Sunday, November 25, 2012

What A Week!

The past week was quite exciting for me. First I lost my phone and got very upset about this. Then I bought a new one and was very excited (amazing, my old phone was only a year old and the new phone is already so much faster and easier to handle). 

Then I also discovered that one of my favourite singers, Sufjan Stephens, released a new box set of Christmas songs. This is my favourite song (Lumberjack Christmas/No one can save you from Christmases past): 

Here's a little commercial for the video:

 Otherwise I've been busy knitting Christmas stockings this past week, here's what I did:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My favourite song: Kentish Town Waltz by Imelda May

One morning, I woke up to this song playing on the radio and it stayed with me all day:

I thought this song would become hugely popular when I first heard it, it's such a perfect song, and feels like Christmas to me, anyway. I love the bit about living over the off-license (because so do I) and eating stew (I like stew). 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the questions I get asked:

Q: Can I still get my order in time for Christmas 2012?
A: Sorry, no. I'm swamped with orders and can't guarantee delivery for new orders. Orders already placed and paid for will ship before the 14th of December. Should they not arrive in time, please contact me, and I will issue a partial refund.
Q: How about express shipping? How much would that cost?
Personalized Knitted Christmas Stockings
A: A lot! About 65 $ for 1 to 5 days delivery.
Q: Why should I wait with my order until next year?
A: Because you really want my stockings, you think they're beautiful, unique and hand knits just take time (but they're worth it). Also, as an incentive, I offer a discount for orders placed for next year. This discount will be available for orders placed before May.

Q: Can you make these stockings out of pure wool?
A: Not exactly these, pure wool will have a different look and feel, and there aren't as many colours.
But I'm going to introduce a new line of pure wools stockings next year. To be informed how they turn out, make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, or subscribe to my newsletter ( Link )

Q: Do you ship to the US/Canada/...?
A: Yes, I ship everywhere. There is a flat rate for "everywhere else" in my listings. I ship from Ireland and it usually takes 7 to 10 days to get anywhere in the world.

Q: What is your policy for refunds?
A: I will refund the full price (or replace the items) if they get lost in the post. I will take the items back and refund the money if you don't like them.

Q: Where can I see more of your stockings?
A: On Facebook: Link Or on my blog: Stockings Etsy shop: Shop
But feel free to request different color-combinations.

Q: I'm a blogger and would like to do a review/ giveaway of your products. Would you be interested?
A: Maybe. Feel free to contact me, send me your blog stats and I'll look into the possibility.

Q: I'm a photographer looking to trade props for photos. Would you be interested in doing that?
A: Maybe. Please contact me to discuss the details and send me a link to your website/ facebook or blog. Though I can't do it in the busy season. Anytime between January and September would be great.

Q: I'm a knitter as well. Would you sell me your pattern?
A: I'm not quite ready yet. I find it very difficult to write a pattern for my stockings. I've taught knitting stockings in person, in my knitting group in the Walkinstown library in Dublin, Ireland, and my student made three beautiful stockings. I'll be looking for pattern testers in the future, so if you give me your email address, I'll send you a draft of the pdf pattern when I'm ready. By the way, the knitting group is great fun, we're meeting Wednesdays at 6.30 - 8 pm, everyone is welcome to join!

Q: Would you be interested in trading?
A: I might be. Send me a link to your shop and I'll have a look. Things I especially like are: Handbags, Knitting needle bags, toys, cute things, patterns (i.e. vintage patterns), gifts for my family and friends.

Q: Gigi, love your stockings, I would like to order 3 now for my family and I want to have more kids, so I want to order more, when I have more kids. Do you plan to keep selling these stockings in the next few years?
A: Well, yes, it's great fun and I like having my little shop. So I plan to keep selling, for sure. Fingers crossed, I'll be healthy to knit for many more years. I don't rely on this shop to survive, but I'm taking it seriously and put lots of effort into building a following and brand, although I have an office job to earn the money.
Unique stockings
Q: I would like to put my newborn baby in the stocking for the Christmas pictures. Do you think it would fit? Can you make it bigger to fit.
A: I would probably have to make the stockings bigger, send me the measurements of your baby (this sounds strange). And don't hang the baby in the stocking up on the fireplace! I can't imagine that being safe! However, I'd be extremely interested in seeing a photo of it...

Q: Are the stockings lined?
A: No, they're not lined. However, the material is quite thick. The hanger is attached very firmly.

Q: How do I use coupon codes?
Handknit Christmas stockings by Gigi82Knits
A: When you checkout on Etsy you will be asked to enter the coupon code that I will provide to you.

Q: Can you do an order of 5/6/7/8 stockings?
A: Of course. It will take longer though. Just contact me, if you want a different quantity than the one in the listing.

Q: My relative passed away who knitted the family stockings before. Can you copy the design, size and color of our stockings for the new family members?
A: Yes, but be prepared that it's not the exact same stocking. Every knitter has their own style, apart from the obvious: The color might be different, the tension and size might be different, I knit the heel and tip in a certain way, someone else would knit them different. The stocking can feel completely different.
But I've done it before and it was working out. My customer was just very happy to be able to continue the family tradition for the new family members.

Q: Gigi, you have amazing skills. Where did you learn this?
I knit all stockings myself and by hand
A: Why, thank you ;) I learned to knit when I was very young, I wanted to knit like my mother and grandmother. I learned to knit socks on 5 needles, then in the last few years I moved on to stockings, which is basically just a giant sock with fancy fair isle patterns.

