New Web Identity

Just a quick update...

As you've found yourself on this page, you know the new website is now live, as of Monday evening. Without wishing to sound like I'm repeating myself... I'd love to hear from you, so do feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. 

Work can now continue undistracted by all things web, and I was hoping to have that boy's sweater finished by the end of next week. That is still possible, though I have a couple of paying customers who have just ordered gear stick covers, so they will have to take priority. 

After the socks and the sweater, I'll have time to make one or two other items before concentrating on using up some odds and ends of wool on some more lovely colourful berets. 

Before we know it, my first fair of 2014 will be upon me.  Exciting times :) 

Sparkling Yarns...

24th January 2014

Full Steam Ahead!

I’m very pleased to be able to report that I’ve had a bit of good fortune, in the literal sense of the word, which means that there have been one or two changes around Katsock Crafts Cottage over the past week or two.  Nothing that immediately directly affects the Crafting side of life, but things are often inter-linked…

Unfortunately, the photography website linked to this page will shortly be no more, but I have plans for a new site which is in the process of being set up and I will update the entry here to reflect that when it’s ready for public consumption.  As well as running a similar blog page to the one you see here, the idea is to be able to include photos with the text.  It should also better reflect my other great interest: photography.  I had been uploading holiday blogs onto the old site and I intend to carry this idea over into the new one, as well as archiving those that had appeared before.

I’m very pleased to be able to report that I now have three craft fairs confirmed for 2014.  These are: 16th March, Lavenham, Suffolk; 13th April, Dartford, Kent; 26th April, Dursley, Gloucestershire.  I also have a probable fair in June, but have yet to confirm the details.

Lastly, I’m very proud and excited to be able to report – that the cable skirt pattern that was proving so intransigent has bent to my will.  I have finished it, in a pretty two-tone purple/mauve and am really pleased with how it’s turned out.  I have some lovely dark pink/pale red wool that I’m sure would also make it look most effective, but in the meantime,  I’ve turned my attention now to a boy’s sweater in a pattern of alternating square blocks. 

I don’t like to knit the same pattern twice in a row – and particularly one that was such hard work to begin with.  The boy’s sweater is the perfect antidote and it’s knitting up very quickly.  I need to pull my finger out if I’ve got dates so close to each other, but come end of Feb, I intend to turn my attention to running up some more colourful girls’ berets, with the offcuts I’ve been left with.

One of the craft show organisers with whom I’ll be exhibiting in the coming months had some lovely things to say about the Katsock Crafts’ Facebook page – so in the meantime, don’t forget that’s where  you can see the items I’ve been working on recently. 

 

2nd January 2013

New Year, New Items, More Fairs

Despite the hiatus in blog posts, I have not been sitting back and gathering moss at Katsock Cottage!

Our little ‘at home’ was huge fun, so massive thanks to everyone who came along, had a drink with us, and even went away with a little something J

I completed a couple of commissions for close friends and they seem very pleased.  If anyone has anything in mind for a baby knit and would like to discuss it, I’m always open to suggestions so do please get in touch.  With the onset of cold weather, the car forum has also been snapping up gear stick warmers.  And with a few days off work, I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs, but have completed a couple more baby knits. 

I’ve also been interviewed for a friend’s online fashion blog, which was very exciting!  Get in touch if you’d like to read it and I’ll send you the link.

A couple of new ideas have been in the back of my mind which I’ve had a chance to attempt over the holiday period.   One an idea for some earrings, which I think look really pretty, so I’m very pleased with myself.  And the other is that pattern that was proving stubborn in my last post.  I gave myself some distance from it and started again on New Year’s Day.  Still a small teething problem, but I think I finally have it in submission!  I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

I’m taking a month or two off from craft fairs to stock up on some cute new knits, make some more jewellery with some beautiful findings I’ve got my hands on, and have another small tweaking of the stall.  I hope to start attending fairs again in March, and to do about one per month; some more news on that soon!

 

12th November 2013

Knuckle Down for Christmas

Warlingham on Saturday was really good fun and it was a pleasure to be exhibiting there.  Well organised with lots of interesting crafters to speak to, take advice from and generally have a chat and a laugh with.  There was lots of interest in our items, the charm bracelets and knits in particular, and even a few takers! J

After the recent success of the new technique I nailed a couple of entries ago (and which got several appreciative comments at the weekend), I’ve picked up a pattern book I’d had my eye on before, but included several pieces that I didn’t think I’d be able to do – and therefore didn’t justify my buying the book, even though there was one pattern I fell in love with.  So I’m very happy!  Unfortunately, the pattern that originally caught my eye is not going to plan.  But, I’m not going to be put off easily and am determined to master it.

