February 19, 2015
I was recently nominated by Jackie of Forever Foxed for our newly started Brighton Etsy Team Blog Hop. You can read Jackie’s post foreverfoxed.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/brighton-etsy-team-bloghop.html. All participants are answering the same questions and the aim is to discover more about our favourite shops and sellers and allow our blog readers to find out more about us.
I’m Jay of KnitwitOriginalsUK and KnitwitDesignsUK , the first shop sells hand dyed wool, alpaca and yarn, the 2nd sells hand knitted and needlefelt items.
What inspired you to start your business or Etsy shop?
I was unemployed for over a year but had been selling my creations at markets when I decided to stop claiming benefits and make my own way in the world. Not been an easy ride but nothing worthwhile ever is!
We’re looking at goals in the Brighton Etsy team this month, can you share one of your goals for your shop for the next six months?
I’m designing more items so I can sell knitting kits as well as felting kits. At the moment I design everything but don’t keep a note of it! Doh! I hope to use instagram more frequently!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve designed a scarf which I just need to write up, photograph and get listed! I’m also organising new craft markets in Lewes
If you could give other sellers or someone looking to start their own craft business one piece of advice what would you say?
Just do it!
I’d like to nominate Toby Oliver Dean, YUK FUN, Victoria Sol
January 24, 2015
So far we have booked many amazing artists and makers. From ceramics, silver jewellery, driftwood, textiles, crochet, knitting, wood, beauty products and cards. To celebrate St. Valentines day we are also proud to announce we will have some amazing raw chocolate for sale too. Of course there will be fresh brewed coffee on site !
January 1, 2015
As many Lewesians know already there is a thriving food market every (well almost) Friday at the Market Tower in Lewes. I try to make it every week now my ankle has healed well enough, to purchase yummy noodles, spring rolls, fish, coffee and whatever takes my fancy.
What Lewes doesn’t have is a dedicated and regular craft market. Well this year it will have.
The first market will take place on February 14th, yes St.Valentines day. April 4th will be our Easter market,Solstice market will be on 20th June. More are yet to be confirmed.
I am tracking down the best local crafters and artists so I can offer a good selection of goodies for one and all.
The market tower has sheltered areas and an outside space where gazebos will be erected. Unfortunately there are no tables to borrow.
Prices are still to be confirmed but will be comparable to spaces at other events.
As soon as I have all the details and costs I will be contacting artists and makers. If you would like more details and are interested in having a space at any of the markets please get in touch. You may book at any of the dates.
December 7, 2014
My sister and I booked seats on a coach to visit Winter Wonderland in London, not really knowing what to expect. Stupidly I didn’t look on line to find out. It wasn’t til we were on the coach when my sister told me that some of the attractions needed pre-booking. Not desiring to ice skate, or sit in an ice village, I wasn’t too distraught.
We queued for about 15mins to gain entry and headed straight for the nearest loos (obviously). First queue of the afternoon. Bought some tokens at the kiosk and waited in another queue for our first ride (santas sleigh, for those over 5yrs). Then some food and a hot mulled wine, hoping the warmth would make it to my toes. By this time you couldn’t actually see the ground for feet and legs or see over the heads, keep walking head for the big wheel, keeping to the left as we were directed.
Spot it in the distance, amazed at the sights of the other rides, all brightly lit, sensory overload, ears in shock. Eventually we found the end of the queue, jostling commenced,stamping of feet trying to stay warm. Almost an hour later it was our turn and in we stepped, sharing our pod with a lovely lady with her niece. My sister was rather panicky, being as she didn’t like heights very much but since the wheel hardly moved and you only did one rotation stopping and starting as people either got on or off it was a rather forgettable experience. At least by the time it was our turn it was properly dark so we could see a beautiful full moon, the London Eye, Harrods and a few other famous landmarks.
Also from our advantage point in the sky we could see the throng of people still waiting to come in. We then joined the shuffling snake of people to get back to the loos. More queuing, another hot drink then to the finale- the Helter Skelter! Amazingly no queue, we could have just used our tokens for this all afternoon and avoided all the waiting, if it had it’s own loo it would have been perfect!
Needless to say I screamed all the way down and then couldn’t get up again, that was the best fun EVER.
So lessons learned- Check what/where/cost of attractions. Be prepared to queue endlessly for toilets.Wear even more clothes.
If you are looking to buy presents in the market, forget it. Re my previous post on stuff, all imported, useless stuff! (IMHO)
Feedback to Winter Wonderland-Provide more toilets!!! with all the millions of visitors they had last night I’m sure installing a few more portakabin loos won’t break the bank and it will make visitor experience much happier.
To families with small children-take a blanket or two to wrap them up, hats/mitts/warm boots essential.
My thanks to the gathering of santas, the coach driver and my big sister for a memorable evening.
December 7, 2014
Last in the giant trilogy came the cake. Won’t be the last giant construction but it is for this year. Weighing in at about 2k and over 40″ around it’s decorated with merino tops ‘piping’,a sprinkle of mohair. a mini snowman, tiny snowballs, sprig of holly and holly berries. Now gracing May’s Antique shop window in Cliffe High st. Lewes.
