Friday, 19 November 2010

Return of the Duck...

Well, I am rubbish.
I know, I know, understatement much - my last post was on the 29th July! I do have a good excuse, mind - since I last blogged my new job in the glamourous world of theatre has presented me with something of a baptism of fire, and even as I write it's the last Friday for a while that I'll have the chance to blog. I'm talking 8am starts and 5am finishes, cancelled performances and 6 versions of misbehaving scenery - but I wouldn't change it for anything. Except maybe a few more hours' sleep. YAWN.

So what's occurring? In that time we've added a whole new winter line for the Folksy and Etsy shops, acquired our first employee - welcome Wendimum, literal and figurative mother of KD :) - to keep up with demand, been on holiday, had a haircut, drunk gallons of tea and coffee, and spent hours fawning over Jeff and Bob, our new goldfish. (Don't judge me, they're really bloomin' cute.)

We've also overhauled our Facebook fanpage - now with 207 fans, whoop! - and are gearing up for Christmas with plenty of giveaways and offers, including postage refunds for our FB and Twitter fans on all Folksy orders placed by 12th December. We're just too good to you.

Not to mention occasionally squeezing in the odd bit of knitting! Here's a few of our most recent commissions...

Green Anchor iPad Sock :: Kris
Another of Kris' requests that turned out to be a brilliant little intarsia design - a chic way to protect your iPad or netbook from the elements! Although this one was sold as a commission, we have a similar iPad/netbook sock in Chocolate Stripe currently available in both shops...

Rosy Tea Cosy :: Glenn
A commission that came to me via Twitter, I was originally asked to make a teacosy with the word 'Rosie' on the side, but knowing how hit and miss words can come out at the chunky gauge needed for a cosy with insulating properties, I suggested going for an actual rose detail instead, and this is what I came up with. It turned out to be a good decision, and a commission I'm really proud of.

Long Leg Goth Socks :: Charlie
I love these, and as soon as the backlog of knitting is cleared I'm making myself a pair too... The brief was to make a pair of long slouchy socks for a lady whose friend didn't believe gothy versions of yoga socks existed - just goes to show you can knit anything you can think of knitting! Next step: reading my new bible, otherwise known as Anticraft: Knitting Beading & Stitching For The Slightly Sinister...

Seaside Scene Cushion Cover :: Sue

My piece de resistance - Sue requested this as a decorative cover for a young lady who lives in Brighton and always wanted a sunny seaside view, even in winter! She was so pleased with it she promised to return for another commission before long - there's simply no publicity as good as a happy customer :)

So what's next? Well as soon as I'm done here I'm off to rejig my website, organise my large but disorganised stock, and get cracking on a couple more knitties.
Not least of which, our latest signature item, the Mobius Snood - inspired by the famous Mobius Strip - which is designed as a continuous loop with one twist, meaning it can be worn as a long scarf, or doubled over as a hood and neckwarmer! Knitted with 9mm needles in thick but light yarns, they are cosy, chic and great at insulating against bitter winds and cold.

That's all from me for now, but although I won't be able to blog again for a couple of weeks I promise not to leave it as long as 4 months... Please feel free to comment on anything in this blog you found interesting, and as always keep us up to date with your crafty goings on!

Love and knitties,
KDx

Thursday, 29 July 2010

*yawn* Folksy Friday is off to Bedfordshire...

Another two week wait for my Folksy Friday post, but I’m back! Since the tragic demise of my poor laptop (which has now gone to the great PC World in the sky) I’ve struggled to find another one that can handle my destructive EMP, despite the best attempts of my lovely other half to find me a temporary replacement. Apparently, the unsufferable ignominy of being my laptop drives every machine I’ve come in contact with to harakiri... until now. So, armed with a really cute – and hitherto stable (fingers crossed) – netbook courtesy of Andy’s sister, I’m back causing havoc. Grin.

Not much havoc, mind. I always joke about ‘getting too old for this’ (I’m 26) but I have to concede these world-weary old legs can’t stand up to a whole weekend of shenanigans without payback any longer. And I am KNACKERED. So when I asked my knitty Twits for inspiration for this blog post, too tired to even think straight, the answer came back immediately – the blissful respite of bed.

I’m surprised to note that even in the height of summer – the hottest on record since 1998 – there are some lovely cosy items on sale you just couldn’t wait to curl up under the duvet with (oo er). And I think I could imagine away the sun just long enough to enjoy a cuddle with the Ted in a Bed Hottie Cover by Tea and Crumpets. The hot water bottle cover itself is made from vintage blanket fabric, with a crocheted pocket on the front to hold Ted in place, so he’s always there for that extra little bit of comfort. Aaaaah...



Course, summer or winter you never want to be woken up too early by the unforgiving rays of sun – which is why you need the Lazy Daisy Eye Mask from 4getmenot! This neat little accessory is made from double thick green felt to keep out any pesky light, and embellished with daisy motifs. Such a simple solution to an age old problem!



This next item is absolutely my sort of thing – if only Annie Rose made other housewares I’d probably get her fitting out my whole house!



Bang on vogue, the scruffy chic mix of colours and motifs goes with pretty much anything and immediately revives a warm feeling of nostalgia and comfort. I’ve made no secret of the fact I’m more a winter girl than a summer one – quilts like this Panache Scruffy Throw make me pine ever fervently more for the first leaves to fall.

And finally, Knitted Duck's own little contribution to the Land of Nod – this Blighty trio is hand knitted with crochet trim on the Union Jack and intarsia houndstooth motif on the two smaller cushions. I made this set while feeling especially patriotic and Vivienne Westwood-y and immediately got a commission for a second in pink and pale blue. Britannia just got cool.




Now I really am struggling to keep my eyes open... time for this snoozy little duck to go to Bedfordshire. If you like what you see here or have something related of your own you’d like to add feel free to comment below – the more the merrier!

