Yesterday members of The Woolly Hat Society received their emails telling them that they can now get their hands on Lateralis!

 
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The collection is on pre-order, which means you’ll get a new pattern each and every week until the final eBook is ready. You need do nothing extra - the update notices will be sent to the email address through which you purchased, and you’ll be able to download the latest files. Once the eBook is ready you’ll then get the full and final file.

The first pattern available is Duality, which I shared in my last post, and over the next few days I’ll reveal the other 4 patterns.

If you’ve already purchased Elemental - either from this website or Ravelry - then the cart system will give you an automatic 30% discount off Lateralis!

For this to be effective you need to return to the same place you purchased Elemental (mixed shopping carts make a bit of a mess) and it might be wise to double check in your Ravelry Library that Elemental is there, and which shop you bought it from.

It’s important to bear in mind that although my website is a Ravelry store, it’s a distinctly different one to the store you see on Ravelry. I have two separate accounts, with separate records - this was done to enable me to sell in two different currencies and in turn it confuses the system if you mix carts with these types of promotions. That’s why it’s important to go back to exactly the same store.

When purchasing from my website, if you want the pattern or eBook to be added to your Ravelry library then you’ll need to make sure that you’re logged in in a separate tab. Similarly, the system won’t recognise a previous website purchase if you weren’t logged in. So here’s a few tips to help:

  • log into Ravelry & check your purchases section - if the purchase shows USD the you bought it via Ravelry, so use that shop. If it's GBP/EUR then you bought it via my website, so buy Lateralis there.

  • you HAVE TO make sure you're logged into Ravelry when you use my website, otherwise the system won't recognise previous purchases! Neither will it add new purchases to your library.

  • if you know you bought Elemental but can't find it in your Ravelry library then chances are you bought it from my website but weren't logged in - you'll want to go back to your original purchase/download email & add it to you library from there - I can't really help with this

  • the full eBook isn't available yet - you'll get the pre-order file with the release dates & the first single pattern, Duality. Please do read the pre-order file as they contains everything you need to know.

  • if still need to get in touch about a problem purchasing then please PLEASE include your PayPal email & Ravelry username!

  • there's only one of me & I have to pop back to Blighty later today for an important family thing this weekend, so I'll be offline from midday today until midday Sunday (CET) - if you can help yourself with this list or failing that, post in Ravelry, you'll get help much more quickly & reduce the pile-on in my inbox - less stressful all round.

If you haven’t already purchased Elemental but want to, adding them together in the same cart should trigger that 30% off Lateralis for you.

The 30% off promotion runs until the end of October.

Alternatively, you can use bringonthecurves to get 20% off either Lateralis or Duality, on here or on Ravelry. That code is only valid until midnight CET 2nd October, though.

I do hope you enjoy these patterns! This collection has taken so long to come together, with various life things getting in the way, and I’ve felt quite out of touch with it at times, to be honest. Part of me is also sick of looking at them, too! But seeing it all come together, with the yarns and photography and graphics tying it all together, I’m excited about them again. The response to patterns has really given me a lift, thank you!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead

We’re on for the pre-release of Lateralis to be available from thursday and everything feels back on track! So many things feel more under control somehow this week, so I’m making the most of it.

The pre-release will work like this:

The cover and an accompanying PDF (explaining the schedule etc) will be available immediately, as will the first single pattern. Then the single patterns will be published once a week until the final collection as the eBook will be available. Everyone who buys the pre-release will receive an update notification via email each time a new single pattern is published, and you can use the link in the email to download the latest instalment. It’s been a while since I put an eBook on pre-release but I think most folk are familiar now with how the system works.

Working this way allows me to start earning, which in turn means I can pay the team promptly. It means you can get your hands on the patterns as soon as they’re ready and start knitting them! And it gives me and the team vital extra time to add the polishing details to the eBook. Should be a win, win, yes?

And so the first hat to be published will be Duality. It’s a very striking Hat with a very simple detail that’s highlighted by the construction.

 
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The stripes are created by short rows, allowing the fabric to remain balanced. As I say, the stripes themselves, beyond being short rows, are simple in and of themselves - it’s the construction and placement of the stripes that makes this Hat so striking.

 
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Because there are a lot less short rows to this Hat, and because the colourwork is easier to manage, Duality is a great introduction to the construction and an ideal first Hat to try. It also gives you a sense about how the yarns and colours work, which should help you make the right yarn choices going forward for the other Hats. Most of the Lateralis Hats have a preference to whether a variegated or semi-solid works as the main yarn, but with this one it doesn’t matter - you can swap them around and see what happens!

 
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The theme behind Lateralis is symmetry, reflection; factors or concepts of two. Unlike other sideways Hats, these consist of two sections, two halves, that are head-shaped and meet at the crown. This in turn means that the Hats can be worn in two distinct ways, and we’ve aimed to show that photographically.