November 25, 2014
A few years ago I created what I believed to be the largest needle felted pumpkin in existence, it was rather large and made a fabulous footstool but it spent much of it’s life bagged up in the barn. A chance conversation with a Lewes shop owner eventually found the pumpkin travelling to Alfriston where it made a wonderful display in a shop window there.
Then I was commissioned to make a giant Christmas pudding, this one weighed in and 1.2K and was 45″ around and 14″ tall. 30 mini puddings accompanied it to Alfriston too for the Christmas window display.
30 Snowball decorations will be decorating a certain antique shop window in Lewes just after the beginning of December and mini puddings will be in another. Many of my decorations will adorn the tree in a high street bank in Lewes too.
My next big commission is still under wraps but look for it in Mays window in the next week or so.
My supply of fleece has dwindled but thanks to a certain auction website, they keep arriving. When I’m not washing the fleece I’m felting it.
I’ve never made this many felted items and I’m happy to say that I’m using British wool in everything I’m making.
Happy Christmas everyone!
November 25, 2014
We fill our homes with it, we buy it for our families and friends. Container loads of it arrive from China and heaven knows where. Shops are stuffed with it, even charity shops push aside donated goods to fill their festive shelves with stuff. Do we NEED all this stuff? We need to eat, drink and clothe ourselves, read, wash and educate ourselves but what’s with all the other stuff? Candles that set the smoke alarm off, sparkly things that sit and gather dust for a few weeks before being packed away and ending up in another charity shop. Toys for little ones that would rather play with the box it came in, girly pretty things that sit on a dressing table til next year when pink is no longer the on trend colour of choice. Lunch boxes with ‘famous’ faces on that only 7yr olds can recognise and by next year will be discarded. So many synthetic hats/gloves/socks and scarves that will make you sweat but not keep you warm. Where does it all come from and who thinks we need it all? Someone at the top of the tree needs to be told to STOP this madness, we don’t need it, don’t want it and most of all can’t afford it but all the time it’s there the vulnerable will believe they DO need it, have to have it, have to give it to their children, get in debt for it and be miserable. Eventually it will end up in a charity shop where it may be deemed unsafe/unsuitable and end up in the bin going to landfill. What is the point????
Couldn’t we just stop buying this stuff? Maybe set aside a whole week when we refuse to buy stuff except food/clothing etc. No more stuff, just a week. Have a homemade Christmas, make some biscuits or sweets, knit a hat or toy, shop in an antique shop and upcycle something that was once loved by someone else.
Say NO to STUFF!
June 8, 2014
Hectic week, delivering our entries to the WI marquee on Tuesday morning ready for judging, preparing needlefelting kits on the Wednesday, running a needle felt workshop on the Thursday, peg loom weaving with Guild of Weavers, spinners & dyers on Friday and being a visitor on Saturday. We had to stay late to collect all our WI competition entries so it was a long ole day.Of course we didn’t agree with the judges choices, not just because she didn’t choose ours!
Such organisation goes into these events, whether it’s the WI or the Guild everyone volunteers their time, the spinners & weavers turn up and demonstrate over the 3 days, their beautiful hand crafted items on display. There is no remuneration for their time and effort, we are not allowed to sell any of our items, we can only promote the Guild as a whole and encourage people to learn some of the skills we demonstrated. It was convenient for the Guild’s marquee to be next door to Plumpton college sheep shearing demonstrations so the link between the sheep and yarn was there.
Seeing all the stunning entries in the WI marquee makes me worried that it may put some members off entering future competitions, the standards are so high almost unachievable, but if everyone thought that there would be no competition! I try to encourage members of Ringmer WI to enter something and they did, I will encourage them to enter the Autumn show, it was our first ever time last year and we won several classes. The show committee work so hard to make these shows successful and they always look amazing. This year the weather was great and hopefully even more members of the public enjoyed seeing all the entries.
On my ‘day off’ I went to look at the sheep and saw a Teeswater sheep in the ring, he was in the runner up class against many other breeds, mostly meat sheep, of course his wool was the best in the class but being a bit on the skinny side not much good for the plate. Bizzarly he was next to a Wiltshire Horn sheep that had no wool at all. (not much use to a spinner). I tracked down the owner of the Teeswater and admired the 3 sheep that were there. Turned out he was interested in having them shorn so he talked to the head shearer and at 4pm the sheep were led to the college pens. A rather large crowd then watched as Thomas was shorn, thankfully he wasn’t too lively and the shearer experienced so the fleece came off without too many second cuts and Thomas sustained no injuries. The crowd applauded! 2 other sheep followed and I was very happy to be able to buy 2 of the fleece, even happier to be able to lead Thomas back to his pen, he was so gentle and his skin so soft.
A show to remember for sure!
May 16, 2014
I am going to apply once again to attend the Mini maker Faire in Brighton. It will be held on 6th Sept in the Corn Exchange. My needlefelt balls are always popular and if I’m successful the theme this year will be ‘The Big Top’. I have happy memories of going to the circus so I though it would be fun to make some clowns using pre made felt balls. Last year I made 100 balls and all were duly decorated by visitors to the faire. So send in the clowns….. (and a Ring Master)