branding, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, summer, Uncategorized, Winter, yarn

Forging Ahead

Since my last post, I’ve been a very busy person!

I’ve spent lots of time going through the branding process for my revamped business (see the last post for the fantastic book that I have used to do this)…

The process is more complex than you would imagine, but the more time spent on research and design details will hopefully pay off later on.  I have worked through all the hard sections and am now on the more fun areas.

Colour psychology is fascinating – colours have a wonderfully evocative influence on our moods and, even if we don’t realise it, on our purchasing choices.  Think how often gold is used for luxury and red for passion / fire.

If I was designing this business to appeal to myself, I would likely take these vibrant, jewel colours as my preference, but this does not fit with the values and market which I am looking to appeal to.  This was from the Bath Festival last week (unfortunately The Doctor was not there to whisk me away in the Tardis!)

Colours can be grouped by season and can resonate with certain values, your personality and that which you hold as being most important to represent your brand.  One season should be dominant, but you can integrate a small influence from another season.

On going through this part I found that I was predominantly summer (which fits with my target market) and with winter as my second choice (again which covers some of the areas that are important, but that Summer does not encompass.

Summer shades are generally cool, elegant, traditional, soft and muted.  Winter, on the other hand, is opulent, intense, clear and grounded.

Shapes are also encompassed in these seasonal trends – for summer, faded florals, romantic serif fonts, vintage styling and soft textures.  For winter, geometrics, strong and clean images whether opulent or simple.

Interestingly, all of these parts were all that I had previously envisaged, and am thrilled that this fits in with my original thoughts.

The most difficult task I felt was to sum up my business in three words, from the range of descriptive terms that had been established through all of my research.  So here it is…

Aspirational, bespoke, luxe.

I want to be making beautiful, affordable, personalised creations, with a touch of opulence, for those of us who would love a bit more luxury in our lives.  I have added to my lovely collection of pearls, crystals and gems with these pearl pins, for a new idea for a product, which has arisen from all of my research.

More on that later!

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Uncategorized

Might as well face it, I’m addicted to yarn!

My stash is growing to ridiculous proportions at the moment, and that’s the way (uh-huh uh-huh) I like it.  OK, so enough with the music puns!

I do try to keep a track on my staff on Ravelry, both in terms of trying at at least partially control my excesses (see my previous post on Curb your Woolly Impulses) and in terms of keeping a track of my spending so that I can plan my costings for my forthcoming adventures into Etsy…

But this adage I found on Facebook just about says it all…

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I’m sure like most crafters (especially those knitters and crocheters I have been lucky enough to meet) it is almost impossible to stick to one project at a time.  I need a bit of variety in my crafting life!

I’ve just finished these fingerless gloves, made in Debbie Bliss Cotton DK, which I finished with Art Deco-style buttons which I bought at a little market in Normandy.  I’m going back to France in June so am looking forward to finding some more stylish little trinkets like these…

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At the same time I was also working on my Shell Scarf, the first thing I have made for myself…  I’m not 100% thrilled with the way it has turned out, despite following the pattern to the letter, it seems to have been a bit uneven on one edge, so I patched it up a bit.

I have grown to really like the yarn though, Sirdar Americana has certainly grown on me.  It was a bargain-bin buy but looks far more attractive when made up.

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At the same time as all of these I was finishing Mum’s Infinity Scarf…

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and had also made a start on a knitted scarf for my cousin…

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as well as starting on my crocheted design for my Etsy shop.  Up until now I’ve had to rely as a beginner on Ravelry patterns (all copyright-free of course!), but I now feel able to begin designing my own patterns.  This V-Stitch pattern I’ve temporarily named V for Victory is my first attempt.  Although I usually only work in natural fibres with the occasional mix of acrylic, this is 100% acrylic – James C. Brett Marble Chunky – but the colours were absolutely gorgeous, so I couldn’t resist!

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I’m not sure the colours come out so wonderfully in this damp overcast light, but they are the jewel colours which I so admire.

Next weekend I’m off to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London.  Of course I will add more to my stash, and more projects to run concurrently and keep my interest, no doubt about that!

I’d be interested to hear about your WIPs – how many can you have ‘on the go’ at any one time?

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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Uncategorized

My Top Ten Crafting Trends for Spring 2015

Morning all!

