Friday, 3 December 2010

Friday December 3rd 2010

Quite proud of myself.  I've finished two bags using Hoopla Yarn and I think they're gorgeous!  I'm writing up the patterns but both are exceptionally easy and quick to make, yet the result is professional and stylish.

I only have snapshots taken on the edge of my armchair at home rather than careful photos (will get some done asap to show the bags off to all their glory) but was so excited I wanted to share them straight away.

Criticisms gratefully accepted as usual... what do you think?

The chubby, sticky, little hand belongs to Ben -my two year old- not me!  Honest!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wednesday November 24th 2010

Well, I have very few days left in my 30s!  The big 40 on Saturday - ho hum!  Very down. Boooooooooooooo.

Cheering myself up with A LOT of creativity.  The granny blanket is coming on nicely and I now have 78 out of 96 motifs - phew!  Ground to a halt as I am waiting for more yarn to arrive, though, so I'm having to take a break from it for a bit.  The only issue being that when I'm sent the yarn to finish this blanket I'll also receive the yarn to start the next one ..... Blimey!  I'll be seeing granny squares in my sleep.  The more observant of you will notice in my pictures that I have haven't be sewing my tail-ends in as I go.  I was just so focused on crochet...crochet...crochet and I'm regretting it already; it's going to be a huge job. Bugger, bugger, bugger.

Yarn arrived for thigh-highs and matching thong.  Nice sultry colours as the client ordered.  Going to indulge myself with a bit of a crochet/knit hybrid and it's tonight's job to get the design sketched out.  Quite looking forward to it but quite anxious at the same time.  It's very daunting to make something as complex as socks for someone who is thousands of miles away.  Good job there's a tight dead-line so I haven't got time to fret about it - I've just got to get on and see what happens.   However, if you are an expert sock maker,  I really would be grateful for any hints or tips you have.

Final piece of news for today is that the new lot of Hoopla Yarn arrived.  I've got some really exciting ideas for it so watch this space.  Also got something else in mind that is going to be fantastic fun but my lips are sealed for now.  Got to sort a few things out first.

Ok woman!  Stop typing and start designing.  These socks are not going to make themselves.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Wednesday 17th November 2010

I think I may have taken on too much work!!   Enjoying the pressure though and it's a hell of a lot better than not having enough to do...

Having a real problem finding yarn for a stocking project and running close to the wind as far as timing is concerned.  I think I've looked at every sock, fingering and 4ply on the  net.  My LYS is tiny and so no joy there.  Can anyone baby sit so that I can head a bit further afield?  Ben is going through his terrible twos (and indulging himself in the process) so it's quite a job but I'd throw in a cheese sandwich and a cup of tea!!  Gotta be worth it to someone.

Spending most time working on a set of pictoral instructions for a cart wheel granny square blanket.  Thought you might like to have a look at how it's going - criticisms gratefully received.

 The Yarn Colour Selection

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wednesday November 10 2010

Woven like a giant friendship bracelet

Five-minute Flowers

I have been working very hard.  Sooooooooooo many projects.  AND when I woke up this morning and tried to drag a bush through my hair I discovered someone had been busy felting it as I slept!

Brim Hat/Sun Visor
This fabric is just so summery

I'm becoming more and more excited by this Hoopla Yarn.  I've been playing around as you can see from the pics.   (oh, by the way - excuse my crappy photography and the horrific state of my studio floor!)

The first of a set of protective mats for the dining table

It's so easy to work with and grows really fast.  I love my new crochet hook pot - I didn't need to stiffen it in any way, it just stands like that.  Isn't it amazing? 


Bag for life.  Shopper or Beach bag

Very Happy Hooks

 I can't stop thinking and I've got a sketch book full of brilliant ideas.  It's really brought out the inventor in me.  Watch this space ...

Knotted Scarf

Is it ok to eat pink snow?

1 Bobbin Barrel Bag

Anybody else got any new and marvellous yarns they're working with?  I'm in the mood to innovate.


