Archive for August 2012 | Monthly archive page

Thanks Ann, for ordering this pattern before it was even written up. You’ve encouraged me to go ahead and pursue the pattern designs. I’m actually getting excited about all of this!

This one is a tiny bit more complicated because of the set in sleeves and perhaps a bit unusual where the shoulder buttons up, but it’s still easy to knit by following the instructions and images. I’ve also included line drawings of the shapes for reference. There are no fancy stitches and the pattern is easy to memorize.

You can purchase the Knitting Pattern, or The Handspun Yarn, or the Kit, or even the finished Handknit Sweater in 2 Sizes and Colours  (oops one has sold but there is still one left – Jan 2013) at Nancy Elizabeth Designs.

I love that this little pullover is so dressy and looks so good on a little boy.

Size: Newborn (3-6 months, 9-12 months, 18-24 months)

Gauge: 20 sts and 32 rows per 10 cm (4 inches)

Here I am knitting it again in handspun Eastport Alpaca & Merino wool. So amazingly soft I can’t stop knitting! or spinning!

I’ve decided to write up some of my designs and have developed a whole new appreciation for the designers, especial those who self-publish. This is difficult work and requires some serious concentration and math skills as well as the ability to multi task on a whole new level.

Free Download on Craftsy or Ravelry (limited time only)

My first attempt will be the lovely Garter Stitch Baby Cardigan. It is so simple and fun to knit. The construction is top-down and there is so little shaping and NO sewing together. just put on the button and sew in the ends.

What will make my designs stand out? I want them to be elegant simplicity, classic and timeless, easy and straightforward to knit with lots of illustrations so that beginners can follow along without difficulty.

I want the pattern to be pretty and, of course, accurate and reasonably priced. I want to provide all the support needed via email at any time and I would love to see my customers go out and sell the things they make from my designs. I would so love to hear that they enjoyed knitting them.

 This pattern will introduce my Favorite Stretchy Cast Off

1) Knit 1 2)Knit 1 (2 sts on right needle) 3) slip both sts back to the left needle then 4) knit them together through back of the loops. Repeat steps 2-4 to end. Once you get used to this you can combine steps 3 & 4 into one movement.

handspun handknit lace faroese shawl

Aug 22

Goals

Today I will set myself some goals to reach before I can begin the promotions because I’m confindent that these promotions will get things moving quickly and I want to be ready. Goal time: September for knitters, November for gifts (Christmas Shopping)

15+ – Finished Handknit Projects online for sale 10+ – Handspun Luxury Natural Fibre Yarns with colour choices 3+ – Original Design Knitting Patterns – Simply Elegant Kits for all of the Knitting Patterns to buy All Projects, Yarns and Patterns Posted on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, Facebook and Web Site.

I have decided that there will be no problem selling handknits or handspun yarns once I get started. People need to see and feel how special the knitwear and yarns are and know how easy it is to get help from a real person who is the artist and designer.

Before I can promote the site I need some handspun yarns and some pattern downloads to be available.

My next project will be to spin a variety of handspun luxury fiber yarns and put them up on Etsy and the Web site and to use these yarns to re-knit some of my designs. I’ll take lots of pictures and write up the patterns. I should probably get back to the magazines that have approached me about publishing some more designs. The more our name can be seen the better and people like things they see in magazines. It offers a level of credibility and professionalism.

I’ve only been on Etsy for a couple of weeks but here’s a few things that I have discovered so far.

I paid for the advertising for a week as an experiment. Although I did not keep accurate data I did discover from the charts of hits and favorites that I got more favorites and visits when I put up new products. That seems to be the best way to get your shop on the front pages… better than the advertising. The week of advertising did not get as many visits as putting up a few new products did. Somehow, listing the items puts you back at the top of the search.

I need to participate more in the “community”, make treasuries and circles etc.

I am beginning to realize that it will take some time and work to get my designs out there so that people can actually see them, feel them, wear them and talk to each other about them.

