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New EU VAT regulations – What does that mean?

(The TL;DR version of this post: I’m going to be withdrawing “digital download” services to EU customers as of 01/12/2014. Patterns will instead be available by post in paper form (i.e. a physical product) )

From January 1st 2015 the way that VAT is charged on digital products within the EU is going to change. A nicely detailed article in plain English is here: 

The EU has decided that instead of being charged at the rate of Country of Origin, and VAT going to the Country of Origin, the VAT must now be paid to the country of destination, at their VAT rates. This affects ALL sellers of digital products globally, not just within the EU.

In the UK, you do not have to VAT register with HMRC until you turn over £81,000 per year – this takes a massive administrative overhead off of UK small businesses.

However, unlike selling physical products, from Jan 1st once the change happens, VAT will due on all digital sales from day one at all times, via a quarterly VAT return (And you have to file a “Nil return” if you have made no sales that quarter) – Unlike with physical products there is no threshold and records have to be kept for 10 years.

Also, to comply with this, once a company UK VAT registers, all the products it sells then become VATable, not just the digital ones.

Consequently, small traders such as myself pretty much have 4 choices:

  1. Register for VAT in each of the 27 Countries of the EU, and submit quarterly returns for digital sales to each VAT authority.
  2. Register for VAT in the UK, sign up to the UK VAT MOSS and submit returns for all goods sold.
  3. Find a large corporate 3rd party that will sell our digital products for us, take care of the VAT headache for us, (charge us commission to) process our digital sales and forward on the money left over to us.
  4. Stop selling digital products to EU customers.

Unsurprisingly, I’m taking option 4 – I have a tiny turn over, and simply cannot afford the time or money it will take to submit a VAT return every quarter.
Until there is more clarity about how this rule (which was allegedly designed to get more VAT from Amazon – they currently use Luxembourg as the home of their Digital arm, where they charge only 3% VAT on e-books) will be implemented and if there can be an exemption made which is the same as Physical products for Small Business , I cannot afford to trade digital products with the EU.

I’ve re-added the “full” checkout process for Digital as well as Physical products (It has been previously set to just collect an e-mail address) and will be removing the digital download shipping setting for the EU at the weekend.

EU customers will only be able to buy a paper copy of my patterns, as I’m not liable to pay VAT on physical products (yet – apparently, that might well happen too, in which case I’ll have to withdraw entirely from being able to ship to the EU!).

I must ask customers to not lie to me at checkout to get a download – If I contravene the regulations, I’m liable for an unlimited fine if I do not then VAT register and submit the return, even for just the one pattern.

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Two shops become one

Fluffenstuff is now moved into Fibres Exotica. I’ve just got to take some (far) better pictures of the yarns (I’ve re-sized all the stitchmarker pictures already) and away it all goes!

Uniting the shops is good from the perspective of lowering admin overhead, but sad, simply because Fluffenstuff had its own creative personality and a slightly different mission statement to Fibres Exotica.

However, Exotic is what you make it… and given that I’ve been fooling around with random dyeing techniques on some of my cheap experimentation yarns again (to get myself back into remembering the techniques), and I’m eyeing up at the huge stash of undyed yarn (in all manner of fibres!) and thinking about what I want to do with it, and given the inspirational videos I’ve been watching until far-too-late o’clock at night making me want to be creative, and also given that I’ve got a finished kitchen and dyeing is again a possibility, I generally see uniting the shops as a good thing.

After all, no point dyeing yummy yarns just for me eh? Taking it just to shows is all well and good, but if it’s not in the shop, how is it going to make other people happy and become beautiful things?

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One of our designers is in the news!

I was chatting with Suzanne the other day, & she mentioned that she is going to have a design in Yarnwise next month!

Yarn Wise Magazine preview

It’s good to see her getting more acclaim, her patterns are inspirational and original. If you get a chance, do check it out.

& the pattern pages on Ravelry for you to see if you don’t get the magazine:

 Marrakesh published by Yarnwise

and also

Stormy Seas published by Amirisu
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All change… For the better one hopes!


As you can see, things have changed a little. I’ve changed the Shopping cart software to one that has far better user support than my previous one. This also meant changing my website’s theme (My old one wasn’t compatible with the new cart software) which naturally changes the way things are arranged a little.

It’s not 100% sorted yet (In particular, the Knitting needle & hook variations didn’t port across correctly), & there are lots of pictures that I need to pop into place (As this theme is much more graphic intensive than the last one!) but you can again see every thing easily, buy stuff as you wish & the performance of the site is generally faster as well.

Thank you for being patient during the transition.

