Sunday, 9 December 2012

I've Booked the Altrincham Vintage and Craft Monthly Markets 2013

Well I have decided to branch out next year into my local monthly Vintage and Craft Market which is in Altrincham (Greenwood Street and Market Street).  I have booked four for the first part of the year so will be very busy over the next couple of months building up more stock.  I already have coverings for the stall and stands for my dolls who model (they don't charge me too much to model but they admit they do get slightly bored although have promised to behave on the day) so all I need are some more outfits and some homewares. 

The markets are every month and the dates I have booked are:

Sunday March 17th 2013
Sunday April 21st 2013
Sunday May 19th 2013
Sunday June 16th 2013

I have been to the markets many times and they are always busy with a lovely atmosphere and some really great artisans and vintage stalls.  I always enjoy a Sunday browse around the market and it is so nice to see it busy and being used.

I am just about to finish my reindeer baby outfit so will post pictures in the next couple of days and am also hoping to finish a couple of toys too but just need a quick trip to my local hobbycraft this afternoon for some finishing touches, buttons and ribbon - wouldn't you know I have loads of ribbons and buttons but not in the colours I need. 

I did start to knit a snowman outfit too but found halfway up the back on changing to a new ball of wool that the wool was a slightly different thickness and was showing as a slightly different shade (this I realised at 3am in the morning - couldn't sleep).  To anyone else they probably wouldn't see it but I could so I had to frog it ba humbug! so I think as its a little too close to Christmas now it will have to wait a year.  Thankfully it was only a baby outfit and not and adult one.  I have had this once before when knitting an aran jacket for myself with a complicated pattern and halfway up the back had a ball that although was the right dye and lot number was slightly different in the light.  When I took it back to the shop she said she would have to order new wool as she didn't have any more left in that shade/dye lot and I had to hand over the knitting I had done!  I did eventually get new wool and sat down and redid the jacket but always thought of having to start again every time I wore it lol! 

Not sure what I'm doing for Christmas this year but will probably be a quiet one anyway.  Will probably included cooking most of the day then eating until I feel icky and watching boring re runs on tv and finally falling into bed...... oh and yes a bit of knitting as I can't/won't put the stix down even for one day.

See you soon when toys and baby set piccies are done.

Caroline xx

Sunday, 4 November 2012

I'm getting there with technology

Well I've changed my phone.  My previous Samsung was shall we say old enough to be on the antiques roadshow so I decided it was about time to change and update to one of those smart phone thingies so I could be still down with the kids.  I had a look at some local phone shops and a look on the internet and finally settled for a Samsung again the Ace just smart enough but not too smart for me.  I ordered it and it duly arrived the next day.  I opened the box all excited until I had to try to work the thing.  After a few blue words and a threat of its going back in the  box to the supplier and after pressing lots of buttons etc I'm finally glad to say I am getting to know it, so I can now facebook, tweet and all that millarky while on the move as well as at home, although haven't worked out how to blog with it yet.  I can't seem to bring the keyboard up to type.  If anyone knows how to do this please, please, please let me know......  

There was one easy thing to do though and that was to keep my old number from my old supplier.  Unlike years ago when they used to stall because they didn't want to lose customers they were really helpful and it went like a breeze after requesting my pac code and giving it to my new supplier hey presto a couple of days later and the number had been transferred.

Meanwhile I have still been knitting - well of course - and have finished a commission for a baby set.  My customer had bought a pattern but couldn't knit it so asked on facebook if there was anyone out there willing to knit it for them.  It was a lovely little pattern really easy and quick to knit up.

It has been sent to her and she emailed to say she was really pleased, loved the finishing and would be recommending me to all her family and friends.  I love it when people are pleased and well you can't buy word of mouth recommendations can you.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks (and no I'm not disclosing my age but I am 21 again and again and again ad infinitum) and so as a treat I'm thinking of going to the Knitting show in Harrogate at the end of November - but not sure depends on the pennies as its about £12 a ticket advance and then there is the car journey so still thinking about it as part of my mind says I can buy a lot of wool for that price although I have been before and I do have to say it is the best show for knitting that I have been too.  I do have to add I have not been to woolfest or wonderwool though...

Its back to the dentist next week, the broken tooth just turned out to be a filling that had fallen out so not too much work needs to be done although I hate the sound of the drill so probably won't sleep the night before sad I know but dentists are not my favourite - nothing personal to all you dentists out there its not you personally its the instruments of torture you use lol.....  Hopefully I will be able to chew on both sides of my mouth for my birthday.

