Tag Archives: weaving

WHY ROYAL MAIL IS LOSING OUT TO THE COMPETITION …..(£2.78 versus £11.99)

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OK – I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about Royal Mail at the moment – I was always against privatising it – and the privatisation process was botched, what ever Lord what’s his name has just announced in his parliamentary review!

white merino

100 gm of white merino tops/roving

As I post quite a lot of parcels, I have been very irritated over the past year at the changes Royal Mail have made to the cost structure.  They have restricted the sizes and increased the rates.  That’s actually meant that, as I sell quite a lot of wool in fibre form – for spinners to make into yarn – I have had to change the way I sell it.  I used to be able to stick it into a plastic bag, in its natural “ball shape” and go down to the post office and pay £2.20, if I remember rightly, to post whatever size it was, and I could send up to 750 gm for the same price.

a pair of carders used for preparing wool for spinning

a pair of carders used for preparing wool for spinning

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t annoyed when another of my popular items – carders for spinners – happened to sometimes weigh under 750 gm and sometimes just over 750 gm and I could never tell what bit of packaging made the difference! (About another pound or two in postage costs!)  Customers would get annoyed when they thought I’d overcharged them postage, and I’d be miffed if I’d set the price too low and made a loss!

When they changed the small parcel rate to 1 kg for £2.80 (2nd class), I no longer had a problem with the carders, but the wool ‘roving’ was a nightmare, as the box size was only 8 cm high.  That meant I could only send balls of wool for the medium parcel rate (£5.20) and tried every which way to avoid this, as sometimes the cost of the wool was only £3.

I tried to flatten the parcels, even bought a food vacuum machine, but the wool was either too compressed or not compressed enough.  I tried selling smaller amounts so I could fit them into the large letter rate,  which was fine for very small amounts, but if the letter was just over 2.5 cm thick, I then had to pay small parcel rate anyway!  (They put everything thro the size slots at the post office!)

Recently they have increased the height of a small parcel to 16 cm – for me that means that I can now post the 100 gm balls of wool, but not the 200 gm balls, cos wool is springy and however hard I try to tape it all up, it parcel seems to grow on my way to the post office – smile!  So I stopped buying in large quantities of fibres.

In fact I stopped selling altogether for a while, for a combination of reasons.  When I started selling again this October, I found  that there is a collection point for a private parcel service just a few more miles away than my local post office.  They don’t have such restrictive sizing for their parcels, and so the problem was solved.  I’ve just put an order in for a whole bale of white merino tops ……

I do still post most of my parcels through the post office, not only is it convenient, but I actually believe in giving local businesses my custom, and making an effort to ‘USE THEM OR LOSE THEM’.

weaving accessories, just a set of sticks measuring just over 61 cm long!

weaving accessories

I was in a hurry on Friday, and had several items to post, so I took them all down to the local post office.  I did have my doubts about one parcel – a set of weaving accessories that weighed under 1kg, but was just over the 61 cm allowed for medium parcels.  I thought I might just get away with sending it 1st class medium (£5.65).  It was carefully measured and pronounced too large for that rate, and I’d have to send it by the Parcelforce – express 48 (hrs) service – £11.99!

So I went home, got online, booked the parcel into the private courier service, printed out the label and then took it up to the drop off point.

COST:  £2.78! (plus a little extra petrol)

AND THAT’S WHY

ROYAL MAIL IS LOSING OUT TO THE COMPETITION!

SORRY – I haven’t been keeping this blog up, but I’m back selling again!

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I have been having a break, and have not been well – but I’m now up and running again, altho not yet at full steam.

For those of you on my mailing list I will be sending out a NEWZ FROM JULZ email in the next week. (If you’re not on the mailing list, just send me a message at julz@julzweaving.plus.com, and I’ll add you to it.)

In the meantime, if anyone would like to join the Show & Tell, and feature your work or ask other readers for information on techniques etc, I will be very happy to put something up for you on this blog – just get in touch, (julz@julzweaving.plus.com) and hopefully I’ll be hearing from you soon.

