Wednesday, 9 November 2011

HüG (by HUGhats)

HüG (by HUGhats):

^ is my Facebook page. I am currently looking at opening up a store option on there. (Not sure that made grammatical sense?!).

What I am trying to say is: I am working on opening an on-line store, linked directly to the Facebook page. This way I can list and sell via the Facebook page, rather than the etsy shop. Not that there is anything wrong with etsy, it's just very BIG. Hard to stand out like that and reach people who are genuinely interested. Or at least that is my personal experience.

I've noticed that I sell more via word-of-mouth, than etsy. The people I have sold to so far have all seemed puzzled by the whole etsy thing and it seemed, almost, an inconvenience for them to have to join up, simply to buy one of my hats.

So I am trying to make it more user-friendly and easy. Not wanting to use the term "mass-market", but having a shop on the Facebook page will perhaps make it simpler for buyers.

I know etsy, and I have known etsy for a number of years. But most people I know have never heard of it. That being said; I ma not going to close the etsy store. I'll keep it open, but I will probably focus on the Facebook store for a while.

There are also no fees to pay on the Facebook shop, and there seems to be no expiry dates either on listings. :)

For me it makes sense, to go the Facebook route. What do you think?

Friday, 7 October 2011

My first Craft Fair

As I was away (see previous post) I managed to get a bit of Crocheting done. Started on a few projects for Christmas for the little ones. Half and elephant here, half a dog there, a cowl or two...
Actually I ended up making a cowl for myself. It's been a while since I've made anything for me, so that was nice. (I started knitting a pair of socks back in May... still only have half the one sock done).

When I returned to work, after my holidays, I was surprised, yet happy; to see they were organizing a Crafts Fair. "Was anyone interested" – Yes indeed!

The Fair will be on 14th October. This is all of a sudden next week!!!! [Yes I know… excessive use of exclamation marks is bad. But I feel a need for it here!]

So I have been busy getting loads of items ready to sell. I had a pile of things which were, almost, finished off. Just needed those last touches.
So here is me, every night after work, working on sewing in labels, making tags, making little "remember cards" so people know what material the items are made from and how to look after them best.
I have a pile of finished stuff. I have one with items that need HüG labels, one with items that need the tag, and one with items that need the little "extra touch".

Thursday, 6 October 2011

October already?

Sorry for my absence. Dunno what happened. All of a sudden we are in October. October! What happened to September?
What happened to me in the meantime, since the last post?

Been incredible busy at work. Seems to be a never-ending line of new people starting in our group, and it's my job to make sure they are trained and ready to do their job.
This might sound easy enough, and in a way it is... but 1 new start equals 6-7 weeks of training. All of a sudden it's a lot. But I am not complaining. I like the job. It's just busy really.

Being busy at work has the tendency of draining my brain power and by the time I get home, crafting often takes a back seat if I am really knackered. I will check in on my etsy store and Swap Workshop, to stay on top of things there. But new creations have been limited.

That is, until I had 2 weeks holiday in September. - It seemed like a miracle and a shock to the system, to be able to chill and hang out with family and just make whatever I wanted. Being surrounded by the youngsters of the clan was also a great inspiration.

Nothing like eager little kids to get your creativity flowing again. I did a lot of colouring in with my niece. How I've missed having a colouring book and a set of felt-tip pens. Pure heaven :) - Even better now that I'm able to "colour inside the lines". Most the time anyway, ha-ha.

This was always the aim when you were little, wasn't it? To stay within the big thick black lines on the page, while you were colouring in the house/car/parrot etc.

Ahh relaxation and creativity, how I missed thee!

Monday, 29 August 2011

A blanket in the making

I have decided to Bring over my blog posts from Swap Workshop, as I know it's not viewable to non-members. - Here is part one of the "Blaket in the Making" series. I will post them gradually, and bring you the final episodes here as well.

This was originally posted on May 1st

You see this is all new to me and so is my newest project.

A few weeks ago I saw forum post which caught my attention. Kimminita was posting on her wishlist forum thread that she was after a blanket. Was anyone willing to take on the project?

Being a bit out of season for hats and being as HUGhats was kinda bored making the darn things just now, I thought; "why not? Give the hats a rest, give the cowls a rest and let's give this thing a go!"

After having a look at some examples posted by Kimminita and a few messages back and forth to find the details of the ideal blanket, I started my research.

What kind of yarn was available to me and could I get both the colours in the same thickness of wool?
How much would be needed and would it be affordable? Finalising the dimensions and proportions of the blanket was done and I went around to my local wool stores.

There were potential in all three of them but in the last one I found what I was looking for :) Since I was never a maths wiz I decided to get help calculating how much wool I'd need to make the blanket (200cm x 140cm).

Sitting in the yarn department of a massive department store I found myself making crochet samples and chit chatting with the wool girl about blankets and such. Very nice really. When my crochet sample was done the lady kindly calculated how much I'd need in both colours.

I thanked her and paid at the till.

Home I went with a massive bag full of these;

Rowan yarn, Organic Belle DK, Ochre

Patons Merino Wool DK, Thunder

The two colours are fantastic together and I am kinda in love with the Organic Belle ♥

Next task was to change the pattern around so that it would fit the proportions of 70% main colour / 30% accent colour.