Night all, (sort of)
KDx

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Jingle jangle - It's Folksy Friday!

I'm back! Granted, my laptop very much isn't (sob) but I'm working on that. Nonetheless, it looks like replacing it is going to put a sizeable dent in my bank balance, so any hopes of a new wardrobe have gone right out the window this month. Sigh.

All is not lost however; if you've read my blog before you'll know how much I love a bit of accessorising. There's no end to how much you can update a tired old outfit with the right finishing touches, with the double advantages of making your look unique and fresh every day, and saving you pennies along the way. And one of the most classic yet constantly evolving accessories is a favourite of mine - the bangle.

I've just listed this on Folksy and Etsy - the base is made of cardboard tubing I rescued from work which just happened to be a perfect diameter for the project, and the 'upholstering' is acrylic yarn and gold thread knitted together so the gold flecks are picked out in the light. It's a real statement piece, certain to get you noticed... :)



And it has a matching ring - also available on Folksy and Etsy. Tiffany's has nothing on me.

But enough of my bragging - here are a few lovely things I've unearthed from Folksy's intrepid sellers!

This one leaves me speechless - surely it needs no explanation? KNITTING NEEDLE BANGLE. By Bettie Sells Stuff. A-maze. I love that she's spreading the knitty word in new and wonderful ways. :) As well as extolling the virtues of re/upcycling - a cause I champion - the ingenious usage of the needle effectively teaches an old dog new tricks. And they say that can't be done...

This Peach Floral Filigree Bangle by My Beady Eye is more traditional, and a beautiful example of vintage chic - the delicate filigree detail is subtle, feminine and timeless. I find items like this are perfect for dressing up work clothes - muted dull workaday blouses become Chanel, Primark becomes Prada. Almost. Ah well, a girl can dream.



This last item is fun and striking and mouthwatering all at once - tall order, capably fulfilled! I love the sense of playful nostalgia, and the bright colours are really enhanced by the crystal clear resin they're set in. Hats off, Sour Cherry - your Smartie Bangle is truly scrumptious!



That's all from me now my lovelies - as ever, please feel free to comment below or post up related items. Show us what you got!

love and knitties
KD x

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Have your birthday cake and eat it...

Well, I can't, it's not my birthday - but it was my gorgeous little sister's birthday this week, as well as about fifty other people I know, and I never need much of an excuse for cake... So happy birthday to Leyla, and to everyone else who's been cutting cake recently!

It was partly this and partly the triumph of finally finishing a long standing commission that inspired this weeks' blog - subject being, as you've guessed, birthday cake. It actually goes back to a house party in May when Natalie and I were hailing the virtues of cake, and everything cake related (in fact, I'd just listed a couple of knitted cupcakes on my shop - one has sold now but the other is still available!); so she charged me with designing a cupcake shaped knitted handbag... and here's what I came up with!

The body of the bag is knitted with three strands of wool together on slightly-too-small needles, thereby making it stiffer and with a tighter weave, and giving the walls more practical integrity. It's also great fun knitting with more than one strand when you mix up the colours, as you get these beautiful depths of colour and texture. The base is in good old fashioned seed stitch - I experimented with more complex stitches but this one worked the best - and the top in even more old fashioned stockinette stitch, with a row of loop stitch (as used also in KD's Loopy Teacosy) to give the cake a little bit of decoration. And of course, there's the customary cherry on top. Perfick :)

The keen eyed among you will notice that it's not Friday ergo this is not a Folksy Friday post (boo), for which you can thank the tragic demise of my laptop on Wednesday (double boo); nonetheless I thought it would still be nice to take a shufti at the Folksy vaults.

And how can you have a birthday without a birthday card? Especially one with a cake! This 'Happy Birthday' Cake Greetings Card by Quite Contrary Crafts is simple but so striking, and can be personalised! They are painstakingly handcrafted and each comes with a coordinated envelope. Moonpig can sod off.

Now, look at this next item and tell me just how delicious it looks. Getting your mouth watering yet? Yeah, it's a candle. Don't believe me? Click on it. This amazingly lifelike Banana and Bubblegum Glittery Cup Cake candle by Mr Wick is not only mouthwateringly tempting, it also has a yummy banana fragrance. I'm almost annoyed it's not real.
This final item is - IMHO - sheer brilliance. These Birthday Cake Meerkats from Nifty Knits are knitted in the round in one piece, rather impressively, and make excellent birthday gifts. You can even choose which kind of cake your meerkat is holding, and wires in the legs and tails enable them to be freestanding. WANT.

This is just torture for me now, what with my own birthday being a full 8 months away... I'm off to stuff my face with cake. Please feel free to comment if you have a birthday cake related crafty thing or have seen something as beautiful as these!
Love and knitties,
KD x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Time for Tea - and Folksy Friday!

Lo all! This week's Folksy Friday theme is close to my heart: a British institution, the bedrock of our society, the cure to all our ills... the humble cuppa. You can set your watch by the regularity with which my friend Ruthie gets her brew on, and there's a good reason for it. The answer to all life's problems is a good cup of tea.

I decided upon the theme after completing a design for a new item for the shop; a set of four knitted Teacup Coasters, on sale on Folksy:


which after a number of Frankenstein-esque prototypes (most of which now lovingly adorn my bedside table) came as something of a breakthrough on Sunday evening. Needless to say I celebrated with an apposite cup of char.

So I started idly scanning Folksy for some tea-themed goodies, and look what I came across...

These teacup candles by Rosie Maguire are so simple and yet so pretty - there's a lovely 'vintage' chic about them that make them great gifts. In fact I've bought one as a present for someone very close to me - that being said I'm making no promises about actually giving it to them...



This charming teatime necklace by Little Red Star is one of those items that really stands out for its ingenuity and quirky charm; it's a great example of what Folksy is all about, because you're never going to find this on the high street...



Tangerinie and Purple Hippos is the talented creator of my final pick this week; this adorable pair of teatime earrings which look good enough to drink!