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Everything back to normal… almost


I did a revert and 99% of everything is back to working again. All the buttons work, & you can buy with no issues at all So, shop with impunity! 🙂

What isn’t working quite as I would want is the “Our Products” link.
I’ve had to point the menu item so that it points to a sub-category.

So, “Our Products” heads over into the “Yarn” category.
Just select another category to see our other products.

Oh, & if you are a member of our Mailing list, look out for our Xmas sale coupon, coming soon!!

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More software issues!


Further to the last, it seems that the latest update to the recently broken update to the shopping cart software has broken it in a slightly different way now & hidden all my products from their own pages and the category view!

If you use the full list view,  you can see a long list of everything.  Not the nicest thing for browsing!

The “Add to Cart” function also appears less broken…
It appears to be working now (Although it’s creating a dead record in the database for me to clean up after as well),  but if doesn’t let you check out, please cut & paste the cart content into an e-mail & I’ll send you a PayPal or Google Wallet invoice as you want.

The e-mail for that is checkout at (replace the at with an @) & my apologies for the inconvenience of having to do things manually.

Fun fun fun eh?

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Problems with the Cart software

Hi All,

Seems that the latest update to the shopping cart software has broken it slightly & hidden all my products!

If you use the category views, you can see the content of each category.

The “Add to Cart” function also appears slightly broken…
It appears to be adding the content to the cart, but not quite doing what it should be after that, so if it doesn’t let you check out, please cut & paste the content into an e-mail & I’ll send you a PayPal or Google Wallet invoice as you want.

The e-mail for that is checkout at (replace the at with an @) & my apologies for the inconvenience of having to do things manually.

I’m so looking around for some new cart software!



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Revamping my yarn names

Just a quick note for my past customer’s reference (As well as making sure I remember this too! 😉 )

One thing that I felt needed doing for a long time is giving the yarns I sell a more consistent set of pretty names.

A few are staying the same (After all, Recycled Sari Silk is known as that universally, regardless of who is selling it!), but most of the others I am renaming because the old name was either a bit clunky, was meaningless or it sounded too similar to another yarn’s name.

So, as my silks generally comes from India, I’ve picked (mostly) Sanskit words.

As I’m also going to be revising the patterns (both free and paid-for) to match, as well as updating Ravelry, I thought handy table for translation would be required for people with existing patterns & yarn labels!

Previous Yarn/Thread Name Yarn Weight & NM Approx Yardage/100g New Yarn/Thread Name
2/20’s Weaving Thread (Spun Silk) Lace (2/20’s NM) 915 Saliga
2/60’s Weaving Thread (Spun Silk) Cobweb (2/60’s NM) 2750 Jalika
Aleena – “Silk of Heaven” (Spun Silk) 4-Ply (8/20’s) 200 Manjula
Duke Double (Spun Silk) Aran (2/3’s NM) 137 Samraj
Duke (Spun Silk) Double Knit (3’s NM) 255 Rajgan
Duke – Beads/Sequins (Spun Silk) Double Knit (3’s NM) 150 Embellished
Duke Fine (Spun Silk) 4-ply (4’s NM) 320 Rani
Dupion (Reeled Silk) Sport (8 plies of 20-22Denier) 400 Dupioni
Filature (Reeled Silk) Lace (4 plies of 20-22 denier 800 Filature
Kohinoor (Unused Sari Weft) Aran (1’s NM) 80 Kohinoor
Maharaja (Spun Silk) Lace (3/15’s NM) 730 Kiran
Pulled Recycled Sari Silk (Reclaimed Sari Fibre) Double Knit (3’s NM) 150 Tweeded Sari Silk
Recycled Sari Silk – Single & Multicolour (Reclaimed Sari Fibre) Aran (1’s NM) 90 Recycled Sari Silk
Roving Silk (Spun Silk) Double Knit (2.5’s NM) 183 Avani
Sari Silk Ribbon Yarn (Fabric Strip) Super Chunky (~1″ fabric strip) ~25 Sari Ribbon Yarn
Swan (Spun Silk) Sport (2/7’s NM) 366 Hamsa
Throwster’s Waste Yarn (Spun Silk) Double Knit (2.5’s NM) 250 Throwser’s
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Increased Flat rate postage cost

It’s a hard choice to make, but unfortunately, as I use Royal Mail to post things, and they put their postal rates up, I don’t really have much choice but to increase my flat rate shipping charge in line with this.

I’ve always felt ever so slightly guilty at having to charge P&P, but to keep the total cost of the yarn low, I don’t pad out  the prices of all the goods to cover as other bigger businesses can afford to do.

So, my standard UK flat rate is now £3.00, with Europe being £5.00.

Remember, this is for however much you buy. So, the more yarn you buy, the less percentage cost the shipping is.