I'm at present knitting toys for Christmas yes I have mentioned the C word but it does seem to be  arriving everywhere.  I've actually seen a Christmas tree up in a window already locally! although I won't be putting mine up till really quite near Christmas.  I've knitted a couple and once they are stuffed and sewn I'll post a few piccies.  I'm also thinking of knitting some teddies too and some Christmassy themed baby outfits so watch this space.  

See you soon.

Caroline xx.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Days Out, New Knitting Supplies and Craft Shows

Well as per usual its been a while........ but I have been busy!.  I have heard from the tax man just a straight forward letter after registering to let me know my unique tax number and to say that they will send me forms when year end tax is due - I'm sure they won't forget.  So far so good I'm thinking.   I've also been looking into updating my mobile phone as its probably classified as an antique by now so have been looking at smart phones.

Its been so busy knitting commissions, and knitting for a designer and trying to set up my website, working part-time and running the house phew - so many jobs and so little time.  As I'm finding it hard to organise my time I have decided to do a timetable plan although I then have to stick to it.  

I've been spending a lot of time researching places to buy products for the site such as knitting wool and needles, pom pom makers, ribbons and buttons etc. as I would like to provide these as well as knitted items and eventually I will be making kits when I have written some of my own designs - although I have to walk before I can run.  

I went to my first trade show a couple of weeks ago at the Birmingham NEC. 

It was free to go as long as you registered and you were given a badge on entering which being my first show I wore with pride lol!  I obviously was only interested in the craft section which wasn't very big (it was only about a quarter of a hall and there were 5 halls in total but I did find some good contacts.  There were companies such as Sirdar, King Cole, DMC etc. who were there.  Each company has a minimum order for wholesale, some I found were a bit too much for me as I'm just starting out but there were about 3 or 4 that I was really interested in and that would let you order wholesale from a fairly small value.  

After giving out business cards and having a few discussions and lots of looking on the internet I have settled on ordering from one company to start with.  I have ordered some DK wool in baby colours, buttons, ribbons, satin and organza, some pom pom makers, and needles.  It was easy to register on the site and I found their customer service really good.  I only ordered on Sunday evening and received it on Tuesday lunchtime.  I'll be putting the items on my website in the next few days - I'm saying the next few days as my tooth broke yesterday so its to the dentist this week and I don't know what will happen - hopefully I will escape alive with a brave badge although probably a large bill.

I am also looking to order some DMC crochet products eventually although I think I should be able to crochet first - still haven't got around to it although have tried the basics.  They sell lovely crochet cottons and threads and the staff at the show were really helpful and once I become a bit bigger (the business not me lol) I am going to look to the bigger companies such as Sirdar etc to order from.

I've also been for a day out recently to Fleetwood.  I needed a bit of me time just for a day.  It was lovely and quiet and I went to the local market where I bought some lovely fudge and looked at the knitting stall - of course.  I also went past a couple of craft shops and then had a lovely meal before going to the beach for a walk.  There was a wedding reception on at the hotel on the front and the bride was having photos taken with her bridesmaids on the beach.

Finally I went to the Stitching Show at Event City near the Trafford Centre, Manchester last Thursday.  I had a complimentary ticket from a previous show so decided to go for a bit of rest and relaxation.  I was also looking for some bows and flowers for a commission I'm doing and couldn't find the ones I needed anywhere.  It was opened by Linda Bellingham. I was there before 10am and went straight in as it was pretty quiet (at the start anyway).  There was lots to do like workshops and demonstrations but I decided against it as the queue for booking these was miles long so started looking at the stands.  There was a good mixture of sewing, papercraft, beads, knitting etc. and I found the bows I needed so could relax for the rest of the show.  I actually managed to go around the whole show and not buy any wool - a first for me although any more wool and I will seriously have to move out of the house!  

There was a lovely fashion show on plus an exhibition of dresses from shows.  

There was quite a lot of seating and early on when I was there it was easy to get a seat and table.  I really enjoyed the show although personally I would have liked a few more knitting stands but as I said there was quite a good selection.  

There were also food stalls with hand baked goods such as pies and pasties both meat and fruit and a cheese stand.  I also saw a cooking demonstration.  All in all it was a good day and I believe they are doing it all again in February if you are in the area and its free parking.

So if you are still with me - well done for getting this far.  I haven't posted for a while as I said but hopefully have made up for it by nearly writing a novel.  So to my to do list for this week - putting supplies on my website, dentist (yuk) although on the positive side I am off on holiday from my part-time job - yippee.

See you soon.


Monday, 2 July 2012

Holidays - Yeh

I'm happy to say I am holiday from my part-time job this week - yeh.  More time to concentrate at Oodles Towers and on my knitting.  I'm busy knitting some baby items for a designer so have had to leave my items alone for the moment but will be back to them soon.  I was looking at the drops wool website today and was severely tempted by the sale they have on at the moment some of their cotton yarns are going for as little as £1 - having to think about it.......