I'm not sure if it's the mini-ness of the pieces or the intricacy of the detail, but there's something about these which really carries me back to my childhood - to doll's houses and playing grownups and make believe - with such nostalgia that I forget I'm old enough to drink the real thing now. Tee hee.

That's enough of the tea eulogy from me now I think - I'm off to get working on the next line of designs. Maybe after a brew... ;)

KD x

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Summertime AND Folksy Friday? We're so spoilt...

Summer's here! Ah, the great British summer - strawberries, wasps, Wimbledon, surprise when it (shock, horror) rains, grumbling when there's a heatwave, Glasto, hayfever, barbeques, flipflops and sunburn. Man, do we know how to do summer.

Don't mind my acerbic tone - there's a lot I love about summer really, especially when you can properly kick back and enjoy the sunshine and lovely vitamins. :) The thing about summer, as with any season, is knowing how to dress to get the best out of it. Course summer's miserable when you're swaddled in workaday attire, suits and button up shirts and the like. But when you've got a beautiful breezy dress to keep cool in, like Recycled Junkie's Summer Maxi dress, below, what's to worry about?





I have to admit, I'm all about the accessories. You can make two outfits out of one with some clever accessorizing - in fact, I often look at my wardrobe and marvel how relatively little there is in it compared with my overflowing baskets full of belts, scarves and neckerchiefs, costume jewellery, hairpieces and
shoes. It's sort of like having a pantry full of herbs and condiments and no actual food to put them on - which is also what my pantry looks like. Anyway, digression aside, I've found a rather genius way to get accessories and knitting into a summer post, and I'm hugely jealous that the next item isn't one of mine - courtesy of Silky Prudence here is the brilliant Summer Betty Scarflette in Peach Melba.







*bow* I'm not worthy...



Finally, where would any outfit for any season be without a little bit of bling? I'll be honest, there aren't many shades of green that don't catch my magpie eye (except maybe lime) and this Summer Leaf Necklace by Swirls and Squiggles is a perfect example of rich colour and delicate silverwork complementing each other for a real showoff piece...





As usual, my trawl through the Folksy vaults throws up so much talented craftwork and original designs that I think a) why did I EVER go through the doors of a Primark?! and b) that sites like Folksy, Etsy and Artfire are criminally underexposed. I can't count the number of people I've recommended these sites to with literally no more promotional spiel than spelling out the domain name; the quality of work speaks for itself. So if you've seen something here you like, pass it on; if you see one of the millions of items who didn't make it onto my post for no better reason than lack of room, pass it on; if you uncover a diamond in the rough, pass it on. That's what Folksy Friday's all about.


Love and knitties,
KD x

Friday, 18 June 2010

IN-GER-LUUUUND! First of the Folksy Friday's...

OK OK, I know I've been rubbish after I specifically promised I wouldn't be... In my defence, I've got a new job keeping me good and busy, a gala to help organise (details of which can be found here), and to top it all off the England team are playing in some kind of sporting event or something. :) So to make amends, I thought it was about time I did my first Folksy Friday blog, and what better way to support our boys with the Three Lions on their shirts?

I consider myself one of those rare things - a girl who likes football, understands the offside rule, but still likes to feel like a girl when cheering on ma boys. And let's face it, football shirts are not designed to flatter the more, erm, voluptuous figures. So how do you stay chic and patriotic at the same time? I give you:

England for Girls by The Jewellery Angel
A feminine and delicate way to show your national pride!
Of course, if you're not looking for pearls and butterflies, you might want to take a gander at the fantastic Wife of Brian's shop - you should anyway - where you can become the proud wearer of the Knitted Loopy England Beard and make Brian Blessed look like Billy Bunter. AWESOME.
Last but not least is one of those gorgeous and subtle items that shows off simple ideas executed with very skilled handiwork (if you've ever wrestled with unruly tendrils of ribbon you'll know what I mean) - this is the St George's Cross Corsage from Lottie Loves.
Well, I hope I've inspired you all to root for our boys - drop us a comment and show us what you've been up to too! More news and items coming up over the weekend - watch this space :)

love and knitties as ever
KD x

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Best of British

Hi again! After taking so long to do the last post I've given myself a sharp rap on the knuckles - and having the last week off has given me a chance to give Knitted Duck a proper spring clean, which was long overdue. The other thing I've been able to finally do (she says, BURSTING with excitement) is get KD's own little piece of cyber real estate up and running - and here it is!

http://www.theknittedduck.co.uk/

Isn't it beautiful? I keep gazing over it like a newborn baby and fretting everytime it coughs...

The package I got was a surprisingly cheap and easy to use one from Mr Site -
http://www.mrsite.co.uk/ - one among the many recommendations I got after asking around (thanks everyone for your suggestions!). The package is all inclusive (i.e. domain name, hosting, templates etc all in one) rather than forcing you to buy all the elements separately, and I've got to say the selection of templates is pretty respectable, rather than your standard cringeworthy outdated clip art riddled affairs. I have to say I'm also pretty pleased with the amount of freedom it gives you without blinding you with science - I myself am pretty computer literate and know my HTML from my hexadecimal, but I would have lost interest pretty quickly if I'd had to build the whole thing from scratch. If a website is something you're looking into, but you're not so interested in controlling evert 'bit' of data, then I recommend it - the basic option which I have is only £19.99 for the year with no hidden extras. Bargain.

With that finally up and running and no commissions lined up, I also managed to finish a long outstanding knit just yesterday - as part of my celebration of our sceptred isle, I give you my trilogy of Blighty themed mini-cushions!