 
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Not all of the Hats are worked as two halves - some are worked entirely as one piece, with the two sections becoming noticeably after turning through the crown, and some are worked as not quite halves to allow for special short row trickery at the crown, yet still result in a Hat of two equal pieces. I suspect the way the construction works may not be apparent until they’re knitted, and I promise they’ll surprise you in the best of ways.

 
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I’ve put time aside today to (slowly) build the individual pattern web pages today, so you get an idea of yardage and yarn weight requirements. They all use DK weight yarn, and these have been kindly sponsored by RiverKnits so do go and check out her yarns! She’ll be at Yarndale this coming weekend where you can grab your yarns in person; failing that she’ll have her full stock up after the weekend. (one day I’ll make it to Yarndale…. maybe next year?)

 
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Talking of yarn, do bear in mind that these are graded by gauge - there’s virtually no room to adjust the pattern for different sizes. A couple of sizes are included in the pattern, but also in the pattern will be notes on exactly how many stitches and rows make up the Hat, so you can adjust the gauge for other sizes. This something we can definitely talk about more in my Ravelry group - we’ll set up a thread for each Hat.

That’s me done here for today! Tomorrow I’ll introduce the 2nd Hat, Undulous.

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead

Sometime earlier in the year I fancied a trip to Rhinebeck. To not only experience the Sheep & Wool festival, but also to stock up on US indie dyed yarn 'cos it's so ridiculously expensive to ship odd skeins and then pay customs charges on top.

Before I knew it we had a group heading from this side of the Atlantic! And it soon became something bigger than a quick trip...

Carol Feller and I are both sponsoring the Indie Untangled show on the Friday, and I'm preparing marketing materials for indie dyers and knitters who buy indie dyed yarn. This all ties in very nicely with a few plans I've put time into to replace what used to be the print wholesale before I needed to shut down that side of the business. I don't know yet when those materials will be ready, but hopefully before this season is done!

We're arranging a meet up at the main Rhinebeck show for Woolly Wormhead fans and there'll be more about that in the discussion thread in my Ravelry group.

And then last week it occurred to me that I may be able to design a Rhinebeck Hat... 

 
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 ... and there just happened to be a design in my head that needed out onto the needles.

 
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I've been beyond stressed this week and the panic attacks are creeping back, and the black dog is doing it's worst. Knitting this has helped keep me anchored.

 
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and doesn't it create such a beautiful fabric?

 
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The pattern is almost written and ready for editing, and I'm trying to arrange a photoshoot. This isn't something that's gone too smoothly of late but fingers crossed, eh?

The Lateralis collection is now with the graphic designer, and I'm hoping for a cover soon so that I can put it up on pre-release. The single patterns are all done but it won't be ready until layout and final editing is done. I can at least though get the single patterns into your hands as soon as it goes on pre-release - I'll follow up shortly with more info on that. 

 
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I've been thinking about release schedules and how mine is all over the place, because I had a few months forced break earlier in the year. I'm still playing catch-up as we head into the busy season and I know from experience this isn't a good place to be if I want to get the most out of it. Knowing this is what’s behind most of my stress right now - if I can’t produce, I can’t earn.

And the way my business works is that I don’t see the downsides of a problem like two frozen shoulders until the next financial year. When Aran was critically ill and we faced eviction I did very little work for 6 months. The (financial) year this all happened in was fine, pretty normal… but it was the next (financial) year that saw a 25% drop in earnings. And that’s a lot, especially on a relatively low income that the whole family relies upon. And so yeah, that’s what’s eating away at me. Lateralis should have been ready for September 1st but I couldn’t knit and finalise the patterns, so it wasn’t. That then had a knock-on effect for the rest of the team who brilliantly help me produce my eBooks. I’ve missed at least a whole month of earnings on the collection at a time when we could really use it. What I earn between September and January has to keep us going until the following September, and that usually dries up come end of August. Right now, we’re living on our savings, the savings we put aside to pay for pt2 & pt3 of our #brexitscapeplan…. so, yeah.

Anyway. On the upside, Rhinebeck will be fun and Lateralis will be a hit, yes?

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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This coming monday we head to Estonia for two nights, to finalise the bank things and hopefully visit a (textile) museum to make the most of the travel costs. I've heard so many good things about Tallinn and I've no doubt it'll take the edge of travel and business anxiety.

Once this is done, the backend business changes will have all fallen into place and I can start the intense process of changing all the prices and currencies. I've already started making subtle little changes to this website - the company name and VAT number have been added, for instance. 

I've got to commend the Estonian system and my new accountants (LeapIn) for making it all so smooth and painless. I keep expecting something to hiccup but it doesn't. It's such a progressive digital system, quite an eye opener compared to what I know of the UK and Italian systems.

