Category Archives: Other craft

Business – Can I run a wool shop?

A lot has happened since my last post, the details of which I won’t go into. I’m back though, and in April you can expect a post nearly every day as I’ll be taking part in the A to Z blog challenge. Then in May I’ll be taking part again in the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, so there’s a lot to look forward to!

I’m currently in the middle of making a big decision. A wool shop nearby is for sale, along with all its stock. It’s basically an entire established business for sale. We were driving past it when I noticed it for sale, and being curious I looked it up. It’s only £15,000 and has a turnover of £51,000 apparently. I don’t know any other details yet and I’m debating whether it’s worth asking. The idea of running my own wool shop is wonderful, if somewhat scary. I’ve also thought up so many ways I could improve on what’s there and increase the customer numbers. I have the people skills, I certainly have the interest and knowledge of the stock.

On the other hand, can I commit to it? I wouldn’t be able to afford staff at first so would have to be there all the time, and I imagine the amount of paperwork and stress involved would be huge. I also don’t have £15,000, which is another slight problem. The question is, are there more positives than negatives, and would the business continue to be profitable straight away?

NaKnitMo

It’s that time of year again. While lots of people are taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, where they try to write 50,000 words), some of us over on Ravelry are taking part in NaKnitMo (National Knitting Month) We set our own goals (usually 30,000 stitches or more). This year my goal is 30,000 (although I managed about 75,000 last year, but I have a job now…) although I’ll probably end up knitting more, as my secondary goal is to knit this. The yarn is on its way and I’m hoping that it’ll arrive today, but if not on Monday when I’m actually here to receive it.

Since my last post I’ve knitted a lot. I shall update with that soon, when the final scarf has finished blocking. I’m also testing a pattern I’ve designed, and starting two others.

In non-knitting news I’ve managed to create the perfect recipe for the base of gravy and soups, have made quince jelly, picked a LOT of blackberries and bought lots of bulbs to plant in the garden when I get round to it. I also got a job as well as my web design stuff.

In amongst all that, I shall attempt to get, and keep, everything up to date around here.

 

Experimental Photography – 5KCBWDAY3

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Day Three (Wednesday 14th May): Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers. – 5KCBWDAY3

I’m aware that I need a better heading image for my blog, Twitter, etc. and so decided this would be the perfect time to do some experimenting for that. I’ve taken a few photos and am going to play around with them, documenting what I do.

First, I took one of my favourite cakes of yarn (to look at, to knit with is a different story…) and took a photo of it as I usually would. In case anyone is interested it’s Easyknits DW Toughie in ‘Who’. This is on a white background, with plenty of light and not much else. This is the raw image, no cropping, no brightness altering, nothing.

Original Image 1

It’s perfectly good for documenting in my Ravelry stash, but it’s not very interesting. So then I remembered my fabric with cakes on it and thought that would be a good background, as it’s a cake of yarn.

Cake on Cakes

The colours of the cakes are a bit vibrant for my liking and take away from the lovely colours of the yarn. Now is when I begin to play around with the image. I’m using The Gimp for this, as it’s free.

First, I tried taking all the colour out of the background. (I used this tutorial)

Selective Colourisation

 

I like it, but I’m not sure about the fabric as a background. I took a close up of the yarn.Closeup

This shows the colours off really well. But how about using a stripe of colour? This time I also cropped it so that there is no background.Colour Stripe

The colours stand out really well. This gave me an idea. The main reason of doing this was for a new blog header. What if I had a band of coloured yarn at the top and bottom, with the grey scale in the middle where the text goes?

Colour Stripe 2

I really like this look. I think the middle may be a bit too dark though. How would it look if I used really pale colour instead of grey?

Pale Stripe

I like that more. I think that’s what I’ll go with. The next problem is making the rest of my blog fit!

To see more posts on experimental photography, Google 5KCBWDAY3.

Homemade Christmas Wreath

I’m trying to do Christmas cheaply this year, so I decided to make a homemade Christmas Wreath. It was quick to make and cost about £4.

I visited a pound shop and found a glittery garland and some glittery pine-cones. I then visited a local shop and bought some florestry wire and some ribbon. The main bulk of the wreath I got from the garden. Overflowing the fence from the lane behind the house is a huge ivy bush. Some of it has berries on, so I cut off a few nice looking branches. I couldn’t find any holly so stuck with the ivy.

First, I wired some lengths of ivy/holly together, overlapping enough to make it sturdy.

Christmas Wreath

I then twisted it into a circle and wired the ends together, again overlapping enough to make it sturdy. I wound in the garland and added the pine cones. They were on sticks so I could just wire them right in. I made a big bow and wired that on, making a loop at the back to hang the wreath.

Christmas Wreath

 

It looks a little uneven but not bad for a first attempt, and it looks better in person.