Monday, 10 December 2012

Quartermile Christmas Market

I have been invited to have a stall in the first ever Quartermile Christmas Market this Friday in Lister Square near Edinburgh University.

This small traditional Christmas market will have a good mix of stalls and is in the heart of the Quartermile residential/office development.  Do come and have a look if you are in the area.  Due to a poor weather forecast, it is going to be held in an empty retail unit alongside the square.  More location details are on my craft fairs page.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Creative Cairngorms Christmas Pop-Up Shop

My knitting is going to feature in a Christmas pop-up shop being run by the Creative Cairngorms group of artists and crafters in the centre of Aviemore.  The shop will be open from 10am to 5.30pm from November 30th to December 9th in the former Julian Graves health food shop opposite Tescos on Grampian Road in the centre of the village (PH22 1RH).

Apart from my knitting, they will have a wide range of affordable good quality hand made crafts including tweedwork, silk scarves, jewellery with semi-precious stones, engraved glasswork, natural soaps, candles, bath bombs, feltwork, pottery, stained glass, wooden furniture, sculptures, fused glass, photos and fine art.  Most of the artists and crafters will be staffing the shop (unfortunately I won't be one of them due to the distance involved), so there will be an opportunity to chat to them and ask questions.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

It's Christmas Craft Fair Season!

I'm very busy with craft fairs at the moment.  The Byres Road Makers Market last Saturday was really busy with 1300 visitors.  This photo was taken by the organisers then:

The Byres Road Christmas Makers Market, the last of their markets until the end of February, is on Saturday 17th Nov and should be even better.

This weekend sees the annual Winter Food and Gift Fair at New Lanark.  I will be there from 10am until 5pm both days.

Finally, I'd like to highlight my local annual Milngavie Christmas Craft Fair in Milngavie Town Hall.  A photo of their flyer is below:

Full details of these 3 events and others I'm exhibiting at can be found on my "Craft Fairs" page above.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Beanie Designs, Old and New

This is my latest design of unisex beanie hat, new for Autumn/Winter 2012.  My beanie hats are a standard adult male size, also suitable for medium/large size ladies' heads.

This is a simple design in tartan green and navy.  Other colour combinations are available.

The Saltire beanie is an old design from 2 years ago, but it is still probably my most popular hat.

All my beanies are made using New Lanark Aran wool and cost £7.50 at craft fairs and at the Magpie's Eye Gallery in Govan.  They are also available from New Lanark and the Loch an Eilein Gallery, although their prices are naturally higher to cover their costs.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

New Baljaffray Handknit's Stock at The Magpie's Eye Gallery in Govan

The Magpie's Eye Gallery in Govan, Glasgow, has just sent me this photo of their display of my latest delivery of knitting to them.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Design Update - Fingerless Gloves

This week, I've been working on a new range of fingerless glove designs for this Autumn.

The photo above shows my original design from last year.  This particular one is knitted in vintage dark grey wool (probably 1950s/60s) that I found in a shop in the West End of Glasgow, but I usually use New Lanark wool, as in the photo below (Denim Aran wool).

The photo below shows a new cable design, elongated chain cable, in Woodland Aran wool and is shown in a larger size.

This one uses an S wave cable and is also shown in a larger size.  It is knitted using New Natural Aran wool.

These particular gloves are part of an order for the Loch an Eilein Gallery, but my standard price is £10 a pair for my long fingerless gloves at craft fairs.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Yarns, Buttons and a Wonderful Holiday

I've just got back from a wonderful holiday in Wester Ross (NE Scotland).  It was lovely to get away from the endless rain we've been having in Glasgow recently.  I hear Wester Ross desperately needs rain, but I loved the opportunity to enjoy their isolated sandy beaches (muffled in jumper and wind-proof coat) and spectacular mountain scenery.

During my stay I spent a day on Skye, which is where I got my initial inspiration for Baljaffray Handknits just 3 years ago (see "About Me" section, above).  During this week's day trip, I visited a wonderful shop which has the unusual name of "The Handspinner Having Fun", where I spent perhaps rather too much money on three lovely skeins of yarn.

