Thursday, 2 August 2018

Smaller Than Small Hoops

I am always on the look out for ways to diversify my products whilst staying true to my stitchscaping roots. Often people will tell me to 'just stick some crochet products on the stand', or 'can't you whip up some cushion covers on the machine and sell those?'
Whilst I could do both, they aren't my style and I get a real knot in my tummy whenever someone suggests to just throw something on. It isn't their fault, especially as they are usually trying to help me to make money, but part of a business is creating an identity and an image that will instantly make people think of your product. There is nothing wrong with creating new products and expanding your range, but it has to be in-keeping and with reason behind it other than additional pennies otherwise it looks strange. When putting a stall together, you have to think really hard about creating a coherent story and if you have bits of this and bits of that it gets muddled and confusing. Or perhaps I'm cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Anyway, leaping down from my soap box, these are my latest little lovelies!! Super cute miniature hoops designed to be pendants that you can wear as necklaces!! Surprisingly, just the bare bones of these hoops are pretty expensive for what they are, and currently I can only source them from overseas (unless anyone knows of any British wholesalers who stock these?) so they take a while to arrive but I am very excited by them and they come in all different shapes and sizes! You can even get some with cat/bunny/bear ears on, although I don't fancy going down that novelty route.

There are several parts to the hoop, you have your outer hoop, then an inner wooden piece that you draw the fabric around, and an outer wooden piece that glues onto the back and hides the rough edges. They aren't hoops you can actually sew in so I have been working the stitching in a bigger hoop, putting in several shapes at a time like I do with my framed Stitchscape minis or the Stitchscape Pebbles and then cutting them out individually.

They are slightly different to my norm in that to reduce bulk, the sewing is worked directly onto a patterned fabric and not onto fabric layered over calico- especially for the little tiny 2.5cm circular hoops as they really are diddy and only thin fabric layers will do. I have been having so much fun with these!!

I have been putting detached chain stitch daisies surrounded with running stitches into the baby hoops, but I have run out of these little ones until my next delivery, whereupon I might try some bullion knot roses? What do you think?

Currently there are two sizes of oval hoop, and I may have overfilled the little one getting carried away with my bullion knots. Perhaps I will try some rows of detached chain stitch daises in this shape as well, although the knots don't look bad. They work better in the larger oval for me though and I like that they are clustered towards the bottom with some space above the flowers.

There is even a hexagon shape which is The Mother's favourite and reminds me of those glass terrariums you plant succulents into. I think I can get hold of two different sizes of this shape although as it is my first order, I didn't request many of these. I only bought two I think. Should I order more?

I also have on order some black, blue and green suede cord threads to turn these little pieces into necklaces and will let you know when those arrive. They would make lovely and unusual Christmas presents don't you think? Hopefully I can make lots as I have just signed up to have a stand at The Wealden Times Midwinter Fair at The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood. It promises to be a jam packed Christmas shopping event so I shall have to get cracking now!

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