I have no doubt that once a few people aquire my work my business will be growing quickly by word of mouth. They will recommend me to others and I will have more work than I can keep up with. When this happened to me a few years ago I had orders backed up for more than 6 months and ended up just giving up in frustration. I was afraid to take custom orders after that in case I got so bogged down again. This time it’s different. What I would like to do is create what is in my heart and then sell it as opposed to doing custom work. I guess that makes it different.

I know you will love the designs and tell your friends about them because

They are totally unique and one of a kind OAK Most are knit from handspun yarns giving them a wonderful handcrafted look The fibres used are the highest quality available in the world Only the most luxurious fibers are used Only natural fibers are used I have designed each piece myself and every one is original They are all timeless classical designs which will never be out of fashion The historically accurate designs are true to the authentic traditional methods of construction and stitch patterns. The designs are simple and elegant and heirloom quality

Therefore, because I am convinced that the above is true, my goal should be to get my work into the hands of some people who will really appreciate their value and help me to spread the word.

I’ve been working on putting up some “Share” buttons on the web site and updating some of the Social Sites. I am trying to remember to Tweet about new products as they go up as well as add them to my Facebook page.

I now have about 16 Original handknit and handspun projects on Craftsy, Etsy and for sale on the Nancy Elizabeth Designs website.

I will be adding these as projects on my Ravelry as soon as I have the patterns written up and ready for sale as I would like to like the project to the pattern if I can.

Ok, I just may be a little too “wide” in my product selection. Right now I am planning to offer hand knit articles of clothing and accessories for all ages, socks, blankets, shawls etc. (wide range, right?) PLUS hand spun yarn of any luxury natural fiber and size and my original design knitting patterns for anything I dream up.

So, I will probably have to narrow my focus quite a bit. Do I do that now or do I try to put up a selection bit of everything and see how it goes?

There really will be several things to consider but mainly it will be what sells and what I love to do.

So, here are some of the strategies I have decided to try

Social marketing, simply by having pages on and linking to some of the popular Social sites Watching what sells and what I enjoy the most and work on narrowing my focus get my work into the hands of some people who will really appreciate their value and help me to spread the word. Participate more on the Social Sites creating circles and jumping in on the forums Promotions? what and more importantly when (I want to have the handspun yarns and some patterns ready) put videos on YouTube maybe more handmade sites similar to Etsy?

 

I have some concerns which I have decided to share here. This should help me think it through and hopefully I can help someone else along the way.

How much should I charge for my handknitting and handspinning? Will anyone buy my handspun and handknit designs? How will they know how wonderfully soft they are? How will they be able to really appreciate the details, the expert workmanship with just a few photos?

or …. Perhaps what I should be asking is….. Why do I want to do this?

Pricing Handknitting, The Questions

They have pretty big price tags because I choose the highest quality, softest and most luxurious fibres to work with. Cashmere, Silk, Alpaca, Merino Wool etc. are expensive fibers. It takes so much time, patience and experience to take a pile of fibers and turn them into a one of a kind garment with integrity, style and timelessness. I can’t possibly charge by the hour as they would be unaffordable. I can’t make a living at it even if I was the fastest knitter in the world. I couldn’t even put food on the table. So what is the desired outcome?

As an artist I am compelled to create what I love and to work with and feel the materials in my hand. To watch it become something beautiful. I could no more stop doing this than stop breathing and I want to be able to share my work with others and hopefully, to be able to “support my habit” financially. These exotic luxury fibers that I like to use are expensive so if I can sell some of my work I will have enough money to pay for the fibers used in that project and some to buy more. That would be a worthy goal

So how do I convey the quality of my products. The workmanship is excellent. I have had knitting needles and spinning fiber in my hands almost every day for most of my life and that kind of practice comes pretty close to perfect. I am a master knitter and spinner. The materials are the best available anywhere in the world. All of my designs are original and One-of-a-kind These qualities are what sets my handknits apart from the crowd so how do I convey this to my audience?

I’m refreshed after a week at Logos Land Resort. We had a very nice Condo and played at the water slide, water trampoline, paddle boats and just swimming off the dock. I took socks for my knitting and got most of one sock finished knitting in the evenings.

So It’s back to working on getting this business online and smokin’.