I decided to invert the Union Jack to give it a bit of a twist and also to make the darker blue and red stand out more vibrantly against a white background - which incidentally, I think we should do to the real flag, but that's just me :) - and although I had a go at doing it intarsia first, it just lacked a sort of charm, so the crosses are knitted in red and crocheted in blue, and sewn on. The two smaller cushions have a quintessentially English houndstooth pattern knitted into them, which is my little nod to my design hero, the most groundbreaking and important designer Britain has ever had, Dame Vivienne Westwood. The cushions themselves are 24cm x 18cm (Union Jack) and 20cm x 14cm (Houndstooth) and come as a set for £25/$36. You can find them on
Folksy for £ and Etsy for $ as usual!

All this patriotism is not just about cushions though - with the World Cup on the horizon, everything that isn't red white and blue is out of the wardrobe until the end of July, and I for one will be praying more for the robust health of Wayne Rooney than I ever have for my own. I was actually pretty chuffed to be tagged for the first time in a fellow Folksy-er's blog recently - that of offbeat greetings card makers Konnie Kapow which was on the very subject of the beautiful game. If you're stuck for something spesh for Father's Day on 20th June I recommend you look up their rather fab Folksy shop.

On that note, as I listen to my compilation of late 70s/early 80s UK scene punk and new wave for inspiration and drink my pot-brewed tea, I bid you ta-ra. IN-GER-LUUUUUND!

KD x

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Importance of Being Crafty

As the old adage goes, you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Well, not old - pretty sure Janet Jackson sang about it, but still... The week that went by waiting for my wool to arrive is fading into a hazy fevered memory now, but it made me realise just how much knitting means to me. No, this isn't a corny eulogy - more a reflective appreciation of something I now realise has been keeping me anchored when life's choppy seas threaten to hurl me adrift.

My job as a production manager (albeit an assistant at the mo) in a theatre - while having more of a creative element than most jobs - is primarily a technical and logistical one, so my knitting is the perfect creative release. Generally speaking, theatre people are one of two kinds; the Brahmas who create the show, building the sets, finding and making props, designing the lighting and sound, sewing the costumes, bringing it all together for the opening night; and the Vishnus who keep it running for anything between 4 weeks and 40 years. (Not to mention of course the Shivas: the crews who come in at the end and pull the whole damn thing apart.) I am most definitely the former; my patience lasts fine getting all the elements in place but as soon as it's done so am I and I'm looking for the next project to keep me occupied. The longest I've ever lasted as an operator on a show was a five week run playing video, and I was so bored I wrote a novella between my cues. So after a production week, 60+ hours of technical rehearsal, running for last minute set and props and painstakingly picking apart every line of text to fit the cues to it, there really is only one thing that brings me back to earth. And it's Knitted Duck.

I don't imagine I'm alone; everyone has their own little refuge, their own little piece of heaven to retreat to after a day at the office. Some people play 5-a-side; others the XBox; my little skin and blister is a dab hand with pretty much any craft you throw at her. I guess the important thing is to appreciate the little things that make a big difference.

KD x

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

From strength to strength

I've been a bit quiet this couple of weeks, and there are two reasons for this: the first is that my real job has had a good deal of my attention, what with a new show opening and last minute dashes to find props; the second is that I've had three new commissions but been unable to start them due to a wool order that never arrived (if you had heard from me in the last week, in would have been little more than strangled nonsense and filthy expletives). But no more; thanks to another wool company stepping up at last minute, and the curtains well and truly up at work, I can get clacking again, with much relief. HAPPY PLACE.

I have however managed to deliver Claire's baby blanket in the meantime - and here it is!

Great difficulty parting with that in these chilly climes, I can tell you...

As much as I am now and will always be a knitter, I do find a crochet break very therapeutic, and I'm getting pretty quick at it now. (Not to mention dextrous - rewind to two weekends ago: gin in one hand, crochet in the other and a card game all on the go at once! Skillage...) I feel I need to learn a few more stitches though, and to learn how to read crochet patterns properly - I suspect the humble granny square's uses are finite. Given that I learnt to crochet from YouTube, I will happily hold up my hands and admit I am no expert on the subject. Anyone who thinks they can teach me something more complex, I am at your mercy :)

I haven't been entirely honest with you actually; there is one more recipient of my attention at the moment. For those of you who have never experienced the joy of a notepad with your picture on it, a set of return address stickers or a personalised stamp, I give you... Vistaprint. Seriously. I've gone stationery crazy. Most of the items are free or as good as, and if you are self employed or just like to write your shopping lists on your own face, you need to check out www.vistaprint.co.uk. Don't worry, I'm not being sponsored by them or anything, I just wanted to share the love.

Well that's all from me for now, I've got a whole heap of knitting to keep me occupied, and I'm hoping to have some semblance of a website up within the month - needles and fingers crossed!

Love and knitties

KD x

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The customer is always right... :)

Today, knitties, I am grinning from ear to ear. No, not because of the £64 I won on the lottery, thank you very much. Not because QPR finished this season in a respectable mid-table position despite 'relegation battles' a couple of months ago. Not even because after locking myself away all bank holiday I managed to finish both of my latest commissions. Because of a lovely bit of feedback I got within minutes of the first of said commissions being delivered, which, if I'm honest, makes the whole process worthwhile!

And here it is: *cheeky grin*

"Just a quicky to say THANK YOU!! I absolutely LOVE IT !! (I am already thinking of getting a couple more made in other colours)... I have showed it off to the girls in the other office and they love it as well :) I am very happy, you're very clever."


I'm not usually one to show off but I couldn't resist!



So bragging aside, here's a photo of the item in question - this was one of those projects I quite enjoy, being given a brief and a photo for comparison but relatively free reign. It's a continuous loop scarf, which can be doubled and tripled over to make a hood or just a nice thick neckwarmer.





If you would like something similar just give me a shout - I quoted this one at £25 including the cost of the wool, as a guideline.

I'm afraid that's all from me for now - thank you to Carly for making my day and to everyone else, love and knitties...

KD xx

Monday, 26 April 2010

New promo - this week only!