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Thursday November 4th 2010


What is wrong with the world???  I've been desperate to sell things to people.  I really want to make a career out of this and I'm working my bottom off!  I finally get a decent order and it's from someone who doesn't understand hand-made goods.  I think we've all lived in a speedy factory produced world for too long.  C'mon fellow crafters/artists, you must be with me.  IT TAKES TIME TO PRODUCE SOMETHING.  I've just has someone ask for 300 crocheted wall hangings.  300!!!!  That would take about 30 years to make.  They've seen my site and ordered 300 of a OOAK item.  I'm dumbfounded (and a bit disappointed - if I could stop time, I could make my fortune).  Oh well...  I'd best compose an email explaining politely why it will be impossible to supply him. AAAAAAARRRRGGGHH.  Life is just a little unfair :-(

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Thursday October 28th 2010

It's nearly Halloween!!!  Time has flown by this year. 

Hoopla Yarn and a couple of my 5 minute Flowers

I'm still having fun playing around with the Hoopla yarn.  It's sort of like crocheting with quite a few threads at once.  I really love the shapes it makes because it's more solid than more fibrous yans.  I've been making bags and mats and flowers.  I highly recommend it.  It's only £4.95 for 500gms!  500gms is enough to make a reasonable size mat, a small handbag or loads of flowers!  I'm going to look into getting some wholesale to sell on my site, I think.  It's going to be popular with crafters, I'm sure.

Peek-a-boo Dark Blue Beanie

Lavendar beanie/cloche thingy

Today is not a good day, however!  I am job hunting and I hate it.  Everything I want to do is too badly paid to pay the bills and anything I am qualified for and pays enough just seems like slavery.  I'm feeling a little bit desperate - so if anyone knows of anybody looking for a middle-aged English teacher who would prefer to have a short break from teaching.  Hard working, creative, grammatically correct!  Gis' a job!

Girly Camouflage!

Soft but masculine beanie

On the brighter side the brief and the yarn arrived from, so I'm putting together my instructions and photos for the granny square blanket.  They're in a hurry so I'm using that as an excuse to have a break from job hunting.  I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm not really a photographer.  I can never get the lighting right for important pics that need to impress.  I'm ok with snapshots but and my Etsy shop are both riddled with ordinary photography.  Need some lessons.  I'll put that on the todo list ... ... ...

MY FAV!  Sparkly, stripy, bobbly!!!

From the back

Whipped up a few winter warmers recently, too.  Took preliminary pics of them too.  Loads of lovely hats.  Here's a selection for your criticism.  Hats have always been far and away my best seller.

Time for a cuppa!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tuesday October 26th 2010

Wowowowowo!   How busy at the moment?  My most recent project is with some new yarn.  Yesterday, I met a wonderful couple and their beautiful daughter, Maya.  Charlotte and Erkan are starting a family business importing an up-cycled yarn made from cloth selvedges.  It's brilliant!!  And after a nice cream-topped hot chocolate and a very interesting chat, I flew home with my sticky paws full of bobbins ready to have a play!!!

I am so pleased with it.  It crochets really easily and work grows quickly.  The yarn has a really firm, structural texture and is going to be fantastic for things like bags, pots, mats and things. (It's also really cheap - Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!)  All that and up-cycled too, so I feel like I'm doing my bit...

I'll get some pictures up asap - just whipped up a bag in no time today - but in the mean time, I highly recommend you pop to their site and have a look for yourself. 

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sunday October 17 2010

I found some hilariously funny vintage crochet patterns this week.  I've put some onto the website so that you can share, or maybe even buy them!  I've got more to go on tonight ... if I get the time.  Here is an image of my favourite (to be fair, most of the others could be lovely if they weren't photographed in a tasteless 70s scene!) 

Look Stylish in this Yellow Trouser and Tunic Set!

I can hardly resist making one.  I think I need to do so as a joke present for a mate.  I'll parcel it up for Christmas and act all serious about how long it took to make and how I made it just for her.  Don't know if I'll get away with insisting she wear it out.  Hmmmm?  Could be a good Christmas.

The other thing I found this week in amongst all the pictures was some crochet furniture.  I love this modern take on crochet and I thought it was completely innovative and orignal and yet I also find some in the 1970s back catalogue!!  Is there nothing new?



Admittedly the contemporary version is a bit more stylish but that might be just a matter of changing tastes.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Wednesday October 13th 2010

Headache ... :-(

Everything is pink and sparkly tonight.  Lovely bit of thread found in the bottom of my stash.  I have no idea what it is or where it came from, only that it glitters and gleams and is glorious girly pink.  Usually I'm not into girly colours but this has taken my fancy *Shuffles in her seat in an embarrassed attempt to look more grown up and womanly*  Ahem!  Moving on.

