Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ur......where do I start?

Ok, I have so many things to tell you good and bad.

I think I'll get the bad thing out the way, and then we can end on a lovely positive note.

My main supplier and bestest woolly freind in the world Mr Wool has had  a nightmare, one of his barns which stored all of his white yarn in was burnt down at the weekend, and they think it was arson, aimed at the farmer who's barn it was, not Mr Wool. That meant all if his white stock, about 5 tonnes I think was wiped out, I went today to have a look at it, and its was devastating, it also had a few hundred kilos of scrumptious in it too, which made me extremely sad and gutted. He is doing ok though, I came up for the week to look after him and make sure he doesn't get too sad, I think I am cheering him up, lol.....and some lovely peeps on rav got him a vege hamper, he was sooooo chuffed!!!

Anyway, its meant that I can't get any more of some of my standard yarns to dye for a while, I have some stocks thankfully, (never been so happy to be a hoarder ever) but things like the hand dyed scrumptious 4ply and lace will not be replenished on the shop for a while.

BUT there is a little silver lining, remember I told you about all the new scrumptious arriving? Well I was moaning like a B@%%&&D because it was late being delivered by peru, it was a day late last week, meaning that they had to deliver it monday instead of friday cause of the weekend obviously, imagine how much I would be crying if it had been friday as it would no longer exist :s, really I have to keep pinching myself to believe it, so this is some seriously blessed yarn.

So today we spent the morning opening the boxes and looking at the new yarns, and they are so so so so so gorgoeus, I have photographed them all and I will be putting them on my site today and tomorow, I think my favourite has to be the aran, even though I love the others, the aran gleams, and it screams knit me into gorgeous lovely jumpers.......we did laugh alot about one of the colours I choose; a colour called lime leaf.....I am not exactly sure who got it wrong, but the lime leaf is NOT lime its kind of oyster/camel colour, its totally gorgeous, BUT there is no green in the 4ply and lace range now, but its kinda funny, knowing us it'll be the best selling colour!

Talking of knitting........MORE TOTALLY WONDERFULLY EXCITING NEWS.....I got my first front cover design being published in the knitter, yup, FRONT COVER, its a gorgeous jacket in Scrumptious aran, I am so so chuffed with it. When I get the go ahead to put the pic on here, I will ok ;) its yummmmmmyyyyyyy. you want to see some of the new yarns? This is the scrumptious 4ply, there is also natural too......

4ply collage

This one is the total fav of this is the slate, its completely metalic....

ARAN collage


Lace colage

So ending on a happy note....really I am depserate to knit some of the aran  into something new :)




Saturday, 18 September 2010

I have been baby knitting for someone special

I have been doing my first baby knitting ever, not really sure why I never did it before, this stuff knits so quick!!

Anyway, these are for Orla Esme, the first baby to be properly in my life and I am so excited, Anna and Pete are going to be the most amazing parents ever...

These are made in Sheila's sock :)

Allsorts 038

Pattern is here

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Calculating a profit at a show

Wow, I don't think I have had so many comments, thanks guys for leaving your thoughts, it seems like something people care so glad some of you are going to do it along with me....

OK, here is a link the the spread sheet I made with the help of Mr Wool (Who trained as an accountant and he is super expert on this)

It has an example working in it.

There will inevitably be things which need to be changed to suit each person/business, if you have any questions pop them in the comments, and we'll see what we can a copy and have a play.......I would urge you to also estimate costs of a show if you are thinking about doing one, and then figure out how much you would have to take to at least break even....then calculate how many units you would have to sell to make that happen, it might shock you!

Here is the link

Let me know how you get on if you try it...what will differ for everyone is the cost of their materials, for most shops it will be 50% of the takings, if you make the product you are selling it will be different.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Shows...costings and such things

I have been thinking about this alot recently, as most of you know, I do lots of shows, but I am becoming increasingly aware that lots of peeps are tempted to do shows and I really worry about how much money people are making or loosing. Its actually not as straighforward as you think to calculate whether you made a profit at a show, I think that lots of people see you taking money and think that you make a killing......this is soooo not true, and after the weekend of doing a very expensive show, taking thousands of pounds and calculating that I made a loss, I was annoyed, seriously annoyed because other people made bigger losses, this it's not OK. NOT OK that shows cost alot of money and then you are not guarenteed to make that money back, ofcourse you get new customers, but if you break even and do that then its not so bad, if you consistently loose money, then you could be spending it else where on something more effective.

So I thought I would write about it, I am going to to do a little spread sheet for vendors, where they can plug some numbers into, and it'll help them cost a show out, I have a day on wed to do it, so I'll share the link here so people can download a copy and run some figures through it...seriously if you do shows have a go, you might be really shocked at how much money you might not be making.

