She loves a good yarn (Blog)
Hello again everyone, how are we today, looking forward to a long weekend (if you are in the UK that is)
Sorry for not posting last week but a headache from hell was threatening to turn into a migraine so went back to bed to sleep it off in between driving shifts and then stayed off the computer.
Today however I am posting (obviously) as it means I can sit down and have a rest, between yesterday and today I have washed a large minibus and cleaned all the glass inside, washed 2 motorbikes and brushed and mopped the inside of said minibus….I do not intend to wash another vehicle for at least a week!
Right, enough waffling, lets get on with browsing some gorgeous finds from Loves a good yarn‘s Facebook feed…….
First up this week is the truly talented Phoenix Glass with one of his newest makes, Fishes!
The things this man can make from glass are simply stunning!
Next up are these dainty little boxes from Anne-Marie’s Sparkle Shop, these just caught my eye as they would be perfect so many different uses, wedding favours, little girl gift boxes….
On we travel to the very talented Wharfedale Woolworks. I adore the yarn that this lady makes and one day when I can justify treating myself to some truly luxurious yarn to make something for myself then I have a very good idea where I will be heading I can tell you! In the meantime let yourself drool over this!
Next up this week is all the way on the other side of the world, Dover&Madden is a handmade knitting and crochet business based in Melbourne, Australia. I love the things she makes and it was this pic that showed up in my timeline…
Now yes this is amazing but the blanket that I really REALLY admire is this one (sneaking this one in as I adore it!)
Every time I see this blanket I am inspired! What makes it even more stunning is I know she uses beautiful cashmere and merino yarns! Imagine snuggling up under one of these?
And last but by no means least is the very clever Diomo Glass. I love looking at the things she makes and I have a tealight holder made by her fair hands, it was an idea I had one day and she very kindly made it up for me and I love it! These are one of her latest makes so I thought I would bring them on here, these are her Lilac Heart T-light holders.
Well, there you go, another weeks (well 2 really) selection of creative makes from some very talented people, go and check out their pages and see what else they have to offer.
See you soon with another post, x
I repeat who says I can teach? I mean I can show someone how to crochet but is this the same as teaching? Where does one stop and the other begin?
Its a moot point anyway as this Wednesday is the first of my learn to crochet classes in a neighbourhood here in Merseyside.
A very lovely and highly enthusiastic lady called Nancie rang me a while back to have a chat, she uses this neighbourhood center but feels that it is under used by the local community and is on a mission to get more people using it by finding people who can pass on skills and teach.
Her enthusiasm came across on the phone and before I realised it I was just as excited at the idea of passing on some skills to others.
Nancie has some funding available so the basis for this first set of crochet lessons is to make something that can keep participants warm…hence learning how to crochet a hot water bottle cover. This might seem strange in May but take a look at the weather we are having it might not be so far fetched after all!
Next came working out lesson plans, working out costings, sourcing materials and writing a basic pattern. Now non of this was too taxing and today I have finally pulled it all together and have my learning packs and yarn and hooks as well as hot water bottles ready..now the panic is starting to set in….so again I ask who says I can teach?
I would ask you to wish me well for Wednesday morning but instead wish my students well with me as their ‘sort of’ teacher!
Good afternoon everyone, firstly let me apologise for not posting last weeks finds! I hadn’t realised that I forgot to post until I started to jot down this weeks finds.
My only excuse is that I took my little ladies out for the day, we went on the Mersey Ferry, went around the Spaceport (with Wallace and Gromit) and then back across the Mersey into Liverpool City centre, a grand day out was had by all – and that is why I didn’t write a post last week!
So I will include last weeks finds in this weeks blog so I have 6 lovely images and shops for you to look at, are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin….
First up is Sylvan Hare Arts with this fascinating piece.
I love its piercing gaze!
Next we have some rainbow in this beautiful bracelet from Sparklisation.
I lurve this!
