Yorkshire Crafts

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Yorkshire Crafts
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Designer/maker of hand knitted, hand crafted, handmade items, avid collector and reluctant seller of vintage china, mum, home-educator and book lover. Blogging about our crafts and makes, our home education journey, and reviews of books we use.
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We really hope you enjoy reading about our projects and products, but just because they're featured here in public, doesn't mean anyone else can copy them or reproduce them for commercial gain. Except where otherwise indicated, all items are ©YorkshireCrafts.

Vintage Watering Can

Vintage Watering Can

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers
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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Good Girl, Bad Girl ...

I've been a good girl this week.  I've knitted up 5 balls of wool from my (rather large) stash to make some more of our lovely "Nina" hats, including a lovely moss green one for a custom order.

Custom-made Nina hat
I also managed to finish the new website for showcasing and selling some of our (equally large) collection of vintage china that's rather taken over parts of the house.  These gorgeous goodies can be found on the Vintage China site.

Docaster Minster

Then we went to Doncaster.  We usually go to the very excellent market at Barnsley, but when I heard that the markets at Donny had just been awarded the prestigious "Best UK Market" award, we had the perfect excuse to go and check them out.

I must say the market is very impressive, and very large.  The meat and fish markets are superb, as is the fruit and veg section, which is located outside the main market building.  There's also every conceivable thing you could possibly want at Doncaster market, from clothing to garden ornaments, and of course several stalls selling sewing stuff and wool. 

And that's where things began to fall apart.  I spotted a lovely pale green Colclough trio on one of the antique stalls, and I also found an absolutely gorgeous cream and gold Meakin 15pc coffee set.

1940s Colclough Harlequin Tea Trio
Gorgeous Meakin coffee set
Things really went pear-shaped when I got to the wool stall.  I mean, what's a girl to do when she's faced with a huge array of yarn in such gorgeous colours?  Well, buy some of course.  So my good work of using up some of my stash went out the window and 5 new balls of wool were acquired - much to the chagrin of Mr YC who, I suspect, had rather hoped the stash might diminish.  No such luck!

5 new balls of wool, plus the latest Clematis "Nina" WIP
I can feel some hat and glove sets coming soon to YorkshireHandKnits.  Oh, and to cap off a really good day?  I got an email saying I'd been accepted to sell my hand knits on the fantastic KiddieBase website.  Woohoo!!
Thursday, 27 January 2011

Vintage China website launched

We're never idle here at Yorkshire Crafts.  If we're not crafting, we're busy wearing one of our other hats as web developers.  My friend's dad made the template, and we've spent the last few days building and populating a website that's something new for us - somewhere for us and a friend of mine to showcase and sell some of our huge respective collections of vintage china and crockery.  The fruits of our labour can be seen at http://www.vintage-china.co.uk.

One of our gorgeous china trios
I still need to add the section for the hand-poured teacup candles, but at least the site is up and running.  Now all I need to do is hone the SEO and get the new website into the search engines.

I hope you like the new site.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Copyright: What is it, and what can we do when it's infringed?

My @yorkshirecrafts Twitter stream is in uproar at the moment over what appears to be a blatant case of plagiarism.  The dictionary defines plagiarism as "the wrongful appropriation, close imitation, or purloining and publication, of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own original work."

A few years ago, I was a member of EPUK (Editorial Photographers UK), and one of the commonest questions appearing on the forums was to do with copyright and dealing with copyright infringement.  It always amazed me that so many young photographers leave college with great photography skills but without any knowledge at all about the rights they have over their photogrpahs.  Many ended up being fleeced due to their lack of knowledge.

I'm not going to wade into the Twitter debate as I have no wish to further prejudice any potential claim the infringed party may decide to make, but I thought I would rehash the copyright basics that I, in collaboration with a couple of others, wrote to try and help the young photographers.