Currently I have limited listings on:

ebay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/julzweaving/m.html?item=121458128910&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/julzcraftsupplies?ref=hdr_shop_menu

all the best

julz

SHOW & TELL? Send in some pics for the blog – please……

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To be honest,  I haven’t got anything new to plug, if you’ve been following this blog, you know more or less what I sell, and you can always click on the links underneath my (old) photo to see what’s currently on my ebay or etsy pages. (Personal Links)

I’m also looking for some new inspiration – its (almost) summer – well if we’re gonna get any decent weather this year, it should be around the end of May, the beginning of June.  Just in time for the exams…..

I know lots of people spin, knit, dye and weave all year round, but projects can tend to tail off until the autumn, and I thought it would be nice to see what you have been making – and perhaps we can all get some inspiration from each other, and think about planning what we might make next.

So how about a SHOW & TELL MONTH?

Please send in your photos of any craft work you have been doing and want to SHOW(off) to other members of this “Club”.  Don’t worry if you’re a beginner or a professional – it would just be nice to share our work.  If you have any problems you’d like to solve, why not see if anyone else can give you some advice, or praise – smile!

I have no idea how many, if any, of you will send your photos to

julz@julzweaving.plus.net   

(sorry, can’t work out how to make my email address a click on link, so please copy & paste it…..)

but I will publish ANY photos you send in – on this blog (approximately in the order they arrive) – please add a description for those of us who can’t tell what it is (joke).

Any craft work welcome, it doesn’t have to be textile based, and for those of you that have bought any of my hatching eggs, pics of chicks would be nice too!

My SHOW & TELL for today is the latest photo a friend took of me a couple of weeks ago – and yes, I did knit the beret – from some old mohair yarn I had hanging around!

All the best – look forward to seeing your work –

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julz - may 2013

of postage, sealing wax and other things….silk “hankies” & white merino roving back in stock

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original chart-brochure page

NB: please click on the links for my ebay listings or etsy shop just under the  photo on the right hand column, for prices and postage rates – smile!

As most of you will know by now,  Royal Mail, in their bid to make more money, have put up the postage rates, and not even the local post offices I use know what to do with them!

I seem to spend a lot of time peering at the new rate card, which amazingly, wasn’t available to anyone, until the day AFTER the rates went up – because they went up on 1 April, which was Easter Monday, and apparently, so they tell me at the post office I use most, there were instructions NOT to put the leaflets out until then.

elements chart -brochure pageMy local post office are sticklers for the rules, so they wouldn’t even give me an advance copy, knowing full well that I needed the new rates to change the postage on my ebay & etsy listings – and altho I’d looked them up on line, I couldn’t really make sense of them.

I still can’t.  On the one hand, for small & medium parcels – the new categories – you can now post up to 1 kg for the same rate – but on the other hand – you now have to measure the size of the parcels, and there seems to be no practical reason for setting these sizes.  I have asked.  They don’t seem to make any real difference to the way the parcels are sorted.

white merinoThe difference they do make is that, with the old rates, I could send a sack full of wool, fibres, rovings, stuffing etc for the same price as the small elephant trinket boxes – now it has to be squeezed into a ball small enough to fit into these odd sample white boxes they’ve all got – 16 cm cubes.  I watched yesterday whilst the ‘postmaster’ tried to fit the very squeezed wool stuffing into one, and whilst I had tried my hardest, it was about 0.1 cm larger, and he wouldn’t budge – I had to pay the higher medium parcel rate, which I hand’t charged for!

The other way round it is to lay  rovings into long skeins as flat as possible, so the depth of the parcel is no more that 8 cm – which makes for a very floppy bag, and isn’t the best way to avoid tangles.

silk-hankiesI was awake in the middle of the night last week and turned on the TV, to find that apart from the BBC or SKY news channels, all there was was the shopping channels, which I normally avoid like the plague – but happened to hit on an ad for a vacuum pack machine, for food.  You know, for packaging food for the freezer, or so the ad said, to save leftovers in the fridge!

It occurred to me that it might work for the wool, so I bought one.

basket of dyesIts been sitting beside the weighing machine for a couple of days now, and I still haven’t tried it – but I promise I will do a few tests in the next few days, and see if it makes a difference.  If so, I may have to change all the postage rates on my listings again!