Next we move onto Hanny Creative. I think it appealed as I have loads of old mismatched buttons. No idea what I would use it for, I just like it and sometimes that is just enough, isnt it?
From here we travel over to Pretty Rock Jewellery and this outstanding cuff!
Now its onto another jewellery page called Unique Beaded Gems with their beautiful Gemstone stretch rings. I love simple rings like these and want to wear more, I just cannot decide what colour I would like out of the choices available on their site, its really difficult!
Now we are nearing the end and we are off to Kalona Creativity with these beautiful Spiral 3D Artists Journals.
Aren’t they gorgeous?
Right so there you have it, my fabulous Facebook Finds from Loves a good yarn‘s news feed from the 2 weeks…I wonder what will be discovered in the next 7 days? Take care and catch up soon! x
Hello again, we have made it to another Friday and the start of another weekend. This one isn’t a long one like last weekend but it is still a weekend…do you have any plans or just going to go with the flow?
As its Friday that means it is time to show off some of the Fabulous creations that have shown up in Loves a good yarn‘s news feed over the last 7 days. There are only 4 finds from me this week as I spent the first half of this week suffering from that terrible cold/flu like bug going around, I haven’t felt so wiped out for a very long time (and am still not quite over it yet) so I didnt spend much time on-line looking at other peoples makes. But hey, there is nothing wrong with short and sweet is there?
Shall I stop waffling on and just get on with it?
Ok, first up this week is are these amazing pendants made by the very talented RavenMaille Bespoke Jewellery. How fabulous is this?
For other amazing cut out pieces go visit the page and the site, the patience for this astounds me!
Next on my list of finds is this free standing tree by Claire Clemsgems.
I have no idea what you would use it for, you could hang small frames with pictures in, make it a family tree or something. I think it is just beautiful and I love the birds and the owls.
Next we move on to Gillian Arnold, her glass coasters showed up on my feed and the colour of them blew me away, I am not really a pink person but the colour and the pattern on these was fab!
These are available from her Esty shop and there is a like to it from her Facebook page where you can find all sorts of other beautiful things.
And last for this week but by no means least is Mixed Media Artist Emma Lousie Wilson with her Vintage lace pressed plates.
Now you should be aware by now how much I love to crochet lace doilies and the like which is why this caught my eye, I haven’t found the picture of what they like after firing yet but the detail from being pressed is gorgeous!
Well there you go, my finds from the last 7 days, I will keep an eye out for more interesting and beautiful things to bring you next week, take care and have fun in the meantime, x
Hello again, 2 posts in as many days…get me!
Now those of you who know me know that my absolute favourite kind of crochet is thread crochet, using very fine cotton thread and teeny tiny hooks, the fact that I have to tape my index finger to stop the hook from cutting it is beside the point, all part and parcel of the process (and to a purist would tell them that how I crochet is probably not the correct way – but it works for me and that is all that matters!)
Anyway, thread crochet by its very nature gets all twisted up so the end result is not recognisable to the picture that comes with the instructions!
The pencil line on this picture was made with a normal HB pencil and is used to show a sense of scale to the fineness of the size 20 crochet thread and the 1.00mm hook used.
This picture and the next shows how twisted and contorted the finished item is, it doesn’t hold its shape, doesn’t look good and right now is not much use for anything.
See, the spokes of this snowflake are not holding any particular shape.
Now I know this is not the normal shape of a snowflake but by blocking out a crochet piece you can get it to the right size and shape that you want it to be. I need these to be 5″ across and that what they are needed for a circular shape would be best, so by washing the flake and using lots of stainless steel pins (!) I can get the flakes to measure 5″ across and into a more rounded shape.
Leave the snowflake pinned out to the base until it is completely dry before removing the pins and it will then remain in the shape and size that you pinned it to, all opened out and showing itself off to its full potential and looking nothing like it did before you blocked it.
Looks a bit different from the first time you saw it doesn’t it?