The shop is well signposted from the main road in Broadford.  Don't be put off by the unpromising looking road or the corrugated metal building they share with an amazing second-hand bookshop.

This picture (from their website) gives a hint of the Aladdin's Cave of yarn and finished garments on offer inside the shop.

They specialise in wool of every variety, but, because I have so much New Lanark wool in stock, I bought two skeins of shimmering polyester that they call "Fiesta", which I'm looking forward to turning into cosies of every variety.  I also bought some lime green acrylic yarn that I'm not sure they produced themselves, but the colour was irrisistable.

Earlier in the week I visited the Tuesday Market in Poolewe.  Visit their website here.  I bought these beautiful hand made ceramic buttons (sorry the picture has come out blurred, despite several tries) made by Loch Broom Pottery there, but there's such a variety of goods on sale there that there is something to suit everyone.

I also visited The Market Street Collective In Ullapool, a gallery featuring local artists and crafters.  You can visit their Facebook page here.  I bought these hand crafted wooden buttons there.

The picture doesn't really do them justice as the contrasting colour and pattern of the bark on the edge is what really makes them special.

So watch this space and the Baljaffray Handknits Facebook page to see what I create with my holiday purchases.

Friday, 15 June 2012

New Free Knitting Pattern

I've designed a new free knitting pattern (click page above) for a mock cable ipod or mobile (cell phone) case.  It's now on the Knitting Pattern Central website:

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Design Update Spring/Summer 2012

It's a while since I posted my latest designs, so long in fact that you have to click the "Older Posts" button at the bottom of the page to see them!

So, here are some of my latest designs.  Some of this work has already appeared on my Facebook page.  Prices quoted are what I charge at craft fairs and may be higher where they are available through shops.  For details of the shops mentioned in this post, see the page above.

I've designed and knitted this table mat design in a variety of colours and weights of cotton yarn and in two sizes.  The edges curl upwards slightly to give a pleasing "flower petal" edge to the mats.  Prices vary according to the size and weight (thickness) of the yarn, but I charge around £6.50 for the thicker ones in the larger size.  They are also currently available in Aviemore and Govan.

These knitted rose hair snaps double up as button holes and come in a variety of colours.  I have also knitted larger ones and created rose hair bands.  I charge £2.50 for the hair snaps and £5 for the hair bands. These are also available in Aviemore and Govan.

This new design of mobile case comes in 2 sizes, the largest of which will take an iphone.  Prices vary according to size and type of yarn and button, but the larger one knitted in New Lanark wool is £5.  Versions of this case are available in Aviemore.

This design of ipad case is knitted in New Lanark wool and costs £12.  Buttons vary but I generally use printed wooden ones.  A white cotton version is available in Aviemore.

This mobile case is a new cable design.  Those shown are the smaller size and are also suitable for ipods.  I use a variety of yarns and buttons which affects the price, but the smaller ones cost around £3.50 and the larger ones around £4.50.  This design is also available in Aviemore.

This photo is not as clear as it could be and unfortunately has what I think is a lampshade from someone else's stall in the background.  It shows my cafetiere cover on the left (see post from earlier in the year) and 2 new designs of tea cosy.  The two colour "polka dot" one (in the middle) fits a 4-6 cup pot (medium sized) pot.  The one on the right has a stretchy "beehive" shaped design which is ideal for medium or large teapots of unusual dimensions and this one is topped with a rose.  Prices vary according to size and design but are all less than £10 at craft fairs.  The polka dot tea cosy is also available in Aviemore.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Baljaffray Handknits Is Now Available Through The Magpie's Eye Gallery In Glasgow

I'm pleased to announce that items created by Baljaffray Handknits are now available through The Magpie's Eye Gallery in Govan, Glasgow.

The Magpie's Eye Gallery helps to fund the work of Starter Packs Glasgow, a charity which provides household goods to people transitioning from homelessness to renting. The gallery specialises in art, craft, music and vintage items and is an outlet for many other Glasgow crafters.

If you live in Glasgow, pay them a visit. Gavin Dunbar, the manager, will give you a very warm welcome. It's just a two minute walk from Govan Subway Station at 29, Burleigh Street, G51 3LA. Check their Facebook page for opening hours.

