Craft Britannia Shop of The Week #59, thesequinnedsheep
This week’s CraftBritannia Shop of the Week is thesequinnedsheep, filled with glittery knitted and crochet accessories created by a team of two sisters, Alice and Florence. Alice is here to tell us more in our interview.
Describe your “typical” working day or week
My typical working day has to fit around my health issues, so I get up about 9am usually, and while I’m eating breakfast I’ll be checking emails, Twitter, and Etsy. After replying to any messages, I’ll spend a couple of hours doing any computery bits or else get on to my knitting.
Late morning I usually have a break until late afternoon, when I’ll do some tweeting, chatting on the Etsy forums and so on. Once my husband Tim gets home from work we have dinner, and then I’ll settle down to knit all evening. Evenings are the best time for me to get a big chunk of knitting done while watching tv with Tim – I’m usually still working until 10 or 11pm. I usually follow this schedule 6 days a week as it fits in well with everything else and I find it sustainable. Sundays are slightly different, as I rest in the morning and aim to go out on Sunday afternoons, but have usually have picked up my needles by 6pm. Working for yourself is wonderful as you get to pick your own hours, have a nap in the afternoon if you fancy it, or bunk off to go outside in the sun!
When you are not doing Etsy related things, what are you doing?
I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, and enjoy doing Bible study and attending Bible meetings. I love the fact that the Bible is relevant for our lives today and holds out a wonderful hope for the future, and I aim to do about 30 mins of Bible study a day. I also love to read novels, and always have a big pile of books that I’ve ordered from the library! I’m also a complete telly addict, although I tend to knit while watching TV, so that’s not so bad, right?! I might have square eyes, but at least I’m being productive, LOL 🙂
What was the first piece you ever sold?
The first piece I ever sold was a flower brooch to a friend, who was my first ever customer in my online shop. That sale was a total surprise! A few more friends showed their support by buying things from me, and gradually things grew from there. I’m now focusing on larger pieces, but in the early days I was making a lot of small items so that my shop didn’t look so empty!
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
My main tip is to practice! People tend to start new things with great enthusiasm, and then get discouraged if they can’t pick it up as quickly as they’d hoped. I always advise new students to knit for at least 15 mins per day, more if they want to. By doing 15 mins a day they will keep what they have learned fresh in their mind, and will see an improvement in their knitting as they will be able to sustain it. Joining a knitting group can also be good for picking up tips and getting help from more experienced knitters. I think pushing yourself is a good thing, so trying out different techniques and patterns helps to increase skills once the basics have been mastered.
What material do you most enjoy working with?
Obviously, my favourite material is wool! I love chunky wool as the items you make with it grow so quickly. I also love wool that has sequins in it – you can’t beat a bit of bling! Anything shiny and sparkly and pretty gets my vote 🙂
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
I’d quite like to learn to sew, as I’ve never mastered that properly. My sister Florence and I had lessons with another friend, but I was so terrible that the lady teaching us basically took over and made mine for me! Florence can make her own clothes and always looks lovely – I’d love to be able to do that, although I know I’d end up hoarding fabric like I do with wool and my poor husband would probably leave home if I took up another craft at the moment 🙂
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
My plans for my shop are to add more luxury knits and specialize a bit more in scarves and wraps – I’ve been working on 5 wraps over the last few months, and two are nearly finished now, so I’m really looking forward to adding them to my shop. One of the ones I’m working on is a big tweedy purple wrap with a lovely cable pattern. I hope to make this one of my trademark items and have it available in a range of colours ready for this winter.