven't really forgiven myself for that (we did try their lost and found department but they had thousands of lost hats...and the lady said that at least it would get donated to a charity so I guess it hadn't gone to waste)



Finished Scarves!






I've finished all three of the scarves - they are in different shades of the same yarn. I haven't listed scarves in my Etsy shop for a long time; mainly as they take so long to make and also that I HATE being in any of the listing photos. So I thought I'd try to use my mannequin instead and I think it's worked pretty well.



 It looks like a friend in America will buy the blue one (below) later today - it would be great to have the sale; things have been so quiet for me on Etsy lately. I do have less than 75 listings though so that doesn't help!


I'm really quite happy with how the scarves turned out - if I see that yarn again I would be tempted to buy more of it so that I could do the same...


I do love the ripple stitch - especially in finer yarns like this one...


Sunday, October 29, 2017

More Scarves


I've finished the red scarf that I'd photographed and mentioned in my previous post in here and now am making two more in the same yarn in different shades.

I'm really hoping that they will sell at the markets!


In non-crochet news - this is keeping me busy -- I'm back beach cleaning again for the winter months and after two bad storms there is a tonne of rubbish on my most favourite beaches....it really is never ending...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Finishing Up Orders


Earlier this month I finished up the blankie for Marianne's daughter - it will be part of her Christmas present so I will have to wait a while before I know if she likes it or not (but I hope so much that she will love it and will have it for years)


I quite enjoyed making it - it made a change to make something bigger than hats and wrist warmers and I was able to do it without having to rush, which is always more enjoyable.

The only downside of making something that has a lot of colours and is worked in stripes is all the sewing in of loose ends when you are finished. It is something that I HATE! With the blanket I did a lot of the edging and sewing in as I went along and that made it a lot more bearable.


At the same time of the blanket I was working on this order for my lovely best customer Jaye - I think she said that these cotton shower mitts will be on sale in her friend's shop in England but I made one slightly smaller, for a friend of hers.

She had contacted me about this order months ago - I think it was the start of the summer? - so I had already ordered the yarns and made four of the five shower mitts at my leisure.


She also wanted three pairs of crocodile stitch wrist warmers in the same colourway of Riot dk - I love this shade, it reminds me so much of love birds and parrots! 


So now that I'm caught up on orders for now I'm making items for my Etsy shop again, and hopefully for the Christmas markets...

 yet more crocodile stitch wrist warmers!
 and even more of them! I only have seven pairs (not counting these ones) available at the moment so I want to try and get some more made - luckily they are still popular and I love making them best of all.

And hats...I bought the wool for these two hats from 'Knitty City' in New York - oh happy days!!

It turns out that it is actually a British yarn - made by Rowan, so that should make it easier for me to source if these ones sell and I want to buy some more.



It was lovely to work with - very chunky with a slightly thick and thin/slubby texture. I know I do tend to fall in love with every yarn that I work with but this was gorgeous -- pure wool and soft, and because it's so chunky it was very quick to work with.

 And for something a bit different I've started making a scarf -- I've had this wool (in at least three colourways) for a while now so I'm finally getting around to using it up! People always ask if I have scarves at the markets so I'm going to try and get a few made between now and December and hopefully they will sell!


I love the close up of this yarn! 


I'm using the same ripple stitch as I used for the blankie at the start of this update - it's a favourite of mine for scarfs and makes it more interesting than just making something plain backwards and forwards.