I’ve had a lovely week off at home – poring through all of my favourite magazines – Craftseller, Simply Crochet and Homemaker – as well as trawling the internet for inspirations for Spring 2015.

So I thought I’d put together another Top 10 (see my previous posts, you’ve gotta love a Top 10!) for the season to come.  Spring is one of my favourite seasons, it holds so much promise for the year to come and the buds and new growth spied on a frosty walk brings a warm feeling that’s nothing to do with the temperature outside!

One – Marsala is the Pantone colour for this year – a rich earthy warm red-brown – expect to see this throughout our homes and fashions all year.  It’s a difficult colour to match without a direct comparison, but this lovely wool from Wool Warehouse comes fairly close.

ce154b643acb6d31e03c1f78ddda8e6aTwo – Upcycling seems to be a trend that is showing no signs of going away – the latest edition of Craftseller had a whole supplement devoted to it.  There are some wonderful ideas on Dixie Henderson’s Pinterest including this use of recycled drawers.  It’s a bit too pinky frou-frou for me but the idea is fabulous…

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Three – Crocodile stitch (crochet) – there is a great tutorial for this on Lost & Found Lane – this would make up a fabulous dinosaur or amigurumi monster.  On a more practical level I think it could make a most stylish cushion or scarf as found on Yarn Muse.

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Four – Crochet jewellery – I think we can now safely move on from loom bands to something a bit more stylish!  In the last few months I’ve seen quite a bit of crochet jewellery and have pinned some lovely ones to my Pinterest board.

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Five – Farmland animals – as well as the ubiquitous woodland animals which I’m pleased to say are still here.  Getting a little bit political for a minute, some hunting morons – I mean enthusiasts – think the British public are turning back towards their favour in repealing the hunting foxes with dogs ban.  This is clearly not the case when you see the popularity of the fox in every corner of British life over the last few years.  Just look at this Etsy page for inspiration, fox fans!

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Having had a lovely day with Mum in Southampton on Thursday, we enjoyed our trip to our Mecca, John Lewis.  These were the farmland scenes that awaited us in the cushion department.  Being an avid woolie fan the sheep in particular do appeal to me.  But I love ducks as well!

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Six – Yellow – all shades of yellow (particularly those going towards green) are going to be big this year.  I love yellow, it’s such a bright and sunny shade.  Most of us can wear a shade of yellow which suits our skin tones.  I personally live bright, acid yellows.  Deramores have a wonderful selection of yellow yarns, I have my eye on a few from Bergere de France. I’ve pinned these to my new Colour Pinterest board.

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Seven – Polka dots and gingham are going to be everywhere (not together – imagine – what a dog’s breakfast!).  I particularly love them on ribbons and adornments.  Knock me down with a feather if this gorgeous satin ribbon from the ever-reliable Wool Warehouse doesn’t tick three of the Top 10 boxes in one – yellow, grey and polka dots!  The grey gingham ribbon, again from Wool Warehouse covers two trends.  I can see this as a plain contrast on a very bright article.  I shall have to get my thinking hat on…

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Eight – Blue and white – all the trends are included in these gorgeous fabrics from Craftsy – I spy (with my little eye) gingham, blue, grey, yellow, and possible some polka dots.

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Nine – Grey (forget 50 shades of…) is the hottest neutral – it’s everywhere from clothes and furnishing to fabric and yarn.  It’s a great colour to use in knitting and crochet for men’s garments – my Dad was very chuffed with his Ombre for Hombre scarf made in blue and grey (made for Christmas – I am officially a trend-setter and so is he!)

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Ten – Macramé – initially I wasn’t sure about this one as I grew up in the 70s and it was everywhere (and naff!) but I have seen lots of stylish macramé influences around.  Back to good old Pinterest for this inspirational board by Ana Maria.

So I hope you have enjoyed my little tour around the Top Ten Crafting Trends for Spring 2015 – hopefully I can get some serious crafting done so I can replenish my stash with some of the delights I found in researching this blog.

I’d love to hear your ideas about trends and whether they differ across the world – I am assuming most of these trends will be prevalent in the UK but what about Canada, Australia or the US?

I have some very exciting news which I will share in the next few days about my online presence and what new plans are afoot – more to come soon.

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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