I am on a DIET starting last week yes I said a DIET well it had to be done.  I was really quite good although I have nearly eaten my fingers to the knuckles lol.  Its not having the chocolate thats doing it.  I am quite a chocolate fiend.  Withdrawals have set in this week so I'm having to distract myself by knittng, cleaning, anything really thankfully there isn't any chocolate in the house.  On the positive side I lost 10lbs last week.  Couldn't believe it although I do have a lot more to lose and it probably will come off a lot slower now.  By my reckoning if I knit every time I want chocolate I should have a complete shopful of items knitted by next week lol!!!

I finally bought a tent last week its a five man tent with plenty of room so can't wait to just sort out sleeping bags and then I will be off on travels - somewhere.  I'm also looking at backpacks with the one stipulation it does have to be pink.  I've seen quite a good one and cheap in Sports Direct.  In fact I saw loads of stuff in there that I wanted.  I actually bought a black sweatshirt top for £4 in the sale items.  

Whilst there I saw something on a car which I haven't seen before but now must have - carlashes.  They are like eyelashes for your car.  Brilliant.  Just have to have some and they have diamonte eyeliner too lol!  I'm also thinking of putting some decals on my car with my business name on the back windscreen.  Everyone should see me coming then lol!  Just have to get the car through its mot fingers and everything else crossed.  Its an old car but quite reliable.  Its been off the road of late and needs a new battery so am out to buy one this week, sort out the road tax and book it in for the mot.  Then I will be fully mobile and not have to rely on anyone else!

Anyway I'll have to go now as I'm off to buy the carlashes - maybe if she looks pretty they will pass her........

See you soon.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Abakhan Mostyn North Wales

Well I didn't get to the Peak District as the weather forecast put me off a little but instead I went to North Wales.  I used to have a static in Prestatyn a few years ago so know the area pretty well and used to go to the Abakhan mill shop in Mostyn pretty regularly.  Its been a while as I don't have the caravan anymore.  

I was quite surprised how quiet it was it used to be really busy maybe because it was the holiday weekend.  Anyway it made it great as you had the whole place nearly to yourself.  I managed to pick out some lovely fabric enough for two maxi dresses and I even saw some lovely material which I may go back for to make duvet covers and curtains. Don't get me wrong I'm no sewing goddess more 'have a go'. 

I had a look around the wool section and believe it or not managed not to buy any wool.  The urge was strong though!

Anyway after Abakhan I went to Llandudno and had a lovely fish and chip lunch and there was a classic car show on the prom.  I did want to go up the Orme but as the weather was closing in a little and it started raining thought it would be left to another day and came home about teatime but it was nice to go back to Wales.  Prestatyn is changing though.

I did see a few tent sites on the way and have written them down to look them up as I'm still thinking of doing the camping thing lol!  I really want to start going out walking in the countryside.  Hope you all had a lovely long weekend and had lots of fun.

Today I'm back on the knitting and hope to put some new items on my website soon.  Now I have my new camera it should be easier - I say should I need to work out the buttons first!

See you soon.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Finally Finished

Well here is a picture of the bunny all in one that I was doing for a customer.  I finally finished it and sent it to her and she was really happy with it which makes me happy.  I have done about 3 of these now and everybody seems to like them.  The pattern comes from Claire Topping at  Great patterns and good prices.

Now I'm knitting baby hats, bootees, leggings and jackets in merino/cashmere blend.  A little difficult in this heat as it heats up you hands but I just keep picking it up and then putting it down.  

I have a few things to finish and put on my website soon too, I was hoping to have some lovely ceramic buttons to put on my garments but unfortunately have been let down but have managed to buy some lovely buttons that really go with them dress outfits anyway so saved the day.  

Its Jubilee weekend in a few days and I am hoping to get out and about if the weather holds.  I fancy going walking in the Peak District.  I'm not a great walker but have just started walking mainly for exercise.  I've also just bought an mp3 player to listen to music while I walk as otherwise I get bored listening to my thoughts.  They're not very exciting lol!  

I even went looking at tents last weekend to try camping, having never been camping before I thought I should try it - the great outdooors and all that lol.  Not sure what I need really as a novice they all looked the same! so if anyone has any tips or ideas on tents or places to walk in the North West then please feel free to leave a comment.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Be back soon.


