Saturday, 3 August 2019

Tinker, tailor, soldier, Josh


Let me set the scene. We're sat in the lounge, MTM is in an armchair on his laptop doing the weekly online grocery shop. I'm on the sofa working on my iPad.

MTM: "Do we need butter?"

Me: "Yes"

.... tap tap tap

MTM: (holding up the scrap of paper on which I note things we've run out of)  "What is cinnamon powder? Do you mean GROUND cinnamon?"

Me: "Ah yes!" (both laugh) "I was in a hurry when I wrote that, we've got cinnamon STICKS but I forgot what the word was. GROUND is what I meant!"

.... tap tap tap.

MTM closes laptop "Done". He gets up and sits beside me on the sofa, he notices I'm on Etsy.  "Whatcha doin'?  Isn't that the site of all things calamitous and bedevilled in Sue-World?"

"It is, my love, but Our Man In Havanna (actually a talented jeweller on the East Coast) is feeding me info about my US Etsy search positions. Intelligence tells me, despite holding up well in the rest of the world, my listings there have indeed fallen off a cliff.  Just as thing-of-evil (in Sue-World) Josh Silverman threatened  But I think I may be able to beat him at his own game. I have a cunning plan .... mwahhh haaa haaaa!"

"So you're staying with Etsy."

"Only for the time being ... but I HAVEN'T given in, I'm NOT offering fake free shipping."

"Of course, don't let the Bar Stewards powder you down".

Thursday, 25 July 2019

I ain't gonna work on Josh's farm no more - Etsy's Fake Free Shipping is a farce


A waning half moon provides an appropriate time to say that I think my days of selling lampwork bead sets on Etsy may be coming to an end.  

At the end of July, Etsy management are threatening to prioritise in their search engine only sellers offering free shipping to US customers.

If we don't want to absorb the cost ourselves, we have to roll it into the price of our items which is problematic for a number of reasons that are being pointed out to management and they aren't taking any notice.

What it boils down to for my shop is this. If I increase my cost per item to cover "free" shipping, it isn't free and it isn't fair to customers who buy multiple items and customers whose countries are cheaper to ship to than the USA. 

This is FAKE FREE SHIPPING.

Here's a link to a YouTube video which covers the things that have been making me angry for days now and it isn't lessening the more I think about it, I'm gnashing my teeth about being coerced into running my business in a different way by people who I PAY. If I added up all the fees Etsy have charged me over the last eight years I would probably have a heart attack and now they're trying to push ME around! Shouldn't I be the boss of them if I'm paying for the privilege of selling my items on their platform?

The New Moon is on 1 August and as that's the day I will find out if Etsy carry out their threat, this is the Universe telling me it's a good time to start doing something else, I know this seems like I'm cutting my nose off to spite my face because Josh Silverman won't even notice I'm gone but I have to protest. I have told him what I think in the Etsy survey and in the Etsy forums but I'm sure he's still going to do it. 

I want to leave right now but MTM has persuaded me to wait and see if it happens first of all and then take time to see what impact it has on my business.

But this is a pattern with me, I did it years ago, quit a job I liked that was well paid for a super boss because of an unfairness over bonus payments.

In the short term I regretted it, it felt reckless, daft and short sighted, but in the end it led me to going back to college. I retrained and had a whole other career in IT for a while that paid even better. But again, I had to leave because things outside of my control dictated who I worked for and I had no respect for my new boss.

Ultimately, that's how I ended up doing what I do now, leading a creative life which I love (it's unfortunately NOT very well paid!) but that's what I do ...I leave things I love behind and I cannot stop myself, I know if Etsy carry out their threat to send my shop into search obscurity, I will do it and there's not a damn thing anyone can say to dissuade me. 

If the pattern continues, it will lead to something even better next and I can't wait to find out what that is!

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Crocheted rainbow bunting

Rainbow bunting celebrating Pride month 2019

Crocheted rainbow bunting made in June 2019 to celebrate Pride month. 


I started making it when Ravelry made it's announcement that it was banning conversation about Donald Trump on its website as follows:

"We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry. We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is unambiguously support for white supremacy. For more details, read this document: https://ravelry.com/content/no-trump"


This is a position I wish to support.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Long tall sally crocheted scarf pattern


ABBREVIATIONS (using UK terms)

st - stitch
ch - chain
tr - treble
htr - half treble
PSM - place stitch marker in previous ch (or st) just worked
dc - double crochet
sts - stitches

MATERIALS

2.5mm and 3.00mm crochet hook
I used Rico's Creative Melange one 50g ball was enough for my scarf (65 inches long by two and a half inches wide), if you make yours longer or shorter, you may need to adjust yarn quantities.
Darning needle
Two stitch markers



GAUGE

32 st x 20 rows worked in pattern equates to 4 inches though please note, the width of the finished scarf is only two and a half inches. It's a tall and skinny scarf (hence the name!)

