Thursday, 8 August 2019

Summer Sale & Pattern Updates

August seems to always be the month I run my summer sale and this year is no different.
This year I thought I'd test out a sale in my Etsy shop
There is a 25% discount on all the items including my book Rainbow Crocheted BlanketsI've re-listed it as Etsy have changed their free postage plan to sales over $35, I guess someone listened to all the complaints after all :-)

When I closed NDS in 2015 I decided I needed to rewrite and edit all my old patterns, I imagined it would take about 2 years. 
Four years later and I'm still rewriting, editing & drawing new charts. I really didn't think it would take me so long, but to be fair I have published 3 books and become a grandma to 2 tiny boys who live in the flat above me.
I have finished the main bulk of my patterns, all the blankets and garments are done, but I still have 4 shawls and 6 scarves to do. I need to edit the 10 designs and remake the samples, so they are going to take a lot longer, probably longer than the previous 43 designs. 
The first on the list is the much loved Angel scarf, I'm still being asked for the pattern nine years after I first designed it. I've misplaced the original sample, somewhere in one of our numerous moves, or maybe I gave it away it was so long ago

Anyway to celebrate my pattern rewriting achievement I've created 4 collections in my Ravelry shop. 

You can find the collections at the top of the page,
Each collection has a different selection of patterns.
Simply add 5 patterns from the same collection to your basket and you will receive a whopping 50% discount.

Happy Crocheting

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Etsy & my books

Yesterday I posted the following post on my website blog.

I have just removed all my books and blankets from Etsy and listed them all in my website shop  instead. I'm afraid this is the only place you will be able to buy books from me in the future.
The following rant explains the reason why.

Over the past couple of years Etsy has changed, it used to be all about supporting makers and giving them a platform to sell their hand made products, now its all about how much money it can make as a company.

There have been several changes the first one I remember was to change the price of listing items, originally it cost 20 cents per item listed, Etsy made a fuss about how they were going to charge us only 20 cents for a listing that contained as multiple items. It sounded like a benefit to shop owners, but what Etsy didn't emphasize was that when you sold one of the items they would charge you another 20 cents to relist it, so in reality nothing had changed.

Then this year (or maybe it was last) they implemented a payment account, meaning our customers had alternative options to paypal, it sounded like a good idea, but actually meant I don't get paid for several days or I could choose to wait a month and be paid a lump sum. 
Earlier on this year Etsy decided to cut out paypal completely, they didn't give the sellers a choice they just did it, it means my earnings sit in their bank account earning interest until they decide to pay me.
The thing I object to more than anything is being forced to do something I didn't want to do.
Like a lot of Etsy sellers I'm a small seller earning a little bit extra money to help with household costs and having a little bit of extra money sitting in my paypal account gives me the comfort of knowing I have an emergency fund if the car breaks down or we have some other disaster.

A couple of weeks ago Etsy informed us that it would stop promoting sellers who didn't offer free postage and would drop their items to bottom of the categories, whilst promoting sellers who did offer free postage.
I feel this is another strong arm tactic to force sellers into doing something they don't want to do, obviously its all about Etsy earning more money for its shareholders, but I haven't worked out how yet, as they already charge us 5% on our postage costs.
I could either absorb the postage costs and carry on selling my books at the prices they are listed meaning that I would hardly earn any profit.
Or I could put up the prices to incorporate the postage costs, it would mean Rainbow Crocheted Blankets would cost 24 pounds, my UK customers would have to pay the same price as my US customers even though the postage is actually over 5 pounds cheaper.

Etsy used to be about homemade, artisan products, Etsy used to support their sellers, now its all about earning more money for its shareholders without any thought to the people who pay them.

I will continue to sell my pdf patterns on Etsy, until Etsy comes up with a new scheme how squeeze more money out of its digital sellers.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Desirable Crochet Motif's 2019

I self published my first book in 2012, it was called Desirable Crochet Motifs, volume 1, a year later I published volume 2.
The books each contained 20 motif patterns, most of them already published for a motif club that I ran from 2008 to 2012.

My pattern writing and design skills have come along way in the last 7 years, so I have decided to write a new book called Desirable Crochet Motifs, the complete collection. It will contain all of the 40 original patterns, redrawn, rewritten and revamped, plus 20 new ones.
There are a lot of crochet motif books on the market, I need to do something different to make it stand out, so the book will contain blanket patterns, I'm not sure how many yet, but hopefully there will be at least 3.
The new Desirable Crochet Motifs book is going to take me a least a couple of years to finish.
Each motif pattern will take about a week to write, I need to re-work the design, crochet several swatches, take photo's and draw charts.

I also need to design, make and write the patterns for 3 blankets, it normally takes me 2 to 3 months to design, make and write a blanket pattern.

I thought as the book is going to take so long you might get bored waiting, so I have decided to run a CAL/Club type thing, it will feature some the motif patterns. I'm planning to run it on Patreon, so you can decide how long you want to be in the club. There will be different tiers of membership, all including a monthly motif pattern, some include the blanket CAL instructions and the yarn and the book when its finished.
I'm still working on the details, but will let you know as soon as the club subscriptions are open.
However first I need to do a lot of work on the motif and blanket patterns.
The first blanket will be a kaleidoscope blanket design, similar to the kaleidoscope blanket club I ran in 2014

The new blanket design has a different layout and rather than solid triangles motifs it will be made with 10 different motif designs. I'm not sure how its going to work yet, but the blanket design I have in my head is going to be amazing, fingers crossed I can make it work.

The CAL won't start until I have finished all 10 motif designs and written the blanket pattern. When I ran the Kaleidoscope club I was working on the blanket a month ahead of the club members, I did a lot of panicking and kept my fingers crossed that it was going to work and the members wouldn't run out of yarn. I want to be a lot more prepared this time, so far I've made and written 2 motif patterns, but they're not finished as I still need to crochet more stitches and draw charts.

So watch this space.......

Happy crocheting
Love Amanda

If you want to stock up on some yarn before the CAL/Club starts I am using Coop Knits Socks Yeah 4 ply, its slightly thinner than the normal 4 ply that I use, but its beautifully soft and has an amazing stitch definition, plus comes in a beautiful range of colours, plus it comes in 50 gm skeins, which makes it easier to buy if you are on a budget.


I've just logged on to write a post about my crochet motif project and realised I haven't told you the most important news of all!!

Following my last post about being a Grandma I am delighted to tell you I now have 2 blond, baby vikings in my life.

Magnus was born nearly three weeks ago, his birth was a lot easier than his brother's even though he was a massive 9lb 2oz baby.
Magnus is very different to Bert, he sleeps and eats and occasionally wakes up and looks confused, Bert had a difficult birth and colic and cried a lot.

 Even though Bert is slightly out of focus in this photo, you can see how proud he is to be allowed to hold the baby. I look forward to seeing their relationship develop and I can't wait to have them both running around playing together.

 Magnus in his first blanket. I will at some time in the future write the pattern.

 But for now I'm far too busy cuddling my new baby boy to concentrate on pattern writing :-)

Happy crocheting 
love Amanda