Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Increased pattern availability!

In my last post, I announced that I was (hopefully temporarily) stopping the sale of my patterns through Etsy and Craftsy due to the new rules for the European Union VAT (value added tax) which came into effect on January 1. This left Ravelry as the only platform I was using to sell patterns, because they (bless them!) had provided a workaround which allowed VAT to be charged to EU buyers and remitted properly without me having to worry about it. I wasn't at all happy about having to shut down operations on those two platforms, because I do get sales through them, which means they allow me to reach an audience that selling on Ravelry alone doesn't provide.

However, in reading all the Ravelry discussion about how this tax change affected designers, I discovered there was another platform which takes care of the VAT for pattern sellers: PatternFish!

So, I got in touch with them (lovely people, very helpful!) and am now delighted to be able to say that many of my self-published patterns, including my ebooks, are now available at PatternFish.

And more good news: Etsy recently announced that they now believe they are responsible for collecting and remitting VAT on "instant download" products sold on their site, so as soon as they actually start doing that for my patterns, I'll be bringing my shop there back online.

And speaking of pattern availability, I have one more piece of good news to announce!

This week I made my Tracery vest pattern available for individual purchase. Do you remember it? It was originally published in The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, from Interweave Press, and then later in their book, Knitting Wizardry. The vest looks like this:

Tracery vest

When the original magazine issue came out, I was extremely flattered at the number of people who expressed a wish to be able to buy the pattern individually...and now, you can! :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Info for pattern buyers in the European Union

For those unaware of it, starting January 1, 2015 (i.e. tomorrow), there will be tax changes in effect in the EU. Basically, it appears that their Value-Added Tax (VAT) needs to be collected based on the location of the buyer as opposed to the seller, and apparently, electronically delivered goods like my patterns count for this sort of transaction.

I am in no position to be able to collect VAT myself, so this is a problem.

Fortunately, Ravelry has come up with a solution that will allow me to continue to sell patterns online there without having to worry that Big Bad Tax Officials might come after me if any of my buyers are in Europe. Starting tomorrow, absolutely nothing will change for people trying to purchase my patterns through Ravelry who aren't in the EU. For buyers in the EU, however, the purchases will be routed through a company called LoveKnitting, who will handle all the collection and forwarding of the VAT and it will be tremendously simple. Ravelry and LoveKnitting have even set it up so that EU buyers who are routed from Ravelry through LoveKnitting for their pattern purchases will have those patterns in their Ravelry library! (Ebooks, however, are an exception.)

Got questions? More information for customers is available here.

Unfortunately, however, neither Etsy nor Craftsy have done anything similar for their sellers, nor even provided any kind of tool that would allow me to continue selling to non-EU people so that at least some customers wouldn't have to be affected. Therefore, I've had to take down my patterns from those websites. My sincere apologies if this inconveniences people. :( I promise that if the VAT rules change or if either of those platforms do start providing tools or alternatives for sellers, I will certainly put my patterns back up for sale there as soon as I can.

All that being said - and I do mean this unironically :) - Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Let's talk Christmas

I'm scaling back this year. At this point, there are 15 people on my gift list: the four people (besides me) who live in my house; my close family (three people), DH's close family (three people), and various teachers and care providers for my kids (five people). I decided a number of months ago that I didn't think I would enjoy the stress that would come with committing to knit gifts for all of them. So I started to cull.

There are some people on my list that, to be honest, are always going to get knitted stuff. These are the people that are super-difficult to shop for but very easy to knit for, such as my dad and brother. Teachers almost always get knitted stuff because frankly, if I were a teacher getting about twenty new gifts every Christmas, either my house would be full of crap or I would have to figure out how to get rid of it. But knitted gifties - assuming I have accurately gauged the personal style of the recipient and chosen well with a pattern - are not crap. They are useful and helpful and will (I hope) be kept.

Then there are people on my list who get lots of knitted stuff throughout the year, so I can strike them off my knitting list with very little guilt, i.e. my husband and kids.

So when the dust cleared this year, I had whittled my knitted gift list down to eight people (possibly nine if I can get off my duff and finish the reknitting of one of my husband's sweaters in time). I've already posted about four of the gifties: my dad's socks, which I got started back in on (finally) and are (slowly) proceeding; my brother's fingerless mitts (done); my older BIL's socks (done), and my niece's socks (done). But there have also been:

DD1's teacher (done):

This is "Miss Jane's Hat", by Heide Petroski, and it's been on my queue ever since it came out in the summer 2012 issue of Jane Austen Knits (which, I'm just noticing now, has a 2014 issue out, so I will have to take a closer look at what's in that).

DD2's teacher (done and gifted):

This teacher was already in her third trimester by the beginning of the school year, so obviously I had to knit her something baby as her giftie. :) She's already gone on her maternity leave (baby will probably be arriving any day now) so it was gifted to her before she left. The pattern is "Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater" by Carole Barenys, something that's been in my queue for years. Very sweet.

DD1's gymnastics teacher (done):

The pattern is "Minty", by Erica Jackofsky, which has been in my queue ever since it came out in Knitty about four years ago. And may I just say that it is a fabulous pattern. First of all, the finished garment is super-cute, not to mention that its style is super-"in" at the moment. And it is a very quick and very fun knit. A real pleasure. I could easily go on a Minty jag and knit half a dozen of them before I knew what I was doing. Highly recommended.

DD2's art teacher (done):

I've really, really been trying to knit from the queue lately, and this pattern is no exception: it's "Citron", by Hilary Smith Callis.

To make it, I used almost a complete skein of Kidsilk Lace, by Hedgehog Fibres. It didn't allow me to do all five sections that the pattern called for, but I did four, and that gave me a very nice-sized piece so I've no complaints. And let me tell you something about this yarn - I myself could never wear it because my skin just doesn't get along with mohair even if you do put 30% silk into it, but at one point I had to frog back quite a bit of it and was delighted to find that it was not impossible. Sure, it got a bit sticky and difficult at points, but by and large, it frogged fairly easily and the yarn seemed none the worse for it. More amazement came when it was time to block the shawl. I gave it a full soak (warning, it looks gross, but I promise, it's just knitting, not animal flesh):

Naturally, I expected to be left with a vibrantly pink bowl of water when I took the shawl out, but NO. I swear to you, the water was clear as a bell. I looked very closely - the colour (which as you can see from the shots is quite intense) didn't seem to bleed AT ALL. I still don't really believe it. But you can bet that if anyone mentions to me that they want a laceweight mohair/silk blend, I will recommend this yarn until I'm blue in the face. It was a (very generous) Christmas gift last year from my older BIL, and he actually gave me two skeins of it, here's the other one:

(Ignore the cable needle; I have no idea why that's stuck in there, I never even use it.)

I suspect I'll be using that purple skein to make another Citron for DD2, whose favourite colour is purple (and for whom four sections of that shawl is exactly the right size to give her a very nice sized cape).

(Just not as a Christmas present!)

Finally, my cousin and his little family are visiting at the end of November. They live in Chicago and we rarely see them, and this will be their last visit before Christmas. So I made their little daughter a little something:

(It looks done, but I still have to wash and block it.)

The pattern is "Entrechat, by Lisa Chemery, and like pretty much everything else I've been making lately, it's been in my queue for a very long time. Look how adorable that thing is. It's a really lovely little pattern and I enjoyed making it. I also enjoyed that I got it on sale, thanks to the Indie Design Gift-A-Long. The sale is over by now, but the Gift-A-Long itself lasts for two months and runs until New Year's Eve, so it's not too late to get involved, if you're keen. After all, I'm sure I'm not the only person knitting holiday presents!