Hi knitfans! Just a quick missive this week, as I've just been commissioned to do two projects, rather excitingly! There aren't any pictures as yet but I promise, you'll be the first to know when there are...

The first is a snood of the long loose sort that you can double up, and it's just the sort of project I really enjoy - the customer had a picture of the sort of thing she wanted and a specific colour, but other than that she's letting me loose on it... bold, no? :) It's pretty straightforward actually, but I do get to do it with lovely alpaca yarn, which I AM very pleased about. The second is a traditional baby blanket, which I've decided to crochet, and which again is being made up in lovely soft yarn - a merino mix this time. Between the pair of them they should keep me out of trouble for the meantime anyway... ;)

Even more excitingly however (as if I could deal with more excitement!) is the new Knitted Duck promo - every day this week, I'll be selling a different item in the KD shop for HALF PRICE! The promo only lasts for the day, and I won't be revealing them in advance so you either have to follow me on Twitter -
http://twitter.com/charminglass - or become a fan of us on Facebook - here - to get the most up to date info. It's only for this week though, and each offer only lasts for the day, so get involved!

That's all for now my knitties; I'm waiting (im)patiently for Mr Postman to deliver my wool so I can get started, and the doorstep ain't gonna collar him by itself...

love and cake
KD xxx

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The calm after the storm...

I have neglected you this week my knitties, for which I must apologise; the real world called, as it invariably and inconveniently does... It's been all change again, at work this time; bidding farewell to Ghost Stories and its phenomenal run, which has resulted it being picked up for a residency in the West End! V exciting in the world of theatre. I won't bore you if you're not already into your theatre but if you are, it'll open at the Duke of York's theatre in London on the 25th of June ;)

So there it is, and I'm back to the world of knitting now, albeit briefly. It feels like business has settled somewhat, what with the novelty factor wearing off and the backlog of commissions completed, so I need to get my marketing head on good and proper to shake things up again - trouble is I'm terrible at marketing! My next big goal is to get a proper website for KD, although that's some way off yet - my accounts are getting healthier, if not quite yet to the tune of my own little piece of cyberspace realty :) Nonetheless I'm hoping to have it up in the next few months, hopefully with the help of my lovely partner Andy who is a bit of a computer whizz (he has a degree in Artifical Intelligence - I still think that's damn cool). Watch this space!


Meanwhile, I must admit I could do with some feedback on what knitted things attract people and what don't - I've been getting so carried away with all the new designs that pop into my head and what things I'd like to see in the shop that the logical business part of my brain has been drowned out somewhat - apparently the point of this whole lark is to make stuff for other people, who knew... With that in mind, please feel free to add any comments below - you can see what I've currently got on offer in the two shops: Folksy in £ at http://theknittedduck.folksy.com, Etsy in $ at http://theknittedduck.etsy.com. I'd love to hear what you think!

That's it from me for now - short and sweet this time! I'll be back soon enough, probably with more photos and knittynoms for your delectation. For now, adieu!

KD x

Sunday, 11 April 2010

All change

Summertime is here, announcing itself in spectacular style by first chucking in the odd snowstorm up north just for contrast, then blistering us with 18 degrees of unexpected (but long deserved) heat over the weekend down in London Town! Don't get me wrong, I'm a winter girl through and through - Halloween, Bonfire night, Christmas and New Year, all the opportunities to wrap up warm around a fire, drink mulled wine and eat lovely stodgy food - but halfway through April and with only 3 hours of daylight I think everyone is getting a little SAD. And, as much as spring automatically renders pointless about a third of my stock, I'm not sad to see a few blooms and put away the winter threads. For now. Even my chilli plant is squinting optimistically at the straining sun.

Of course, it by no means puts me out of business, all this sunshine and warmth... Beanies and scarves may be on hold for the meantime, but the store has loads of new designs and yummy accessories coming in for the season! As it goes, I've just finished a delicious looking pair of cupcakes, which can have fixings for hairclips, brooches or keyrings. Sneak preview, you say? Well, if you insist:



I'm quite pleased with these - I was tempted to make full 3D versions as ornaments or as pincushions, but there are plenty of those floating about already, so I'll put that idea on ice for now. Might try making some ice cubes for summer though :)

Knitted Duck's online presence is changing too; for those of you who haven't already been bombarded with missives on the subject, the Facebook group has been shut down in favour of a proper page, which can be found here:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/London-United-Kingdom/Knitted-Duck/282583939861

so please become a fan and show your love for the Duck :) And speaking of online presence, I'm hoping soon to have a website proper, which would be v exciting. I say soon, I mean within the next year (probably), but I'm already excited enough about it to mention it! And probably jinx it. Oh well. I'm not superstitious.

Before I sign off, I would like to say a big congrats to Becky - @howsentimental on Twitter, defo worth following - for winning the RT competition which I completely neglected to mention before! She won a commission worth up to £15 and went for a stretchy beanie in burnt orange in a slightly larger than usual size to hold in all her luscious locks, and the finished product looks something like this:




They're so simple to make; K1 P1 on double pointed needles or circular needles, and decrease at the top. Voila! They stretch nice and wide where necessary, and bunch up small when you're done making them really easy to carry around. Glamourous model not included of course (!) - I have asked Becky very nicely if she wouldn't mind sending me a photo of her wearing it so I have a nice pic to go in my portfolio of happy customers. Watch this space!

That's all for now I'm afraid - I am full (FULL) of roast pork belly (NOM), roasties, chantenay carrots and spicy parsnip mash, not to mention the lemon bars I baked earlier ("for the guys at work" - WHATEVER) and I have a glass of wine and more knitting looking disdainly at me from the sofa. For now, my lovely knitties.

Bon soir,
KD x

Monday, 5 April 2010

Work? Pah!

Definition of happiness? Both of us home on a midweek day, pyjamas, whole series of Twin Peaks to watch, knitting, coffee. After having had two weeks off, 4 relatively easygoing days back at work then the Easter weekend, the readjustment to actual dayjob is going to be, well, tricksy...