This is known as wet blocking, there are other methods of blocking depending on what yarn has been used. These will no doubt be covered in another post when I need to use them (or if you ask me to do a post on it before then!)
The process of blocking can often be more time consuming than the actually crocheting of the piece but the difference it can make to your work is astounding!
Good afternoon on Good Friday everyone, hope you are all looking forward to a long weekend (and those of you who have to work – I am sorry!)
Here is this weeks Fabulous Friday Finds blog post, showing some of the lovely creations that have shown up in the news-feed of Loves a good yarn in the last 7 days.
First up this week is Blue Lily Vintage with these absolutely amazing painted eggs, skill envy does not cover it here! These are just fab!
Next up is Falling Dew Design. As a crocheter I can appreciate the level of work that goes into this lady’s pieces but these earrings caught my attention this week!
They also come in other colours, go and have a look!
Next to show up was Mr Blue Bear with this paper cut, now I know there are lots of paper cutters out there and all of them are highly skilled in my opinion and produce lovely work but this piece struck me as so delicate looking which is why it made it into this weeks selection. This can be found in their Etsy shop.
And my last choice this week goes to Bespoke Henna Canvases by Farrah Azam. Having had henna painted onto my hand by my neighbours at the festival of Eid last year, the detail that goes into the creations made here is astounding (in my opinion) and beautiful!
Well there you go, my choices from the last seven days, why not pop over and have a browse at the other wonderful things these people have created. See you soon with another selection from the next 7 days, x
Good afternoon my lovely readers, how are we? Are you being dumped on by rain or by snow? It is snow here in Liverpool with more heavy stuff forecast again in a couple of hours, where ever you are stay warm and stay safe!
Can you believe another week has flown by so quickly? Therefore it is time for another Fabulous Friday Finds blog post.
What is a Fabulous Friday Finds post about?
It is about bringing some of the nicest creations made by other crafty folk that have shown up in Loves a good yarn‘s timeline to a wider audience. The items that are chosen are from the last 7 days and those that made me stop for a further look as they stood out.
First up are these amazing textile wall hangings from Madbird Textiles.
You can find more information from their Facebook page here.
Next up was this Paper Flower Brooch from Not Just Handbags
Later in the week this showed up in my newsfeed, I have never seen anything like this and think it is really quite beautiful and unusual.
This leather flower and crystal necklace is available from Maneggi and you can find their Facebook page here as well as some other brilliant pieces.
I have been an admirer (and slightly jealous) of this lady’s work for a long time, I love seaglass but it would appear that I live on the wrong side of the UK to find any decent seaglass to use for anything really. So when this pocket watch pendant showed up I was quite smitten.
For more details on this go to their Facebook page here and while you are there have a browse at all the other gorgeous stuff that is made, it will be worth it!
So there you go, my fave finds from the last 7 days on Facebook.
What ever you are doing or what ever the weather, have a fabulous weekend, see you soon, x
Hello and good morning to you, how are you doing? Looking forward to the weekend?
I have a craft fair tomorrow (lets hope its a bit more successful than the last one I did in this venue – I would like to at least cover my table money!)
I have not done any WOW Wednesday’s on my FB page for a number of weeks and I am missing doing them but there have been a number reasons for this – time being one of them but this week I managed to be a bit more organised and I made notes of the fab things that I found in my news-feed, there has been a lot of lovely creations made over the last week so I have decided to compile them all into one blog post for you to read – so pull up a chair, take 5 mins out, grab your brew and have a quick peek at some of the Fabulous Friday Finds.
First up is this beautiful pendant from Nurrgula – art jewellery, I love the warm chocolate colours in this natural stone!
You can find this and other amazing pieces of jewellery in her Etsy shop here.
As someone who has had numerous cats over the last few years, this find from Flonightingale jewellery amused me somewhat!
This can be found in Flonightingales shop here.
Next up is this beautiful ceramic dish from Ty Siriol Ceramics and Crafts, this appealed to me as I have been working on a number of heart shaped items recently.
