Here’s another batch of camera scarf straps – I’ve made another since but haven’t managed to get photos done yet. I think the cat print one is my favourite, which is yours? I still can’t decide which design is better – the nylon straps or the adjustable style with keyrings.
I made this stole for the first time just over a year ago for my son’s Form Tutor, he saw it on my knitting machine and wanted to give it to her. It’s knit from a fine alpaca/merino blend yarn in a soft, slightly fluffy dove grey. She wore it to a wedding last August and got several compliments on it.
I had planned on making more to sell last summer but it didn’t happen and I finally sat down at my machine to knit this one a few weeks ago; it ended up getting put away for some reason and as they say, out of sight, out of mind… anyway, I remembered about it last week and took it out and washed and blocked it.
It’s not complicated lace, but creates columns of chevrons and eyelets into a striking pattern. It’s hand-manipulated, meaning that I move the stitches around to create the pattern instead of using a punch-card and having the lace carriage move the stitches, so it’s slower than some machine-knitting.
I think it’s a lovely stole, soft and feather-light – it only weighs 75g of yarn, less than 3 oz. if you think in ‘old money’. You would also be surprised how warm it is, the alpaca and merino blend hold in a lot of body warmth.
I tried to show a couple of ways of wearing it, but I bet there are more; if you have a delicate pin or brooch this stole would set it off brilliantly. You can find it here in my Etsy Shop and here on Amazon if you prefer to shop there. This is a pattern I’ll use again – what colour would you love it in?
I finally managed to get decent photos of this warm and cosy cabled cowl – the weather hasn’t been very co-operative lately. This a lovely grey cowl made from a worsted weight acrylic yarn. The buttons add a pop of colour and you can do up all 3 or not as the mood takes you. It’s listed now in my etsy shop here
If you’d like this cowl in another colour, let me know!
This is a guest blog post from Heather Barber from Moosethemint on Etsy. She offers quirky eco-friendly gifts she makes from upcycled materials. Her guest blog post today is a Cord Necklace Tutorial. She recently made one for me for my ill-fated attempts at buying a blue agate pendant….
Cord Necklace Tutorial
1. Gather your tools – 2 set of pliers, scissors, ruler.
2. And your equipment – wax coated cotton cord, 2 jump rings, 2 cord ends, 1 lobster
clasp and whatever you are going to put on the cord – I’m using a music pendant.
3. There are a variety of different kinds of cord ends, often called bead caps, and
these ones have 2 fold over ends like a tri-fold wallet.
4. Cut the cord to a suitable length, I normally go for 18 inches. The cord is easy
to cut with scissors.
5. Line the cord up with the edge of the end cap, and then using the pliers, fold
over one side and then the other, clamping the cord in place, and give it one
6. Repeat on the other end.
7. You need to check what you are going to hang from the pendant will fit over the
lobster clasp – if not, add it to the cord now before adding the jump rings.
8. Open the jump rings – these should always be opened with the ‘open gate’ movement,
don’t try and pull the ends apart as they will not reform afterwards. You will
need 2 sets of pliers to do this.
9. Feed one end of one jump ring through the lobster clasp (make sure that it fits,
as jump rings can come in different thicknesses) and then through the
10. Feed the other jump ring through the other cord end.
11. Using two sets of pliers close the jump ring, again using the ‘open gate’
12. You should have a closed ring on one end of your cord.
13. And you should have a lobster clasp on the other end joined by a closed ring.
14. The lobster clasp can now be fastened to the loop so you can wear it.
15.I have added a music pendant to the cord.
I’ll have to give this a go, I have a great bead shop not far from me…
You can find Heather here –
I’ve been making and selling crochet breasts (used for ante-natal teaching) for several years now, and about 4 months ago, put a kit up for sale in my 2nd etsy shop, Anatomical Knits by LGD where I sell my body parts. The Crochet Boob Kit includes rainbow yarn, stuffing, contrasting yarn for the nipple and the pattern.
I’ve had several sales from it, and the feedback was that the pattern was very easy and well-written. A few days ago, I was approached online by a crocheter who had seen my crochet breasts at a breast-feeding conference and wanted to know, as she had tons of yarn already, if I would sell her the pattern by itself, so I set up a listing in the shop for her. When I got up the next morning, she had already made her very own crochet breast!
She very kindly sent me photos for me to use as well – I love the yarn she’s used!
If you’d like to make your own crochet breast, you can find the pattern in my Etsy shop.
Here is another Guest Blog Post, this time from Becci Gott from Bumblebee Lane Crafts on Etsy. She’s written a great post on how to decoupage a mannequin head – I think this would be a great craft to do with old books or vintage comics!
This tutorial has been a long time in the planning – I took the photos over a year ago with every intention of writing this up over the following weeks. Life always takes over though and it wasn’t until Denise asked about guest bloggers that it gave me a proper kick up the bum to get it all written.