Monday, 30 April 2012

ICHF Show at Aintree Racecourse

A couple of weeks ago I won some tickets to the ICHF show at Aintree Racecourse.  The show was on Saturday so we travelled to Aintree.  I haven't been there before for a show so was quite excited.  On entering we were given complimentary tickets for the September show at The Event City opposite the Trafford Centre so was quite pleased.  As a knitter I was a little disappointed as there weren't many cross stitch or knitting stands it was mostly papercrafting and it was a little on the small side but I did find a couple of things that I really liked.  I did originally go to buy some Knit Pro needles size 4mm as I already have some 3mm and I really love them they are so light and the stitches don't fall off although they still slide along when knitting but unfortunately no-one was selling them but I did find some lovely ribbon by a company called meiflower it was satin but they also do organza at really good prices so bought about 10 reels of baby pinks and blues, lemons lilacs and white.  I had also been talking about buying a crystal nail file as the ones I have had in the past were a bit rubbish and tended to split my nails and hey presto there was a nail file stand with lovely crystal nail files, with lovely crystals on them and they also sold special hard cases for the files so treated myself.  There was a lovely handmade chocolate stand there too - say no more although I did manage to say no - just.  On the whole it was nice to get out and see the show but I am glad I hadn't paid as I would have been disappointed as a knitter.  I am wondering if all the knitting companies had decided to go to Wonderwool in Wales this weekend.  I am thinking of going next year although it is quite a distance but I would love to go - a goal me thinks. I'm still busy making the bunny all in one but should have it finished by the end of this week and once it has been sent to the customer I will post a piccie on here to show you.

See you soon.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Oodles of Stitches

Well I'm finally up and running as an official business - Oodles of Stitches. The website went live two days ago on 6th April so I will be filling out the tax forms to register as self employed. I have been looking around the web at craft fairs too and hope to be doing some but it will be later in the year I think as I need to desperately build my stock up and there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day as I do work part-time too.

On my first day (Friday) I received a commission for a white bunny suit all in one and was really happy my first official order. It just goes to show that using social media can get you orders. Its going to be for a very special little reborn doll so after receiving the order I went straight out to buy all the wool, buttons etc to make it. Instead of pink ears they have asked for blue and once finished and sent to my customer I will post a piccie on here. In the meantime heres a piccie of one I have done in the past.

Busy doing the tension squares at the moment and then will get stuck into knitting it. It is a labour of love and you do have to concentrate but it does look lovely every time. If you like the pattern I can't claim it as my own (I wish) but it belongs to a very clever lady Claire Topping at Babydollhandknitdesigns who has her own website for patterns and if you ever get stuck or can't see the wood for the trees as I did on one occasion is very helpful with the patterns. In my case I had obviously had a brunette moment as I had failed to read an instruction (happened to be important).

I was planning to do a lot of things this weekend but with the weather not being too good the gardening has had to wait as has the fence painting and the car boot but it has left plenty of time to start my first official Oodles of Stitches commission so happy in one respect.

Hope you are all having a lovely Easter and haven't eaten too many eggs and are feeling icky.

See you Soon.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Getting Ready

Hello everyone, busy getting ready for the website launch. I did say January but things changed and I decided to wait until April to start at the beginning of the tax year which gives me longer to knit more items etc. I did phone the tax people who said I could only register once my website was up and running live and I was actually trading so will be filling in the online forms when it goes live in April.

I am busy looking to do fairs at the moment both craft and also am thinking of trying to do a local vintage fair that includes craft stalls too. Its a busy market for the vintage fair so am looking into it and will let you know how I'm getting on.

I went to the Knitting and Craft Show at Event City the other week near the Trafford Centre. Although there were only a few knitting stalls it was a lovely show and busy. I found a lovely company who I may use to source my yarns from called woolyknit as they are a company who deal in british wool yarns.

I have also been busy having labels made for packaging, ordering tissue paper and am now looking at boxes for the babywear etc. to be packaged in and some bags. The colour theme I decided on what black and gold so labels are gold with black lettering the boxes I hope will be black with gold ribbon and the bags I hope will be black. Its all so very time consuming but amazing at what you find out and some places like to wool people do trade prices. I know this sounds silly but didn't even think of asking for trade prices it was only that I mentioned starting a business and what I was doing so first lesson I have learned is get your business head on when buying yarn not my old hobby head lol. I've also been buying books for my accounting and plenty of pens and probably will need lots of correction fluid for the mistakes lol!!. So all in all have been really busy. Finding that I have to prioritise time for paperwork, researching etc. and time for knitting and networking. I'm really enjoying setting everything up and although nervous can't wait for April to launch the website. Sometime inbetween all this I want to learn to crochet too. I will show some piccies soon of new items ready for the website in April when I have finished them off.

See you soon.