branding, craft, crochet, knitting, marketing, sewing, vintage, yarn

Brand New Beginning!

I have been so neglectful of my blog recently and am now going to make amends!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to chronicle the rebranding and refocusing of my brand, currently known as Chester Bunnynuts.

Chester was one of my first pets, a gorgeous rabbit, and I am very attached to the name, it is quirky, fun and memorable.  However, it doesn’t fit the new identity and shift of my business and I have spent a long time agonising over a change of name.

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This wonderful book has helped me immensely, I’ve only really managed to get through the introduction and am working on the first section, which looks into what makes a great brand and how you can draw on inspiration to gain insights into your own creative process and how you can apply this to your own business.

In doing this, rather surprisingly, there was little focus on the brand name.  My understanding of this is that, perhaps, it is assumed that most people already have a name or at least an outline of they want their brand to be called.

The name has quite a lot of importance in branding, but it is not everything…  In reading up on this, there’s a lot more to brand naming than you might think.  A useful tool is Marketing MO to help you refine the process.

You can choose a descriptive name, such as Budget Rent-a-Car, which does what it says on the tin.  Alternatively, a made up name, this worked well for Facebook and Google.  Or even the owner/inventor name, such as Dyson.  Finally you can choose something which gives a feeling or expectation of what the brand is going to deliver.

The most important thing is to define what you want your brand to represent.  In my case it is a shift away from a rather random brand where I just made a bit of what I liked, to something more focused.

My main concerns were to appear more professional but also embody three new key centres of attention – luxurious, elegant and romantic – which is in line with the specific market which I am going to be aligning my brand with.

So, I have decided on a brand name – although I am not going to divulge this yet – but I will do shortly…  What I will say is that I have decided on a name which both gives a feeling / expectation but also has an element of description implicit in the name.  And to top it all, it comes from a reworking of names of very dear family pets, which I feel allows it to take on the mantle of Chester Bunnynuts and allow me to spread my wings and soar!

My next task from this wonderful book is to really fix on what calls to me and what brands I admire and use this inspiration to help mould my brand.  Watch this space, I shall post another update soon…

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craft, crochet, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, yarn

New Products, New Ideas

I’ve had a lovely few days with Mum visiting, as I’ve been unwell and she has been visiting to look after me.  But also we’ve been practising my sewing skills, expanding my repertoire after having attended a sewing class recently.

I had the idea to make a crocheted clutch bag, but wanted to know how to line it with fabric to get a professional finish.  Thankfully Mum has the skills to teach me!  This is the item in progress.  The first part after finishing the main crochet design, was to block it to size and measure up the fabric.

Finally I have managed to use my KnitPro blocking pins and mats and they were fabulous – well recommended (from Wool Warehouse with free shipping…)  The yarn I used was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran – it holds up very well and was a joy to work with.

We quickly decided that there needed to be some interfacing to stiffen the edges, otherwise it wouldn’t hold up too well.  Eventually we settled on sew in interfacing which we measured to just under the size of the silk taffeta lining fabric.

And here is the finished article!  I’m so happy with the outcome – finished off with a magnetic bag clasp and a vintage brooch.

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In fact, I love it so much I’ve even started on the next one already!

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, work

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 20

On to Day 20 already – I am getting more used to posting daily!

Day 20: Do you knit in public? Was anyone offended/incredibly happy/curious that you were doing so?

I do both knit and crochet in public.  I often take to a project in my lunch break at work, on the train if I am going away for the weekend or if I’m on the go and want to take a project with me somewhere.

When I first started knitting I got lots of comments at work, mainly asking what I was making or giving me hints and tips.  It’s amazing to find out how many people are secretly crafty!

Most of the things I take to work are crochet projects, so not necessarily fitting in with the knitting theme, but one knitting-related enquiry did take me aback, a colleague whom I only vaguely recognised came up to me and told me that I was doing it all wrong!

Luckily I had been on a knitting workshop the weekend before, so I felt able to respond by saying “oh well, this is the way I have been taught so I’ll stick with this for now!”…

She obviously reconsidered what she had said and came back the next day with a very interesting article on swiss darning which she picked out for me in case I was interested!

Hey ho!

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Autumn, craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 18-19

Oops!  Missed a day there somehow…  Just too much going on at the moment!

Day 18: Do you knit English or Continental?

I knit the standard style but as a left-hander I should really try Continental knitting as I think it would be easier on the hands…

I have been eyeing up a course on Craftsy as and when I have the time to do it!

Day 19: Do you watch movies and/or listen to podcasts while knitting? What are your favorite things to knit to?

I usually watch something on Netflix but if it’s a crochet pattern, I don’t have to concentrate too much, so I can watch something unfamiliar.  For knitting patterns I generally have to pay a bit more attention so it tends to be something I’ve seen before.

