Sunday, 28 February 2016

busy busy bee

i am twelve days away from heading out east for the book's photoshoot, and all the knits are ready! well, almost. there's some blocking and finishing still to do. but the knitting itself is done, and that means i can start dealing with all the non-knitting aspects of the photoshoot - make-up, non-knitted accessories, and sewing the outfits. i finished off one of those outfits this afternoon and had my camera out for other things anyway, so i decided to have some fun. i know i'm pretty quiet on this front lately and it's because i'm buried in fibre, but i figured you might enjoy joining me in the fun little side projects of this huge endeavour. i promise to say more soon! sylvia and i have some exciting stuff coming up very shortly, and there will be sneak peeks after samson and i finish up along the ocean. in the meantime, here i am messing around in my studio in between taxes and magazine submissions: 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

raising prices

this blog post is more of an fyi than anything else, but i thought i should give you all a heads up:

the faultline tank will go from $7 to $8, while deer heart will go from $6.50 to $7.50. 
i'll be raising the prices of all my self-published patterns on april 2nd. 

harvest moon will go from $7 to $8 on april 2nd.
shawls and garments will go up by $1 and smaller accessories will go up by $0.50.

undertow will go from $5 to $5.50. 

why? well, there are a lot of reasons, the vast majority of which are tied into the terrible canadian dollar and how that's affecting everything from sales through the cost of materials and shipping. but also, this isn't just a hobby for me. it's my business. and while i dislike the idea of making something out of reach for folks, i also have major issues with not placing appropriate economic value on creative products. because we live in a capitalist society, and denying that in some attempt to circumvent the awfulness of that doesn't actually hurt capitalism - it hurts the artists trying to survive within it. there are other ways i can challenge capitalism - with energy exchanges, skills swaps, handmade care packages, donating my time or products to causes i care about (like the yarn i'm donating to manitoba craft council's craft social auction in april). but submitting to the super fucked-up idea that because i love what i do, somehow that is enough payment within itself and i don't need to make money from my products, is bullshit. and doesn't help me pay my bills, or get to a point of financial stability so that i can focus solely on my craft. 

prince charming will go from $6 to $6.50.
other designers are also raising their prices. maybe for the same reasons as me, maybe for other reasons. but for those of us in the industry to actually be supporting one another and furthering the industry (and especially for something that far too many people don't take seriously as being an actual pay-the-bills occupation), we shouldn't be undercutting one another. if there is an industry standard of $7 for a shawl, and you have a shawl pattern that is well-written/tested/tech edited/clearly laid out/features high quality photography/is original, then you should be charging that industry standard. charging less than that, or significantly more, muddies the waters. at least as far as i'm concerned. i take my work seriously and i hold my work to a high standard, so i charge the industry standard. and that standard has raised within the past season. 

double scoop will go from $6 to $7, but you can get it right now for 25% off too. it's getting a facelift later this year!
so, i am raising my prices. in a month and a half. in the meantime, now is a great time to stock up on 
my patterns at their current prices. and both double scoop and flopster are on 25% off through april 1st using the code REVAMP because i'll be re-releasing them later this year. if you purchase a pattern now, you will receive the update when it becomes available later, so don't fret about that. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

new patreon page, and some more plans

i'm not quite sure how it's already february, but i suspect this month will fly by even quicker than january did. i'm into the final weeks before heading to nova scotia to do the photoshoot for my book, and i still have 4 designs to knit - one vest, one sweater, one scarf, and a hat. i finished a pair of socks two nights ago at 1am, and i suspect that's going to be my new bedtime for the next few weeks. it's ok though! i'm excited about all the things i'm making. i'm also excited to share with you my new patreon page - check it out!

they have a phone app too.
patreon is a crowdfunding platform that allows artists to choose between fundraising for a specific project OR a regular monthly donation (patreon/ get it). i really like that people have the option of choosing to support something specific or just supporting your practice in general if they're able to. it's really lovely, actually. as an artist, and especially as a craft artist, every little bit helps, so $5 from a few people every month might mean that you're able to do a project that otherwise you wouldn't embark on because it's just enough money to have to choose between focusing on it or something larger. anyway, i've got my page set for specific goals right now, all related to the book. the pledges are converted to us dollars, but i've got each level reflecting their canadian value. the dollar fluctuates too much to do anything else in any sort of fair or reasonable fashion. that being said, if you're really wanting a specific perk (say, the $40 book and stitch markers), but that means you need to opt for the perk one level lower because our dollar sucks right now, that's ok! i can reverse-math the exchange rate on my end, and just make a note to ship you the other perk. see? magic. and hopefully in the meantime our dollar stops being so shitty.

now, part of my tricksy plan for making sure i finish everything on time is that i'm giving myself the deadline of the end of this month to complete the knitting, but in reality, i don't fly out until mid-march. so that means i have about a week and a half to play with falling behind (basically guaranteed), dealing with finishing details, actually getting the pattern drafts to nicola (thank glob she's so understanding and awesome), and sewing! and also knitting some other stuff that is non-book-related and will be released in early april.

dottie angel frock. you can see why i love it.
i'm actually so excited to get past these crazy deadlines and into a less hectic/solely focused work rhythm. it'll be nice to feel like i can afford an evening given to a selfish project, or to working on my neurocraft plans, or to just knitting at a less insane pace. the latest issue of seamwork came out this week, and it's a) all about sewing lingerie/with lingerie fabrics (it's like they read my mind or something) and b) just generally about selfish making as self-care. which i love, and am really into exploring these days. i recently ditched a bunch of my wardrobe at a clothing swap, which was great, but between that and the seasons shifting, i'm feeling like i need a couple more options in my wardrobe to rotate. especially in the dress/skirt department. all my hemlines are shrinking up in the wash! damn it. so i need to sew some new dresses and skirts with knee-length hemlines, i think. i bought the dottie angel's frock online and am going to use some of my fabric stash for it. it looks like it'll be a relatively quick sew, and i feel like churning out a few of them in different fabrics will chill me out a bit and also help me work through my fabric stash. i don't understand sewing the way i do knitting, and so my stash is not the most useful in the world. single yards, remnants, a couple of pieces large enough to be a dress but not in the right weight for what i'm's a whole new world of textile learning for me, so having stash-busting projects is really helpful, especially when i'm low on cash/should be funneling it elsewhere. $10 patterns are one thing, $100 of fabric to make said pattern is a whole other...

the almada
of course, fabric sales are always good for rooting through! there's one in a couple of weeks at marshall fabrics, so i'm going to see if i can find some plain linens or cottons that i can overdye. one of the seamwork designs this month is a kimono robe, and while i can't really see myself lounging around my house in a silk robe, an eco-printed light linen one would be actually the best way to spend my weekend work mornings, i realized last year that i'm actually really into the idea of wandering around my house and working from home in a slip - they're comfy, i like the way they look, and there's something pleasurable about dressing up/down really sexy for yourself (assuming the comfortable aspect is in there - i am a practical femme, after all). but having an extra layer that isn't a huge sweater is a nice addition too. hence, eco-printed linen kimono robe. spring me-made wardrobe, here i come! in a month or so...