So I'm making the most of today. Granted, I've got a lot of work to do on KD but it doesn't exactly feel like a chore; in fact, if I knew it would earn me enough I would jack in the DJ and go full time on the knits in an instant. And I'd live in Candyland where everything is made of sugar and smiles, and the White Rabbit would bring me coffee every hour on the hour. Lovely thought. Not that I dislike my work - I'm pretty lucky to do a job I enjoy with a great bunch of workmates, but let's face it, wouldn't everyone like to be their own boss? Oh well. One Lottery win away :)

Anyway, enough daydreaming. The weekly bulletin picks up where the last one left off, conveniently omitting the two weekends of birthday celebrations that I now realise I don't remember as well I thought (thanks Facebook and friends with cameras). I've been keeping myself occupied with a couple of commissions, which it's nice to see I'm still getting regularly. First up a nice easy couple of iPod socks: purple pinstriped for Jen, who got matching ones for her iPhone and iPod Nano; green spotty for Holly's Nano.



Then Andy's sister Emma, who has just come back from a year in sunny Oz to England's pathetic excuse for spring, commissioned some multicoloured fingerless gloves (or hobo gloves as she calls them, which I quite like), and a pair of long leg slipper socks in boho browns and purples to take on the next leg of her world tour - 3 months teaching in Japan where etiquette dictates that she have separate indoor shoes.

Super pleased with those. They're definitely going on the stock list!

I've also started making old skool football scarves - the very simple but nostalgic garter stitch stripe style - to sell on eBay; it's a more accessible item for that market and easy to do cheaply. There'll be a better pic coming up soon but here's one in red and white before it's been trimmed and finished:

Just to clarify, I've stopped selling my other designs on eBay for the simple reason that eBay is where people go to get secondhand and cheap items, not craft or handmade pieces, and it's simply not realistic to charge even what the materials and labour cost, let alone make a profit on them. People don't want to pay £6 for a brooch when they can get something for 50p out of a house clearance :) Apart from which the listing fees are so much more than Etsy or Folksy - the system of 20p to list for 6 months and then take a commission on the sale which these two craft-specific sites employ is much fairer than charging the Earth to list in the first place for a maximum 0f 10 days, plus commission if by some miracle the item sells. Etsy and Folksy on the other hand are designed specifically for handmade and original arts and designs without the antiquated 'craft fair' stigma; and those who know about chic new designs are beginning to get wind of where to go for them! That's not to say I'll eschew eBay completely, but my primary outlets, until I get a site of my own, are Folksy (UK), Etsy (US) and of course you can contact me here or via the usual channels to get a commission. All the contact details are to the right as usual. Plug :)
Well, as much as I'd love to I can't spend all day nattering away to you lot. I've got some crazy 90s thriller series to watch and a hungry man needing omelettes. That's life.
love and knitties to you all,
KD xxx

Thursday, 25 March 2010

KD's travels

Well well well - my two weeks off work is almost up and if anything I'm more exhausted than before, not to mention having made no dent in my long list of knitting! Can't complain though - my roaming ways have taken me to see some long unvisited friends and drink more wine than Jilly Goolden on a Saturday night lash-up. *hic*

First stop last Wednesday was the delectable Ruthie in Leicester - if you're on Twitter look her up under @MissRuthClare - although I still think she should have gone for @RealBridgetJones... :) Ruthie's the sort of galpal who I may not speak to for weeks on end, and then one of us will send the other a message, apropos of nothing, along the lines of "I wish Kim Woodburn was my mum" and we both know exactly what that means. I had the best intentions of taking her a commissioned Inverse Union Jack cushion, although that is still sitting in my to-do pile looking forlornly at me, and will have to travel by Royal Mail now - she certainly came up trumps with a gorgeous bangle and chunky ring set for my birthday though! 3 hours and two bottles of wine later (or orange juice, if her boss is reading) and our mission to put the world to rights was not yet half done. It's tough, this lady-of-leisure lark. Lord knows how Her Maj manages it.

Two days and one mild hangover later I was visiting Foo and Baby Bri in Banbury - no wine this time, although not for wont of trying :) Word of advice to anyone preparing for the London Marathon - you haven't run anywhere until you've run after an 18-month old with a Houdini complex. SHATTERED. Once we'd shoehorned him into the pram and got him off to sleep though, me and Foo had an awesome girly day fawning over craft materials and fabrics and charity shops. She does a rather superhuman job of bringing up the little dude with the pitiful benefits she receives, so when I'd finished fannying around with china duck ornaments (this one shop had hundreds of them) I had to concede I felt a little ungrateful for my relatively substantial lot, complaining about ONLY having two weeks off before getting back to the daily grind. I did briefly consider kidnapping them both and setting them up in our spare room, but I didn't have train tickets for them...

Ding ding! Monday's stop: Loughborough, and Katie B's houseboat. The rain put paid to any chance I had of taking photos, but the set up over at the marina is nothing short of idyllic. I had the extensive tour of the boat, which is compact and perfectly formed - there's a place for everything and everything is in its place. Could only be the home of a stage manager of course :) It's such a close neighbourhood too - apparently you can't bump your knee without the whole marina getting wind of it, but then the upside is you also can't walk 10 yards down the pontoon in the summertime without having a pint put in your hand, which seems like a fair tradeoff to me... Anyway, after a good old sesh of theatre gossip and some fajitas I was quite sad to leave Katie B and the ducks, but having promised it won't be the last I see of them both I can hardly leave it at that, can I?

Same day, different town: this train will be terminating at Bromley South, where I went to bid bon voyage to one of the best housemates a girl could ever ask for. Nola and Damian are relocating *SOB* to the sunny shores of Oz (from whence Damo hails) to become Mr and Mrs Damo and there was a raucous, if slightly weepy, last-day-of-work knees up at the Partridge, hallowed refuge of the Churchill techie. It wasn't all sobs though - good wine, old friends, babies on the way and no fewer than 4 engagements in the room made for a smashing night that really never felt like a goodbye (hmm, must check I did actually say goodbye before swanning off in a merlot mist)...

