The main reason is I am writing/designing a crochet blanket book and need to separate my identity from the day to day workings of NDS.
I've always just been a designer in the background who designs for NDS to help sell yarn, but my book means I have to start thinking about myself as a designer who has her own identity, as I will need to do lots of marketing for it.
All the designers I know are designers who design under their own names and so have blogs and facebook pages and are known for who they are and what they do.
I feel a bit embarrassed about being "Amanda Perkins - Crochet Blanket Designer"
I feel like I'm puffing up my pants and saying "look at me, look at me" the whole time, although I already do it already for NDS without any worry.
Yesterday I started a Facebook page for "Amanda Perkins - Crochet Blanket Designer"
I told the NDS page I was doing it and overnight gained 169 likes, which has given me a lot of confidence.
I've always thought that our "likes" were from knitters who suffer the crochet while waiting for the wool posts to appear, guess I was wrong.
Another reason for becoming myself is the changes we are making at NDS, due to Phil running away to his new job.
NDS has always been about wool and knitting.
A few weeks ago we did the Wonderwool show, we had crochet kits and knitting kits, we brought home quite a few knitting kits, but sold all the crochet ones.
I couldn't work out why we didn't sell more knitting kits as the designs were fabulous.
The kits are for colour work mitts and matching socks, designed by Gina Spencer
You can find them HERE
So we've decided to turn NDS into yarn support for my crochet designs rather than my crochet designs being pattern support for the yarn.
As customers you won't notice too many changes, we will still dye a range of yarn that can be used for both knitting and crochet and we will still have yarn updates, although maybe not every week.
But we are are planning to build a much bigger selection of crochet kits, so not only will there be all the blankets but also scarf and shawl kits.
We will be adding a couple of new yarns to the range and discontinuing some of our existing yarns, as the focus will be on the yarns I use for my designs.
So I'm afraid the only lace yarn we will be dyeing is Dazzling Lace as I've used it for a couple of designs in my "Madder Triangles" book.
We also have a couple of very popular knitted shawls in Dazzling lace, which you can find HERE
At the moment I am working with 2 new yarns, they are both "Primavera" which is 100% soft and cuddly merino, one is a DK weight (220 metres) and the other is a Sport weight (260 metres), as soon as I have some to spare I will be adding them to the website.
I've also tested a Primavera 300 metre version, which will be on the website for this weeks update, there are only a few skeins as I only dyed a kg, there will be half of the kg this week and the other half next week.
I think it is more of a knitting yarn than a crochet yarn, as the twist is slightly tighter than the DK and Sport and I like soft cuddly blankets.
I think it might be a replacement for Dazzle 4 ply/sock, if you manage to buy a skein I'd like to hear what you think, as if you like it we'll dye more.
We are planning to change our clubs for next year.
The Kaleidoscope crochet blanket club has become a huge hit, we have so many members it is taking up all our time trying to get all the yarn dyed.
So there will only be 2 clubs next year - the new Zodiac Crochet Blanket Club and the new club will be for knitters and crocheters alike.
The Mini Skein club, Murder on the Moor and Rainbow clubs will all be discontinued in December 2014.
We haven't decided anything about the new club yet, but are brainstorming lots of new idea's, so hope to come up with something special that will keep everyone happy.
So from now on Daisy will be blogging about NDS here and I will be blogging about my crochet on my crochet blog - HERE
You can follow NDS on Facebook - HERE
And Amanda Perkins Crochet Blanket Designs - HERE