Needless to say, I have always, and will always, be knitting everything I sell.
And then there are those who say even factory-made items are handmade - because there are hands there somewhere, pressing levers or taking part in a production line.
I'm at neither extreme but I'd like to show you a little of what handmade means to me.
I certainly don't grow my own wool, in fact I mostly use acrylic as it is hard-wearing and comes in the bright colours I prefer:
This photo was taken a year ago, the stash is even bigger now. The bag at top right holds bits of fleece I use for hair and other embellishments, the big wooden box holds all my fancy yarns.
My patterns are my own, and are rarely written out in much detail which means each meerkat may differ slightly. I think this adds to the nature of "handmade", and have argued fiercely on the forums with those who hold the opinion that this is proof that handmade is "not perfect".
What else do I do? I print my signature labels on the computer, though I have to confess MrNifty's computer skills were used to design the original sheet - but using my photo and text. I sew a label on to each meerkat (except the very tiny ones), usually on their little bottom.
I also designed and print Certificates of Authenticity to go with each meerkat, using my product photos which...who'd have thought?...are taken by me with the aid of lovely photoshop elements which I can't recommend highly enough.
Finally each kat is wrapped in tissue paper and popped in a padded envelope for his or her journey to a new home. Sometimes MrNifty does the post office run for me.
So - is my work handmade? YES!
Have you been affected by the recent changes?