Nonetheless, it's a massive change and I'm anxious. I'm joining the numbers of SMEs and micro, nay, nano businesses that are leaving UK shores. My days of paying tax to the UK are numbered and it's both exciting and sad. I doubt I would have done all this if brexit wasn't a thing but it is and as much as we're at risk on the domestic front from the whole shit show, I've begrudgingly grateful for the nudge to make this change. The business will be better off, there's no doubt about that.

I keep bouncing between emotions and the only thing that's keeping me stable is the clear path ahead to do all the things that need doing. Applying for residency in Italy will not be smooth, and I'm expecting to come unstuck some time in October.  In the meantime, I'm coping (just).

Meanwhile, I'm working away on Lateralis, which I expect to be published in October some time. This collection hasn't been as smooth as Elemental in its development but I suspect that that's as much to do with everything else I'm trying to juggle than anything else.

It has though taken a positive turn these last few weeks. I've been chatting with a very talented indie dyer who wanted to sponsor the collection. I'm not normally keen to take yarn from indies but we've agreed on a collaboration that benefits us both in direct and indirect ways. One of the things that's been missing from the Lateralis collection is colour cohesion. And now it will have it. I won't reveal just yet who the dyer is as they've their own schedule to work too, but be assured you will spammed with the details once we're ready to share! 

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The next few weeks will be critical and you'll likely see me disappear from social media even more than usual. It's all fine and good for now, I just need a little breathing space. And possibly numerous massages and umpteen bottles of wine.

 See you on the other side!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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You'll know that over the years my relationship with print hasn't always been straightforward. I've never wanted to hold tangibles - the idea of having boxes of dead trees around fills me with dread, and I've never wanted to have money tied up in those boxes. That's not a criticism of anyone else's business model, as we all do things the way that suits us best and I know that if I was a big book person myself I would probably push the print side more. But I'm not - I prefer digital books and am never keen to have too much stuff.

Despite this, I've always tried to keep print options open. POD (print on demand) has served that area, as have print distributors of my patterns. But slowly, those areas have slipped away for various reasons, the biggest of which is the low level of sales compared to the amount of work preparing items for print takes.

And now, for a slightly different reason, I'll be closing that last remaining print option.

 
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As I'm sure many of you are aware, Brexit leaves us in a very difficult position... one that will cost us a lot and see us jumping through too many hoops just to try and hold onto what we have here. Yesterday the stress of it all broke me but today I picked myself up and carried on, because I have to.

One of the most important things I need to do is separate me and my business. In the UK I'm a sole-trader, which means me and my business are the same thing. It's the simplest way to do things (it should surprise no-one that I like to keep admin simple!) and it means I'm not officially a registered business. Truth be told I never wanted to be, and one of the few original aims I had was to not be enough of a business to get VAT registered!

But that all has to change. I'm also not very far away turnover wise from the UK VAT threshold so I know the time to change is here whichever way you look at it.

I did think to get incorporated in the UK, as it would make sense to not have to learn a whole set of new tax laws, but we have to do the latter anyway if we're to move our residency to Italy (and nope, I'm not moving my business there - the tax laws are eye watering).  And it's daft to keep my business in a currency that we're not using daily - the drop in the value of Sterling has made the cost of our daily living much more expensive.

There are fortunately options for micro businesses to incorporate abroad, and Estonia is leading the way on this with it's e-residency program. And the companies that offer accountancy services also help set up the business and get you through the process quickly and efficiently for a very reasonable fee (you see why I went this route, yes?). The whole set up is progressive and streamlined and has been very popular with freelancers, digital nomads and the like.

Having done some research and talked to a few companies, I think I've found a company (agency?) to work with who sits well with me. The downside is no tangibles in terms of sales. Having discussed how the Magcloud set up works they're still not keen to support that and rather than lose the opportunity, I've decided to close the POD door for good.

What I earn through Magcloud - both on eBook and print book sales combined - comes to less than 1% of my turnover. So POD sales would be about 0.5%-0.6% of my turnover. And considering how much time and extra effort it takes to prepare for print, and how much I need to reduce and streamline admin, it doesn't make sense to try and fight to keep POD on the table going forward. I closed POD wholesale last month and had been toying with the idea of shutting POD across the board, and this move of business has been the deciding factor.

I know I have a few customers that prefer print and I hope you can appreciate that I've tried to keep that option open but do need to move with my needs and my business.

I'll leave the print option open for as long as I can but I suspect it'll be shut within about a week. If you'd like to get a print copy of any of the books I offer on Magcloud, you may wish to do that sooner rather than later! (I will though try to keep the eBooks on Magcloud, though I'm not sure that's an option without the print side...)

Thanks for your understanding :)

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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