Full steam ahead now for our little exclusive friends’ event on 7th December.  Invitations have been received and there should be a steady stream of people through the door and I’m really looking forward to the excuse to show off what I’ve been up to, and catch up with a few people I haven’t seen for a while.  Again, if you want to be involved, do text, email or send me a FaceBook message.

 

17th October 2013

The Lull After the Storm

You could be forgiven for thinking that things have gone a little quiet now at Katsock Crafts Cottage, after the buoyant mood of last week following the first craft show.  Not a bit of it!  Some new ideas that we’ve taken from the show are beginning to take shape, with some new display paraphernalia on its way. 

Our visit to the Brighton Bead Shop last week was an eye-opener and inspiration has struck so well that I’ve had to go searching for more findings to make all the shiny new stock I’ve got planned, including some new items for Christmas, and also Valentine’s Day!

We’re starting to get really excited about the fair in November, details for which arrived yesterday.  We should have a bigger and even better stall by then too.  We’re also planning a bit of a pre-Christmas event party for early December, an ‘at-home’ type event.  The invitations are on their way to me so will be winging their way out to friends and family early next week.  If you want to be involved, do get in touch either by email, text, or through the FaceBook page.

 

9th October 2013

Craft Fair Newbie No More

That was lots of fun!  I have to admit I didn’t sell out exactly, though a couple of people were willing to part with their hard-earned to buy something that I’d made, which made me feel very happy.  But what I learned from the experience, and the people I met, were way more valuable to me than sales, in this instance.  While the afternoon was quite slow after the morning’s influx, I’ve come away encouraged and enthusiastic, and looking forward to 9th November even more.  All in all, given what I said I was hoping to achieve, I’ve come away with all those boxes ticked and I’m very happy with the way the day went, for me.

I’m also currently working on a very cosy little romper suit (jacket and trousers), which is worked in a technique I’ve never felt confident enough to try before.  Something just clicked into place for me a week or so ago however and I’ve been dying to check out if I was right.  Turns out I was!  Fairly ambitious for a first attempt at this technique and with hindsight, not sure if I’d try this specific pattern again - but now I’ve started I’m determined to finish.  I just hope no-one decides this is the one they want me to do in another size…  I think I will be using the technique again though, as it gives such a pretty and unusual finish.  Once this suit is finished, I plan to knit up a few cute little berets, being quick and easy wins and no pressure at all to make, given that the next fair is not that far off. 

We’re off to Brighton at the weekend, a visit to the Bead Shop is on the cards, can’t wait!

 

30th September 2013

One Week and Counting

With less than 6 days to my first craft fair, I don’t know whether to be nervous or excited!  We’ve been putting the finishing touches to my stall using a paste table as practice and I think it’s all starting to come together nicely.  Tonight I’ll finish my last baby knit for now and will be spending the remainder of the week concentrating on the jewellery – when I’m not working on signage for the stand!  We had a mooch around Greenwich Market yesterday and picked up some very interesting tips that have really got me thinking.  I even dreamed about the ideas I have, last night…  Once we think the stall is as good as it can be, I’ll be posting a picture on the Facebook page.  Watch this space (or rather, that space)!

For now, I’m hoping to have an enjoyable day and to meet some interesting people, that the stall looks as professional as it can be (I don’t want to look like the newbie if I can help it!), and that people like my stuff – buyers will be a welcome bonus.  A couple of people have already said that they’ll stop by and say hello: the more the merrier!

Look out for next week’s update when I’ll be able to report how it went…

 

25th September 2013

Final Straight

We had a fantastic holiday in Scotland, now we’re back I’m still furiously knitting: in fact, I didn’t miss the day job at all, but my fingers were itching to hold a pair of needles again!

I have some great news by the way: I’m confirmed for the Raydon fair on 4th October and Warlingham on 9th November!  Very exciting but with less than two weeks to the first one, it now all feels a bit sudden, bizarrely.

While we were away, my favourite hobby wasn’t far from my mind, and I even picked up some off-cut leather thongs to form the basis of a necklace or bracelet – I’ve got lots of ideas but the baby knits are taking precedence for the moment.  Katsock Crafts Cottage will be a hovel of activity on 4th October however, as that’s the day I’ve set aside to catch up on the jewellery side of things.  And I’ve arranged a preview evening of the stall too.  If anyone reading this wants to come along please contact me for details.  Previews of the knits completed so far can be viewed on the Katsock Crafts Facebook page – again, contact me if you need details.

 

30th August 2013

Hey Ho Hey Ho It’s Off on Hols I Go

It’s been a frantic few weeks at Katsock Craft Cottage, but this time tomorrow I’ll be supping a wee half ‘n half somewhere in Edinburgh, at the start of our Scottish adventure!