What’s really annoying about these rates is that whilst I used to tell you all that I would cap the postage for any parcel weighing up to 750 gm (the old rate), I can’t do the same for parcels up to 1 Kg on the new rate, and thus have to add incremental rates that don’t really work, because if you buy say 200 gms of white merino roving, you get charged extra, so that the 300 gm rate works.

opal

opal

This blog is by way of a long apology for the fact that I’ve had to put the postage rates up, and that, as I try to remember to say on all my listings – PLEASE ASK FOR A REVISED INVOICE BEFORE YOU PAY – because very often I can give you a lower postage rate – whether you live in the UK, or overseas – but if you don’t ask, I’m afraid I can’t refund the difference, once you’ve already paid.

And, by the way – two of my most popular items – the white merino tops / rovings, and the silk “hankies” (for spinning and paper making) are back in stock!  And I have added some new colours to the landscape dye stock – but I still can’t manage to stock them all, so please check which ones are available!

And if anyone wants to buy the huge 1 Kg cones of Merino Wool, you can save the postage if you want to meet up at Wonderwool on 27 April!

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meet up at Wonderwool – Builth Wells on 27 April?

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Wonderwool – click on this link to see their website – is ….

A Festival of Welsh Wool & Natural Fibres

and is at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells over the weekend of 27 – 28 April.

I’m planning to be there on Saturday 27 April, but am just going as a visitor, and am not selling there.  However, I’ll be very pleased to meet anyone who wants to have a chat AND will be happy to bring any large items you order with me, to save you the postage.

If anyone would like to meet up, please contact me, either through the “leave a comment” box or directly at julz@julzweaving.plus.com, and we can exchange mobile numbers so we can find each other on the day.

I’d love to get some personal feedback from customers and find out how I can improve my service to you all!

Be nice to see you

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Some new BRITSH WOOLS……and an apology!

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herdwick wooljacob woolwensleydaleswaledale

I have just bought in some cones of Herdwick, Silver Jacob, Wensleydale & Swaledale Wool – all truly Pure British Wools from British Mills – suitable for weaving, both warp & weft, and of course for knitting.

To see the full details of these, please click on the links for either my ebay listings or my etsy shop just under my picture on the right of this blog.

The apology……in my previous blog – British Wools from British Mills, I was really pleased to have bought in some large cones of what I thought were British Wools from a British Mill.

It wasn’t until this week, when a prospective customer asked exactly what wools they were, that I went back to the British Mill, and asked them.   The way they advertised them gave me to understand that they were what I said they were.  However, it turned out that the wool is merino wool ie NOT FROM BRITAIN!  I feel like a total fool!

I have now changed the listings so that they are accurate!

bamboo feltOther new stock include some really soft and strong BAMBOO FELT (clicking on the red text will get you to the ebay listing).  This felt is made from 50% bamboo fibres and altho rather expensive, is unusual – it comes in 20 very bright colours – altho currently one was out of stock at the suppliers, so I only have 19 of them – do have a look at it, and tell me what you think, as I won’t be ordering any more unless people want it!

I have stocked up on both the standard sized & mini carders, and as the white merino rovings have sold out, I will be getting some more in soon – in the meantime, the ecru merino roving is a very good price!

New in is also some JUTE HESSIAN, and “DISHCLOTH COTTON” (click on the red text) both of which are useful for all sorts of crafts and also good for garden use!  And other odds & ends – again, to see the full range please click on the links beside my picture.

purple mini weave I have also been playing around with some bits of mini weaving – squares of only 1.5 x 1.5″ (40 mm x 40 mm) made on a tiny loom, that could be used for making into brooches, or added as decoration to tapestry, embroidery or felting projects – I’d be interested to know what you think – only listed on etsy HERE & HEREsmall weave

Just a reminder that the new Kromski stock is on sale – the warping sticks have sold out, and so have most of the Lazy Kates – there is one upright one left.  If you are buying a loom, please remember that the prices on the listings necessarily include the selling fees on the sites and that if you do want to buy one, email me first, at  julz@julzweaving.plus.com, and I will give you a discount if you buy direct! (see info on the About Julz Page)

I can also order in any particular items you want – including spinning wheels – so please ask if you don’t see what you need.

That’s all for now

All the best

julz signature