I could go on, but I've got some knitting to get on with - what with all this socialising I've barely crossed needles in a week and ducks don't knit themselves. Suffice to say I have an awesome bunch of friends and not enough time in the world to see them all. The only solution is getting your knit on.

Laters all. Have a glass of wine on me.
xx

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Knitted Duck's Folksy shop is up!

Oh. Em. Gee.

I've finally got my Mediterranean bee-hind into gear and Knitted Duck's Folksy store is UP! Don't take my word for it - check it out at http://www.folksy.com/shops/theknittedduck

The items are currently as per the Etsy store but everything is now in Sterling and so much more UK friendly, and new items are being updated regularly so keep checking in.

I will also be putting up an Item of the Week offer on Twitter so to get in on the act follow me at twitter.com/charminglass - lunatic ramblings disclaimer notwithstanding...

As ever, love and knitties everyone xxx

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ad break...

Just a flying visit knitfans...

The Etsy shop is up to date FINALLY (woo hoo!) - I honestly do not know where the time goes sometimes, I had such grand designs on this about three weeks ago. Anyhoo, it's here now, featuring the knitty bits from last Friday's blog post, and you can find them here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/theknittedduck

And as always, don't be put off by the dollar signs - I do of course sell in pounds (prices on previous blog) and can make commissions and custom makes as well.

Now, if you've looked through the shop and thought "This is great, but what I really need is a knitted beard" then I know just the place for you. Wife of Brian is run by a fellow theatrical type called Vicky, and if you want to see the fantastic things she makes visit http://www.wifeofbrian.com or follow her on blogspot (she's in my list). What that girl can't make with a pair of needles is not worth making. She's also the reason I've pulled my finger out at all and got The Knitted Duck up and running proper, so when I make my first million with knitting it'll be her I have to thank :) If you like what you see please spread the word.

That's all for now - I'll be back soon with photos, new fings and eventually (fingers and needles crossed) a knitting clinic for those of you who want to know the difference between pearls and purls :D

love and knitties xxx

Friday, 5 March 2010

So, March is here then...

Wow, I've been slack. Well, not slack; vv busy with the day job working on Ghost Stories by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith (little plug there) which is pretty effing awesome, if I do say so myself... if you're a fan of having the proverbial scared out of you check it out here.

Anyhoo, I'm out of a production period and back to reality now, just catching up with the days of the week and slightly startled that March appears to have happened without my prior knowledge. Not that I can complain, what with it involving two weeks off to get on with the long list of outstanding knitting, the KD photoshoot, and, ahem, MY BIRTHDAY! There are at least 3 visits to the Adventure Bar in Clapham Junction in the planner, and one night in Project Orange - if you are of the rock persuasion or just appreciate bars run by staff who genuinely love doing what they do, I sincerely recommend both. Adventure is cocktails and cheese anthems, complete with flaring, 2-4-1 happy hour and awesome hairdos; Project Orange is the dark side, Sex Pistols videos and gothic murals on the wall, live music, and a playlist run by the bar staff (who always play Tonight Tonight for us!). I would live there if I could.

Enough plugging I think. In the meantime, I haven't been completely idle - I've finally got my new line of accessories inspired by good old Blighty up and running! The pics and prices are at the bottom of this post, you can also find them in my Etsy shop at http://theknittedduck.etsy.com/, and I can of course make more on request. Currently they don't have any fixings on them unless stated, so they can be brooch pins, hairclips or keyrings - if you're interested in any of them let me know what you'd prefer. And as always keep em peeled - lots more coming up over the next two weeks too!

So, that's that from me for now; be happy and knitty, and catch you all on the flipside...

Red Apple £5
Bumblebee £5
Goth Bow £5
Black Cherries £5
Ladybird £5
Pink Bangle £5
Yellow Duck £5
Emma's Butterfly £5
(as designed for Andy's sister on her return home after 18 months in Australia!)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Models needed!

Lo knittys! I've been a bit quiet again this week, completely consumed by a commission of convertible mittens that ended up taking me a week to do, bizarrely. Still, they're all done now and have prompted another 4 pairs which should keep me busy for a while!

In the meantime, I've also got a new line of accessories coming up including knitted rings and bangles (you'll see!) on top of the items currently available (see links on the right ->) and I'm looking for some willing volunteers to model them for me! I'm looking to do the shoot in Clapham, outdoors on the common (weather permitting) and although there will be no payment there will be much gratitude and alcohol for those who can give up a couple of hours to prance about wearing silly knitted goods. I'm looking at dates in mid-March for a photoshoot, and although I've not yet set one I would like to do it all at once, so if you're interested email me via the link in the right column and let me know what kind of times you're free.

For now, that is all. Be happy and knitty, and I'll leave you with a picture of what I found on my scarf this morning... ;)



Thursday, 11 February 2010

New knitty fings - eventually...