It’s going to be an early start as we will be wiping the Essex dust from our heels before 4am, but I can’t wait to start the drive. We will be across the border by late morning, traffic permitting, and rocking up for lunch in one of Edinburgh’s finest hostelries. Pity we missed the fringe this year but unfortunately the day job wouldn’t permit shifting our dates by a week or two :(

A day or two to recover and then we head west, stopping off near Callendar and in Glencoe before landing in Mull. Then a night on the border before heading down to make some noise in Matlock (dont ask! I did say it would be an adventure... ) Back up to Glasgow for our second week, when we will be taking in Islay (whisky. Mmmmmmm....), Bute and Arran. A quick overnight in Sheffield and on our merry way home to Essex.

After all that, I’ll be glad to get back to a bit of quiet minding my own business knitting and jewellery making... !

(Edited to note: for the full story of the Scottish adventure, check out the travel blog stories pages)

 

22nd August 2013

Work is a Four Letter Word

Wow! Two whole weeks since I last checked in... how time flies when you’re having knitting fun...

Due to the holidays, the day job has been quieter recently and I’ve had some time to concentrate on the other job (the one that the day job makes possible!)  My current project is a real boys own set of jacket and trousers for a one-year-old in rich autumn colours.  I think it’s going to be a beauty!

Some new jewellery findings arrived this week, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that again soon.  I have another birthday coming up so another charm bracelet is going to be a must.  I’ve also taken delivery of a Katsock Crafts stamp and some business cards, all very exciting!

All we’re waiting for now is an earring stand and a receipt book, and I’ll be good to go... cant wait :)

 

7th August 2013

Chain Knitting

I’m still busy knitting up some stock for the fayre in October.  Even though I was away for the weekend, I still managed to finish the swing cardi I was working on, and make a start on the lacy matinee coat which is next on the list.  Finish one, immediately start another!  I also found some beautiful new patterns which will be squeezed into the schedule soon…

The hangers we ordered arrived in the middle of the week.  Who would have thought that clothes hangers could look cute!  We’ve also found an ingenious way of displaying the knits so that they can be seen from the front of the stall, without having to flick through a rack.  All thanks to my lovely hubby, who’s been most encouraging and supportive. 

I took a short break from knitting to make a charm bracelet for my niece’s birthday.  She lives in Australia, so I hope she’s received it.  I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of it!  Visitors to my Facebook page have left some very sweet comments about the photos I’ve been posting of finished items.  My mother even seemed impressed by what I’ve been up to (and it was her who taught me to knit in the first place)!

Even though I’m up against a bit of a deadline, and we’re away for two weeks in September – I’m starting to get really excited as things start to come together.  Plenty of time for panic to set in!

 

 

29th July 2013

Woman at Work

Aside from the regular nine-to-five, I’ve been working hard this week to be ready for my first fayre in October. I have a couple of baby knits all cute and waiting to be worn and loved, and I know the next two knits I’m going to make.

We had a quick look around a vintage handmade craft fayre on Saturday, to find some ideas.  And I met some lovely helpful people already!  We spent a very fun couple of hours last night planning what we wanted the stall to look like, and finding ways of making it all display beautifully. I’m looking forward to trying out some ideas later this week.

I finally decided on what to call myself, and set up a Facebook group. Since that’s invitation-only to join, next on the list is an actual fb page. Watch this space! Work is also currently underway to decide on a Katsock Crafts logo, to display on the stall.

I’m away this coming weekend but will be stocking up on some lovely yarn, so that I can carry on knitting through August.  I may even find some irresistible new patterns to try!  It won’t be all fun shopping: there won’t be any let up in production of gorgeous things to buy...

 

22nd July 2013

Taking the plunge

So, after 20 years of waiting for friends, family and colleagues to announce a happy new event in order to pick up my knitting needles, and a couple of years of exhausting the same (female!) birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases with earrings, I have taken the plunge and decided to become a craft exhibitor!
Day one: two applications are out there for fayres, and my profile is just missing a picture. Though my husband thinks I should be promoting the jewellery more... any suggestions will be warmly welcomed.

I’m busy knitting up a really cute little pink dress and an adorable red cable waistcoat. I started the waistcoat as I ran out of pink wool (very professional, doh!), less than 10 rows from the finish.  How’s that for extreme knitting?  And now I can’t wait to get the regular job finished for the day to hurry home and pick it up again. I can’t imagine anything more tempting right now than to be sitting in my garden with a glass of something cold at my elbow, knitting in hand... and Planet Rock on the radio. Who says you’ve got to be an 80 year old Archers fan to be a knitter? (I’m not making this sound any less sad, though, am I?)

Not to mention, if I can tear myself away from that, I’ve had the prettiest little heart pendants just delivered.  They’re crying out to be a link on a charm bracelet (they’ve an eye at each end, so versatile I couldn’t resist!), or in place of an eye pin on some earrings... so many ideas, so little time...

Anyway, as you know I’m new to all this so I hope you enjoy my ramblings and I’m very much looking forward to meeting some new people soon.