HOW TO WORK THE SPECIAL STITCHES IN THIS PATTERN

dangle ending:
3 tr in 4th chain from hook, 4 tr in next ch, 4 htr in next ch, 1 htr in next ch

dtr3tog:
yo twice, insert hook in previously worked st, yo, pull through st (4 loops on hook), (yo, pull through 2 loops) twice (2 loops on hook), yo twice, skip 1 st, insert hook in next st, yo, pull through st (5 sts on hook), (yo, pull through 2 loops) twice (3 loops on hook), yo twice, skip 1 st, insert hook in next st, yo, pull through st (6 loops on hook), (yo, pull through 2 loops) twice, yo, pull through 4 loops on hook, ch 3

dtrxst:
yo twice, skip 1 st, insert hook in next st, yo, pull through st (4 loops on hook), yo, pull through two loops, yo, skip 1 st, insert hook in next st, yo pull through st (5 loops on hook), (yo, pull through 2 loops) 4 times (1 loop on hook), the stitch looks like an upside down lowercase “y”, ch 1, tr in intersection of the “y” to complete an “X” shape

FOUNDATION ROW

If, like me, your chains tend to be on the tight side, use a 2.5mm hook to ch multiples of 4 (I did 464), change to 2mm hook, ch a further 22, make a dangle ending (see above special stitches), dc in each of next 15ch, PSM, dc in every ch to end, 15 ch, turn

Row 1:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 8ch, htr in next st, tr in next st, dtr in next st, ch 1, dtr3tog, *ch 3, dtr3tog, repeat from * until 2 sts before you reach the stitch marker



ch 1, dtr in previous st (indicated above), tr in next st, htr in next st, ch 18, turn

Row 2:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 11ch, dc in each of next 3 sts, dc in 1ch sp,



dc in centre of dtr3tog, PSM, * 3 dc in 3ch sp, dc in centre of dtr3tog, repeat from all along length, ending with dc into the centre of the final dtr3tog, ch 20, turn



NB do not worry if your work curls a bit like this like mine, it will even out later

Row 3:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 13 ch, dc in every st up to and including stitch marker, remove stitch marker, ch 29, turn

Row 4:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 19 ch, htr in next ch, tr in next ch, dtr in next ch, ch 1, PSM, *dtrxst, ch 1, repeat from * all along length, ending with ch 1


NB Each dtrxst should span a 3ch space inbetween the dtr3togs worked on row 1



The final repeat should span the final 3ch space of row 1 (as above), skip 1 st, dtr in next st, tr in next st, htr in next st, ch 26, turn

Row 5:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 19 ch, dc in each of next 3sts, dc in 1ch space, PSM, * dc in next st, dc in 1 ch sp, repeat from * all along length up to and including marker, remove marker, ch 23

Row 6:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 16 ch, dc in every stitch all along length until stitch just before marker, remove marker, ss into next stitch, fasten off. First half of Long Tall Sally scarf complete.

FOUNDATION FOR SECOND HALF

Turn scarf upside-down. With the end with three dangles to your right, identify the third ch from the foundation row (see below). Reattach yarn there and then ch 22, turn


Row 7:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 15 ch, dc in same ch as yarn reattached, dc in each of next 4 st, PSM, dc in every ch all along length until stitch indicated below


ch 18, turn

Row 8:
make a dangle ending,  dc in each of next 8 ch, htr in next ch, tr in next ch, dtr in next ch, dtr3tog, *3 ch, dtr3tog, repeat from * working the final leg of the dtr3tog where stitch marker is, remove stitch marker, ch 1, dtr in same st, tr in next st, htr in next st, ch 13, turn

Row 9:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 6 ch, dc in each of next 3 sts, PSM, dc in 1 ch sp, dc in centre of dtr3tog, *3 dc in 3 ch sp, dc in centre of dtr3tog, repeat from * ending with final dtr3tog, dc in each of next 2 sts, ch 20, turn

Row 10:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 13 ch, dc in next 3 sts, PSM, dc in every st all along the length up to and including stitch where stitch marker is, remove stitch marker, ch 21, turn

Row 11:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 11ch, PSM, dc in each of next 2 ch, 1 htr in next ch, 1 tr in next ch, 1 dtr in next st, *ch 1, dtr in next st, repeat from * all along length, ending in dtr in st where stitch marker is, remove stitch marker, tr in next st, htr in next st, ch 24, turn

Row 12:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 17ch, dc in next st, PSM, dc in each of next 3 st, *dc in 1 ch sp, dc in next st, repeat from * all along until you have no more ch sps, dc in each remaining st up to and including where stitch marker is, remove stitch marker, ch 17, turn

Row 13:
make a dangle ending, dc in each of next 10ch, dc in every stitch all along length up to and including stitch marker, remove stitch marker, ss in next st, fasten off.

FINISHING

Blocking does not make much difference to this scarf's finished appearance but do feel free to block if you have any curling issues as it will straighten this out.


Close up of the dangle endings.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

My dishwasher is having a laugh



Your dishwasher packed in ages ago, you've been handwashing the dishes for months. You finally get round to calling the repair shop and they ask "what's the problem?" It's been so long, you've forgotten. You run the machine ... and it works .... perfectly. 

Gah, pass the Nivea!