Let's get one thing clear right at the outset.  You cannot copyright an idea.  As long as a thought, literary work or design remains in your head, it is simply an idea and as such, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone, somewhere - there are more than 6 billion people in this world after all - will conceive the same or very similar idea at the same time.

Once that idea comes out of your head and is written down, photographed, created or designed in a physical form, it is immediately protected by copyright.  Basically, copyright is the right of the creator of the work to be recognised as the creator and owner of the original work, and it is up to them to decide how and where they will permit that work to appear, and also covers distribution and copies of that work.  It is not necessary, nor a legal requirement, to register copyright in order to be recognised as the copyright holder.

As the owner of the work, you may choose to licence others to reproduce your work, and if you do then it's up to you to define the scope of that licence and ensure an appropriate fee is paid to you by the licensee.

As my own experience with copyright infringement stems from photography, I'll use that as an example here.

You take a photo.  Someone wants to use it in a brochure promoting their business, and they approach you as the copyright holder for permission to do so.  You agree that they can, and you draw up a licence allowing them to use it in a printed brochure with a print run of 50,000 copies.  They pay you the fee you specify and the brochure is produced, complete with your photo.  That's all perfectly fine.

Six months later however, the company produces a set of greetings cards using your photo.  You did not agree to your photo being used in this manner and the company did not buy a licence to use it for anything other than the brochure.  The second use is a clear breach of copyright and you are due a fee for this second, unauthorised use.

The principle of licencing however, applies to any created work.  In order to use, copy or reproduce someone's work, you need to buy the right to do so - the licence - and the excuse of "I couldn't find/didn't know who the owner was/didn't know it was subject to copyright" does not stand up.  If in doubt, don't use the work!

So what can you do when your copyright has been infringed?

Bringing a copyright infringement case to court can be an expensive and often protracted affair, and it can be difficult - especially for the small business - to prove a case when the opposition is some big corporation with the bully-boy lawyers to match.  It is made doubly difficult when the infringing party is overseas.

What most photographers do when they discover a breach of copyright, is to collect evidence of the infringement and send the infringing company/person an invoice in just the same way as an invoice would be send where permission had been sought.  As the use is unauthorised however, industry standard is to invoice for double what the authorised usage would have been.  I know one (retired) photographer who still makes a very healthy living by invoicing those have used his work without his permission.

It is far, far easier to successfully pursue a non-payment of invoice case through the small claims court than it is to prove a copyright infringement case.

One thing we can all do when we create a design though is to put a copy of it in a sealed envelope with something written on the front to identify the contents.  Ask the nice man/woman at the post office to date-stamp the back, over the seal.  Keep the sealed, date-stamped, envelope in a safe place and if you end up in the unfortunate position that your goods are later copied, you have at least some evidence of when your design was created.  It can go a long way to prove you conceived the idea long before the infringer did.

I should add the disclaimer here that I am not a lawyer.  I'm not suggesting the injured party on Twitter should send the infringing party a whopping great invoice for reproducing copies of her work without permission.  She should seek independent legal advice.  I do hope she does get redress though, as big companies shouldn't be allowed to get away with walking all over small businesses, feeling safe in the knowledge that they won't be pursued because the little guy can't afford to bring a case.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Hat Design - "Nina"

I love designing my own knitting patterns, and a year or so back I created the "Horseshoe" baby hat, an example of which is available as a hat and mittens set in the Yorkshire Hand Knits shop.

And it was while I was uploading a whole load of new products to the shop the other day and tweeting the links as I added them, that I was asked via Twitter whether I made hats for adults as well as babies.  I don't make too many knitted garments that aren't for little ones, but I'm always pleased to make hats and fingerless gloves on request.

As a result of our convo, I was commissioned to make a bespoke adult sized hat in the same horseshoe lace pattern, and "Nina" was born.  Apart from obviously making a much bigger, more grown-up version, I've also made a few other alterations to the design, including lengthening the brim turn-up and working the crown to flow better out of the pattern.  I must say I'm delighted with the result, and I certainly hope the recipient is equally delighted with her new hat.

