christmas

The End (for now...)

The Knackered Knitter

The Knackered Knitter

There’s a title. The End. Or is it just the beginning? Either way, today I finished my last formal workshop commitment for 2018. When I launched The Chunky Needle on March 1st I had not anticipated moving into workshops. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response with my workshop launch. Getting back in front of a classroom again has been a complete joy (was a former secondary teacher in a past life.) I have met some amazing women over the course of the last several months and have had so many laughs. The venues whom have hosted me have been most welcoming and their support over social media has been so valued. I’ve met wonderful Makers and Traders at craft shows and exhibitions and have been welcomed so warmly by all. Suppliers have been super helpful and encouraging and I’ve been able to rely on them for fast dispatch and flexibility.

The Chunky Needle’s first Christmas season is proving to be strong. Daily new orders are coming in for bespoke chunky knits and infinity scarves seem to be very popular at the moment. The Opal stockinette blanket continues to be hands-down the best seller with more than 10 ordered over the last few weeks. The Ready Made shop is now fully stocked with new items arriving daily for last minute Christmas shopping. Although wool orders for bespoke projects has now closed, Fresh Off The Needle knits are good to go and can be posted as late as December 21st for Christmas arrival. (UK Only) Chunky Needle knits have found new homes in Tenerife, Austria, USA and Australia this holiday season! Simply amazing. I must say, I feel a real sense of pride knowing that Chunky Needle blankets, cushions and scarves will find their way under trees this Christmas. I’m bursting.

The Bestseller. Opal, Stockinette. Photo credit @shnordic Instagram

The Bestseller. Opal, Stockinette. Photo credit @shnordic Instagram

So as 2018 closes and 2019 rolls up, I’m beyond grateful for all the collaborations, introductions, and orders that have found their way to my studio. I’m most grateful to my customers for putting their trust into a new brand and small independent retailer. Without you there would be no Chunky Needle.

Sending much love and thanks to you and your family over the upcoming Christmas season. Keep warm and spread the Chunky love.

See you next year. ;-)

Cx

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First Major Show Christmas 2018

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So here I am; two days into four at my first major showcase. I’m at the point where I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s the experience that matters most and that the feedback and networking achieved is all worth it. Yikes, yes, that’s my silver lining. I was told by knowing folk prior to this event to make absolutely as much stock as possible. Well, I did. Whilst the world was basking away in 30+ degree weather in July/August, I was snowed under a pile of merino. The time, money, energy, anxiety, travel, money (again) etc that has gone into this show has been deafening. Will I do it again you ask….? We shall see. At this moment in time, no. I brought my goods to a demographic that I thought would appreciate and respect the work. A lot of research went into this. Annoyingly at the half way mark, my lil company hasn’t translated. For every person that says, ‘what is it?’ there’s another whispering, “I can do that myself” and other’s asking, “do you sell the wool?” Don’t get me wrong, my chunky knits have gone down well. The minute I bring out the needles and craft in situ, the crowds gather. The comments, feedback and encouragement has been wonderful, but is it worth the commitment? Time will tell.

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On the upside, I have met some cracking people. My stall neighbours are ACE and we have been having the biggest laughs. The encouragement we offer one another is amazing and each time someone lands a sale, we all do a happy jig for one another. There is much spirit.

We’ve got two more big days ahead; weekend punters with all their expectation. I’m hopeful. I’m positive. My chunky knits will make sense! To me they are the ultimate Christmas pressie. Something totally new under the tree. C’mon Great Britain feel the Chunky love!

I’ll update you all next week with a follow up. Go BIG or Go Home!

Till next time.

Cx

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Christmas 2018 Launch

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Well it has arrived; Christmas 2018 launched this morning at midnight. For a first collection it’s small, but loved. We’ve already taken orders for kids Santa hats and are excited that we’ve teamed with Illustries who are stocking our hats on their website and Not On The High Street. I often need to remind myself that The Chunky Needle only opened shop eight months ago and every day that turns over is a new learning experience on what to do (and not do) in the year ahead. I definitely know that Christmas needs planning months ahead. As soon as January rolls over, planning for 2019 needs to take shape. There are so many things I want to make and create but time just got the better of me this year. With that said, the goodies on offer I think are lovely and festive.

The days keep ticking over and I’m busier than ever prepping for Stonor Park. I’m nervous, not going to lie. I had three dreams about it last night and everything always goes wrong in each of them. I’m terrified I’m going to forget something vital and won’t be able to reach it. I’m travelling two hours from home for this show and won’t have any family support until the last two days of the show! Yikes! I’ll be able to take a super deep breath come Monday November 26th - I can’t wait!

I held two great workshops last week as well. Inside Out in Cheltenham and Craft Coop in Maidenhead on Saturday. Beautiful cushions and blankets were made, I was super thrilled with the outcomes.

The Chunky Needle has so many workshops coming up, so do make sure you keep an eye on our Events page to make sure you don’t miss out on an opportunity coming to your region.

Gift cards and workshop vouchers have also been added to the website a great gift experience for the crafty person in your life.

So there you have it. I hope you’ll enjoy the Christmas collection. Don’t delay on Christmas orders, the last day to order wool in time for Christmas delivery is 10th December. Santa is on his way!

Have a good week everyone.

Cx

Christmas is Coming - I'm Freaking Out!

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Okay, okay, I know it’s ridiculous to be stressed out by this, and in real life terms (ie: mommy and wife terms) I haven’t even given Chrimbo a second, or third thought (perhaps that’s part of the problem?!) For those of us in the retail world Xmas 2018 is launching right about now. Remember all those hot summer weeks we had? Smart retailers, or those in the ‘know’ were quietly working on their winter collections whilst the rest of the world enjoyed the heatwave. Now I know how to manage my time next summer because right now I’M FREAKING OUT! Majorly freaking out. I’d take a photo showing my real state of play but I quite frankly don’t have time for selfies.

Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Perhaps. I mean with a major four day posh shopping event coming up on November 21st that will require about 75 retail worthy items to make, on top of my eight workshops between now end of November, along with the online Christmas photoshoot & launch, developing a baby line, processing new orders that are coming in daily, launching new collaborations with festivals, hotels, venues webshops, I’m going cray cray - oh yeah and today - I got to attend a speed awareness class that has eaten into my child free hours leaving this day production free. On top of the work demands (which I do love by the way) I’m still a full time mum to 4 year old twin boys, a furry baby, a husband and have house guests arriving this weekend, a haunted house to erect and dismantle on the 31st and a house-full of kiddos, parents and sleepover guests on the 3rd-4th November for our BonFire Blow Out! My housework has fallen by the wayside and I have piles of laundry all over the house. It’s total chaos at Chunky HQ, but I’m on it. Kind of.

The 1st Chunky Christmas will launch on 12th November. I feel Christmas retailing should begin after 11th November, Remembrance Day. As a Canadian, we commemorate the 11th of November every year formally and as such it deserves its own season/day of recognition. Christmas chatter takes away from that season, so, I will not launch until after that date. This year there won’t be a lengthy list of Chunky bits/bobs as I’m still exploring which direction I want The Chunky Needle to evolve in and need to observe what works and what doesn’t. But stay tuned.

So for now that’s where things are at. I’ve launched with the Tudor Farmhouse in Clearwell, Glos this week and will bring you some lovely workshops into the New Year. Exciting opportunities are abound.

Parent teacher interview, now; must run. Barely a minute to stay up-to-date with you lot.

Speak soon!

Cx

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