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Saturday, 18 October 2014

It's in the blood

Back from our Danish adventure (with a little bit of Sweden thrown in as well), and have some images to share with you all!













Our 4 nights in Copenhagen were great, so much to see in such a relatively snall place. I could definitely adopt the culture of not hurrying anywhere and always time for coffee and cake.

Since I've been back, I've started to move some of my Etsy shop stock over to Folksy. For those who are not familiar with Folksy, it's a British-based marketplace similar to Etsy, but I like the feel of it better for my yarns and hares. If you are interested, check it out Hare's Moon Yarns on Folksy

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Soon to go a-viking!

Getting really excited now as in just a few days my daughter and I are embarking on a lightning raid to Denmark! We have 4 nights in the centre of Copenhagen, from which we will venture to Roskilde for the viking museum and also into Sweden across The Bridge *squee*. Yes, that bridge, from that SkandNoir series. We have been learning some Danish, not so that we blend in (I'm reliably informed that the moment I open my mouth every local will immediately speak English anyway) but because it seems rude not to at least try. I can count to 10, ask where the toilet is, get a table for 2 and almost certainly mispronounce everything on the menu but I'll know roughly what I'm trying to order. It's been about 6 years since I travelled east rather than west, and I am so looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, my efforts in writing knitting patterns are being rewarded with a steady trickle of sales at Hare's Moon Yarns. I have published 3 so far: Medici the Hare, a newborn size baby cardigan with optional scratch mitts, and most recently a pattern for socks for feet that are wider than normal or for those with swollen ankles. The long-term plan is to move to my own website next year, and also publish a collection of patterns in a book/download rather than just individual ones. But small steps....

On the needles at the moment:
* 2 jumpers with shoulder buttons for 2 little boys
* a shocking pink shawl/scarf in extremely thin random yarn, possibly cotton, for me
* a pair of bunny slippers commissioned from a co-worker

On the wheel:
Gotland cream, will be chunky weight once plied

We recently also made some blackberry and vanilla jam, which was distributed at work.

 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Not giving it all away

After years of people telling me "you should sell those!" about the things I make, I have recently has some people say "why don't you give that away, why do you want money for it?".

There is a very simple answer. Time. I don't claim to be the best knitter, writer, maker or the best anything, but what I produce comes from more than 35 years of learning and investing in myself. Just as no one would expect a plumber to fix leaking pipes for nothing, why should people expect any other hand-made item to always be free - or practically given away at the lowest possible price which does not even cover the material costs let alone the labour time?

I do give a lot of what I make away as gifts. People in general don't see that, because they are not the recipients. I also spend time helping others learn to knit, sew, make etc without charging, because it is important that these skills are used and passed on through the generations so they are not lost. Equally, I pay for the raw materials, and wouldn't dream of quibbling over the prices I am charged.

It's not just in the area of physically making things that I refuse to give it all away for free. My time is precious to me, and while sometimes I might work a few extra minutes for no pay in my day job, that doesn't mean I am always going to be the first to voluteer for overtime - whether paid or as TOIL - because I have other things that I do in my life that are way more important than the day job I do. Sometimes if you give too much, people begin to expect it all the time and get pissy when you say no.

My beliefs centre on the concept of maintaining yourself so that you can then assist others. It might sound a bit selfish, but if you are not physically, mentally and financially in a good place, how can you help others without bringing the whole house of cards down? This applies to my time as well. I need time for myself, in order to function well for and with others. How I spend my own time is down to me.

So, I'm not forcing anyone to buy my items, or pay for my time, and generally people don't need to. But if I occasionally ask for some recompence, it's not because I am being greedy. I just need to balance things like everyone else does.    

Friday, 4 July 2014

Meet the family

Just thought I'd show off the range of Hare toys I've been working on recently. The pattern is now available at Hare's Moon Yarns as are Medici, Archie and Bella.


                                                                             Bella.

                                                                Bella, Medici and Archie                                                      

                                                    



                                                                Florence and Medici   

                                                                         

                                                                         Archie.

                                                                                 Fritz.

     

                                                                               Medici.


                                                                               Oeuf.



Sunday, 29 June 2014

Very exciting!

I am super excited to announce that my pattern for a knitted hare toy is now published and available to download as a pdf file in my Etsy shop Hare's Moon Yarns!

The pattern costs just £2 (approx US $3) and includes several pictures to aid you in the construction of the hare.

I've also just finished my latest from the pattern: Bella.





She is also available for sale ~ or you can request a custom-knitted hare by contacting my through the shop on Etsy.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

It's been a while

It feels like weeks since I did any spinning, but it's actually only been 3 or 4, and for much of that time I have been busily knitting and writing. The Hares are coming along nicely, and I've also been working on a pair of socks for my mother-in-law. For those who haven't been here from the start, my MIL has diabetes and her feet swell up so that conventional mass-produced socks tend to constrict her ankles too much. So I hand knit her socks, with loose tops, which are more comfortable for her.

I decided to treat her to something other than the usual stocking stitch socks this time, and have been doing some simple lace instead:


They do feel a bit on the small side though, so they may end up as a donation to one of the other residents in my MIL's care home and I'll make her another pair. As she lives 4000 miles away, I can't ask her to try one on while I'm knitting it just to check the size!

I've just bought some more undyed fibre - some Cheviot, and some Lincoln - so more adventures in dying and spinning will follow soon :)

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Introducing Medici Hare

I have been working on developing a knitting pattern over the past few weeks, with a couple of prototypes made for the two girls I know expecting babies this summer. Below is the third hare, and the one I think is just about right; Medici.


He is knitted with some of my recently handspun Gotland yarn.

I now have a couple of people test-knitting the pattern for me and hopefully I'll have it available for sale in my Etsy shop soon.