Crochet Christmas Pudding Bauble

Crochet Pudding

It is almost the end of another year during which I have been so grateful for all your support and encouragement.

This year, as a very small thank you, I have designed a crochet Christmas pudding bauble. It is made using DMC natura cotton and you should be able to get three or four from a single ball of yarn. However, feel free to raid your stash, use some chunky yarn for a full size pudding, add some beads to give the impression of dried fruit or make lots to create a garland. At only 2.5″ in diameter you should be able to squeeze a few in before Christmas – this year!

For full instructions and pattern please click on the link to the PDF file.

You are very welcome to share this pattern with family and friends.

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Crochet Christmas Pudding

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Win!!! Ticket to the Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate

Knitting & Stitching Harrogate Small

This little tabby cat and his twinkly beaded fish appeared this morning and turned out to be a perfect colour match for the lovely tickets I have to give away for the Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate, 23rd to 26th November.

This is a lovely show with plenty to inspire in the textile gallery, classes if you would like to try a new craft and lots of stall to stock up on the best fabrics, yarns and haberdashery for the winter months.

If you would like a chance to win a pair of tickets as well as a mini beadwork kit and frame, a new chunky cross stitch or a beaded woodpecker kit, simply comment here or drop me a line via the contact page on the website.

These tickets are valid for all days of the show – Hoorah!!

All entries need to be in by midnight Friday 3rd November and two lucky winners will be drawn on Saturday 4th November 2017 – Good Luck x

Knitting Rainbows

Just before I headed off to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace I was completely mesmerised by the most beautiful scarf on Instagram. The multicoloured zigzag pattern was so reminiscent of Missoni that I simply assumed it was completely beyond my means.

However, after a little online research I found the knitting pattern and discovered it was made up in two contrasting colours of Lang Millie Colori Baby merino yarn. The pattern ZichZach by Christy Kamm is so simple but clever. Entirely in garter stitch, including some increases and decreases to create the zigzag and switching between the contrasting yarns every two rows creates the most striking pattern. It is completely random so you want to keep knitting to see what colour combinations appear and the contrasting yarns create a subtlety you simply would not expect when looking at the individual colours.

If you would like to have a go then the free pattern is available on Ravelry. I have knitted my version on a slightly larger 3.5mm needle, cast on 84 rather than 96 stitches and worked with 2 balls each of colours 51 and 53.

Row 1:      Colour 1 *k5, k2tog, k4, kfb repeat from * 6 more times (7 x 12 sts)

Row 2:      Colour 1 *k5, k2tog, k4, kfb repeat from * 6 more times

Row 3:      Colour 2 *k5, k2tog, k4, kfb repeat from * 6 more times

Row 4:      Colour 2 *k5, k2tog, k4, kfb repeat from * 6 more times

Continue knitting rows 1 to 4 until you almost run out of yarn then cast off loosely.

 

Booking a Craft Show

As the autumn rolls around it heralds the start of the many craft shows leading up to Christmas….but how do you select a craft show that is right for your products?

It takes a real confidence to book your first craft show and display items that you have crafted and are very personal to you so you really want to make sure the audience will appreciate all your hard work and sales are good.
I have listed a few handy hints that may ensure success.

  • RESEARCH – Many shows will be promoted online so do a bit of internet surfing. Does the show have a professional and well presented website? Is it visible on social media? Have a look at the exhibitor list – are they people you admire, are their products of a high quality, is there a wide variety of crafts or are there a lot of mass produced, bought in goods?
  • VISIT – If you are seriously interested in booking a show, contact the organisers and simply ask if they can provide a ticket to their next event. Get a feel for the audience – is it busy, what are they buying, are they enthusiastic about the show?Talk to the exhibitors, if they are not too busy then they are often very forthcoming and honest about the pros and cons of a show and may recommend other events.
  • VENUE – Consider the layout of the venue, there can be ‘dead spots,’ dark corners of halls that the audience simply don’t find. The organisers will provide a floor plan – and it is a good idea to highlight and try and book those areas with better footfall.
  • FACILITIES – As a visitor consider how comfortable you feel in the venue – is parking and access easy, are there seating areas, is the catering of high quality and are there sufficient clean bathroom facilities?
  • COST – Small, local shows can prove a good starting point. Costs will be low and you will get feedback on your products. However, if the show is not well attended sales can be disappointing. At the other end of the scale, large, prestigious shows can literally cost thousands of pounds. It is quite a heart pounding moment to commit to such an event but if you have a good product they can work. Look at the numbers very carefully – consider all your additional costs: travel, accommodation, food, lighting, publicity and then work out how much you need to sell to make a profit – make sure you take more than enough product to hit this target. Very occasionally large shows will offer slightly cheaper packages for ‘new talent’ – be cheeky and ask!
  • PRESENTATION – Space will be tight so be canny about how to use it. Sketch ideas out on paper to maximise the product on display without cluttering the space or preventing access. Tables with beautiful cloths provide both display areas on top and storage areas underneath. Shelves catch the eye at different levels. Think about hanging items from the ceiling and using the wall space. Lighting is vital, if possible book a spot with good natural daylight but you will also need electric lighting for dull days, late afternoons and evenings. Brand your product and pop a logo on everything – paper bags, business cards, packaging – new customers often find you on the strength of seeing someone else with your product.
  • NETWORKING – One of the best places to find like-minded makers is exhibiting. There is a fantastic community of people out there many of whom have years of experience to share. Many of the larger shows are attended by retailers and publishers looking for new designers so exhibiting can be a fantastic springboard to expanding your business. Finally I cannot stress how wonderful it is to be able to talk to your audience – this must be one of the few careers where everyone is pleased to see you!

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Win!!! Tickets to the Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London

Ally Pally Competition

There is a real feel of autumn in the air which can only mean there are a few weeks now until the Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London, 11th to 15th October.

This is the most fabulous show, packed full of textiles to spark new ideas, classes to try new crafts and, not least, it is one of the best venues to stock up on really beautiful fabrics, yarns and haberdashery.

If you would like a chance to win a pair of tickets as well as a mini beadwork kit and frame, a new chunky cross stitch or a beaded woodpecker kit simply comment here or drop me a line on the contact page of the website.

Please note the tickets are not valid on Saturday 14th October or before 3:00pm on Thursday 12th October.

All entries need to be in by midnight Friday 15th September and two lucky winners will be drawn on Saturday 16th September – Good Luck x