Monday, 26 October 2015

Behind the scenes

I'm sorry I'm a bit absent at the moment.
I've realised that I only have 8 weeks until my book deadline and am working away behind the scenes colouring in charts, writing patterns and trying to finish the last blanket.
It seems like its all very last minute, but I wanted it to be perfect so have spent the last 6 month's refining my pattern format and deciding how I was going to explain colour and alternative yarns.
The patterns are kind of under control, even though I still have about 14 layout charts to finish (originally there were 30!)
But I still haven't started writing the other bits, as I'm still working on it in my head.

The last blanket is almost finished, I spent the whole weekend crocheting like a mad woman and I'm now working on the last border of motifs.
Here are a few wip photo's that don't give too much away :-)


I will be publishing the Zodiac blanket pattern next week, so there will be a big blog post and still have the Little Grey Sheep scarf to finish before Christmas, so will be blogging about that too.
But apart from these 2 posts I don't have anything else planned.
BUT I have big plans for the blog in the new year, lots of pages to add, posts to write and maybe even a new website.

Wish me luck
Love amanda

Monday, 12 October 2015

VAT's & price rises

A bit of a monday morning rant.....

About a year ago, someone on Ravelry discovered that there were new digital sales European VAT tax laws/rules planned to come into effect on January 2015 and luckily for all involved told the community.
The VAT people claimed that everyone who would be affected should have been notified, however no one knew anything about it.
The rules are incoherent, contradict other rules/laws and absolutely ridiculous, they are supposed to force the big international companies like Amazon stop evading European VAT, but they apply to all businesses world wide that sell digital downloads to customers in Europe regardless of how big or small the business is.
I could write a very long essay trying to explain all the details, but it would be very boring for you to read and even if you managed to read to the end, you would be far more confused you were before you started!

The main result is that  knitting & crochet designers have had to increase their pdf patterns prices.
Designers have 3 options on how to deal with VAT
1 - Absorb the cost of the VAT and keep the pattern price the same, which means a big drop in income for the designer.
2 - Raise the pattern prices to cover VAT, this means the price goes up for everyone.
3 - Leave the pattern prices as they are, and charge VAT on the European sales.
Whichever option the designer chooses is unfair on themselves or their customers.
Sadly I rely on pattern sales to pay the bills and so can't afford a drop in income, so I have chosen option 3, it means the prices have risen for my European customers, but stays the same for all my international customers. Its unfair if you live in Europe, but at least some of my customers don't suffer.

The reason why I have written this blog post is to answer a thread on Ravelry
It was started by customer's who weren't happy about the price rises, the thread has become very heated so I have chosen not to join in.

What I'm trying to say to you is "Please don't blame the designer's, its out of our control, if you want to have a rant, get in touch with your MP, MEP, VAT office, the IRS or anyone in power who you think will listen"

Now I've come to the end of my small rant about a big thing I'm going to leave you with a happy picture, to brighten your week :-)
Its my new Belladonna scarf, photographed on the wild and windy moor yesterday.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Cornucopia & Skein Queen Kits

When we decided to close NDS my main worry was where my yarn was going to come from.
So I decided I needed to start collecting a NDS free stash.
My very first purchase was a bright yellow skein of Selkino from Skein Queen at Unravel in February.
It was one of my favourite yarn bases and I fell in love with the colour as soon as I saw it, however the colour was completely out of place with my NDS stash, so obviously I needed a couple more skeins of equal colour intensity to go with it, so I bought some more SQ colours to keep it company :-)
And started crocheting.....

The result was Cornucopia, which was a experiment to see if I could use subtle and intense colour in the same design.
Halfway through I realised that I had chosen fruity colours, so I named it after the mythical horn of plenty which is overflowing with fruit and flowers.

I'm really pleased with the way the blanket turned out, its one of those blankets that is better seen in real life and was hugely popular at Yarndale.

While I was away swanning about in Yorkshire Debbie was busily working away behind the scenes dyeing a collection of colours for a Cornucopia kit.
And here its is - Cornucopia Yarn Bundle
She's done an amazing job, the colours are stunning and the yarn is divine and I'm slightly jealous of the people who buy the kits as I won't be able to use them to make blanket all over again with Debbie's colours.....

But as my mother would say "onwards and upwards" I have new designs and colours to use and should be content that you will be enjoying mine and Debbie's work.