The "Nina" Hat
Close-up of the pattern
If anyone else would like to order their very own custom made "Nina", which will be made from really soft and cuddly acrylic yarn, please send me an email via the Yorkshire Hand Knits website.  Hats cost £12.50 each and the price includes postage to the UK mainland.  A range of colours is available, although I can't keep them all in stock - Mr YC would have an apoplectic fit if I did.  Let me know what your colour preferences are and I can always order your colour specially for you.

I'm going to be making a violet one next, so if you want it, shout now, otherwise I might just decide to keep it for myself!

Alternatively, if you'd like to make your own "Nina", the pattern is available for purchase, again through the YHK website.  Simply add the pattern to your cart, check out, and it'll be sent to you via email as a PDF.
Friday, 14 January 2011

Time for Tea and Mittens

Things have taken on a definite tea theme here at Yorkshire Crafts this week.  First off, I've been making some more hand poured teacup candles, using some of the odd cups and saucers that have found their way into my collection of vintage china.

Pretty James Kent "Regency" teacup candle
Lovely Queen Anne teacup candle
Still on the tea theme, and mindful that Valentine's Day is only a month away, I designed these "Love Tea" tea cosies to keep the teapot warm.  In two snug sizes, the smaller one fits a 2-4 cup pot, while the larger fits a standard six cup pot.

"Love Tea" tea cosy for six cup pot
Each cosy is made from cheery red gingham fabric, is lined with red cotton and has a handy hanging or picking up loop.  There's a red cotton heart stitched on one side, which has been hand embroidered with the words "Love Tea".  A white satin bow completes the look.  As the embroidery is done by hand, no two cosies are exactly alike.

Small and Large "Love Tea" tea cosies
While it was Valentine's Day that inspired them, I think one of these lovely tea cosies would make a great gift for any tea lover.  I hope to add some other colours to this range at a later date.

Love Tea tea cosies and teacup candle

I've also made a garden-themed tea cosy, which is available in the small 2-4 cup size only.

Garden-themed tea cosy
Moving away from tea, I'm ashamed to admit that my poor Possum was mitten-less at the beginning of this winter - rather like the shoemaker's children, who, while their father's job was to make shoes, ended up shoeless themselves because he was too busy making shoes for other people to make any for them.

So on the knitting side, Junior and Possum now have mittens and there's a new product to be added to the Yorkshirehandknits.com website in the shape of mittens for 2-4 year olds.  I don't make too many products beyond the 12-month age range, but couldn't resist adding these.

Pink hand knitted mittens 2-4yrs
Blue hand knitted mittens 2-4yrs
I hope to add the homewares and fabric products to it, and in the meantime the tea cosies will probably also make an appearance on the Yorkshirehandknits site.

Monday, 10 January 2011

China Cups and Candle Wax

First blog post of 2011, so a very happy New Year everyone.

One of my hobbies for the past few years has been amassing a collection of vintage china and as there are often odd cups without accompanying saucers, there's always the question of what to do with them.  I think that question was admirably answered by whoever it was that originally came up with idea of turning them into something both pretty and functional.  Beautiful candles.

Candlemaking is something I've enjoyed doing in the past, but I've never particularly liked the somewhat smelly process of using parafin wax to make them, and while beeswax is lovely it's just too damned expensive.

Enter an eco-friendly alternative which is also supposed to be odourless. Soy wax.

I'd seen several examples of this wax at various craft fairs and decided I had to try it for myself, so over the Christmas/New Year break managed to summon up a smidgin of energy (thank you flu and tonsilitis) to have a go at making hand-poured tea cup candles.

hand poured tea-cup candle

I have to say I'm delighted with the soy wax, and it really does do everything that's been claimed of it.  There's no smell, it burns cleanly and once the candle's finished, the residue washes clean away to leave the cup perfectly useable for a lovely cup of tea.

I shall certainly be making some more.