Looks like I might have to go back to teaching part time.  I'm really depressed about it but we need the money desperately and finding a part-time teaching job seems like it's going to be impossible  before we run out of money completely. Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.  Teaching full time is exhausting and I'll hardly be able to crochet at all so here's to a timely lottery win.  Keep your fingers crossed everyone.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Saturday October 9th 2010

Feeling quite positive today.  Had a nice long lie-in courtesy of my lovely Stu who fed the kids and played quiet games.  Bit strange because I woke up stiff and tired!  And I'd been having nightmares about escaped lions, bouncing bison and Keanu Reeves (don't ask). 

However, after that bizarre start to the day managed to apply for several jobs - one of which involves crochet which makes me very very very very happy indeed.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  My baby's jacket is sewn together and I've addes 3 gorgeous flowers in blue and started a matching bobble hat.  I've also made a big pile of Christmas decorations and added my blog/Etsy/site to various lists in the hope of encouraging more visitors.  Can I recommend the widget maker at craftcult (cast eyes right to see my widget in operation).  It is completely free and you can add it to almost any site you own or your friends/family/network own.  Cool eh?

So... feeling good and watching QI.  Do I feel up to cleaning out my Email inbox?  Might as well give it a go.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Friday 8th October 2010

Wanted to go to the knitting and stitching show a in London today and I can't even tell you why I'm not there - regretting it now.  Sign me up for the knittinng and craft show in March.  Why isn't there any mention of crochet?  I love knitted items but I  REALLY love crochet.  It is easier to pick up than knitting, your work grows faster and it is equally versitile and able to produce fashionable and beautiful things.  I'm going to make it my mission to raise it's profile.  WORLD DOMINATION FOR CROCHET!!!!

Made a cute baby jacket in creamy yarn last night but I hate sewing the seams so it's still sitting in pieces beside me as I blog.  Altogether: "Pull yourself together woman, it's only a bit of sewing!"  Alright, alright, I'll do it this afternoon.  Don't nag.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Tuesday October 5th 2010

I am sooooooooooooooo tired.  I've had a really busy few days and lots of early mornings.  But ....  Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!   finished the prototype doiley ready for posting.  It's the third attempt before I was happy with the outcome but I'm very pleased now.  I'm not too happy about shipping it, though.  It is big (2 feet in diameter) and I want to send it flat.  I've been out scouting card today but couldn't find any big enough and stiff enough (oooerr!).  I've had to attach it to a a piece of card, roll it and put inside a tube.  Not entirely satisfactory but it will do.  Not looking forward to sending 20 of them when the project's finished.

Also borrowed a decent digital camera and took some pictures - so I've put a lot more stuff onto the website and onto Etsy.  I've got a load more to do tomorrow inbetween planning my lessons and teaching.  Phew!  Life is very full.   

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Saturday October 2nd 2010

READY, STEADY GO!!! Busy, busy, busy weekend.  Both my mun and Stu's mum have birthdays and so we have lots of visiting and celebrating to do.  Everything else on hold until Sunday evening.

My doiley is back to the round it was before the major unpicking so I'm starting to feel a bit better about that.  Had several hours of 'oh b*gger!  I give up' but back on track with a bit of ruffling up - I'm going to attempt tightening with a tight round of doubles (watch this space to see if THAT works).

Last night, as a relief from the tiny doiley hook, I started the first of the winter hats.  Lovely mauves and lilacs.  I can't decide whether to leave it plain or put something pretty on it.  I'm going to have a surf later and see what people like at the moment.

Ok - gotta wrap prezzies and get the kids in the car.   Let the partying commence ...

Friday, 1 October 2010

Thursday September 30th 2010

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!  Feeling 'just a little' pissed off with myself.  Made a huge gaff in my doily and had to unpick half of it - so that's going to be another day before I finish.  I have been crocheting madly and fingers ache. Bloody booooooooo to being stupid.  It is now well passed midnight for the ... well every night this week.  Sleepy byes for me.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Wednesday September 29th 2010

YAAAAAWWWWWNNNN! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Yawn!  Feeling very tired today - keep falling asleep in my chair so I'm dosing myself with strong tea.  I'm sure I read once that chocolate has a lot of caffeine in it which is a good reason to get a pile in this afternoon. 