If you would like more information then you can find this item here.
Again with the hearts I found these from The Blueberry Patch, they just look so snuggly and I personally love the smell of lavender, it has a very calming effect on me.
For further information or browse at other handmade items, you can find details here.
And last but not least is this amazing brooch from Woodland Treasures, this just made me stop whilst browsing through my timeline then when I went across to their site, it was even more amazing, the shawl pins and the dragons!
To go and have a browse at all the wooden gorgeousness you can find their website here.
I hope you have enjoyed this mini browse around some lovely creations from the last 7 days (and if I remember to keep my notebook near the laptop I will do another one next week!)
See you soon, x
Hello and good morning all, how is your Saturday shaping up so far? Good I hope!
What do you think of my new necklace design? It came to me while I was playing with these bright threads as an antidote to all the grey mist, fog and rain of late (mind you its bright and sunny today which is a lovely change!)
I am making more in all colours of thread that I can lay may hands on as I think they are fab and will work throughout Spring and Summer.
Right, this is where I need your help, I cannot think of a name for this design so I thought why not ask all you lovely fans out there…..and for the name that I think best suits, the person who suggest that can have a necklace made in their choice of colour! Does that sound good?
Ok then, shall we give it 5 days, that will take us to Wednesday 16th Jan and the competition will close at 6pm.
Brilliant, so go go go, share with as many people as you like and get suggesting….please?
The formula for pricing your handmade items is a magical, mysterious formula that so far has eluded me!
Ask 20 different crafters and you will more than likely get 20 different answers.
It will also depend on whether your crafting is a business from which you need to earn a living or a hobby and want to cover the cost of your materials.
I am lucky in that I work part time but consider myself and my craft as a business from which I would like to draw a wage to top up my part time pay! (The absolute dream would be that Loves a good yarn became a top of the range hand made name in the business world – I still have a bit of a way to go yet though!)
Now take the mainstream formula for pricing of goods, used by many crafters and artisans;
(hourly rate x time spent) + materials + %profit = price
This is where my problem starts – hourly rate!
Crochet is a very time hungry craft, some items can be quick to make but most items tend to take quite a long time, especially if working in fine thread and tiny hooks (which I love to do!), so how do you decide on an hourly rate?
Minimum wage is currently at £6.19 per hour, so say something took an hour to make using half a ball of normal yarn with a 20% profit margin then the formula would be;
(£6.19 x 1) + £1.00 + 20% = £8.62
This sounds reasonable doesn’t it?
Now lets consider something crocheted from very fine (#20) crochet thread and a 1.00mm hook……
I made a Christening jacket for a competition (and I won which was very good but I digress!), now this was before I had my business head on properly and I didn’t keep a note of how long it took me to make. All I do know is that is was well in excess of 125 hours and it is currently for sale for £125.00 which means that my hourly rate wasn’t even £1 per hour. As of yet it hasn’t sold, would I have sold it before now if it was listed for £619?
The longer something takes to crochet the lower my my hourly rate has to drop to stand any chance of selling my creation.
This is the only factor I can alter, my materials are nearly always bought wholesale, on the odd occasion they aren’t then the price of yarn is factored into the equation, %profit has a small amount of room to move on but not much so it really does come down to hourly rate.
Does this mean that I have to find myself a sliding scale of hourly rates depending on the material I am crocheting with and the level of detail?
More points to consider that we haven’t even touched on yet, listing fees (if you have them), paypal fees, gas/elec/water (some people advocate that you factor a percentage of these into your calculations), marketing, profit percentage itself, 100%, 50%, 20%, wholesale prices etc, etc, the list goes on and on.
I have a number of avenues I want to explore with Loves a good yarn but I really need to get to grips with pricing formulae that work for me, be it one hourly rate, two or a sliding scale!
For another post on pricing from a fellow crafter whose opinion I value, click here.
Please feel free to post your comments/views, I always appreciate feedback and input from readers of this blog.
See you all soon, x