A Lesson In Customer Service

This week I had an email from a knitter who had bought one of my patterns.  She was struggling to follow the directions and wanted to check with me because she thought there might be a mistake.

At first I was a little taken aback.  That particular pattern had been test knitted by 6 different people.  Surely if there was a mistake it would have been picked up before now?!  So I checked the stitch count and replied asking for more details.

Sure enough it turned out there was a mistake in the pattern.  And it wasn’t just with one row, it was at least 3 of the 8 row repeat!  By this time it was getting quite late at night, so I promised I would look into it more first thing in the morning.

Next day I pulled up the pattern again, got out my needles and yarn and knitted a swatch.  I was able to work out the problem and fix the pattern in about an hour.  It wasn’t what I had planned to do with that hour, but it was more important.  Once I had re-written the pattern I uploaded the new version to Ravelry and Craftsy who automatically send an updated pdf to those people who had already bought it.  I updated Etsy too but luckily no-one had bought it on there because I couldn’t see anywhere a system in place to let purchasers know it had changed.

Then I set about making things right with my customer.  I apologised but I also said thank you.  If she hadn’t taken the time to alert me,  I might never have know there was something wrong.  To show my appreciation I gifted her a free pattern of her choice.

So my lesson for the week was don’t assume that nothing can go wrong just because something has been tested.  Still listen to the the customer because very often they are usually right!

What do you do all day?

This is a question I have been asked on a few occasions recently.  Not only do my children think that I sit and watch TV all day, but it seems that a lot of people I come into contact with wonder just what it is that I do with my day.

Alright, so I will admit that when I am at the knitting stage of a project I do have a pretty easy time of it.  Yes, I can sit on the sofa with the fire going, get cups of tea as and when I want them and binge watch a series or some movies.  Not a bad way to work?

But that isn’t the whole story.  I do spend many hours in front of a computer too.  Such as now.  Blogging once a week is a business target for 2015.  But what should I write about every week?  Sometimes I have an idea which just flows.  Other days I may need to do some research or take some photos to go in the post.

When I have finished knitting an item I have to type up my notes and turn them into something people can follow to make their own version.  This can be time consuming as I need photos too.  On Sunday we had a lot of snow.  I suddenly jumped up and ran out into it with some boot cuffs.  The white stuff made a fantastic background for the photos and I just had to have them for the pattern page.

When the pattern is written it needs to be listed and uploaded to the internet for people to look at and buy.  This all takes time.  I currently sell my patterns on Etsy, Craftsy, Ravelry and Love Knitting.  So that is four times I have to type in details of the pattern and upload photos and files.  This week I have released the pattern for my Diamond Lace Boot Cuffs which took a few hours of work.

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Then there is social media.  That could swallow up whole days if you let it!  It is not enough to write my patterns, put them on the internet and trust that ‘if you build it they will come’.  They don’t.  And how could they?  Who has told them where to come to?  Me.  I need to tell them where to come and what they will find when they arrive.

Of course I can’t just tweet constantly about my knitting patterns that I am trying to sell.  That would get very old, very quickly.  I need to show that I am a real person.  The clue is in the name – social.  Interaction with other people is key.  So whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram you can’t just post and run expecting people to follow you and love your products.  This week I have really been trying to make a better effort on Twitter and Instagram in particular.  I have posted pictures of work in progress, re-tweeted interesting things other knitters and crocheters are posting.  I have spent hours replying and commenting on things in my feed as well as searching out posts using #knitting and trying to fave and comment on them too.

I am exhausted just talking to you about it!  Then on top of all this I have two children who demand my time, a dog that needs walking and a house that needs to be run.  This weekend we were very lucky to have enjoyed the snow.  Everything was dropped and we just had to rush out into the back garden for an impromptu snowball fight.  These are the sorts of things that memories are made of after all.

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I have tried to include some of this on social media too so that people can see I am a normal person with a normal life.

Despite what my husband might think –  my life isn’t just all about the knitting!  (Even though sometimes I wish it could be!)

Belated Happy New Year!

It has been a while since I last sat down to write.  Before Christmas I was busy knitting and writing the pattern for the item that is going to be in an American magazine.  Was so glad to get that all finished and sent off by the time the kids finished for the holidays!  More details about it in the summer.

Then it was family time.  The kids had finished school and my husband was on leave.  We only had a few days at home and then we drove the length of the country to spend the festivities with our best friends in Wales.  We had a fabulous time and were, as always, very sad to have to leave.

Since the New Year I have been trying to get the house back into order, the kids back into their routines and knitting a cardigan for Marie Wallin.  This week I was finally able to finish it and send it back to her.  It was Derwent from her Lakeside collection.  It is the second version of this jumper that I have knitted for her and I just love the complicated cables.  I knitted the original in the photos.  This is the version I have just sent back.

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Finishing this big project has left me some time to start designing my own patterns again.  This week I have finished and released two new patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first was my Mathilde scarf.  It is knitted in a mohair/silk blend.  It is surprisingly warm, but so lightweight and soft.  I have been wearing my version everywhere and been getting lots of lovely compliments about it.  It is a short scarf, making it perfect to wear under a coat or jacket.  It fastens to the side with a button, but of course this is completely optional.  The diagonal pattern is very eye catching, but you will be amazed how easy the pattern is to pick up.

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The second pattern I released this week was for my Umberella Boot Cuffs.  This is a cute little pattern which will add a dash of personality to your favourite pair of boots.  They have a fab little umbrella motif which is knitted using the intarsia method.  It is a great pattern for your first try at this method, or if you want something quick to knit up one evening in front of the TV.  And they are great for stash busting as the pair take less than one ball of 100g yarn with just oddments for the motifs.

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This morning I have been having a conversation with a fabulous lady SewAngelicThreads who loves to knit but it makes her hands hurt.  We discussed how using bigger needles and chunky yarn might help and this has inspired some ideas for future patterns.  Keep watching out for some new patterns!

All my patterns are available through Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and Love Knitting.  If you don’t knit yourself I can always make it through my Etsy shop.