First, I feel like I should introduce myself. I am Becci from Bumblebee Lane bumblebeelanecrafts.etsy.com) and I often feel like crafting is in my blood. In my first memory of my best friend, we were about 3 years old and sitting underneath a table together at a craft show that my Mum was hosting in our family home.
From that day forward, a lot of my childhood memories revolve around hanging out at craft shows, meeting my Mum at her craft shop, digging through her buttons and from a very young age, developing my own vocabulary about how certain fabrics feel. I learnt almost everything that I know through watching my Mum, despite not really sitting down with her and learning in any formal way.
I am, however, an anomaly. I am also a massive geek. For 14 years, I worked on a career in data analysis – writing code every day and presenting data in a way that made it easy to understand. In 2014, I made the decision to step away from the 9-5 in order to focus on my creativity and my family.
When I walked away from the structure of the 9-5, I knew that my business would be textile based. I love exploring other crafts but my love of fabric runs deep – at least I now have a great excuse for the fabric stash that I have accumulated over the years.
Although I have now moved to selling entirely through the internet, to start with I was exhibiting at any craft fair that I could fit into my schedule. The thing that you don’t think about when you first start at craft fairs though is that you can’t just lie everything on the table and hope for the best. Your stall needs height and different elements to show you wares off to their best.
Luckily, I have always been a bit of a hoarder, so I was able to add shelving, crates and boxes to give my stall a nice eclectic feel.
Over the various shows, I have also added more and more items, but one of my favourites is my mannequin head. I use it to display eye masks, but it could just as easily be used for displaying hats and hairbands – or even just as a feature in a bedroom. So, without further ado.. here is the tutorial for sprucing up your own polystyrene head!
DECOUPAGE HEAD TUTORIAL
Polystyrene head (I bought mine from eBay for around the £6 mark)
2 x Patterned napkins (again, I bought mine from eBay)
Old pot / jar
1) Cut your napkins into 1 inch squares (approximate is absolutely fine). I used 2 different designs on the napkins that I used, but made sure that they were similar styles. Using 1 design would also work absolutely fine. You can also buy decoupage paper in craft shops, but I personally like the way that the napkins are pliable around a curved shape.
2) Add some glue to the bottom of your old pot/jar – as I said, I am a hoarder, so have always got jars lying around for this sort of project. Add some water to the glue (about a 1:1 ratio) to thin it up a little and mix. I like to use a foam glue brush for this sort of project, but any soft brush would work just as well.
3) Working with a small area at a time, spread some of the glue mixture over the polystyrene. Start adding your squares of tissue, making sure that the edges overlap.
4) The messy bit is when you get to the details like the eyes, nose and mouth. You’ll find that you need to get some of the glue mixer onto your fingers to encourage the tissue into the hollows. It is worth taking your time over these bits to make sure that they are perfect!
5) When you get near to the bottom of the neck, leave to dry for 30 mins – 1 hour.
6) Once dry, add an extra layer of tissue to overlap the bottom. You can completely cover the bottom if you like, but I opted for just the one layer so that it looked great when stood up.
7) Allow to completely dry, then apply a coat of PVA glue over the whole head to seal the tissue paper and give it a more hard wearing finish. If you prefer a more matte finish, you could apply a matte varnish at this stage instead of the PVA.
8) Enjoy your pretty mannequin head!
You can find Becci’s products here:
As some of you know, I’ve had a very busy year, and I rarely treat myself but thought I’d buy an agate pendant and I really liked the blue ones I saw. I had a shop on Facebook looking, but she hadn’t found one she liked through her suppliers, so I looked on Etsy.
I narrowed my search to UK sellers with blue agate pendants. I found one I liked and the photos looked fairly true to colour too. The shop (ClaireElizabeths, I’m not going to put a link on here) didn’t follow the EU Consumer Rights Regulations for returns and refunds, but I wasn’t expecting to have to use them. How wrong I was….
I bought it — this one here. I also had another person make me a 26″ cord with lobster clasp to go with it, as I wanted a long cord not a chain. (I got that quickly and it’s perfect).
I received it quickly. Thought “Hmmm….” about the outside packaging, which was narrower than the box inside and only a flimsy thin cardboard box. Opened it up, pulled out a jewellery box in an organza bag, with a £1 coin as I said I didn’t want the chain, just the pendant. There was also a business card and a ‘Thank you’ postcard with a handwritten note from the seller.
I took the pendant out of the box, where it had been rattling around in as there wasn’t any extra padding in there except for the earring pad that must have come in the box. I flipped it over, to see this:
I looked in the box to see if it had been damaged in transit. Nothing. Then I looked at the listing to see if I missed anything out. Nope, no mention of any chip — and no photo of the back of the pendant either. There was the statement: “This is a natural stone that has been polished, please look carefully on the photographs for imperfections such as nicks, chips or scratches.” If there are “nicks, chips or scratches” on an item, any item it is up to the seller to point them out, not for the buyer to scrutinise the piece to find them. The seller must accurately describe what they are selling when selling online, not play ‘hide & seek the damage’ with the potential buyer.
