March Meet the Maker

This month I have been participating in the wonderful March Meet The Maker challenge. For those of you who haven’t heard about this or are just unsure what it’s all about, I’ll let Joanne Hawker, the creator of the challenge, explain in her own words;

The idea behind #MarchMeetTheMaker is to show the side that people don’t usually get to see… to show that we’re not all faceless brands. We’re just normal people creating beautiful things by hand.

Since this challenge is aimed mostly at Instagram (even though I’ve posted my photos onto my Facebook page too) I thought it would be nice to share what I’ve done so far with you guys. Some of you follow me here and don’t use Instagram or Facebook and I like everyone to get to know me equally! You lucky things!
At an almost half way point of the challenge, here are my Meet The Maker posts so far…

A photo of me in my office

Day 1: You

The first prompt is “you” so…this is me! My name is Kelly and I am the face behind RowRow and Kades. I am originally from a place in the North East of England called Middlesbrough but I now live just down the road in Co. Durham. I am mam to two boys, Kaden and Rowan, and partner to their daddy, Terry. I started hand knitting when I was 6 and I’ll be 42 in April! Before Rowan was born I was designing mainly adult knitting patterns for Let’s Knit! Magazine, a front runner in UK knitting mags. Once Rowan arrived I didn’t have the time it takes to design garments anymore so I took a break from Let’s Knit and started RowRow and Kades instead – mainly because I’m addicted to knitting. Now Rowan is almost 2 years old I am moving back into designing for the magazine but I’m going to do it as well as RowRow and Kades because I love doing both.
So there we are. A very long winded all about me! Nice to meet you. Tell me about you in the comments!
Snowy view from my home

Day 2: Where?

This is the view from my front door looking to the right! I live in a village in the North East UK and we are currently snowed in but it’s so pretty! My little office you saw yesterday is here in this house with this view so… yeh! This is where the knitting magic happens.It doesn’t normally have my neighbours flat pack boxes. They’ve been decorating.

Day 3: How it Started?

My nana taught me to knit when I was 6 years old. This is me (far right) with my nana and my big brother. She only knitted on straight needles but she taught me to make toys. I made one of those dolls with a head at either end instead of legs. It had a long skirt that always covered one of the heads. One face was happy and the other was sad, so I could switch between the two with a whip of her skirt. She was full of holes and dropped stitches and rather miss shaped as a result but I was so proud of my doll. No idea where she is now though ?

Skip forward 30 years and I was still knitting (mostly in secret because I felt it was an old fashioned hobby) and I applied for Let’s Knit! Magazine. My first pattern, Emmeline, was published in September 2012. Such a proud moment for me and I’ve never looked back! Check out the chubby photo of me in that let’s knit mag! I need to send them a new one!

Dragon Egg Bonnet

Day 4: Favourite Make

Mine has to be my Dragon Egg bonnet which was originally a vintage bonnet pattern that I re-wrote for the sizes I needed. I love the stitch pattern and how it overlaps itself. It really does remind me of a dragon egg! I’m really into sci-fi and fantasy so it’s probably another reason I love making it so much.

Photography Layout and props  Flat lay of work in progress

Day 5: Photography

I am no photographer! I have gradually learned what works for me through a lot of trial and error but I really do have the absolute basics when it comes to photos.
You can see from the first photo how the second image was created. I have a piece of wood which I lay on top of my storage cupboard in my office (hence the printer to the far left!). It’s just by the window so I get decent light most days… not today though! I wrap a nice piece of wallpaper around it and keep it taut and place my items on top. After that I used my phone camera which is a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (for anyone seriously wondering!) I edit using an app on my phone called Snapseed which I swear by. And that’s it. Nothing fancy here!

Office Space

Day 6: Workspace

I remember sharing this last year and I had a cupboard in my living room with wool and paperwork piled on top. I hadn’t really started my business and it was a mess. Skip a year and I have decorated my spare room to resemble an office! Hooray!
This is were I blog and write newsletters and list my Etsy goodness. It’s also where I pack your orders and write you notes. It’s my little cubby hole and I love it.
I can never show you what is on the other side of the camera though because I share the space with my partner, Terry, and let’s just say it’s not so pretty ?? Boys.

Flat lay of Work in progress and journal

Day 7: Routine

I don’t really have a routine. It’s impossible to stick to it with a toddler. I cram in work where I can and knit most evenings. I write all my plans, ideas and to do let’s in my awesome business planner by @thegirlsmeanbiz (Love it!!) and do my best to keep up to date.
Knitting, planning, planning, doing, knitting. That’s about it!

If you would like your own awesome marketing planner have a look here. This does contain an affiliate link.

Flat lay of pink things

Day 8: Flatlay

We all know I love a good flatlay and March 8th was International Women’s Day so I made a special girly one. Let’s hear it for the girls! Girl power etc… Who run the world?

Flat Lay of Work in progress

Day 9: How it’s Made

I’ve got to admit I did struggle with this photo. It’s tricky to show knitting without actually knitting and I want to save video for a different post later in the month.
Things are usually made with plenty of coffee and chocolate involved.

Mug of coffee and yarn

Day 10: Relax

Ahhh to relax! I don’t get much of that around here. When my toddler naps I use the time to frantically catch up on everything I need to. When he goes to sleep at night, I use that time to focus on what needs to be done. If I’m relaxing then I’m watching Netflix with a cup of something warm and knitting. I can’t watch TV without knitting. So I’m never far from yarn. I am completely addicted to the stuff. Maybe I should get a pet sheep! ???? How do you relax?

RowRow and Kades Logo

Day 11: Logo

I wanted my logo to be simple but elegant. Something that was easy to read and pretty too. I found the text and loved it. The heart was hand drawn for me by the amazing snapclicker
I love my logo. It’s exactly what I wanted. I hope you love it too!

Pretty pink packaging

Day 12: Packaging

I do admit to taking pride in my packaging and it has evolved into something I really love.
Everything is wrapped in pale pink tissue, sealed with my logo heart sticker, and wrapped up in lovely soft string. A thank you card and social media card is attached to the wrapping and it is placed into a plain white box. The box is then sealed up with beautiful sparkly silver tape. Inside the package, the item has a washing instructions card attached to a lovely ribbon.
I wanted the packaging to make the items even more special. To cause a little ahhh when they pop through the letter box. To give joy before the item has even been seen. I hope that it does all those things

Clothes and unicorn slippers

Day 13: Work Clothes

I am very lucky to be able to do this from home and not need any sort of uniform or protective clothing. So my work clothes are whatever I’m wearing that day…and my sleepy unicorn slippers.

So that’s where we are so far on March Meet the Maker. I hope you have enjoyed reading about it and getting to know me a little better. To be honest, you deserve a pat on the back for getting this far! If you want to keep up to date with the rest of the meet the maker posts I’ll be posting over the rest of the month, you can see them on my Instagram page or my Facebook page.

See you next week with a guest blog from an Edinburgh dance teacher. Catriona from Cat’s Dance School will be popping by to let you know all about her 5,4,3,2,1 Things. I can’t wait!

I would love to invite you to join my brand new facebook group; RowRow and Kades Wool Baa and be the first to hear about new collections, special offers and competitions by signing-up for my newsletter

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