• Claire Dunnett

What does Q stand for?

What a quiz to start the weekend with. Here's two for starters, Quick or Quality?

Quintessentially I stick to quality!

On reflection, I am doing my best to stick to my morals and provide a totally handmade product using the best materials possible at a fair price for all involved. Yes there are many giant chunky knits out there, sometimes cheaper than you'll find at Dunnknit Designs but they are often either made from chunky Acrylic Wool which is a significantly cheaper material or they are made with cheap Merino Wool which is usually sourced from China. (Might I add that there are many who are far more expensive too!). Some are even arm knitted! How? I'll never know as my arms certainly aren't the same width all along them like my giant knitting needles. Anyway I've been there and tried that and it's definitely not for me!

You'll be pleased to know that I'm not being tempted to the dark side but I regularly receive emails from wool suppliers in China offering me cheaper Merino Wool. I buy my giant Merino Wool directly from a local Mill where I know exactly where it has come from. I even know which dyes have been used to create the colours that I have decided to use for my designs.

I wouldn't use anything else!

However, this got me thinking and I realised that I actually apply the same principles to every aspect of my small creative business. I appreciate quality and want to do my best to support other small businesses like me. I guess that's just part and parcel of who I am and how my creative mind works.

So this week I thought I'd give you a small insight as to some of the materials that I use, some of the local businesses that I support and how I do my upmost to keep my designs for sale at a fair price.

Obviously the biggest part of Dunnknit Designs is the creation of Chunky Knit designs where as mentioned before I use only the best Merino Wool from a fantastic Mill here in the UK along with (of course need I mention it), simply the best tools ever that have all been handmade out of huge chunks of mahogany, beech, ash and oak by my amazing wood-turning Dad. All of which are definitely the inspiration behind the design magic that is Dunnknit Designs.

So what else do I buy?

Well, I source all of my feather cushion inserts from The Feather Company which is a family based business in Edinburgh. The company was established in 1969 by David Monro. After years of stuffing cushions and duvets during the weekend and school holidays, David's son Gareth took over the business from his father in 1996 and Gareth launched the company website in 2010. Every feather and down filled item purchased from The Feather Company is hand-filled to specific weights using only top quality materials.

Yes I could easily source cheaper cushion inserts from ebay or the internet but 'NO'. Right from the beginning when I worked with my wonderful business advisory team, it was a unanimous decision that all products for sale at Dunnknit Designs would be of premium quality and I am absolutely adamant that there will be no compromise on that belief.

I work with local shops for my fabrics, threads, tags, polystyrene beads (for my Budworth Beanie Footstools), canvases, frames and tape etc. Northwich is a small market town with lots of independent shops and I'm doing my best to support local!

Then of course there's all of the printing and packaging. This is the only part of my small business where I buy online from some of the big guys. I'm working on that one though as it's all soooo expensive, that is unless you buy it by the palette load anyway!