Leaf and lace Scarf (Winter 2015/16)

My leaf and lace scarf pattern was given a 2015 makeover prior to the Harrogate Knit and Stitch show with two current shades of the wonderfully soft and cosy Rowan Felted Tweed DK. It proved to be so popular at the show that I have now made the pattern available in my Etsy shop as a pdf download.

Leaf and Lace scarf lower res (Rob)

Leaf and Lace scarf in Rowan Felted Tweed DK shades 152 and 175

Originally inspired by my somewhat mature (some would say overgrown!) garden, and worked from the centre back downwards the scarf features a symmetrical leaf pattern finishing with the leaf motif at each end. Simple lace provides a border to the scarf. Using two 50g balls of each colour, this would be a perfect Christmas holiday project. Simple enough to do while holding a conversation or “watching” TV but with enough interest to keep you motivated to create a nice long, wrapable neck warmer.

Enjoy…….

Getting noticed in the digital age (or how to take a decent photo)

 

dog blanket scrunched low res

Hand knitted Dog Blanket

The digital age can make getting one’s work seen by others so much easier in many respects as we no longer have to rely on an intermediary such as a magazine or gallery to promote us. While this is not good news from their point of view with so many galleries sadly closing down in recent years, it does mean that without the significant commission payments to the gallery from sale proceeds (usually about 50%), pricing work from the artist’s point of view is more straightforward (although never easy as how does one factor in the time to create a piece of work when that includes a lifetime of education, experimentation and training while getting to the point of being able to create said piece?) and the customer can often get a more affordable price.

However! In my personal experience I have found it is so much easier to sell a piece of work when someone can actually see it in the flesh (so to speak). I think this is partly due to a kind of image numbness one gets these days with the constant bombardment from social media streams and marketing campaigns. Any one who has sat in a coffee shop and observed the activity around them from the other customers who are rapidly scrolling down their i phone screens whilst trying to hold some kind of conversation with the person sat opposite them will understand what I mean by  this. But, I can’t deny that it is also largely due to what has been described in the past by the editor of a knitting magazine as my “terrible photographs!”.

So how do we get noticed in this environment? (Any one who knows the answer to this question please tell me). On the basis that good photos must help (and my 10 year old basic digital camera combined with a cluttered and poorly lit house just can’t do my work justice), last week I booked a professional photo shoot with the lovely Rob Fry  who took some fabulous shots of my work, including these of the dog blanket.

dog blanket lower res

Dog Blanket charts available from my Etsy shop

Now this is a luxury that I can’t afford on a regular basis but then I don’t have the funds to buy the equipment or training to do it myself either. So, after seeing the output from the shoot I’m afraid my response to my title “how to take a decent photo” has got to be (for me anyway), pay a professional 😉

Until next time…..

 

Kitty Cushion

kitty cushion front etsy

Kitty Cushion front

Just to prove to you folks that it isn’t always about dogs with me, here is the front of the Kitty Cushion I designed for Harrogate Knit and Stitch Show. It got lots of admirers and the pattern proved to be popular enough that I had to get an emergency reprint done during the show (thank goodness the wonderful husband was there to deal with such emergencies).

The front is worked from a knitting chart (my version was done using double knitting but intarsia would work just as well) and the back is a simple but effective two colour slip stitch with a rib top. I did mine in two aran weight yarns. The grey is Rowan Kid Classic to give it a little fluff, and the cream is the super smooth Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran as a contrast.

Kitty cushion back etsy

Kitty Cushion back

I think this cushion would look great teamed with it’s inverse on the other side of the sofa so I plan to be making its opposite over Christmas. If you fancy having a go yourself I have listed the pattern in my Etsy shop. Happy knitting 🙂

Nicky Barfoot Stitch Doodle Kits

stitch kits available

Stitch kits currently available

I am delighted to announce that I have made some of my recent dog and cat stitch doodles available as limited edition kits. These were launched at the Harrogate Knit and Stitch show last month and have now been listed in my  Etsy shop.

The kits contain a good sized piece of calico printed (or hand drawn in some cases) with the design, a bundle of embroidery threads (mainly DMC and Anchor), a guide to commonly used embroidery stitches, a sheet of hints, tips and guidance to completing the kit, and a picture of the original design.

These non prescriptive kits are suitable for both beginners and experienced stitchers alike as I encourage you to use your needle and thread much as you would a pencil (“doodle” with it!). If you know your embroidery then you probably already have a good idea which stitches you would use to outline and colour in the design, however if you don’t there is still so much that can be done with a running or back stitch. My aim is to encourage you to make the kit your own individual piece of stitch art, inspired by my original design.

The kits are £19.95 each plus P&P.  If you fancy having a go, click the link to my Etsy shop where you will see each of the above designs listed.

I have also put into the shop a limited number of  ethically produced, 100% cotton tote bags with my very popular “And what is your problem with beige?” design digitally printed onto the front.

DSCN4957

Nicky Barfoot limited edition tote bags

Enjoy your visit to my Nicky Barfoot Etsy shop and I hope I can help you to find an unusual, hand made Christmas gift while you are there. Until next time….