Behind the scenes at THHQ

A while ago on my facebook page a posted a series of ‘behind the scenes’ type pictures, of works in progress, my scattered table of stuff and boxes of yarn, so I thought why not do a whole post all about THHQ and how things operate over here. I’d love nothing more than to show you a gorgeous studio adorned with crocheted accessories, piles of beautifully colour co-ordinated yarns, mood boards, colour charts and all sorts of professional looking things that I see other people doing. Well sorry to disappoint, but operations here are not quite so efficient or professional looking. I have decided though then when we next move house, I want a room that can be my studio, for me to retreat to, and then I can have a defined work place that i go to, rather than having my work infiltrating my home environment. I’m sure my partner would be quite pleased to reclaim our front room from all the yarn thats stacked up in here!

Anyway, enough of my hopeful ramblings, lets start the ‘tour’!

The majority of the yarn is stored in the attic, away from cats and a toddler who is quite keen on chucking things on the floor. Since I took this picture last month, its changed dramatically as I’ve actually rearranged it all by colour and used up a quite a lot of projects – don’t worry though, I’m not running out! A lot of the acrylic yarns are being replaced with cottons for the summer as well as a limited range of colours for the winter (mainly red and white for all the santa outfits you’ve been ordering for your children!)

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It looks a bit mental doesn’t it? The shelves are obviously stuffed full, and then down at the bottom are a few boxes and bags full of stock that I take to craft events. You’ll also notice that the set of drawers to the left is stuffed full of yarn too. Thats where I keep all the small balls and scraps for using here and there. The bottom drawer contains hand dyed yarns that I use for longies/soakers etc. They are not organised in the slightest, its a bit of a free for all in there…

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But thats not all. I do also have a set of boxes which were intended as cloth nappy storage for my son, but instead were taken over by other scraps, and abandoned works in progress. I have this tucked round the corner so I often forget about it. The top right blue box contains two cardigans I started last summer for my son but never finished. One day I will, and the new baby can have them 🙂

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I also have a few bags stuffed full of yarn I’ve been given by various people, such as my partners grandmother and the lady who does my nails occasionally, but haven’t had chance to go through yet. I have a rough idea whats in there but haven’t had time to really work out what to do with it.

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Downstairs in the front room is where most of the magic happens, I have a bookcase in one of the alcoves thats shoved full of pattern books, my notebooks and order books, stationary for sending out orders, works in progress for myself and for customers.. and of course its overflowed into bags into bags on the floor. it did start off being really neat, and there is a sort of system but most of the time it looks like a mess. ha.

I actually don’t have many pattern books, the ones I do have were christmas gifts from my partner and his mum. I prefer to write my own patterns but will sometimes browse the books for inspiration or I will actually make something because I’ve been particularly captured by it. Those of you who are quite eagle eyed will notice the one called ‘Twas the Knit before Christmas.’ Its full of knitting patterns for St Nic, all the reindeer, little christmas trees, presents, stockings etc, and tells the story too. Its really quite wonderful, and the author did a version for the royal wedding too. When I’m on maternity leave, I’ll be knitting up some reindeer for my mantlepiece! You can find the books here if you’re interested in getting a copy for yourself http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/111115664415?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&_lwgsi=y&cbt=y&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=63&ff19=0

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Tucked on the shelf somewhere are a few notebooks. One is for recording the details of customer orders, and allows me to tick them off as I work through them, theres also one for keeping a record of incomings and outgoings, one for patterns, and one for to do lists, ideas, colour themes, etc etc. I could probably do some of this on my computer but theres something nice about writing it all out, especially the orders. I find it helps me remember them more easily if I’ve written them out.

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These boxes contain everything I’m working on, and you can see my pot of hooks and needles at the back there too. Each of the boxes contains a project, or order so I can keep it altogether. It them means that if I want to work outside or take stuff int he car then it’s all in one lace so I can grab it easily.

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Of course the projects have spilled over and some of the bigger ones are in bags on the floor or shoved int he gap between the shelves and the wall. When I have undyed yarn it gets put down there too.

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These are some of the boxes from last month when I was working on an alpaca scarf cardi, a ripple blanket and a pair of shorties. Theres also a partially balled up skein of laceweight that I just can’t motivate myself to do anything with at the moment.

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And heres where I sit while i work. In my front room so I can hear the postman bringing me more yarn, so I can see the TV to watch hours and hours of Greys Anatomy, Criminal Minds and CSI, and I can use my computer easily too. I do sometimes sit int he garden but find it harder to get comfy out there so the sofa is my preferred choice.

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My kitchen is the home for yarn dying, I have my own pans and tools to do it with, and a huge pile of disposable gloves to stop my hands turning funny colours. once the yarn comes out the pot, its laid out on the drying rack, outdoors if its nice, or indoors if it s not, to dry. If I reskein it, then I use my dining table!

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Once everything is ready to be sent, out come the trays of tissue paper, envelopes, stickers etc for me to parcel it all up.

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Ta daa. Looks so organised doesn’t it?

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Its usually at this point my little helper likes to get involved, so if you ever get a parcel with random scribbles all over it, or a few extra stickers, then its because its been packed by a two year old.

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He particularly enjoys checking they fit through the Royal Mail parcel guide, which is a very useful tool to have. At least it was until Alf shoved a massive marcel through it and ripped it. So now its not quite so accurate.

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So there you have it! The inner workings of a Work at Home Mum business, is it as glamorous as you thought?!

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