Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meet the Artist - With Nifty Knits

My second Meet the Artist feature is dedicated to a new discovery I made very recently. I am proud to introduce the very talented, fun, and brilliant Heather of Nifty Knits!

Tell my readers a bit about yourself.

My name's Heather, I've lived with my lovely husband for an outrageous 30 years and we have three grown-up children. I used to be a teacher up until last year when I got bitten by stress. I'm now without a "day-job" but have lots of time for knitting :-)

We live in the beautiful Kent countryside in the South of England.

Where did you learn how to knit?

I learned to knit as a child, I think my grandmother taught me. I remember making a teensy dress and hat for my Cindy doll. I hadn't knitted for decades up till last year - knitting turned out to be almost as effective as meds for combating stress.

* I have to agree. Nothing like a creative outlet to revive the soul.

Do you develop your own patterns? If so, do you sell them or would you rather keep them to yourself and sell a finished product?

When I took up knitting again I used patterns, in fact I almost didn't realize at first that I was "allowed" to make stuff up! Now, a year or so on, I much prefer just picking up my needles and making it up as I go along. I don't sell my patterns - if you could see the scraps of paper with lots of crossings out and vague diagrams, you'd soon realize why!

Pinky and his new friend Owly posing for the camera.
In the background, a wonderful vase of forever daffodils.
Both Owly and the flowers were knitted by Heather.

How long have you been selling online and where?

I started selling on eBay about 6 years ago, but didn't offer my knits straight away. There is a "bargain basement" culture on eBay, so I tend to just focus on the holiday seasons there. When my son's girlfriend told me about Etsy I didn't think I was good enough, but she kept on at me until I opened Niftknits in April last year. I've now got another shop where I can sell in my own currency.

What is the most important tip you have to offer to online selling newcomers?

Only one?!?!?! I think the most important lesson I had to learn (and keep on learning!) is to really value my work. Quality photos and descriptions really do matter. Every now and then I have a tantrum and mutter "if I was an excellent photographer I'd sell photos, not knits!" but if people can't see clearly what you're selling, how can they fall in love with it?

What is your favorite item of all times?

My favorite item is usually the one I'm making right now, and my newest knit is no exception to that rule. I've been doing careful research (aka watching Meerkat Manor on TV) and have created my own pattern and knitted some sweet little meerkats. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to offer them for re-homing just yet, I love them too much!

I just love silly one sitting and looking at the camera

Want more of Heather? You can find her on Twitter and on Flickr too. She also has a second shop, Naughty Knits. Oh my!


niftyknits said...

Good morning world! It's been great getting to know Sharona, and I can't wait for my very own flutterbutt to arrive. Oh - wait - didn't I say it was a present for my husband? Never mind - what's his is mine :-)

Audrey said...

Those are amazing!! My grandma tried to teach me to knit when I was young. Managed a scarf (sorta). Will add a link to my blog to yours so I don't miss the next installment of "meet the artist"!!
I'm featuring 2 etsy shops/week on my blog and having a give away!

Anonymous said...

Great article and sweet knits!

Sharona R. said...

Thank you guys :o)

Oddly enough, my mom taught me to knit, but I cannot stand the "click" of two knitting needles meeting, so I stopped knitting. Perhaps I should take on crochet..

Linda said...

Hello Heather (and Sharona of course.)

I met Heather via Etsy; she lives in the county of England where I grew up! Very, very near to my childhood stomping ground. She may have stomped where I have stomped, who knows?

Heather, you are going to adore your Flutterbutt. I have a Flutterhead which is unfailingly cheerful.

I knitted for donkey's years. Made allmy sons vests, socks, jumpers, made over 20 blankets for Oxfam. Then I had two mini strokes and could not hold the knitting needles.

Marvelous blog! Marvelous Etsians, both of you.

Sharona R. said...

Thank you Linda!

As far as you can know a person from convoing back and forth, I found Heather is a kind hearted, warm, funny and bright lady. I highly appreciate artists who can make both silly and beautiful creations, to keep a versatile body of work. That way you never know what to expect of their next work!

Silver Moss Jewellery said...

Love the merekats! No wonder you want to keep them . . . Great interview.

FeltLikeStitchin said...

Yay! Nifty's one of my favourites!
I'm loving the cute quirky meerkats:)

niftyknits said...

I just had to pop back and say my flutterbutt has arrived, along with my Etsy sales Fairy - fabulous, both of them!

Sharona R. said...

Yay, I am happy you love them :o)