Vintage Knitting, Retro Dressmaking, Make do and Mend, Original and Vintage Inspired Knitting Patterns, Vintage Inspired books

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings!

Copyright Arbour House Publishing

Thank you all so much for all your support this year.

with lots of love
Ruby xxx

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Stitch in Time Vol 2 Available to Pre-Order Now

The last few days have managed to slow me down a bit, but ultimately we've only ended up about four days late with the exciting news that A Stitch in Time Vol 2 1930-1959 is now available to pre-order. YAY!

Copyright Arbour House Publishing

I've put together a lovely package of goodies to go with the book to thank everyone who pre-orders. There are mini skeins of yarns that are used in the book, including samples of the forthcoming Excelana. There is a fabulous project bag, discount vouchers for yarn shops and for Excelana. There will be a discount code to use if you wish to purchase the Crochet book when it is available and there is a printable gift certificate emailed to you in case you are buying the book for someone else.

The most exciting thing of all for me, is that the book will be hard back (or case bound) and will contain 75 patterns. So its grown a little since Volume 1. More of the designs from the book will be revealed over the next few weeks both here on the blog and on the susancrawfordvintage website. For the eagle eyed amongst you (of which I know there are many) the cover will be exactly the same as shown but without the words 'and crochet'. I'll have a new version of the cover up shortly.

I am always so grateful to everyone who pre-orders as it really helps get a gauge of the interest in a publication and therefore how many books to get printed. As self publishers you obviously choose to take the risk along with the benefits, but it helps tremendously to know there is a market for your product, so again I really appreciate your support.

I hope you love all the goodies offered with the pre-order and that Stitch in Time 2 makes you as happy as its making me!

for now
Ruby xx

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Real World

Having spent the last week at the Clothes Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham, I was painfully aware on my return home, of the real face of disposable fashion. Its very easy to hide away from it usually. I rarely go to the ‘high street’ and don’t really buy clothes from main stream shops. I endeavour to buy only second hand, make my own or buy from carefully chosen retailers or small companies. Occasionally I venture to the city centre but rarely if ever, come back with clothing from a high street store. So to spend a week, face to face, with cheap knock offs of what the high street do, was quite depressing. Stalls selling ‘hand knit’ cardigans, capes and christmas themed sweaters for less than £10 were everywhere. On the last day, dresses were being sold at two for £1.  In our area of the show, all the stand holders were there to promote hand made garments, jewelry, home furnishings etc. It was a hard six days with many of my fellow stand holders losing a considerable amount of money, after being assured by the organisers that there would be tens of thousands of people coming past their stands eager for something new and exciting. Of the few people who, despite the lack of signage, promotion and the complete lack of heating in our area, did venture over, many were very positive. Some however, were distinctly disappointed that I wouldn’t sell the garments from A Stitch in Time for £20 or £30. I explained many, many times about the time consuming nature of the knitting but how the end result was so worthwhile. Some people got it, some even bought the books as a result of this argument, more unfortunately just walked away as they couldn’t or didn’t want to spend the time knitting them.

Significantly, one of the most popular display garments on the stand was the Perfect Christmas Jumper, persuading many customers to start knitting again, or to challenge themselves with something more complex, or even to learn knitting so that they could work their way up to a christmas jumper for next year. This patience and lack of need for instant gratification is what I so wanted to inspire, and would have been delighted if even just one person had been persuaded to knit it. Its ability to inspire people to take up their knitting needles, is what makes this pattern so important to me, and why I was so distressed to see such a poor interpretation that could be bought without a second thought, out there on the high street. In addition, whilst still at the show, we heard one purchaser mention as she walked away, that she was going to run some up on her knitting machine and sell them at car boot sales and a ‘cheap and cheerful’ retailer working out how cheaply he could get them made for in acrylic and machine knit for his market stall. So all in all, the H & M issue came on top of an already depressing week.

I already feel as though a whole week of creativity has been lost in the void that was the Clothes Show Live and desperately want to get on with getting Stitch in Time 2 pre release sorted, new kits and patterns onto the website and new designs worked on. To start trying to fight a major high street giant is beyond my means financially and beyond my strength mentally and physically. I have shown mine and theirs together on the blog, I have named and shamed on Twitter, and I will send an email to make them aware of the similarities of the two garments, but I won’t be going any further. I need to focus on creating, designing and making and I think the anger and frustration that may very well ensue from any sort of protracted argument with such a huge company would, quite frankly, finish me off.

The tale is told, I’ve shown it for what it is, a cheap copy, but I need to keep going with my planned path over the next few months and not let myself be drawn into something that I might struggle to get out of! It might not be what everyone might prefer me to do, and it doesn’t bring about justice, I realise that, and I do hope, people don’t feel let down by me, but I have to do what is better for me, and with such an enormous work load ahead of me over the next few months, the choice is made.

Thank you everyone for your words of support and some extremely good advice. To know you are not on your own makes all the difference.

ETA. The Christmas Jumper makes an appearance on Glee

for now
Ruby xx

Friday, December 10, 2010

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

My Perfect Christmas Jumper published November 2009
  From H & M this winter          

This has just been brought to my attention on ravelry. Notice any similarities? Even the 'mock' box sleeve heads. As a designer, you always worry that this will happen but this seems so unashamed. I have to say its made me feel very sad. I could rant and rave and say a lot of things but as the song says "a picture paints a thousand words..."

for now
Ruby xxx