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Did someone say January?

I trust everyone had a warm and healthy festive season, and that 2015 has started on a better foot than 2014?

There's been lots going on here, mostly work things, thanks to the stupidness that is the new EU VAT law. But I thought I out to get here and remind everyone about the January sale!



I've been helping the wonderful folks at LoveKnitting test the new intergration, as well as Ravelry, and they're all working their socks off to fix things and have everything running smoothly. Despite differing opinions on what this law entails and who is - rightly or wrongly - affected, what the Rav and LK teams are trying to achieve is brilliant.

One thing that isn't working yet is the ability to use coupon codes through the LK diversion, and as I've opted to divert my cross border (non-UK) sales through LK (who are VAT responsible), this has meant that I've had to find workarounds to help my EU customers benefit and not be left out of the sale.

Thankfully yesterday HMRC sent out notices stating that despite Etsy distancing themselves from the law, HMRC still consider them liable for the VAT, and they won't be coming after small independent sellers. Whilst this doesn't solve the mess (thresholds are the only sensible solution), it does for the time being safeguard sellers, and I feel confident enough to switch my Etsy shop back on. And the coupon code is valid through Etsy, which gives an alternative avenue for my EU customers! Yey!

And if you're an EU customer using the discount through Etsy, please add your Ravelry name to the 'note to seller' field when you purchase and I'll get a link sent out to you so you can add it to your Ravelry library as soon as I'm able.

Sooo...... please feel free to share this blog post, share this image, and help spread the word about the sale! This is one promotion that isn't exclusive to subscribers, and as January's income is usually the month that keeps us fed and sheltered for the coming months, the more shares the merrier!

I'll be back soon with stuff to talk about that doesn't revolve around this ridiculous law. Until then, stay safe and woolly :)


The Healthy Elfin


This week we had another appointment with the consultant for Aran, and things are all very positive.

It's almost a year since Aran was hospitalised with bronchial pneumonia and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, and whichever bugs were destined to send him into renal failure on New Years Eve were already on their damaging path this time last year. It's been a long and agonising 12 months as we've seen how the most common of chest or throat infections can have worrying effects on already damaged kidneys. We've learnt to monitor and check and wait; we've learnt to just get on and deal with chronic illness, all the time being aware that this could be for life, or it could be not. We've learnt that this has all been down to an over-active immune system, and when the 2nd related condition, henoch schonlein purpura, was diagnosed we mostly gave up asking why, as the more we learnt the less we understood.

Aran's urine results have been clear for two months. He's had the snots and the sniffles and even a touch of what looked like impetigo this season and none of them have resulted in a hospital visit; they've not even registered on the dipsticks. We'll likely never get an all clear, that's not how it seems to work with the kidneys, but nonetheless, these results are the best we could have hoped for. Despite all the relapses and uncertainty, we've made it through and Aran's kidneys are functioning normally. We're back in clinic in 6 months, and if all continues to be well, we'll be discharged to our GP for annual kidney function tests; the consultant thinks it's very unlikely that Aran will develop chronic kidney disease.

To say we're relieved would be an understatement. 

Last year I planned a break over Xmas but that didn't really happen, and this year I didn't want to plan the same incase I jinxed things. And with the EU VAT mess of a law, I can't really have a full break as there's a million and one things to be done before January 1st. But we are going to have a great Xmas with family, see friends, laugh and play, and generally try to make up for all the things we couldn't do last year. (in Aran's case I suspect that means eating all the chocolate and saying hell to the potassium; for me it'll mean having a drink on NYE knowing that we won't be woken by the doctors every two hours)

I'll be around, but I won't be answering non-urgent emails now until the New Year; a bit off time off is long overdue!


Standing on the Outside

I'm sure I've shared this link before, but if I haven't, here it is:

Bill Drummond's 10 Commandments of Art

No.3 particularly resonates with me. But I have a tendency to forget the meaning when I slide down into a blackhole. It's not really surprising, as the nature of the beast with depression means that affirmations get lost amongst the darkness. And so I needed a more prominent reminder. I designed myself a new tattoo.



I wish that when I was younger that I'd learnt how to be confident in myself and that following my own path willingly was the right thing for me to do. But instead I learnt how I didn't fit in, and how there was something wrong with me because of that. I was bullied a lot at school. It's not that I didn't have friends, I did, and I think each of us was an outsider in our own right. But it took me a long time to find people who saw the world in the same way that I did. Or perhaps it took me a long time to accept that there were others who struggled in the same way that I did, albeit with their own, unique reasons. I spent a long time feeling very lonely and I'm a heck of a lot happier for finally buggering off and doing my own thing. But life isn't easy and I still forget sometimes; I find myself getting resentful and angry and then that pain turns inwards.

And so this is my 'get a grip' reminder, right here on the inside of my right wrist. And it makes me smile :)


Introducing Giostra


Giostra is fresh and fun and absolutely perfect cheer-you-up knitting. There's nothing complicated, not even the bobbles, and it knits up very quickly in Aran weight yarn.



The recommended yarn is Lorna's Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies, which a wonderfully soft yet robust single play yarn that comes in the full range of LL colours. Giostra is absolutely *perfect* for variegated yarns!



The pattern is worked in the round, bottom up, and comes in 4 sizes from 6months through to large adult. The way the pattern is constructed means that the regular jog or join that you see when working garter stitch in the round is all but eliminated. The soft peak at the crown makes for a well fitting and comfortable Hat that avoids the usual beanie constriction.



Besides the fun, playful nature of this design, this Hat makes me smile because it was one of the first Hats I was able to design after falling so deeply into another black hole. I haven't been able to admit to myself yet that I'd had another breakdown and still tend to refer it as a relapse, but whatever it was, this Hat flowed on the needles, and gave me a great deal of reassurance, and satisfaction.

It's a spring Hat in more ways than one - certainly a Hat to lift those wintry blues!


And now to pass on the fun with a give-away!

I've one skein left of this yarn, Lorna's Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies, in this exact same colourway. One skein will knit you this Hat. To enter into the draw simply leave a comment below in the Comments section (not on FB or Twitter) about what makes the perfect happy Hat for you, and in just over a week's time I'll announce the winner.



Notice - Price Increases from January 1st 2015

As previously discussed on this blog, the price of my patterns and eBooks will increase from 1st January 2015.

The various costs of doing business, from paying my models and editors, to the cost of postage, raw materials and more, have gradually been increasing over the last few years. As has the cost of living, and I can no longer afford to absorb these extra costs.

The price increases will be as follows:

Single patterns will be £3.50/$6 each.

eBooks will have two price points - £10/$17 (WWT, TWT, CWT, PWT etc) and £12/$20 (GS, Bambeanies)

I'm still working out details with the new printer (Magcloud) for the print books, but once the books get back into print, the prices are likely to be as follows:

Printed books - £16/$26 (WWT, TWT, CWT, PWT etc) and £18/$30 (GS, Bambeanies)

You can find details relating to these increases here:

And you can find details relating to the increasing costs of business here:


I would like to reiterate that this price increase is NOT to cover the additional costs that the new EU VAT law will bring. I wrote about this previously, and at this point I am willing to absorb the costs of the VAT (the admin involved will actually cost more than the VAT itself) for the first few months to see how the changes affect things.

You can read more about the new EU VAT law and how I propose to deal with the changes here:


My aim is to continue to provide good value for money, and to maintain the same standard of patterns and books that you've come to expect. Thanks for your understanding and continued support :)