Sunday, 26 March 2017

Don't Give it Away

Welcome to Episode 5 of my mini audio podcast. This week I chat about:
  • what I'm up to that's not knitting or crochet
  • what I'm knitting
  • what I'm crocheting, and
  • what I've created
  • Plus I've shared some tips along the way, including advice on your designs and your intellectual property.
I've been a busy bee as usual and have had the pleasure of working on an amazing book by Lydia Tresselt, also known as "Lalylala". Lydia's first book is super cute and follows the life cycle of Bugs, Beetles and Butterflies. Lydia has a huge following, and creates the most adorable amigurumi, and I guarantee that you're in for a treat with her delightful new book that will be published later this year. Lydia's blog is here: Lalylala

image copyright Lydia Tresselt 

What I'm Knitting:
I joined a yarn club in January, run by the very talented Petra at "Made byBlack Elephant". I really love her work and its been a real treat to receive the yarn in the post each month, together with the cute little extras that she sends. I'm determined to use up the yarn and not just add it to my stash so I've used the first skein to knit up a sample for a new design. I love how the bright pink and electric blue jump out every now and again from the black base. This colourway is called "Wasting Light" and is 100% superwash  4ply merino; 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. It's beautifully soft to work with and I can definitely recommend it.

I've also been knitting with Erika Knight Gossypium Cotton, which is a complete dream to work with, plus it's sustainable too. I love how Erika can trace every step of production, from the fields it's grown in, through to the eco-friendly mill that it's spun and dyed in. The colours are gorgeous, as are all of Erika's yarn ranges. I've even used the cotton for fairisle and it works a treat. Lots of new ideas leapt into my head whilst I was working with this amazing yarn, so look out Gossypium Cotton, here I come!!!

What I'm Crocheting:
Mainly, I've been crocheting shawls, as I have 2 new designs to work up. These are my own designs and so it's been a little time  consuming getting them right. My first sample used a variegated hand-dyed yarn from Sylvan Tiger yarns, and I love how it has crocheted up - it reminds me of confetti. The design is the perfect shape, but I misjudged the rows of "V" stitch, so it needs tweaking a little. But my mum-in-law really loved this shawl so I gifted it to her for Mother's Day, rather than ripping it out and starting again. I've switched to a semi-sold shade for the sample, so that the "V" stitches really stand out. 

I'm also crocheting some baby items with Erika's Gossypium Cotton, which have all turned out rather cute. Tweed stitch is one of my favourite crochet stitches, especially in 3 different colours.

What I've created:
Here's a sneaky peak of my finished shawl (yet to be named). I loved the tassles and first time that I've ever made a tassel. I love them almost as much as a pom-pom.

I made a cute little hippo toy for a raffle prize, and also some crocheted flowers for a guest blog post over at Laughing Hens, which is an online yarn shop (UK based). I used Erika Knight's British Blue yarn, which comes in the cutest 25g balls. One flower used about 12g, so one ball would make 2 flowers. My guest blog post talks about the importance of passing skills from generation to generation. You can read my blog post here .

My Top Tip:
If you are a designer and you are asked to sign a contract for work carried out, make sure that you understand the terms of the contract that you are signing. For example, there is likely to be a clause that states that there is a period of exclusivity for the company - this means that for a fixed period of time you are agreeing to them using the pattern as they wish - either in other magazines, bookazines, or on the internet (e.g. as a free download). Make sure that you are happy with this clause and if anything isn't clear enough then don't be afraid to ask for clarification. Also, if there is something that you're not happy with, then speak to someone about it and ask for it to be changed so that you feel happy with what you're agreeing to. If they won't change it perhaps think twice about signing the contact. But I wouldn't recommend signing away the full rights to your designs, because this means that they are no longer your property and you will never be able  to publish them again as your own - in effect you're  giving away your design for the initial fee agreed, and then allowing the company to do whatever they wish with your designs, including selling them as individual downloads. They will therefore continue to make money out of your work for ever and a day, having only paid you for an initial one-off fee.

Obviously you can make whatever decisions you please, all I'm recommending is that you fully understand what it is that you're signing.

I hope you have a great week, and look forward to another chat soon. Thanks for reading - if you would like to join me on social media, I'm @the_woolnest on Instagram; @thewoolnest on twitter and @thewoolnest on facebook. It would be great to see what you're all up to. 

Don't forget to tag me and use the hashtags #makeandbehappy and #knitcrochetcreate - I'll share my favourites.

Happy Crafting,

Lynne x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A visit to a Trade Show

Last week I visited a Trade Show in Birmingham. I woke early to catch the train, and I even scrubbed up and wore a dress (a welcome change from my holey leggings and baggy jumper!!)

First stop of the day was a presentation by Warren Knight of Think#digitalfirst. Warren is a social media marketing expert and  business builder and always presents an interesting, factual and useful seminar. After listening to Warren for just 45 minutes, I have a list of useful sites and tips that I need to check out and put to good use.

Next, I called by the Search Press stand where I caught up with the lovely  people I deal with and had a good chat with Amanda Perkins who was signing copies of her latest crochet book called "Rainbow Crocheted Blankets", which is packed full of colourful and cosy throws and blankets of all shapes and sizes. I was delighted so see my next book being advertised on a rather large board.

Time for a break and a natter with another knit and crochet designer, Sarah Hazel. Sarah is a knit and crochet designer, author, blogger and tutor, and we chatted like we'd know each other for ages, which is always a good sign. Sarah recently ran a workshop in India for charity 'Knit for Peace', and I really enjoyed watching her Instagram feed and seeing all the brightly coloured textiles and trims that she found locally. I was delighted when she gave me a couple of strips of some beautiful embroidered brocade. I will use these wisely and carefully to trim something lovely.

I popped by the Toft stand to see the lovely ladies there and see their latest issue of Toft Quarterley in person, which I was delighted to tech edit for them.  It's the spring issue and features a very cute dog on the front cover. For just £8 it's packed full of great designs for both knitting and crochet, from accessories and homewares to clothing and toys.

After a quick chat with Kerry and Jo I headed off for a meeting with F&W Media. I do a lot of freelance tech editing work for them, and it was the perfect opportunity to meet in person and chat about future work. I also managed a quick chat with Rooster Yarns and I had a good squish and a smooch of the gorgeous yarns from Baa Ram Ewe - I was completely inspired by their stand and even went away and bought myself a skein of Titus in Shade Bramley Baths, (the most beautiful soft blue), which I can't wait to dive into.

I managed to escape the giant tinsel hedgehog (my arch enemy!!!) and enjoyed a chat with the very lovely Erika Knight, Emma Wright (EmmaKnitted) and Georgia Farrell. It was interesting to see the industry through the eyes of two very popular and talented knitwear designers. 

I had a lovely train journey home looking through my samples and shade cards and was even recognised by a fellow traveller from my Crochet Now column photo (Crochet Now were giving out copies of the latest issue). I heard my name shouted across the carriage and she held up the magazine and smiled. It turned out that she is an indie dyer and we had a lovely chat across the aisle about yarn .

What a day - I came home with my head full of ideas and inspiration for new projects. It's such a shame that there's only one of me and only two hands, when I could do with twenty!

I'm felt so glad that I work in such a creative and inspiring industry and I'm honoured to be part of it and to share my passion with you too.

Thanks for reading - if you would like to join me on social media, I'm @the_woolnest on Instagram; @thewoolnest on twitter and @thewoolnest on facebook. It would be great to see what you're all up to. 

Don't forget to tag me and use the hashtags #makeandbehappy and #knitcrochetcreate - I'll share my favourites.

Happy Crafting,
Lynne x