Monday, 30 July 2012

Crochet Calamity

3 crochet blankets to complete....putting all the pieces together is like a giant jigsaw....hope all the pieces fit!!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

This Week....

I didn't get a huge amount of knitting done this week....I did a lot of hours at my other work, but hopefully that will change next week...I started knitting little hats in very Spring like colours.  As you can see by the darker colour choices, the weather changed back to Winter.....our fleeting Spring like weather was just that.....Fleeting!

Little LARS & WILLOW hats done!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Spring has Sprung?

We had a beautiful sunny albeit cold day in Melbourne yesterday....I just got a little bit inspired by the thought of Spring coming.

Little hat on the needles in duck egg blue, blush pink and coral.  The colours remind me of ..... Spring!

Tomorrow it's back to wet and windy.....oh well!

Vicki x

Monday, 23 July 2012

It's Just Another Manic Monday

I went to bed last night with such great intentions knowing that I had the day off from my casual paying job....Head was buzzing with all the things I had to do.....makes for a bad night sleep!

So I got up a little late, 9.45am to be precise...breakfast by the computer, checked a couple of knitted items that were being blocked, a few more rows of a lacy baby hat for a photographer, some button sorting....and I did find a little parcel of buttons that I hadn't opened....little woodland critters....and delight of delights, a series of The Wizard of Oz that is going to be a little hat story!  Picking out new colours for the next series of limited edition baby CASH hats, some lunch, and now just sitting down for a couple of hours with a cup of tea, some crochet and the radio on.

It really isn't another manic's just my fun day!

Enjoy Vicki x

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Where has the Week Gone?

Gosh how the weeks are flying by.....sorry for so little action around here this week, but I've done around 51 and a half hours of work at my casual job in 7 days....and as well as trying to fit in knitting, exercise, wool ordering, testing hats, and getting my Etsy shop up and running again...and just trying to find a little time to relax and breathe and do a little bit of online shopping....

I figured with all those hours at work this week I needed to treat myself.....a new black jersey dress from Boden for moi, and a new pair of runners.  If I going to get back into this exercise lark, I might as well do it properly.  Skechers, not the most glamorous footwear I own, but the unusual soles on these keep your core engaged, because if you don't stand straight you start rocking!!....Enjoy your week, and hopefully I'll have time for a proper post later on....and did you see the new little CAMILLA hat very sweet.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Lazy Days & Fridays......

I didn't have to work today....or at least go out to work to my main today was a lazy day.  Had a flat inspection this morning.  Having lived in my little abode for 14 years I have this feeling that my landlord may be looking to sell.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to move, but when this little place is so clean and tidy, toasty warm and cosy I really couldn't stand the thought of living anywhere else.

All I did today was eat, unpack new yarn and this afternoon I snuck back to bed for a nana nap....and tonight I've made a huge pot of leek, carrot and lentil soup for supper....because I really can't be bothered with anything more.

Lazy days are the best.


vicki x

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A Rainbow In Your Hands.....

Little mittens in bright rainbow colours in beautiful organic merino wool....the brightest little mittens that you ever did see.  Hope the little customer loves them just as much as I enjoyed knitting them.  Warm hands and a happy heart.

and I thought I should add these....rainbows on your feet!!

Enjoy Vicki x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Thank You For Your Custom......

Custom orders....mmmmm.  You may remember this post I did back in March declaring no custom orders....well I reneged again.  Over the whole of Winter till now I only managed to knit 6 ready to ship hats for either one of my online stores....some would say how fantastic that you have so many loyal customers that want to buy your hats that it keeps you that busy....others would say different.

It's a fine line trying to balance a business such as mine......reality is I could take it up a notch, and start employing people to help me knit, I have the custom for it, but personally I don't think I want to.....I'm not that driven.  For me it's all about the creativity, design and the colour and just doing something that makes people happy...something that I've created that can be shared with others.

So that's where custom orders can and often do put a stop to the creativity.  By doing 4 to 5 months of custom orders with repeat customers, my little hats don't often get to anyone new.  I've had many many people stop by my Facebook page or send me a message through Madeit or Etsy asking how they can get a hat, but due to being tied to custom orders these people don't get the opportunity or even get close to ever buying a hat because there ain't ever going to be any ready to ship stock because I'm sitting on 50 custom orders that need to be completed.

Please please don't get me wrong I am thankful for every one of those purchases but the time it takes to email colour selections, assist them, guide them, sometimes chase them for non payment takes a huge amount of time that all goes order earlier this year took 26 emails back and forward so the customer got what she wanted.   On arrival of her hat she still wasn't happy....26 emails equated to around 2.5hrs of unpaid work....that's what a lot of people don't realise, the work behind the custom order that in some instances could be put to better use.    A lot of others have advised me that I should be charging a surcharge for custom orders and it has crossed my mind but I have till now not charged and don't want to.

So what to do.....the dilemma.  I think in my heart of hearts, the custom orders as much as they bring in the money, creatively I'm often stifled....I don't get the opportunity to express myself colour wise, and sometimes I do have to knit colour selections that if left to me they wouldn't be colours that work with dover & madden....and by no means is that a criticism of other peoples choices, they just would not be mine and each to their own.

So from now, dover & madden will be a ready to ship hat business....this also gives me the time to step away for a day or two if I choose without having to say...."I've got to fly I have to get a hat in the post tomorrow"  a saying that I'm well known for around these parts.  This also allows me to knit yarn colours that often get overlooked by customers and that I've been itching to get on my accountant keeps telling me I'm sitting on way too much stock!!

I'm interested to hear from anyone who may be in the same boat with their business, how do you cope with it, do you charge extra to do custom work, do you sometimes feel a little bit bogged down with customs, or is your business just exclusively customs, or did you stop customs and your sales slowed down...would love to hear from you.

And lastly thank you to every single customer of dover & madden your support, patience and purchases have got me to where I am now, and no custom dover & madden hat has ever been rejected by a bad colour choice!!

Let's all look forward to some exciting new colourful additions to the dover & madden family soon.

vicki x

Monday, 2 July 2012

Blog Buddies

You'll notice on my blog roll the little business Rowantree Designs.  Roberta has had some major success today.  Rachel Zoe's little guy, Skyler in one of her beautiful handmade vintage inspired romper suits which was featured in Grazia magazine.  Roberta has these little suits for sale amongst some other wonderful pieces.  Pop over and get yourself a little piece of celebrity (baby) stylin'....and check out her fab blog whilst you're over there.

Well deserved Roberta.

vicki x

Sunday, 1 July 2012


I've been making these little booties and they have been a knock out....I've shared the pattern before in accordance with the seller of the pattern, but here we go again as I keep getting asked about it all the time.
I would say you would need a little crochet experience to make these, but the pattern is easy to follow and very well written.  Personally I had to resize the crochet hook to a 4mm which differs from the pattern to achieve the correct sizing.

For those outside of the US & Canada the yarn is not available.  The company that makes the yarn does not ship outside of the those 2 countries, so I had to rely on the kindness of friends when ordering the yarn.  Best of luck with your booties....aren't they the most gorgeous little things ever.

Vicki x