Etsy versus Dawanda? Ideas?

Today I’m looking for ideas and thoughts on selling platforms and thinking that maybe you will be able to help me make the right decision:)

So when I launched Knitting in France in 2011 I had my very own e-commerce website and it did quite well. When I moved to Normandy in 2013 I closed the website and moved everything to the Etsy platform where I have been ever since. I actually had opened a shop there a long time ago selling my own handmades but it had never taken off and so the shop was partly set up and it seemed like an easy solution to just go there at the time. The idea behind the move was to lower cost and I thought that maybe I could reach a broader audience also.

I’m ok on Etsy although my shop is still a small shop and I’m not making a living selling my yarns and stitch markers. I think Etsy has changed a lot lately and the competition is fierce as there are a million other hand dyers and makers there competing for the same audience so it is difficult to stand out. And lately I’ve also noticed that a number of shops I like are moving off Etsy and opening their own e-commerce website so I’m thinking that I probably went about this in the wrong way.

There is another large platform out there called Dawanda and this year they have contacted me 3 times to incite me to open a shop on their platform and now I’m wondering if I should. Only I’m not very familiar with Dawanda, I have never tried selling there and I have never even purchased anything from there. Setting up a second shop, even if it is on a platform such as Dawanda, is a lot of work. It is time consuming in the beginning to set everything up and list all the items but of course I could just open with 10-20 skeins of yarn to begin with and then add more stuff gradually. But it also means that I’ll have to run 2 shops and 2 inventories because I cannot list the same item in both shops (what if I sell the item on Etsy and before I have the time to take down the listing on Dawanda someone else buys it there? That would be a hassle and not a good experience for the buyer). Also I’d need more time and maybe money for publicity and social media sharing etc.

So is it worth the effort? Do you shop on Dawanda? Do you know anyone who has a shop on Dawanda and know if they are happy there?

Or maybe I should just open up my own e-commerce website again? I own a domain I’m not using for that currently….What are your thoughts?

I sometimes (mostly all the time) feel like the snake that bites its tail (don’t know if that expression exists in English but it does in Icelandic so here goes). I want so very much for my enterprise to succeed, I dream of doing this full time and I have a gazillion ideas for how to make this happen and what I’d like to do but I just don’t have the time as I’m working full time and I have a family of 5 (3 kids). I need more time to expand but I don’t have any time to do so. So I sometimes feel like I’m setting myself up for failure because of that. But maybe a second shop would increase my sales and visibility and bring me more money which in turn would help me to go from a 100% job to a 80% job or something like that. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? 🙂

The other day I was reading up on crowdfunding and I just started to daydream. Wow, if I had the money I’d leave my current job, buy/rent a studio space where I’d have a dye kitchen with space for drying and reskeining, a small office space for accounting, blogging and just general computer work like updating the shop and putting up new listings, a room where I could stock/expose my yarns and have a table for preparing shipping of orders and a couch and chairs and so on to be able to maybe open up 2 days a week or something for people to come and buy in person and to organise meet-ups where people could meet and spend a couple of hours chatting and making friends while knitting/crocheting or spinning and maybe I could even do classes – I could see one where you come and dye your own yarn for a project you want to make. Wouldn’t that be great for someone who is not looking to dye professionally and just wants to try it out once but not on her/his own ? Ohh so many dreams! Well, it’s ok to daydream:)

Back to reality! So basically I’m wondering if trying to launch a shop on Dawanda or not. Maybe I should just go for it, go small to begin with (although I feel that a shop with very few listing does not look enticing nor professional). Do you have any thoughts on the matter? I’d love to hear from you:)

My new yarn/knitting bags

Hi there, I just recently purchased 2 gorgeous bags from a shop I’ve been admiring and drooling over on Etsy for months. Now that I have my bags “for real” I have to share them with you. These are not actually made especially for knitting or yarn but they are perfect non the less. I bought 2 but only have pictures of one. The shop is called Papatotoro and they can be found on Etsy here

If you like my bags, you should definitely go and take a look at their shop. I’d like to buy tons more of these. I dream of having a real knitting studio where I’d have lots of these for my yarns and works in progress. Now here’s what I’m drooling over

www.knittinginfrance. www.knittinginfrance.com gorgeous don’t you think? These are small, sort of handbag sized so you can keep them all over your house, they don’t take up much space:)

