Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Fibre East Successes and Lessons Learned

We are both still recovering from our first big show. We learned lessons, made some money and above all met lovely people who shared our passion for crochet and yarn.

This is the set up - it wasn't long before we realised that we needed to display the yarn tubes in a different way for various reasons - they weren't in the right place and when people tried to rummage the cages fell apart, so we won't be taking them again!

This is patterns and haberdashery which also wasn't quite right but the lovely lady behind did really well with her baskets.

Buttons, beads, hooks and needles - all of these sold very well.

We did get some things right; Cecily the stripping sheep was sold very quickly although we did keep her until the end so that we could demonstrate what could be made from the pattern. The free-form examples that we took  with us were also very popular and we received lots of compliments.

Most admired was the Red Riding hood work which people seemed to think should be in an exhibition and I agree - it is amazing.
There were many people who said they couldn't do free-form because they were nervous of trying anything without a pattern; Vicky had anticipated this by making a guided free-form pattern for beginners. The book cover bottom right of this picture is made from the pattern.

This is a piece that was started for us to demonstrate free-form at the show. So the way it worked was Vicky did Red Riding Hood, I had done the Rainbow scarf and we both worked on this piece through the two days. I think it has worked ( or is working) very well. The only problem is that the most frequent question was 'what is it going to be'? I can't decide whether to carry on and make a throw, or should it be a cushion or a bag or perhaps a warm winter coat?


Ahem!  I think you forgot the most amazing part of the weekend ... my successful completion of a 100 wrap bullion stitch. Not a very useful size for a bullion but a crochet triumph ;-)

Victoria x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Persephone the Pig and Red Riding Hood

Only two days to Fibre East so I havn't really got time for this but I couldn't resist. First this is a lovely pattern designed by Vicky so I thought it would be a good idea to have an example so people could see what they could make with the pattern.

 But having made this one I thought we are trying to sell tubes of yarn like these:
So here is what you can make if you combine the pattern
with the yarn tube!

It is a good job that I did do this because I have just noticed that I havn't given him a mouth imagine a pig that can't eat!
He took less than half a tube of Yarn Candy so you could make two from one tube - bargain I say.

The point of what we are doing is to encourage and demonstrate free-form crochet so here is a reminder of what is possible when an artist gets really proficient at crochet.(I should say that the photograph doesn't quite do justice to the colours)

Vicky did this with a plan to make more fairy tales - sadly she has not had time yet to make more.
Can you spot the big bad wolf?
Wish us luck for this weekend

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Yarn Truffle Crochet or Knitting Challenge

Once again inspired by Vicky I set out to show people what could be made from one of these:

A bag of Yarn Truffles. 50g of colour themed yarn!
This is the contents of the bag shown but each bag is slightly different and this is not the bag I used.

We have a box of these ready, so to make it a fair challenge I just put my hand in the box and pulled a bag out without looking.

This shows all the things that I have made from one bag of yarn. Four large brooches, a big purse and a little purse, three hair clips, a beaded bracelet and a tie on thing that could be a necklace or a head band or you could tie it on to any other bit of you, you fancy.

Of course these makes needed some extra bits so I raided the haberdashery and embellishments. I didn't use the whole packet of the beads, buttons, bells , hair clips or brooch backs so I will be able to do this all again with the remainder.

The rest of the pictures are mainly close ups of the things that you can make.

The jungle brooch/pin
 The garden brooch
 The coral reef brooch
The solar system brooch

I have made a sort of pattern for these three.  They only use three very simple motifs - a circle, a flower and a coral. You can probably see that I have cheated and used a few orange beads.

It has been  really interesting to work out how to use the yarn to the best effect - if you fancy the same challenge the bags of yarn truffles are for sale as are the packets of haberdashery and embellishments

The really annoying thing is that I had this much yarn left .
As I was writing the title I thought I was being knitist by excluding the knitters. So if you knit why not try the great yarn truffle challenge - what can you make????

Monday, 14 July 2014

Crochet kits, hats and PYO

Vicky and I are in head exploding mode!! We have never done a big show before - two days of Fibre East, we have no idea how much stock we will need or what we will need when we get there to be able to set up, so we go from nervous break down ( not enough stock ) to excitement ( everybody buys everything and we become very rich)!
As you can imagine not much time for crochet but there is a bit to share.

