Sunday, 22 February 2015

Coffee To Go

caffè latte shawlette by yours truly
ice yarns angora design in 'brown shades'
ice yarns angora premium in 'ivory'
A caffè latte is more than just a milky coffee, even if it is exactly that when translated from the Italian!  But if you're a coffee drinker, well, it's much more that that; it's coffee heaven!

To the Italians, a caffè latte is a brew made at home for breakfast, which would be accompanied by one of their many delicious sweet pastries, but to those of us brought up more on coffee-shop coffee than home-made coffee from a moka pot, then, mmm-mmm, lattes are a staple for day-long caffeination!

I find watching a barista steam milk and gently pour it into an espresso, then add some latte art on the top in the form of a latte-are rosetta (or fern motif) just the right balance of relaxing viewing to counteract the caffeine shot about to hit!  Plus you have the added bonus of the extra yummy tasty coffee treats you can get; just by adding flavoured syrup you can be in caramel latte heaven!  Or pumpkin spice heaven! Or gingerbread latte heaven (my personal coffee cloud 9)!  

So, taking my favourite hot beverage as inspiration, the Caffè Latte shawlette has a latte rosetta edge, with lacy, frothy steamed milk:

a cabled hit of coffee bean:

with a short-row body of caffeine heaven, finishing with a simple eyelet edge - that bit of creamy froth that's always left in the bottom of your cup:

But really it's worked from the short edge of the latte strip using 3 balls of yarn at a time, and when I say simple intarsia, I mean simple!  So simple that this was my first attempt at working the technique!

The rosetta, froth, coffee bean cable, and more froth were all worked together in a long strip:

then bound-off to one stitch, turned 90 degrees and then picked-up lengthwise (please excuse the unfocussed photo):

and the body of the shawlette was worked in good old stockinette stitch, with the unsupped eyelet froth to finish!

You have a choice with the transfer of the contrast colour (I used the ivory as my contrast, the brown mix as the main colour) for the body of the shawl - you can do as I did and have a highlight ivory purl edge between both sections, which is worked in staggered lines (you can see it clearly in the first photo), or there are instructions for a pure stockinette changeover.  Both are pleasing to the eye in their own lovely way!

But where, I hear you ask, can we find such a tasty, tasty pattern?  Never fear, Ravelry and Loveknitting are here!  The main pattern page on Ravelry is open to ALL whether you are a member or not, and you can either click the buy-it-now link on the page, or you can click on the handy button below!  

Now, if you've read my last blog post, you'll know that payment will be a bit different for the next few months, so depending on where you are, you'll either find yourself going straight to the PayPal page as of old, or you'll find yourself at a Loveknitting page, and through that you'll be directed to PayPal. In the end, it's all still PayPal, just different ways of getting there.  There may be a slight delay for the link to work through for EU buyers, but please check back.

But Red, I hear you ask again, how much are you charging for such deliciousness? Well...  this is where it gets complicated.  Give or take a few pennies/cents either way, I will be charging €4 for this lovely shawlette pattern... 

Normally with my new patterns, I like to offer you all a deal, money off the pattern with a special code, for example, but because of the new system of selling, it's not something I can do just now.  SO INSTEAD I'm taking 25% off the price for the next 2 weeks!  Yes indeed, until the 8th of March you'll find this delight available for the introductory price of €3 (or the monetary equivalent of your country!)

Grab it while it's hot!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Merry VATmess And A Bamboozling New Year

Micro-sellers roasting on a gov'ment whim,
VAT nibbling at your costs,
Yuletide tax being slapped on to skim
Tiny profit, all is lost,
It's a profit frost that doesn't help the little man
Make the season bright of yore,
Puny sales not worth much, down the pan,
Won't find it hard to close the store.

We know it started in '08,
Before the digi world was fixed in any state
To understand just how the internet
Would let the little guys soar like a jet.

Ravelry's offering a simple fix,
To help those suff'ring this snafu,
And with Loveknitting, all the boxes have ticks,
To bring patterns to the EU...

All parodies aside, it may have escaped your notice that the UK/EU in their desire to crack down on those big companies who are avoiding paying taxes in the UK (there's usually at least one story a week in the British tabloids about some massive company or other's UK tax dodge) has issued new tax laws that come in to force, oh, yesterday, to try and get them to cough up.  

Why is that a subject of YOUR blog post, Red?, I hear you ask... well...  It appears that all this new VAT tax shall probably achieve is the shutting down of many, many micro digital businesses...  It's a long, convoluted story on a subject that I must admit to not completely understanding enough to be able to wax lyrical, so I shall take Ravely's own code monkey, Casey's explanation:
On January 1st, 2015, a complex set of tax changes goes into effect in the European Union. Sellers of pattern PDFs now have to pay tax to European Union member countries when a pattern buyer resides in that country. [For more information and resources, see]
You can imagine the amount of pain this will cause to micro businesses and hobby designers, and I understand that there are not just a few of which have chosen (keeping to my specialist area, knitting) to stop selling their patterns completely, or offer them all for free.

As a band-aid, Ravelry and Loveknitting (a yarny shop website that sells all things knitting and crochet) have teamed together to offer EU designers a way to keep selling their patterns but without the headache of working out the VAT for each different country in which the purchaser resides.  (Oh yes, it is that complicated!)  

What do you need to do?  Absolutely nothing.  You can buy patterns as normal, through Ravelry, through my links, and now, also through Loveknitting.  Depending on your location, you will either be directed to pay through the Ravelry platform, or the Loveknitting platform.  (They also Lovecrochet, too!)  But thanks to this new VAT, prices will change, albeit only by pennies/cents, and each country will have a separate rate. You cannot BEGIN to imagine how thankful I am for this collaboration between Loveknitting and Ravelry.

We've been given a 6 months fees-free chance to keep selling our patterns, which is marvellous.  IF this mess hasn't been cleaned-up after 6 months, then LK will begin to charge us 20% commission on every pattern it sells.  I hope you understand that I will have to match this commission in my prices if that day comes...  I hope not!

So, really, thanks for reading, thanks for buying, and thanks for knitting my patterns!  I would have been devastated to have to pull my patterns, and stop designing, so I think for now I'm just going to continue to be grateful for small mercies!

Merry New 2015!

(And because I can't leave this post without a little knitting pr0n, here's a little hint of something that should be getting released into the wild in a week!)  ;)

All text ⓒNW

Mair Bloag Weejits

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Heh! I'm so funny!

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