And another thing I wanted to share with you. Remember from last time, I talked about being some what of a sock maniac and that my preferred method, at least for the moment, is the tube sock with an afterthought heel? Well, One of the pairs I did, rather than just knit plain stockinette, I did some 3 + 1 ribbing. That was fine but when it was time for me to pick up the stitches for the heel, I ran into trouble. Picking up the knit stitches was a breeze but the same can not be said for the purl stitches. I don’t know if it was just because they were purled or if the yarn had something to do with it also. Anyway I actually managed to DROP almost each and EVERY single one of the purled stitches! Yikes! But as I sat at my desk and made this discovery, I looked to the side and onto my little stash of stitch markers and BLING! I can use my locking stitch markers to keep my dropped stitches safe and just pick them up and knit as I come to them during the first round:) That sounds way better than risking taking my needle out and picking ALL the stitches up again one by one. And so I gave it a try and it worked like a dream.  Here are some pictures and no this is not meant to be a publicity for my handmade markers, it’s just that I did drop way too many stitches picking up the heel stitches:)

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com This does make one smile (me at least) but its also a life saver so I made it through my two afterthought heels in no time and with no stress. So if you run into the same or similar problem when picking up stitches, using locking markers will save your life!

And here are the finished socks

www.knittinginfrance.com

Thats all for now. Take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂

Stitch markers and item reviews

Hi there, last weekend the weather was very bad here in Normandy, no weather to do anything but stay inside and so I used the weekend to dye yarn and make stitch markers.

Today I’m going to show you some of these markers and share with you a review made by a fellow craft blogger regarding my hand made stitch markers and knitting needle holders.

So first some pictures:

cluster stitch marker by Knitting in France   I’me very into “clusters” these days and made a number of sets using just that technique and here you can see one of my “cluster” markers. Even though it has a lot of beads, it’s still very light weight and easy and enjoyable to use so I’m definitely going to be making more of these.

Lobster clasp murano glass stitch markers by Knitting in France Then I made some with murano glass beads, you know the multi coloured glass beads where no 2 are really identical? I made them up into sets of 6 and used lobster clasps so they can be used both for knitting and crochet.

lobster clasp bead stitch markers by Knitting in France   And then I made some more of those with some glass beetles

snag free stitch markers by Knitting in France  snag free stitch markers by Knitting in FRance Now these markers I love. These are snag free stitch markers. I actually make the split ring myself using aluminium craft wire and then close each individual ring with a jewelry glue and a glass bead. These are super cute and very useful. On the left you have a sort of “modern”/serious look I think with chocolate brown rings and muted beads and on the right you have the fun “tutti frutti” version with apple green rings and acid coloured beads. I’m selling these as sets of 15 markers as these are good for lace patterns for example or larger projects so you may want to have a large number of those in your bag of knitting tools 🙂

Here’s a link to the review my fellow blogger Béné did on her blog. She usually blogs in French but exceptionally for me she did this review/post in English so I could share it with my readers more easily. So thank you soo much to Béné for accepting this test project and for sharing your findings and pictures with me and my readers as well as your own:)

Here you can read her review:

What was interesting for me, besides actually getting a serious feedback from a knitter and crocheter about my hand made items, was to see how she uses them and to hear what she prefers as that will help me improve my designs and make better markers and maybe open up new ideas for me. For example, she said she especially liked the locking markers that are like earrings – I too like them but buyers seem to be shy to try them out so I even thought about just stop doing those but now, after the review, I think I might actually order some more and make up a new bunch of those. She says those are especially handy when crocheting amigurimi where the crochet is tight and the stitches small. Here is a picture of such a marker so you get the idea

IMG_2090 IMG_1529 These can be used both for knitting and for crochet and can hang on your needles or mark a stitch in your knitting/crochet.

Another fun idea she gave me, was that she uses a lobster clasp stitch markers to “save” the last stitch crocheted between sessions and I imagine this is especially wonderful when on the road or when leaving your work in your project bag and a single stitch could easily slip of the crochet hook and even unravel!

Crochet markers KiF

Another fun thing I discovered is that she actually uses my knitting needle holders to hold more than one pair of circulars! That is brilliant, so instead of putting one needle in each loop she puts 2-4 needles (1-2 circulars) into the same loop (you can adjust the size of the loop) and that is super useful when you work on many projects at a time such as I do and Béné obviously also 🙂

Holders KiF

So you can see that this test was really useful for me with regards to feedback and new ideas to develop and work with and hopefully it will also increase my reputation and credibility as a crafter that makes quality items for knitters and crocheters. If you like her review or if you think your crafter friends might enjoy it or find it useful please do share this blog post and her review 🙂

Next time I’ll tell you all about my weekend dyeing session. But until then, take care and have a wonderful and crafty week:)