So I emailed and said how disappointed I was that the piece was chipped as it wasn’t mentioned in the listing and that I would like to return it for a full refund including return postage as it ‘wasn’t as described’. 6 hours later, no response.
I posted in a FB group I am in about my disappointment and no one was very impressed that the chip hadn’t been mentioned – it is 5mm x 5mm so not a tiny one. I received a full refund about an hour after that, no message from the seller, and no return postage. She had also cancelled the transaction, so I knew I had a limited time to leave a review.
This is the review I left, with 2 stars: “Item was well packaged and sent quickly, however the pendant had a large chip out of the back that the seller did not state in the listing or show in the photos. So disappointed as I wouldn’t have purchased had it been accurately described. Seller refunded quickly, however, I received no communication from her at all.”
Accurate to that point in time, factual and to the point. The seller did not respond until the following day with 2 messages: “Please do as you wish, I don’t wish to argue with people over a couple of pence.” then almost immediately a message demanding I return the pendant along with everything else “including the £1 and Thank You card” and that if I “remain unhappy you can open a complaint with Etsy”. She also replied to my review, so even if I wanted to (had her response been more professional), I can’t change it. Her reply: “Item was either damaged in postage or on receipt. A full refund was issued immediately and a message sent with refund saying ‘Please except a full refund with best wishes’.”
The agate pendant wasn’t damaged in transit or on receipt, and there was no message with the refund (grammar not withstanding…)
I told her she had to pay return postage for me to send it back under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 as any return had to be: “free of charge, at no inconvenience to the consumer, and in a timely manner” for faulty items. I also stated that I would not be raising a complaint with Etsy but would hold onto the pendant as long as Trading Standards instructed me to as they were the body enforcing Consumer Rights Regulations.
She eventually sent me £3.30 by paypal, however I had 31p taken off the amount for fees. I should then have kept back 31p out of the £1 but didn’t check before I sent it back in the same packaging she sent it to me, taped up with new labels by 1st Class post.
Her responses were rude and unprofessional. No buyer should ever have to quote any legislation regarding returns for any item. It is part of running a business, knowing the relevant consumer rights laws and following them. I am quite sure that she has not changed her policies to reflect them from her attitude to this return. I will not be buying from this shop, ClaireElizabeths, either on Etsy or her shop on Folksy again and I can’t recommend her customer service to anyone, even if the item arrives in perfect condition, as my agate pendant did not.
The Saga of the Agate Pendant, Part 2, the next blog post!
Hello everyone! I bet you thought the blog was dead, as there hasn’t been a post from me for ages. Since September I’ve been absolutely slammed with orders and wholesale orders. I’m not quite sure what changed, but I am very glad my little business was so busy.
Now I have to be more organised and keep up with the blog…. dirty dishes can wait, I think. 🙂
I have made in the past 4 months:
68 camera buddies, about 30% with squeakers
132 crochet breasts
20 Keepsake Cushions
8 pairs of handwarmers
13 assorted knit uteruses and placentas
2 knit stoles
3 infinity scarves
13 Santa/Father Christmas Letters w/Reindeer Food
over 50 wool fluffs have also sold… and lots of other random items as well; some of which I didn’t think would sell at all. Goes to show, there’s a buyer out there for everything. All in all, I had over 330 items sold since September!
I have had 99% lovely customers… eventually I was going to get ‘those’ customers, at least it took 4 years for them to show up! My hubby’s been wonderful as well, keeping up with the housework, and being in charge of son while I’ve been either making, doing paperwork, packing or organising so as to get orders out as quickly as possible.
Plans in the new year:
To add more items for Photography Props – wet-felted mini blankets, some knitted lace blankets, more camera buddies. I also have plans to add Camera Scarves and straps to my offerings.
Designing-wise, other than the camera buddies, I have a shawl mid-way through the design process, and will be looking for test-knitters in Jan./Feb. so if you’d like to knit a new shawl in a Debbie Bliss yarn… message me! I plan on adding 6 new yarn patterns in 2016 for sale and a few free ones as well. I love to design and see if I can make what’s in my head a reality on my hook or needles.
Happy New Year, all!
We went out last night for dinner and Hamlet Live at the Cinema…. more about that later!
I got home very late for me to see that Etsy had picked my Dinosaur Hood as an “Editor’s Pick” and sent it out in an email! I found out because I had some views from the email…. very exciting! I’ve never been featured by Etsy before!
This is my son a few years ago modelling it for me. He’s too big now for this size, I’ll need to find someone smaller for new photos! The link to Etsy’s Editor’s Picks is here
I have crochet halloween bags and they sell pretty well, but I thought I’d try a new style this year.
I came up with 3 designs so far – a pumpkin face, a ghost and a bats/moon combo.
These ones are the prototypes, so they have been listed with a little discount…here. If you order today, you can also get another discount with code “SEPT35” until Midnight tonight!
Each bag is a 100% cotton tote measuring 20cm x 26cm. These are sturdy little goody trick or treat bags with cute Hallowe’en appliques, perfect for any little trick or treater! Which one is your favourite??