I have so much to do - gotta get through the whole of Ethan Frome by tomorrow to help a girl with her essay.  I'm so close to the end of the third try of my doiley and it's biloody typical that I now prefer my second draft!!!    So I want to be able to block it out and compare the two.  There is a mountain of stuff to photograph and catalogue for the website and my house needs decorating (although that might have to wait FOR  A FEW YEARS!)

It's my mum's birthday on Saturday and I want to make her some yarn ball pots.  I have the clay and I thought it would be lovely if my two boys painted one each for Grandma.  It's becoming touch and go whether they dry in time, though.  Better do that first. 

Right so priority list: 
  1. Stop faffing around with this blog and do some work
  2. Eat chocolate
  3. Make 2 yarn pots
  4. Eat chocolate and drink strong tea
  5. Finish reading Ethan Frome and put together an essay plan
  6. Eat chocolate, drink strong tea and eat more chocolate
  7. Finish and block doiley
  8. Pretend there is nothing else to do until tomorrow
  9. Celebrate with a slice of chocolate cake and a lovely cup of tea

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Saturday September 25th 2010

Phew!  First of the twenty 24" doilies finished.  Gonna start again, though because the thread is too fine and the look is too lacey (doesn't pay to be a perfectionist).  Was going to take time out from doilies but the new size 10 thread arrived and now I feel obliged to get going again.  I am going to indulge myself with a couple of hours on my pet projects too, though.  

The Beginning of my Extreme Afghan

I have a scumble winter hat in whites and creams on the go, a blue, circular free-form baby blanket, a hanging basket, an amigurumi cat and an enormous afghan with an extreme hook.  Soooooooo, plenty to choose from.

Been playing around with the website.  Still haven't managed to get the checkout sorted so that customers don't have to register in order to buy something - it drives me crazy so it must madden other people too!  Will try again tomorrow after seeking expert guidance because I managed to crash the whole site for two hours yesterday after fiddling around in code I didn't really understand.

Set up a sale, though, and that should encourage a few more sales.

Next job is to design a competition.  I've got to come up with a good prize but I have a theme (not telling yet, before you ask!).  Can't wait.  It's really quite exciting!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Wednesday September 22nd 2010

FINALLY, got pictures of Loooopy Blooo onto site and Etsy.  Lovely scarf, terrible pictures.  I really need a new camera, this one changes the colours and over exposes the image.  The scarf is actually a much more muted, dusty navy colour.  Maybe if someone buys the scarf I'll make a point of using the money for a spangly new one!!!!

Tutoring is picking up nicely.  Don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, really.  On the one hand, it means there's some money coming in; on the other, it means less time to concentrate on the crafty business.

I'm looking to get myself into some craft fairs but don't know if I've got enough stuff to sell yet.  Might need mum to come along with her creations too.  She has tons of amazing stuff.  Would I be jealous if hers sold and mine didn't?   OH, YES!

Prototype doiley nearly done.  Decided the thread is too fine for the design.  It's a really lacey one and the fine contton leaves it with no substance.  So....  I've order a size 10 thread.   Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Don't tell Stu, not supposed to be spending any money.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tuesday September 21st 2010

Busy, busy, busy!  One son off school with a bad tummy, other son to Grandma's for the day, me working online and then doily, doiley, doilly (or however you spell it - does anyone know?).  Making good progress but it's quite difficult to size up a design to 24" whilst maintaining the style and avoiding too much repetition.  

 I am trying to avoid watching the football with my Stu now, so perfect time to blog.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Monday September 20th 2010

Mondays and Thursdays are very frustrating!  I can't crochet until this evening because I have to work.  I suppose I have to keep real money coming in somehow or I'll be crocheting in the street and sending my children up chimneys (Hmmmm?  Not such a bad idea.. chimneys ...)  It's just that I'd rather be creating - what an inconvenience the need for money is!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday September 19th 2010

It begins...
This is my first proper blog and I'm actually a bit nervous about having enough to say.  Well, we'll see...

a doily at the scene today

Making doilies for a wedding at the moment.  Gotta get 20 2ft lacey doilies crocheted by Christmas - I'll be seeing them in my sleep.  Really quite enjoying it, though.  Strangely satisfying things to make because it's difficult to create one that doesn't end up beautiful.  I've never much been a fan of frilly, old fashioned crochet but I am being converted, I think.  I've even been perusing the vintage crochet sites.

Another doily, yesterday


Right back to work ...