 You may remember these mice. We are going to try and sell the kit to make them but we had sold all our examples at the Hurst Show so I decided to make a few more. They are so cute that I decided to share all of the pictures.

In the kit you get 5 balls of yarn - here is a selection but there are lots of other colours.
This is the content: stuffing, pattern, yarn. hook. yarn needle, stitch marker, and beads.

Once you think of a good idea ( in this case kits ) it is difficult to stop so I completed the Christmas Key ring Kit that I mentioned last time.

Key rings defying gravity , interesting effect
 Classic photography mistake, if you look carefully you can see me taking the picture.
 These are tinkling, twinkling stars. As I suspected the white ones are better than the gold ones but this is not obvious from the picture.

This is what the kit looks like. I forgot to list the pattern on the front but it is included.

 A beany type hat made by Vicky from one of our Yarn Candy tubes ( you could make three like this from one tube) . I like the effect of the fringe made from the ends of yarn.

I am off to see what else you can make from one tube. I may not last long because this morning we went fruit picking and we drove home with the raspberries on my lap - who can resist sun warmed fruit? I hope my digestion is up to it!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

5 Reasons to Take This Crochet Health Survey

This is a guest post from Kathryn Vercillo, author of Crochet Saved My Life and blogger at Crochet Concupiscence. She’s running a crochet health survey right now and wants you to know why it would be great if you could take a moment to participate.

Crochet saved my life. Literally. In my late twenties I was stuck in a downward spiral of chronic depression and had a really difficult time pulling myself out. It was during that time that I discovered crochet, a craft that could soothe my mind, reduce my anxiety, rebuild my self-esteem and bring joy back into my life. I began to crochet daily, and I began to heal. Later, I started to share my story on my blog and the comments I received made it obvious that there were many other people also healing from crochet. That’s when I started the research for my book, Crochet Saved My Life, because I wanted to find out just how this craft was helping people. The new survey that I’ve created is a continuation of that research, taking it further, and I’m hoping that you’ll participate.

Here are five reasons that it is beneficial for people to participate in this crochet health survey:

1.      Learn more about how crochet has helped you. By taking a few moments to answer the questions in this survey, you just might gain fresh insight into how the craft is helping you. It’s a great feeling to realize that they hobby you love is really a vital part of your life.
2.      Help others understand the health benefits of crochet. As the word spreads, more and more people are picking up crochet hooks to help themselves. When you share your information, it helps others realize how the craft can help them.
3.      Increase credibility for the craft as a form of therapy. This is an intensive, serious study that will be promoted to institutions, doctors and other researchers to help get support for crochet in a variety of healing settings.
4.      Support an indie author. I do all of my own writing, research and publishing. I can’t do it without the contributions of people who are willing to share their stories and information. The more I learn about how crochet helps other, the more I can share that information.
5.      Celebrate crochet! Above and beyond anything else, this survey celebrates the craft of crochet. It looks at what it can do to help people, not only with health issues but with improving general quality of life.

You can take the survey now or learn more about it from this press release

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Applique, Christmas Kits and Anonymous

I don't seem to have had much time for actual crochet this week. Graham and I have been going to pick up things bought on ebay and when we do we make a point of looking for something to see in the area. Went to Crawley and found Tilford Park - highly recommended.
I have also been inspired by a very old Stitch craft magazine and seeing Vicky cover holes in her favouite jumper using crochet patches. The result of the inspiration is this.

This is an old pashmina with a dirty mark on it. A few crocheted leaves make a good cover for the stain. I have another one like this that has a crosswise pull that looks a bit like a ladder in a stocking (yes I am that old ) and I am attempting a similar fix - will share when finished. I sewed the leaves on with very small stitches using a fine needle and cotton so that the stitching does not show on the other side.

 These are the prototypes of our new Christmas kits. We have three different Christmas key rings planned, they will be available in kit form and will include all the findings and yarn together with a pattern. A nice small gift and always better if you make it yourself
I am planning to change the colour of the star shown here because I don't like the gold with the silver key ring. I will also change the colour of the tiny jingle bells

Lastly here is our logo without the basket and with his feet made bigger and turned round. He is lovely but still nameless although Vicky suggested Woolfred or Wooliam. The best I can do at the moment is Crochetpher -any suggestions?