Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day dreaming of maths and wages.........

One of my most frequently asked questions at shows is "how long did it take you to make that blanket?"
I hate answering this question and normally start off with the phrase "You have to remember this is my full time job"
When I tell the asker the answer, they are normally shocked and tell me it would take them years to make the blanket.
The  "You have to remember this is my full time job" phrase just doesn't seem to sink in.

I know its difficult for some people to understand that doing a hobby that you love can actually be work, but it can be and is for me.
Even my own mother-in-law doesn't understand, the last time she phoned up in the day time I was crocheting She asked "are you busy",
I said "Yes, I'm working crocheting one of the book blankets"
She laughed in a kind of "don't be stupid, that's not work!" tone.

I've been timing myself while making the book blankets and so now have a real idea of how long it takes me to make a blanket.
Of course it depends on the blanket.
I've just finished 2 blankets one is a king size in 4 ply which took about 8 weeks, the other is 60 x 60 inches in DK which took about 2 weeks.

I crochet and design part time or rather part time in my world.
I spend 4 days at home on the sofa drinking coffee, lazing around watching CSI or some other murder that I don't need to concentrate on.
And 3 days at the NDS studio in front of my laptop or dye bath and then 3 evenings of the same day's at home doing more crochet and not concentrating on something on the tv screen with Phil.

So I did some number's to see how much I would earn if I turned my hobby into a proper job.
3 x studio days, crocheting from 5 pm to 11pm = 18 hours
4 x home days, designing & crocheting from 9 am to 11 pm = 56 hours
= 74 crochet/designing hours a week.
- 4 hours for trips to the kitchen and a Friday night local's pint (or 2) at the Rising Sun
= 70 hours

If I were paid minimum wage at £6.30 (ish), I would earn £441 per week, according to the careers website below, if I classed my self a senior designer I could earn £2,800 per week.

  • The range of typical salaries at senior designer/creative director level is £41,000 - £85,000+.
Which means the 8 weeks it took me to make Book Blanket NO 2 would of earn't me £22,400, enough to mend the Zoom and buy a new car while the Zoom is at the garage having its engine replaced !
It also means that the blanket is worth £22,400 + yarn + 8 weeks of electricity and coffee + several seasons worth of DVD boxsets.
So when I'm asked how much I sell my blankets for £25,000 is a reasonable response, except that that doesn't take into account any kind of profit, all good business people know that you normally double the costs to come up with the retail cost.
Book blanket NO 2 will cost £50,000.

So if you'd like to pay my wages or buy a blanket I take credit cards, cash and paypal :-)))))

I'll leave you with a sneaky peek photo of Book Blanket NO4, just in case you feel the need to buy a blanket.....

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Kaleidoscope Update

The Kaleidoscope Crochet Blanket Club members have just received their June pattern instalment.

The club has been a massive learning curve for me, I've run crochet clubs before and only ever had about 20 members, so I wasn't expecting the response we got to Kaleidoscope, the club has just under 90 members and we are still getting new members joining up!

I started designing the blanket back in October last year, I had the bare bones of the design when I started crocheting, I didn't really plan the colours so used what ever I had to hand at the time.
We decided to send out the yarn each quarter rather than send it all at once, my main concern was the membership costs a lot of money and so I wanted members to be able to spread the cost over the course of 2014 - BIG MISTAKE!!
I hadn't even thought about how and when we were going to dye the yarn or the fact that most of the colours would need re-winding into smaller skeins.
So we were dyeing and re-winding yarn for Kaleidoscope during the whole of December, and then again in March and now we are working on the third quarter, plus preparing for Woolfest, plus we have a couple of massive wholesale orders in!

BUT its all been worth it, the club members have been amazing and crocheted like busy little bunnies.
I am adding each month's pattern to my designer page in the Ravelry database just after the members get it, which you can find HERE
And members have been posting their blanket photo's in the KALEIDOSCOPE GROUP
So there are plenty of photo's to look at.

The photo's below show how the blanket has grown over the last 6 months, they are a bit rubbish as they are my wip photo's and were all taken with my iPhone, but you'll get the idea :-)
I will be making a Kaleidoscope Gallery page for member's photo's, maybe today, maybe tomorrow.......

                                            JANUARY                                 FEBRUARY

                                            MARCH                                             APRIL

                                                   MAY                                              JUNE

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

What I've been doing this week

I've had a very busy week playing at being a Graphic Designer and I am really smug and happy with the way my design work has turned out :-)

Its for next year's crochet blanket club, I know it seems really early, but we are going to send all the wool out in January, so all the members will need to be fully paid up by then and we want everyone to have a chance of being able to pay for it.
I've already added it to the site and made an information page - HERE
We'll be opening the club membership sign-ups during the first week of July 2014

Here is my Graphic Designer work

I've also been a incredibly bionic crocheter and will have made the whole of Book Blanket NO 3 in 2 weeks.
That is if my plan works and I finish it tonight or tomorrow.
I've decided I love DK and can't wait to start Book Blanket NO 4 which is also DK.
I think NO 4 will take a bit longer than 2 weeks, but if I can finish it by Woolfest I will have caught up with myself and be ahead of schedule rather than behind which is what I have been all year.

And here's the sneaky peak, the photo reveals a bit more than the previous 2 blankets photo's, but I don't think it hurts to give you a "bit more" from time to time :-)