Craft Britannia Shop of The Week #22, Bebbyjumpers
Our current latest CraftBritannia Shop of the Week is Bebbyjumpers. Bebby designs and creates lovely handknitted jumpers, specialising in baby and children’s clothes. Read on to hear more from the lady behind the shop.
What was the first piece you ever sold?
I opened my Etsy shop on 8th February 2011 and began listing my items over the weeks, including two little yellow Easter woollies which I was so proud of. They were my own design and each had 2 little chocolate brown Easter bunnies on the front (pictured below). I sold one within a month to a lady in America and was so excited as I had read it can take maybe 4 months to achieve a first sale. I sold the second just a week later to a young girl in Australia. She gave me the most wonderful feedback possible and sent a photo of her sister’s baby boy bursting out of this delicate cardigan that she had bought! We both laughed and she told me she would pack it away for the next baby, hopefully hers, which may fit into it. I designed a more suitable sweater for her little nephew and sent it as a surprise parcel. She was delighted and I received a photo of a much happier little baby wearing his new striped sweater with a teddy motif. Gosh! How my photography techniques have improved in just a year!
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
Since being a part of the Etsy community, I have seen the excitement and pleasure some crafters have when they spin their own yarn, and I would very much love to do this. I don’t know about cleaning the fleece from it’s raw state, but to sit and spin and produce something, however rough and uneven, would be quite fun. The sad thing is my mum had a spinning wheel which she used, and we sold it for a pittance knowing nothing of the value, and with much regret, 4 years ago just after her death. She kept bags full of her long coat German Shepherds’ hair (and secretly used some of my doggy’s hair) and spun it into some fibre which she then knitted into a jacket. She told me it would be my jacket when she died. I wore it to the church after her funeral, on a rainy day, and stank like a wet soggy dog!
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
It is hard to choose whether this would be my yarn stash or my lappy which enables me to promote and sell my items, as well as keep in touch with my Etsy friends! I do enjoy relieving others of their unwanted yarn which they offer for sale, and if it is a bargain price, I feel the urge to own it. I always know exactly what I plan to knit with it, but sadly, by the time the postie delivers it, I am knitting something else, and so it is added to my H U G E stash. At one point, the previous postie girl was squeezing my parcels and chastising me for buying sooooo much yarn! I am sure this present postie is soooo suspicious when he delivers another squishy parcel, but he dare not ask!
Tell us about what inspires and motivates you
I am inspired by the events around me, and these give me the opportunity to design appropriate little jumpers, which I hope someone somewhere will love enough to want to buy and see a little someone special wearing. Recently I have designed and knitted some original outfits that I call my Diamond Jubilee collection, in honour of the Queen’s recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations. They have proved very popular (I have sold 4 of the matinee sets, the last one sold just 4 days after listing!) and I plan to add a few Aran designs for the Autumn. I get great satisfaction from knitting and find it very relaxing and rewarding!
Tell us about one handmade item that you own and love
It just has to be my doggy jacket that my mum made (see photo above), using the hair from her German Shepherds, and a bagful of hair that she took from my own special furry friend which, she told me, she especially knit into the left front by my heart. It is full of happy memories of days when we won many red rosettes and trophies at shows in obedience and breed, agility and dance, and held our obedience dog classes to teach other dog owners and children’s display teams, raising money for charity. It all came to an end when I became pregnant and spent my evenings knitting. Sadly my jacket is a little moth eaten but it is about 25 years old and no, I don’t make a habit of wearing it around town! It is extremely warm to wear, very heavy, and is like being wrapped inside a HUGE furry friendly dog!
Thanks Bebby! It was great to get to know you better. You can keep in touch with Bebby and her wonderful work here:
Facebook page @Bebbyjumpers