Celebrity knitters… no, that’s not an oxymoron!

Wow what a busy few days I’ve had.  Whilst everyone else is having their weekend, I’m having my working week.  I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday and also went out each evening, plus a visit to the Country Living Christmas Fair on Sunday morning.

Friday was pretty much the same as usual – you have no idea how busy a yarn shop can be!  Although it is one very special yarn shop….  There are four of us on a Friday and we pretty much don’t get a second’s peace, apart from a 30 minute lunch break.  We manage to make the odd cup of tea, but rarely get chance to drink them.  On Friday evening, Rachel, my new colleague invited me to join her and some of the others to celebrate her birthday at a bar in King’s Cross called Shop, drink & Do.  You can do exactly what it says on the tin – shop for funky little odds and sods, drink cocktails and do stuff – mainly games, I think.  We played a silly game of find the pairs which was great fun, especially with there being far too many of us.  We then played scrabble, which for me – coming last – was not so much fun ;)  It was, however, very nice to be included :D

Saturday was rather hectic.  The fabulous Stephen West (celebrity knitter), knitting pattern, designer was in Loop.  He gave two workshops, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon and in between the two he did a book signing – he must have been shattered.  Sadly his third book has been delayed at the printers so wasn’t available but lots of knitters turned up to see him.  He brought a few friends with him too who sat upstairs on the sofa in the shop and knitted, chatted, drank tea and ate cake – lucky things.  Of course, they were all so very nice, as knitters tend to be!  Poor Martine from iMake in Guernsey was very sorry that she couldn’t come to London to meet him and was ever so slightly jealous that I was working.  Martine LOVES his designs, as do I.  They are so simple, yet stylish and “on trend” (sorry nasty terminology).  They are also cool for blokes to wear, which is probably why he is so popular.  Of course, I did ask the lovely Stephen to sign a copy of his book for Martine, for her Christmas present.

http://westknits.com/

http://www.loopknitting.com/shop.html

http://www.imake.gg/

Saturday evening I went to a party in Dartford in Kent – miles away, but it was for a special former colleague, Paul’s 50th birthday, so I couldn’t miss it.  I went there with the lovely Lucy and it was great to catch up with my former colleagues from the HR department of Societe Generale.

Sunday morning I went to see another former SG colleague, Jonathan and his wife Caroline Zoob.  Caroline runs a fabulous design business.  She started with embroidery but has branched out into prints of her original embroidery designs and other homeware and gifts.  Caroline had a stall at the Country Living Christmas Fair at the Design Centre in Islington.  As this is across the road from Loop, Jonathan had kindly popped in to say hello on Friday and suggested I visit on sunday morning.  He left me a “Duck” at reception, which is a pin allowing me access in without paying or queuing – what a friend to have!!  It was great.  The show opened at 10 and there was a huge queue, but I just sauntered up, collected my duck, and wondered in.  Caroline’s stall was right at the front so it was easy to find Jonathan and to meet his very talented wife.  It was a fabulous show and absolutely chock full of stalls selling all manner of things.  It was a Christmas faire so there were lots of baubles, decorations and gift ideas.  There was an amazing array of sellers with handmade things for sale, so it was a great place for me to go to get inspiration for the totes.

http://www.caroline-zoob.co.uk/shop/

I was also very moved by the 2 minutes’ silence for remembrance Sunday.  It always amazes me that everyone is willing to stop and be quiet for 2 minutes, even in such an amazingly busy and noisy place.  It was just so humbling to realise how much respect people still have.  The place was packed and rather noisy and yet as soon as the silence was announced a beautiful contemplative hush came over the whole place.

Well that’s it from me for today.  This has taken me much longer to write than expected, probably because I tried to write it whilst watching a recording of Frozen Planet – wow! I just couldn’t take my eyes of the screen, it was just so stunningly beautiful and I adore David Attenborough, he is on the guest list of my fantasy dinner party!

Anchors away!

I am very excited, I have just finished my first bag!! woohoo.  It’s a very simple yacht design, hence the blog title of “anchors away!”

Somewhere across the sea...

Somewhere across the sea...

Things have been moving since yesterday.  I have contacted a designer to design a logo and banners for the shop sites and I’ve created a Facebook page for Kate’s Twirl.  You can “Like” it in the widget to the right.  Now that was a peculiar thing to set up – took me a while to fathom out.  Theoretically it is quite simple, but in practice I couldn’t get the link right – you’d think that you’d just copy the url at the top of the page when you’re in it, but no, that wasn’t the right one.  In the end I followed a link to my newly created FB page from an email which they sent me and then, there at the top was the correct url…. I must have been in some kind of admin page rather than the public page.

I had a job interview today, for a “proper” job.  The role is Employment Executive which basically means advisor in employment law and human resources.  The company offer ad hoc and retainer services of HR and Employment law advice to small and medium sized firms for whom employing the full gamut of HR employees isn’t a cost effective solution.  The business is run by a lovely woman, whom I would really like to work for, and who is willing to allow me to be part time initially so that I won’t have to let Loop down.  I’m getting ahead of myself – I’m not the only one being considered but I think the interview went well. Fingers crossed!

The journey there was over an hour and I was in the interview for about an hour and twenty, so I didn’t get home till around 4:30pm.  After a cuppa and a snicky snack snoo whilst watching this week’s True Blood, I set to work on the first ever Kate’s Twirl bag!  I have several ideas buzzing around, but decided to start simple with the yacht.

The raw materials

mmmm... now where shall I begin

ta da!

Work in progress

Work in progress

Big plans and exciting times ahead

Hello everyone!

This is my first ever blog.  I have decided to blog about setting up my own little online craft business and then will follow with details about what I’m making and how things are going.  It’s likely that I’ll also blogg about other bits and pieces as they crop up too.

So far, I have decided what I would like to make to sell and have bought all the materials to do it.  My plan is to apliquée cotton tote bags with various designs. Everyone needs a bag – especially now we have to pay for plastic ones.  Why not have a lovely one, unique to you, that you can use over and over again?  I have several ideas swimming around my head of what to put on these bags, but, so far I haven’tactually started making anyting – although I have at least threaded up the sewing machine! :)

My fabulous friend, crafter and blogger, Martine from iMake has given me some invaluable assistance – the first suggestion being this WordPress blog.  I now have to get a logo designed and various other marketing bits and pieces sorted and I also want to get some custom made buttons to fasten each of my bags with.  This will identify my bags to everyone and hopefully they may market themselves a little bit.

I am going to set up both Etsy and Folksy sites to do my selling from.  Martine uses both and they have very reasonable fees and are easy to use.  Etsy is based in the US, so I’m going to have to investigate how much it’ll cost to send my products there… actually postage is something I still need to investigate all together… oops – there are so many things I still have to do! :/