I know that maybe some people may not really understand why I would do this, but actually, there is a real community of vendors who do shows together, some of us only know eachother by seeing eachother at shows, but the shabby organisations of some shows and taking peoples money is starting to really annoy me.

When I twittered about this earlier some people were asking me if it was that it was organisers who were amatuers that was the problem, and actually its not, its actually the bigger shows which are the problem, when a stand costs a few hundred quid, you are not taking a massive risk, but when it costs you 500 or even a 1000 then you are. If I spend that much money on a stand I want to know that there is going to be the footfall I am paying for, and that the advertising has been made to get people there. And its not an excuse for the organiser to say they make no money out of it. We are here running businesses.

Someone said to me recently 'my stand cost 500, accomodation cost 200, I don't have travel costs and I took 800 quid, so I made 100 quid profit'. I had to restrain my self for not shouting because they probably made more like a loss of about 400 at least.

One thing that vendors sometimes forget to take into account is the cost of the product they are selling, how much did the materials cost? how long did it take to make? How much wages do you pay yourself per hour, and then add on NI and tax. Not to mention a squillion other things you have to take into account. So, I am going to do the spread sheet in the next few days and get peeps to have a go, but first of all, I know there are quite a few people who are doing this excercise with me, please go and work out how much profit you make on your product, once you have this information it will help you loads, sometimes its easier to figure out how much you make on a kilo, or a batch of items instead of 1, even time yourself over the next few days, its such a good excercise.

And you must make sure that you take wages as a cost before profit, don't not exclude wages.

OK, thats a start for now xx

Bits and peices...

Update was meant to be today, but I accidently left my laptop in a box of yarn which was taken to chester, hahahha, so we'll have to do it on wed, as I can't edit my photo's on the work computer.

So design wise I am churning out things at the moment; I might have something extremely exciting to tell you friday about one of my designs, but I have to wait until then, I don't want to jinx it incase. Also this morning I dropped off a 4ply jumper to the Knitter mag in Bath (its my favourite thing I have ever made), the stuff they are doing at the moment is exciting me so so much, there is some incredible things coming out in that mag in the next few months, and especially something I probably can't tell you about, but I managed to wangle a copy of the MOST gorgeous little pattern which I am so lucky to have!! I am still debating which yarn to knit it in, hehe....oh my life is sooooooo hard ;)

Goodness its all a bit cryptic today, but i am feeling rediculously excited :)

Ok I need to go and pack orders, as tomorow I have a talk to give to the Shropshire spinners and weavers guild so I have lots more travelling to do. Good thing I like driving init!


Friday, 3 September 2010


Its a pleasing update today, colours I could keep.....plenty of scrumptious lace for those wanting to make the cardi, cashmere lace etc....

Violetta  Scrumptious lace in Violetta

Rich moss  Scrumptious lace in Bright moss

Velvet rose 4ply Scrumptious 4ply in Velvet fav new colour!


I am off to the opening of the dancing hens Craft Studio this evening, and a nice weekend of working on the workshop some more to get it ready for the open weekend.

happy knitting


Thursday, 2 September 2010


There are some seriously intense colourways of scrumptious lace coming tomorrow on the update, I have been dyeing some colours that go beyond rich, they are gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just for those of you who are after lace for the cardi ;)


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Life cycles

Does anyone else notice that life seems to go in cycles or kind of era's?

I went to Cardiff on the weekend on the Way to St Abbs Woolfestival, and stayed with Sole (princi) and I had forgotten how much I love talking to like minded people.  She is going back to Spain :( and we realised that its kind of the end of 5 years of an amazing time together, its really strange to think of all the things changing, but what I realised is that when you change people either come with you, or they disappear. Princi, Carmen and I, always seem to have changes at the same time, I think our friendships are a bit mystic). The people that match your life come with you, and the people that stay in the same place sometimes get left behind, I don't mean in a physical sense if that makes sense.

I notice at the moment that I am being alot more assertive with people around me, not in a horrible way, but kind of not putting up with behavior which causes me stress or anguish. This means that some people have just gone, and it actually feels ok. I think what also makes me happy is that some relationships have truly changed into something lovely, even with Anth, we are what I would consider proper friends, that makes me very happy.

I am really looking forward to the next 5 years, I think there is alot of excitement to be had and wonderful things, and now Princi is going back to Spain, I think I am going to have to go and visit often, I also am determined to go and see Carmen before the year is out, I miss her so much too....I wonder what it is about me and friends all over the world, strange thing is, despite the fact that they are far away, it never feels like it, and some people who are here with me seem far away, odd isn't it?

I don't think I am wording things quite as eloquently as I would like today but that's whats in my head soo.....