Lo all! My, it's been a while. You can blame the recent radio silence on two things: first is my darling boyfriend getting me hooked on bloody Lamebook (you can't possibly hate me for it any more than I do myself), and second is my latest literary love, Cathi Unsworth: punk/noir novelist extraordinaire. If you've ever trawled the streets of Camden Town as a purple haired, bespiked, disenfranchised soul in Dr Martens, as I once did, you'll identify with her punk chic tales of London's criminal overworld and the web of journos who weave them. I'll be honest, there's a little bit of a girl-crush going on there. For more info, here's her site: http://cathiunsworth.weebly.com

Course, it hasn't been a complete shutdown over here at Chez Duck - I've been experimenting with some colours and stitches to create some new pieces, and I've finished my loopy teacosy below, not to mention updating my Etsy and eBay shops. I'm planning to do a range of accessories based around Britain's woodland (I've already done a ladybird which I almost can't bear to sell) and a range of retro noir as inspired by Miss Unsworth, including knitted spats and black and white lace glovies, so keep your beady ones open!
Love and crumpets,
KDx

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Technology and Tradition

I thought it was about time I laid off the shop promotion - possibly saturating everyone's FB and Twitter accounts is not the best marketing strategy - and actually just wrote a blog. Which, as it turns out, is quite a relief.
Thanks to the beauty of technology (i.e. my darling little iPhone, which pretty much runs my life) I've got on the move access to tutorials, KD's two points of sale and online haberdashers for stock; great for me while I'm running KD largely from the 2 hours a day spent on the 295 bus. As much as I could grumble about an unnecessarily long commute (it would probably take me as long to walk it in the mornings) I've always found that an hour in the morning is the perfect length of time for me to get my head together, wake up properly, and having something like knitting to do in that time is a lovely kind of meditation. Not always entirely practical, I have to admit, but I am a practised within-the-elbow-range knitter, and I defy anyone to prove I take up any more room knitting than I would not. And if they do, well, I'm armed with two pointy sticks. Bring it.
So there I am, iPhone balanced on knee - music playing in background, pattern up on Safari, Twitter and FB beneath my fingertips - as I knit furiously away. And it got me thinking: however much we London guys and gals like to think we're ahead of the curve there's always a part of home that comes with us wherever we go. Some people go back home to an ancient blanket, some people wear a necklace passed down through the matriarchy, for some it's a simple as homemade soup in their bag ready for lunch. Hell, even Lady Gaga has a favourite teacup that travels everywhere with her, supposedly. Whatever happens to the fickle cycle of fashion, an element of nostalgia always sticks stubbornly to the spokes.
Which is sort of why I started the shop proper in the first place. It came about almost by accident - I've been knitting things for myself and friends for years, so this Christmas (by special request) Andy got his very own Bridget Jones stylee reindeer jumper with a pompom for a nose. I dubiously agreed to make it, originally thinking that the joke would last 2 hours and the thing would be in the charity bin by the twelfth night. Surprisingly, after proud outings to a Christmas Eve party and two meals (he accidentally left it behind for the third) it became something of a cult object, ironic though it remains as a present, and I'm already commissioned for a snowman variation next year. Bless him for wearing the thing at all - it's not the most flattering of garbs - but I was reminded how much a present is appreciated when some thought and effort goes into it, not to mention the exclusivity of it (sorry friends, it's a one off :D). And so requests trickled in here and there, first family and friends, then when I opened it up to the online community some not so distant strangers. I think, although most of us rely on the Topshops and the Primanis for our workaday clothes and accessories, there's a lot to be said for something a bit original, a bit off the wall, something you know has that extra bit of love woven into it, something that means more to you than its purpose. Or maybe my mates are just being awful sweet about the latest in a long line of my crazy schemes.
Right, I'm going to stop getting mushy and Lorraine Kelly about this... *dries eyes* I want to know what you have that's yours and only yours - something passed down from Mum and Dad, something you made for yourself, some random item the origins of which you have no idea but that is never out of your reach. Tweet it to me at @charminglass and tag it with #onlymine - I'd love to hear what you have hiding in the bottom of your Balenciaga... :) (boys: that's a handbag)

Ciao bella/o!
KDx

Monday, 1 February 2010

KD's weekly update no2: Old Dog New Tricks

Bit of radio silence this week, but for good reason... KD is proud to announce two fab bits of news: first is *fanfare* KD has an Etsy shop! and second is *fanfare again* KD has branched out into crochet too! You've got to love the iPhone for making pretty much anything accessible anywhere; I found the teach yourself crochet videos on YouTube on Thursday and three days later am 3/4 way through a multicoloured granny blanket, with pictures to follow. Maybe work on those skills a bit more before they appear in the shop though...

And while we're on the subject of imachinethingies, if yours is getting a little buffeted in this inclement weather why not visit the newly opened shop at
http://theknittedduck.etsy.com to pick up a protective sock, as made by KD's own fair hands, or email at theknittedduck@hotmail.co.uk to order a custom design? Etsy, for those of you who haven't come across it before, is a cross between an online shop and eBay specifically designed for arts, crafts and vintage collectables, and the lovely thing about it is that for much less cost and faff than eBay you can build yourself a shop, instead of listing your items one by one. It's a great way to showcase your skills all in one place as well as keeping one ear to the ground for current trends, definitely worth checking out if you're craftily minded - although, and as always there's a caveat, it's US based so all prices are in dollars at the mo. Not that that should put off UK buyers - payment still comes through to my PayPal account which does automatically does the currency conversion.

So that's that for now - enough to keep me out of mischief for the meantime. In the next couple of weeks I'll be on the lookout for some models if anyone's interested, so watch this space!

Love and knitty noms,
KD x

Sunday, 24 January 2010

KD's weekly update no1

So, two commissions finished and two more items flogged on eBay - that's more than Van Gogh ever sold in a lifetime, to paraphrase Fawlty Towers. Mind you, I imagine his little daubs cost more than a modest £3 (for a brooch) or £5 (for a snood)...

KD is currently working on building up stock and designing new accessories, largely undertaken on the bus and my comfy broken sofa. I've got a cute idea for rings, but my accessories are a little girly at the mo (being knitted I suppose that's an occupational hazard), so I could do with some inspiration for some more guy orientated pieces, other than your standard hats, gloves and scarves - ideas 0n a postcard, anyone? Well, maybe not a postcard, it'll never bloody get here; good old email will do (see right panel for address).

Anyway, here's my snood/hat for now...


COSIES.

KDx

Friday, 22 January 2010

Clackety-quack

And if knitted slipper socks don't float your boat, here are just a few of the other items on sale at the mo...