My braided knitting needle necklaces are here!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve just listed on Etsy the first of my new collection: braided knitting needle necklaces!
They offer a cute and stylish way of showing off your crafty side. They feel really nice to wear, I hardly notice mine at all.
The first listing is here and more will follow:
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/152508770/braided-vintage-knitting-needle-necklace
I love to get feedback on my designs, what do you think of this one?

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Lost in Knit featured designer

Guess who has been interviewed as a ‘featured designer’ in a blog? Yes me! I was interviewed by Emily Platt for her brilliant ‘Lost in Knit’ blog, check it out here:
http://lostinknit.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/featured-designer-yellowbearwares/

Exciting news!

I have been accepted to sell my wares at Brighton Craftaganza on Saturday 15th of June!

I’m still busily working away on the display of my stall, I’ve got most of the bits and pieces now I just need to finish them off. My brilliant dad has made me a stand for my bracelets which re-purposes two MASSIVE knitting needles to make them into arms for my bracelets to hang from, I just need to paint it, I think black? I do like the fresh look of a white background for things but I feel like a black background on most of my stall will make the colours of my jewellery really pop.

I will be sharing a stall (I’ve only asked for a half) and I’ve yet to find out who with but am looking forward to finding out.

I’m really excited and slightly nervous about this news, my first ever craft stall, it will give me a brilliant chance to get my name out there and maybe to sell some things.

To do list:
Make a sign for the stall.
Paint my bracelet stand.
Find some black material for the table cloth.
Clean up my lovely sewing box to use for display.
Find some black velvet material to use in the knitting needle case for my rings.

Unisex bracelets

Since starting to make my knitting needle jewellery I have had a few comments from people saying that they would like to buy larger sizes, so in my last batch I made some larger and also some smaller bracelets.

It occurred to me after trying the larger ones on my partner Jorge, and thinking they looked good, that men may also want to wear my knitting needle bracelets, so here we have my first unisex bracelet listing both bracelets have an inner diameter of roughly 7.2cm.

Do you have a male knitting enthusiast in your life? or someone that likes unique jewellery? maybe this is the gift for him!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/130949253/vintage-knitting-needle-bracelets-grey

What-a-Mess!

Anyone remember ‘What-a-mess’ the children’s books by Frank Muir about a very messy afghan hound who cant help but make a mess out of everything? He even thinks his name is ‘what-a-mess’ because of how people react to him being around. Looking around at the mess I create whilst making my wares I can’t help but say his name out loud.
I guess that’s the trouble with not having a dedicated studio to work in, my mess is taking over the dining room table and other surfaces, we haven’t eaten at the table for about six months!

Do any of you crafters and makers out there have any ways of coping with this problem? my issue is the things I make have a few different processes involved and I need to see the pieces laid out to get me working and thinking about it, if I put it away in boxes I doubt I would be half as productive.
What methods do you use to make sure your crafting/making doesn’t take over your living space? any advice will be greatfully received.

Boot fair Booty!

After finding out on Saturday that I have been added the ‘potential stall holders’ mailing list for Craftaganza  in June I have been stepping up my ideas about how to display my wares at a market, yesterday felt like a very productive day for this, I ventured out on my bicycle to the boot fair at Brighton race course and then just managed to get to the market at Brighton Marina before it started to shut down.

At the boot sale or Market I wanted a to find a centre piece for my stall that was knitting or sewing related. I came across this gorgeous sewing box (pictured above) at the Marina and just knew that I had to buy it (even if it was a little steeper than I wanted to spend on my display) the curve of the handles is so pleasingly art-deco (I think?). It needs a bit of work but nothing a good clean, some new screws and a bit of wire wool on the metal wont sort out. If anyone has more info about what era this box may have come from do let me know.

The other thing I was hunting for to use on my stall display was more vintage wooden cotton reels which I found pretty easily at both markets.

When I got home I also designed and ordered some Moo business cards, I just love their half size ‘mini cards’, very high quality print and easy use website. If you are thinking of getting some yourself, please use this link and it will help me get my next batch!: http://www.moo.com/share/r6wm6d

 

It is tough balancing a full-time job with starting up a new venture and I often feel like I’m missing out on fun because of it, but yesterday I feel had the right balance of fun and work for a weekend (I usually work mon-fri in my job). Does anyone else out there have the same problem? how do you make sure you aren’t over-working?

Hope you all had as lovely and productive a Sunday as me.

A little more about me and the things I make

So I thought I should explain a little about my knitting needle jewelery and other items that will join them soon.

Around five years ago I was visiting friends in St. Leonards (along the cost from Brighton, St. Leonards is to Hastings what Hove is to Brighton). We were walking along the seafront and went to have a drink in a cafe. I noticed somebody in the cafe wearing bracelets made from knitting needles and I instantly fell in love with them, I couldn’t take my eyes off of them and knew I had to have some myself, I asked about them and it turned out she had made them herself, she told me the process she had used for her own. Later that day when I was rummaging through junk shops I came across the perfect odd pair of needles for the bracelets I wanted to make myself, it was meant to be! So the next day I made myself a pair one bright green and one bright yellow, I loved these bracelets and I wasn’t a big jewelery wearer at that time but I just could not stop wearing them.

Probably one of the main reasons for me loving these bracelets so much is that I simply adore items that are made from other items, my parents have always been very conscious about re-using and recycling especially when it came to gardening, in fact I have always had random things used for other purposes around me from a young age, for instance once my shoes were too small or had become worn out they became plant pots in the garden, my mums worn out tights became lines for plants to grow up in our allotment, any old pipes my dad came across became structures for his beloved tomatoes to thrive in, complete with fake unusable taps attached.

Anyway back to the bracelets, I left it for a good couple of years and then I found them in my mind again when feeling particularly skint but wanting to make my friend a gift, I did so and this led to me making more for other friends as gifts, I soon realised I had a real knack for making the bracelets and began to experiment lots with different types of needles and in making rings as well.

My parents started running market stalls selling their own handmade items (please see https://www.facebook.com/pages/one-bright-spark/290625017707165?ref=ts&fref=ts) so I thought it a good opportunity to try out how the bracelets would sell. They managed to sell quite a few before I decided to take up having an Etsy shop myself and this is where I am now, with aspirations to have my own stall selling them within the next couple of months.

After researching I do now realise that I am not the only person making these items (much as I thought it was just a craft idea that someone who had figured it out willingly shared with me when I first started making them) however I feel I have taken the basics and brought my own aspects to it with regards to both presentation and design, I have recently come up with a twisted bracelet design and am experimenting with further ideas (which will be appearing soon). It can be a contentious issue when it comes to design and making but I figure inspiration always comes from somewhere and if you are developing ideas and not replicating then that seems justified to me. Many times I have thought I have come up with an original idea and then have Googled it only to find the idea already exists, the market is saturated and it is very hard to not come close to others ideas. What is your opinion on this?

Apologies for the long and twisted blog, hopefully it makes sense, I am dyslexic and writing isn’t ever my first choice but I wanted somewhere to share my ramblings with other makers.

The image above shows a selection of my makes that I’m selling through my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YellowBearWares