I made a few examples in a spreadsheet so I could easily play around with it. After some reviews and moving about, I was finally happy to start the blanket.
I made the first part of it during that first week. Very pleased with it I was as well. Until it turned out to be too wide thus not leaving enough fir the height. some careful calculations later and I have decided to unravel it and start over. I mean, if the blanket stretched a full 5cm widthwise and the edging is not even on yet there is going to be a problem later on.

Rather undo it now and not later. So I am now at the starting point having done the foundation chain again and part of the first row. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to things like this :) I will add a few photos of the yarn and the project as I go along. I'll keep you posted and will add photos soon. Enjoy the reading!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Starting to get hooked (pun fully intended!)

I remember visiting my mother-in-law once and she had this colourful book of knitted squares (by Jan Eaton, [see here]). I was really into it and loved all the different patterns she made and the gazillions of combinations you could create from the many squares. Only problem: I cannot knit. My hands used to cramp up when trying to knit, so I'd left that idea behind.

You need to know that my mother-in-law lives in Cornwall, and most of the people we know there are creative people. They either paint, knit, make ceramics, take photographs, are amazing gardeners... or some combination of these. I always feel inspired when I am there. Always feel that my regular office job is definitely not the long-term future for me. I need to do something creative. Arts were always my favourite lessons in School :)

I thought; if only that book was about crochet squares, then that'd be the book for me. So I went to my old friend Amazon when I came home. I found the crochet version of the book and I decided straight away that I wanted it. I got that book along with a "crochet for beginners" book. I needed something to show me the basics again. Was a bit rusty. Plus it was in English and explained the different stitches with their English names and pictures.

This is why I can now follow crochet patterns in English or American... but not in Danish! I simply didn’t learn crochet that way from my mum. She explained how to get the different looks from the different stitches. I never paid much attention to what the stitches were called, and I never followed a Danish pattern.

So with these new books I started playing around with crochet a bit more seriously. I love it... and the internet was full of amazing patterns. A whole new world of creativity opened up for me. I realised that you didn’t have to be a knitter to create amazing stuff with yarn.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Business cards

I've not had any business cards for a long time. I keep telling myself that I need to get some. Previously I had some from Moo, but I've run out.

Since I am building up my stock of hats and cowls I also need some more business cards. I did like the ones from Moo and they have loads of options in terms of personalization, colour choices and shapes... but all the times I've played around with them on the site, I never really managed to make something which was "me".
{yes I realise I never told you about what happened between my sister's nurse encouraging me to sell my hats, and me actually setting up a little online shop. All in good time ;) }

So I am attempting to create my own. I figured; hey, why not? How hard can it be?  - I do realise that I will have to take this back later ;)

With so many cute free printables available I am sure I will be able to feel inspired!

I will let you know how I get on.

Sunday, 3 July 2011


My mother taught me to crochet. Just the basics though. And I made a scarf, all by myself. Still have it as well, though I never use it now... That was 6 or so years ago.

Clearly I did not have any notion of matching different types of yarn and using the correct size hooks. But the colours match each other. At least it's not a collection of different left over yarns, but actually some quite nice Norwegian wool. Hand-dyed in cream and rusty brown. The ends and the edgeing is fine thin wool of a dusty brown varirity. Hook size used; probably a 3.5mm or 4mm. Not the right size for either of the wools, but nicely in the middle.

It's somewhere in my wardrobe, but it's too chunky to actually wear. I look at it with a sence of pride from time to time, but I really ought to unravel it and make something else out of it.

The wool is too nice to let it go to waste like that. It was wool I got from my grandmother when her arthritis and limes disease got too advanced for her to continue knitting. She bought it herself on one of numerous trips she did with my grandfather to Norway when they were younger. 

Yes I must really unravel it and create something worthwhile and deserving. It's only fair on the wool. Nor my grandmother.

When my sister-in-law was expecting her first baby I made them a baby blanket made of squares stitched together. They loved it and have since used it for their 2nd baby and I am sure baby no 3 (due any day now) will also be swaddled in it. I like that idea. I handmade item which is appreciated, loved and most importantly; used. 

Here's a photo I took on my mobile. Please excuse the quality. It was taken about 5 years ago, before the time of fancy camera-phones ;)

So when my sister was pregnant with her first baby I also made her a blanket. I made her mostly hats though;

I have no idea how many hats I made her, but there was an element of "dress-up" going on. From both my side and my sisters. Poor niece ;)

One day my sister told me that the nurse coming to measure and weigh the baby had seen the hats. She'd loved the hats and said "your sister should sell these!". 

Wow. Just wow. What a compliment. 

That's when the seed for the idea of HüG was planted. It took a while before it spurted and started to grow...


suffolk sheep posing by Jacquelyn J WingateImage via Wikipedia
I live in Scotland. One of the countries which has the largest amount of sheep. Wool comes from Sheep as we all know. Therefore you'd think there would be an abundance of wool mills around and that teh wool would be easy to get to at a fair price.

Even people I know who knit or crochet in Denmark are jealous of me living in "the land of all the wonderful and cheap wool". Well. Unfortunately that is not the case. At least there are none anywhere near anything that I have ever heard of!? Unbelievable. Scottish wool costs the same to buy in Denmark as it does in Scotland. Something wrong with that picture!