There are a few items which I’ve made, where I can recall what I was watching at the time…

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I made some more of these Christmas Puds last night whilst watching one of my favourite non-Christmassy Christmas film, The Family Stone.  With the colder weather and Autumn peeping around the corner, I have obviously started hibernating!

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 10

Day 10 already!

Day 10: Do you have a favorite pattern or designer?

There are so many amazing designers and patterns to choose from – but one that I keep going back to is the amazing Noro Silk Garden scarf from Jared Flood.

It is a relatively simple knitting pattern, but the impact from the alternate colours is outstanding.

Noro Silk Garden is one of my favourite yarns, even without making anything, the yarn itself is so delicious and is hand-dyed in Japan.  It is 45% Mohair, 45% Silk and 10% Wool.

If you hadn’t already realised, I am a massive Noro fan and recently managed to get hold of a whole basketful of yarn at a bargain price.  It’s so gorgeous, I’m not even sure I want to use it!

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craft, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 7

Oops – this should have been posted yesterday – not sure why it did not!

Already a week through my blog challenge…

Day 7: Your least favorite?

I have a fair few least favourites but I think this is probably it…

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Again – one of my first projects.  I attempted a simple hat pattern from Ravelry and although, technically, I completed it correctly – my tension was so far off that it was extremely baggy!

I also made a little boo-boo that I covered up with a hideous concoction of button / swirl and although I liked the yarn and colour combination, there’s little else of any worth that I can find in this…

The best I can say for this is that I learnt a lot from it and the mistakes therein!

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craft, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge -Day 5

Question of the day is…

Day 5: How long did it take from the time you learned how to knit, to finish your first project

From when I first understood the basics from my book and picked up my needles, it only took me  a week or so to finish my first project…

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It was a simple garter stitch scarf, which I diligently worked on every evening, and got into the knack fairly quickly.

However hideous it is to look at now, I do feel a sense  of accomplishment!

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 2 & 3

I have combined the questions for Day 2 and Day 3 as I answered them both on Day 2…

Day 2: What is currently on your needles?

Day 3: Do you have any other WIPs (works in progress)?

I have loads of crochet projects on the go at the moment, but in terms of knitting projects, I have three on the go – one of which I can’t tell you about (ssh!  it’s a secret!)

As for the other two – firstly I am using this gorgeous Debbie Bliss Angel mohair/silk mix to make a lacy scarf – using one large and one small needle (I’m using a 3 1/4mm and a 5mm needle) – Mum and I saw the idea in John Lewis last Christmas and we have both given it a go, although I’m a much slower knitter!

Secondly – which I recently posted about – I have been making this half-moon stitch scarf for my brother for what feels like forever (and I’m barely halfway through)…  but the Katia Basic Merino Flash is a joy to work with.

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As I have so many crochet designs on the go right now, this is the sum total of my knittyness at the moment!

 

 

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Uncategorized

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 1

I saw Meggiewes 30 Day Knitting Challenge and decided that I would participate as I have been neglecting my blog for far too long and it would give me the kickstart I need!

So, here I am on Day 1…

Day 1: What was your first finished project?

My first finished project was a simple garter stitch chunky scarf follow a pattern by the brilliant Aneeta Patel in her book Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner.

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I made it too wide and so it wasn’t quite long enough, but it taught me a lot about tension and the basic knit stitch.  Although it slightly pains me to look at this now, I am still proud of what I achieved, especially being left-handed and finding it hard to get the dexterity to wrap the yarn with my right hand…

Thankfully I’ve moved onwards and upwards!

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Autumn, charity, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing

Seasonal Plans

We are now coming into my favourite time of year – Autumn.

I love Autumnal colours, smells and the darker evenings where you feel happy snuggled up with a project or a book and some music on the stereo.  I would say also the lovely crisp sunny mornings but, well, the UK is going through a bit of an Indian Summer and the heat is rising rather than abating, even Patrick can’t take it…

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It’s a hard life, isn’t it!

Last year I didn’t do many Craft Fairs and I really missed it.  I’ve been thinking about some ideas and have a few days off now to take them forward (as well as relax…)

Firstly some Wreaths – firstly I was just thinking about Christmas, but once I got started I couldn’t stop!  I’m trying to decide the decoration for these (apart from ribbon to hang them with) – I’m thinking something simple and not too fussy.

Over the last few years I have made some Halloween baskets, and even shared a pattern here last year.  This year I decided to focus on four of the designs and have been asking for votes on which people like the most… Comment below by 5pm Sunday (GMT – UK time) with your four faves and I will enter you in the draw to win a set of four!

Finally, I am still struggling on with my brother’s scarf – reversible half-moon stitch in this gorgeous wool – Katia Basic Merino Flash – going from bright crimson to a dark rich red.  Hopefully it’ll be finished soon-ish…

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With more to do I’ve started looking at a couple of local Christmas Craft Fairs so I will soon have to start making my very popular Christmas Puds and stockings, and maybe a few more ideas to come.

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