Q: How long does it take you to knit a stocking?
A: About 12 to 15 hours. Sometimes I mess up and have to rip back, then it takes longer. I knit in the evenings about 3 hours and on Saturday and Sunday, about 8 hours each. Unfortunately my time is limited, and I want knitting to be fun, so I won't do an all-nighter.
Q: Gigi, I would like to have a shark/ hockey stick/ brown bear on my stocking instead of the classic beautiful items you put on it. Is that possible?
A: Yes, of course. It will take a little longer until I have it ready, though. I will send you a photo of a drawing to approve before I start. Once it's finished, I probably want to keep the photo to offer as a custom-made listing, if that's ok with you.

Q: What are your plans for 2013?
This one is still available for sale (Nov 15th, 2012)
A: Product wise, my plans are:
The frequently requested pure wool alternative will be introduced. I have decided to go with Donegal Tweet, Irish wool.
During the summer I want to stock up on stockings that have no names on them, just the patterns. I want to have a few different colour combinations, and four stockings each with different patterns.
I'll make more Mr & Mrs stockings (smaller size) that make great wedding gifts for winter weddings.
Colour-wise I think there'll be more brown, creme and red ones, or black and white ones. I really like these classic colours.
Still interested:
Custom made stockings on Etsy
Ready to ship stockings on Etsy 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas gifts from Stalking the Wild Snark

What is your name and shop name? What do you sell? How did you start selling what you are selling?
I am Natasha and my store is Stalking the Wild Snark. It is named after a Lewis Carroll poem. I create a variety of items from paper goods to earrings and even doormats, but every item is either nautically-inspired, recycled, or both. My 'signature' items are crafted from traditional maritime knots. As a former tall ship sailor, these knots are near and dear to me - I hope to keep this dying art alive. My Etsy store says it was started in April, but I didn't list any items until June 2012, so I'm still pretty new to this.

How do you celebrate Christmas?
My favorite Christmas traditions are opening one present on Christmas Eve and actually celebrating the 12 days of Christmas all the way through to Epiphany.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
I love Good Kind Wenceslas.

What is the best present you've ever gotten?
A five--piece set of aluminum core, stainless steel clad cookware.

What is the best present you've ever given?
A battery-operated, belt fed Nerf machine gun. At least, I thought it was pretty cool.

Visit Stalking the Wild Snark on Etsy

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas Stockings (almost) finished

Group photo of my current (stocking) projects:

The white, green and red ones (8) are for 1 customer, then there is a set of three in the bottom right hand corner and just one stocking, and one will be reviewed by a blogger (another giveway is being organised...). 

I haven't attached any hangers, oh no! My least favourite part, times 13.

I have 7 more stockings to knit in the next 2 to 3 weeks, and then it's my Christmas break! Hopefully, I can attract some more customers to place orders for next year. I'm offering a generous discount... Stockings on Etsy  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Christmas Gifts from A List Designs

What is your name and shop name? What do you sell? How did you start selling what you are selling?
Our names are Brenda and Alea, and we're a mother/daughter team. I (the daughter) started making beaded jewelry, as a hobby, in 2004. My mother also picked up the hobby in 2007, with my instruction. In 2009, I enrolled in a classes with a professional metalsmith, to expand my skills. Finally, in 2010, my mother and I decided to start selling our designs, so together, we launched A List Designs

How do you celebrate Christmas?
During the holidays, we usually bake cookies, drive around looking at Christmas lights, and donate to one of the local Angel Trees. Then, on Christmas day, we exchanged presents, relax, watch A Christmas Story, and enjoy a big holiday dinner.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Amethyst Chandelier Earrings
I like Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas. My mother is a bit more traditional and prefers "Joy to the World."

What is the best present you've ever gotten?
I was in dire need of a washer/dryer for a long time, so I can't even express how elated I was when I received one a couple of years ago. My mother received a Nook last year, so now she makes time for reading everyday, which is one of her favorite hobbies.

What is the best present you've ever given?
Both my Mother and I make notes all year long, when people mention the things they want. There's nothing more exciting than seeing the surprise and joy on someone's face when they realize you were listening. :)

Visit A List Designs on Etsy 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas Gifts from SeriMarea

What is your name and shop name? What do you sell? How did you start selling what you are selling?
Personalized Friendship bracelet
I'm Isobel from Seri Marea Jewellery - as the name would suggest, I sell jewellery, with a particular focus on friendship bracelets, particularly custom-made bracelets. I think they'd make great stocking stuffers, as they have a lovely personal touch without being too expensive!

How do you celebrate Christmas?
At home with my parents and sister- presents, big Christmas lunch, and lots of Christmas TV!

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Leather Wrap Bracelet
I love all the most traditional hymns- Once in Royal David's City, We Three Kings etc.

What is the best present you've ever gotten?
Tough one! It would have to be something from my mum- she always buys me beautiful clothes!

What is the best present you've ever given?
I tend to panic-buy presents, but I've managed to buy a few people spot-on books that I know they absolutely love! Obviously I'd like to say my bracelets are the best present I've ever given, but this is actually my first Christmas since I started Seri Marea jewellery!

Visit SeriMarea on Etsy

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas Gifts from MuddPuddleStudio

Personalized Cup
What is your name and shop name? What do you sell? How did you start selling what you are selling? 

My shop is called MuddPuddleStudio. I sell beautiful hand craft pottery as well as awesome ceramic sculptures. I have been selling sculptures for over a decade now, and now these wonderful mugs this year only.

How do you celebrate Christmas?
We love going to festivals, good food, good friends awesome gift giving!

What is your favourite Christmas song?
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas brings it home for me.

What is the best present you've ever gotten?
Clay. I recently gave up art, but was given some clay, and I fell in love all over again.

What is the best present you've ever given?
I gave and installed excise equipment for my grandma, who broke her leg, it helped rehabilitate her leg.

Visit MuddPuddleStudio on Etsy