You can visit their Facebook page here.
You can visit their website here.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

New Facebook Page

Baljaffray Handknits now has a page on Facebook:

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Pictures From Loch An Eilein Gallery

Eleanor Honeyborne, who manages the Loch An Eilein Gallery, has kindly sent me some images showing my work on display there.

Tea cosies and mug cosies.

Hats and cushions (on the top shelf)

Mobile phone / ipod cases (in basket) and drawstring bags

Quite a few knitted items on these shelves (pictures above and below)

The photo below shows the other end of the gallery where most of the fine art and photography is displayed.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Wonderful Yarn Shop in Glasgow's West End

I discovered a wonderful yarn shop in Glasgow's West End this morning: The Yarn Cake, 148 Queen Margaret Drive, G20 8NY. Beautiful yarns at very reasonable prices plus an amazing variety of beverages and home made cakes. They've got a sale on until next Friday. Well worth a visit for their wee cafe, even if you're not a knitter yourself!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Loch an Eilein Gallery Opens Tomorrow

I had a lovely day today driving up to the Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore to deliver my knitting to the Loch an Eilein Gallery there. The gallery opens tomorrow until the end of October and has a beautiful range of art and craft available to buy. They also sell refreshments. The loch and the gallery are well worth a visit if you are in the area.

You can visit the estate Facebook page by clicking the link below

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Etsy Shop Closed

I closed my Etsy shop today. As many other British crafters have discovered, our high UK postage costs put their largely American customer base off and so it's not been very successful. Postage prices would have had to rise significantly next month anyway.

You can still purchase items directly from me by email (see contact page at the top), by visiting the New Lanark Gift Shop or Loch an Eilein Gallery or by coming to any of the craft fairs where I am exhibiting (see craft fair page at the top).

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Baljaffray Handknits in the Highlands

From March 31st, my knitting will be available at the Loch an Eilein Gallery on the Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands.

The Rothiemurchus estate has featured in many TV programmes such as the BBC's Springwatch/ Autumnwatch and the loch was one of the locations used to film the BBC Monarch of the Glen series. The estate has much to offer those who love nature, walking and outdoor pursuits, as well as shopping in a variety of gift outlets and relaxing in its cafes.

More details of my work there will appear here shortly but, in the meantime, you can find out more about the gallery and the Rothiemurchus estate here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

New Designs For 2012

I have two new designs to showcase this month.

The first is a case for the new style Amazon Kindle e-reader. It has a 3 colour check design with a plain seed stitch flap. The one on this photo is made using navy, ecru and pebble grey New Lanark wool and costs £10.

My second new design this month is my polka dot purses. These come in a large range of colours, all with ecru "polka dots" and cost £3.50 each. These really do show the beautiful colours in the New Lanark wool range off to their best advantage.

Popular Designs Autumn 2011

I've been busy over the last 6 months designing new items, some of which I launched at craft fairs in the run up to Christmas. Here are some photos of the most popular, all of which are £10 or less.

This cosy for coffee shop paper cups comes in a variety of colours and costs just £1.25. It's more stylish and environmentally friendly than endless cardboard sleeves.

This cable mug cosy comes complete with a mug at £2.75. A variety of colours of both mugs and cosies are available.

After several requests, I also designed a cafetiere cosy for a 6-8 mug cafetiere. The textured two colour design is extra thick to keep the coffee warm. There are two rings of elastic to help the cosy slip over the handle of the cafetiere. The cosy costs £7.50.

This is a new design of tea cosy available at £8. It comes in a variety of colours.

I have designed a range of mobile phone and ipod cases which were very popular indeed in the run up to Christmas. In the picture below, which shows only some of my range, the cabled case on the left with a plain wooden button costs £2.50, the larger ecru one with the printed wooden button (large enough for a Blackberry) costs £3 and the purple one with a hand made ceramic button costs £3.25.

Finally, I designed a range of fingerless gloves which were probably my most popular items last Autumn. They come in a variety of colours and sizes. In the picture, both longer pairs cost £10 and the shorter pair costs £8.50.