Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tuesday January 25 2011

Finally, a chance to get a bit of what I've been up to down on paper.  Think I'm going to keep this to Hoopla Yarn but before I do:  Doilies - 9/20 complete; 11 to go... phew!  Going to be gorgeous though.  I'm quite proud.  Site - still a bit of a shambles.  Stu is helping me out but it's so far down the priorities list... well.  If you are magnificent, go have a look at www.stringtheorycrochet.co.uk and send me your criticisms/anything you notice that is below par.  I would be very grateful.

So ... Hoopla.  I've been playing around with this for a while now and I absolutely love it.  Spent the end of last week on the Hoopla Yarn stand with Charlotte and Erkan.  They are a really lovely couple who want to build a family business importing the yarn and they're working really hard to get the message out there - obviously, they want to make money, but they are truely passionate about the product.  I was just a crochet consultant.  I took along a few of the things I'd made to show and had a really good time talking crochet with enthusiasts, experts and beginners.  It was great fun and it looks like we might do the same at Olympia - watch this space.

So, what do I like?  Top 3 ... Number 1:  THE COLOURS!  I LOVE THE COLOURS.  Being on the stall felt like being in a sweet shop.   I've made a lot of bits and bobs for my boys and they fit perfectly into their room.  Which brings me to the second thing I like.  It is perfect for children.  Bright and soft, yet tough and easy to clean (starting to sound like an advert?).  And finally, it is exciting for a crocheter because it can be crocheted tightly and it will hold it's shape so it is almost like sculpting or potting.  It is really strong and sturdy.

Right, balance.  It does have some downfalls.  It is quite heavy, so postage is expensive and it doesn't make good clothing (unless made into a very wide mesh).  Another thing, because it is upcycled from clothing manufacture, the colours are whatever come out of the factory so there is no guarantee of ever getting the same colour again or choosing a colour in advance of looking at the yarn (if that makes sense... you couldn't for eg say " I want to make a set of brown and cream placemats" because there might not be any brown or cream available.  You would have to search out the available colours and choose from the current selection).  

Having said all that, if I could afford it, I would give every crocheter at least one bobbin of the yarn.   Everyone should get the chance to play with it.  I would love to see what other people make of it. If you have a go send me some pix.  Don't know where to start?  I've put a couple of free patterns on my site (for crocheting beginners really but .. hey) and I'll have some Hoopla Yarn for sale too, soon, hopefully.  Otherwise, I urge you to check out the selection at www.hooplayarn.com or visit the amazing Roz Gunwhy at http://chakahoopla.com/  who has also been having a play.

I want to encourage you to have a go so ... what about a competition? 

I'll offer 4 bobbins of your choice from my site as a prize (that's 2kg/400m of yarn) for the best Hoopla design.  I don't mind if you send me a picture of something you've made, a sketch or pattern of a design, or even a FO in the post.  It doesn't matter if it is made from Hoopla or from home-made upcycled fabric yarn.  Your entry can be knit, crochet, woven, knotted .....  anything goes.

I'll decide on a shortlist based on innovation and design and then ask for a vote for the winner.

Deadline:  1st April 2011


Friday, 21 January 2011


I am sooooooo busy, I haven't blogged at all this month so far.  At a show tomorrow so I'll want to show off my pix if anyone's interested - I'll also try to fill in the gaps.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

January 1st 2011


I've been so busy I haven't blogged for ages.    I've got about a million WIPs, 2 urgent commissions to finish this week, 3 new tutees and a new job!  This week we started with Christmas, has my Ben's 3rd Birthday on 29th and survived New Year.  Today I've got the inevitable headache :-(  Better to be busy than idle, though.

Best day of 2010 has to be my 40th birthday.  Stu took me to feed the penguins and, because it was so cold and so few people were at Bird World, I was allowed right into the enclosure and onto the island in the middle of their pond.  I have loved penguins all my life!!  Who can't sympathise with creatures that are so confident and expert in one area of their life (water) yet bizarre, comical and clumsy in another (land).  That is exactly how I feel.  
These pictures also served to remind me to get my roots done!!  An amazing experince and I highly recommend it if your local wild life park offer the opportunity.

2010 was a particularly difficult year for many reasons so here's to a much improved 2011.  I'm looking forward to it - BRING IT ON!!