I have to admit, when a mate of mine asked for one of these in red, I wasn’t sure it would work. But I’m really pleased with it. I hope he is too.
I’ve got a third order to move on to next, same basic pattern but totally different colours and fabrics again. Looking forward to getting started!
Simple but effective, I hope. Have made labels, made homemade puff pastry sausage rolls and written up more of my current pattern… Now to pick up my hook and actually get some crochet done.
With my first paid order ready to go, I realised I really ought to think about creating some nice labels and packaging. So with that in mind, I spent some time in Hobbycraft this morning. I had a fairly set idea of what I wanted and managed to find a few pretty bits and pieces which will be assembled into tags and labels for my creations.
I’ll be spending a fun hour or two with those and my new glue gun tomorrow. I intended to start today but we’ve been out and about a fair bit. I dragged my other half out to a wool shop in Newent that I haven’t been to before. It’s called The Wool Garden and is about half an hour’s drive from here. It was a nice little shop, stocks lots of Debbie Bliss yarns, very friendly woman behind the counter but quite pricey and quite small. I bought a couple of balls of Debbie Bliss Eco-baby cotton for one of the bunnies I’ve been asked to make. I love checking out new wool shops – and even though it wasn’t the best I’ve visited, it’s better than any that Cheltenham has to offer. I’m hoping for a lottery win so I can set up my own and fill the gap in the market!
After a trip to a farm shop, a nice lunch and a two-mile run, I got started on the next order I have waiting, for another person dressed as a bunny, but this time with a red, white and/or black theme. I haven’t got far with it yet but here’s a sneak preview:
My first paid commission is all finished and ready to be sent to its new home! It has come together quite quickly – which is exactly why I tend to prefer cute little projects like this to things like bags and blankets.
I’ve made this up entirely as I’ve gone along and haven’t written down the pattern. I always set out with good intentions to write them down but tend to get carried away and forget. I’ve made this one longer, bigger and more flexible than similar projects in the past – just so it’s more cuddly and snuggly since it’s going to an actual baby rather than sitting on my shelf of yarn-based experiments.
Even without having the pattern written down, I’m sure I can recreate this again and again in different colours – and I think it will be nice for them all to be different. Can’t wait to get on to the next one now!
Just over six weeks ago, I stopped smoking. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but my willpower wasn’t up to it. But this time I am doing very well and believe I have finally cracked it. My other half has also quit, and has had to stop drinking after developing an allergy to alcohol. We are both getting more exercise, feeling healthier and even better than that, saving lots of money. I have an app on my iPhone that tells me how much I’ve saved by quitting smoking as I go along. I’m already up to £180… So a few days ago I decided to treat myself. I ordered a set of great crochet hooks, which arrived in the post today:
I already had one of these Clover Amour hooks (a 3mm one) and really liked it in comparison to regular hooks. I’ve got some great chunky bamboo ones, but I’m not a big fan of regular metal ones. These are so much easier on your hands and the soft grip just makes it all so much easier. The full set cost about £40 but I know I will get plenty of use out of them.
I’ve already started using the 4mm one on my current project. Progress has been a little slow today due to work and running and sleeping, but I only have the arms and legs to do now which shouldn’t take long.
Today I started work on my first paid commission. Not so long ago, I posted a picture on my Twitter account (@skellers) of a little amigurumi experiment I’d done. It was a person in a bunny costume. It was OK but really just a prototype and I wasn’t massively impressed by it. But a friend of mine was, and asked me to make one for her little baby boy.
I’ve been pondering ideas for it over the past week or so and finally got around to starting it today. This time I’m using Rico Creative Cotton Aran (the same yarn I used for the bag I just made) for a less fluffy and more professional looking finish. I’ve been asked to make it about 12 inches tall which is bigger than I would usually aim for, but is actually much easier – firstly the aran weight yarn is easier to work with than 4ply or DK, and secondly it’s not as fiddly to add details as it is on smaller pieces. So I’ll definitely be doing more on this scale. Here’s the finished head… the body will start to take shape after work tomorrow:
The thing that’s been making me nervous about selling my creations is knowing how much to charge. The materials don’t cost a great deal but how do you price up the time spent, especially when it is something you enjoy doing regardless of where the finished product ends up? If anyone has any advice I’d be interested to hear it.
(In case anyone is wondering, until today I was working hard on my blanket, completing 20 squares in the past few days… But I’m having a little break from it before I do the 20 extra squares needed to complete it. I can only take so much repetition before I get distracted by something else!)
I’m still working on my chunky blanket and I have no particularly interesting new photos of my progress to post, so instead, it’s another trip back down crochet memory lane at one of my earliest projects.
After I’d taught myself the basics of crochet by making simple granny squares, I went super ambitious and bought myself a book of crochet finger puppet patterns so that I could create a set of puppets for my little two-year-old nephew William. The first one I tried was a whale…
He turned out pretty cute but the crochet is nowhere near as neat and tidy as I can do now. I think he’s got character though. Plenty of others followed – including a penguin, a monkey, an octopus, a Martian, a monster, a lion, a crab…
They all went into a little box, which I personalised, and young Bilbo (my nickname for him since he was a very tiny premature newborn) seems to like them. He’s been known to run around with the Martian hanging off his thumb, chasing his dad with his ‘monster’.
They were great fun to make and I can highly recommend them as a frivolous but fairly challenging project. Next time I make some I’ll be trying out a few designs of my own.
Last week I went to the opticians after weeks and months of squinting and straining to see the TV, road signs, my screen at work and even my crochet. Turns out I need to wear glasses – and wear them all the time. So I picked up my new specs yesterday. The day after I finished making a very fiddly and complex crochet bag from a small print symbol chart, and the day before I went back to working on my super chunky granny square blanket with uber wool and uber hook that can be seen quite easily from miles away.
Ah well. It’s nice to be able to see properly and it should make the next intricate project I tackle much easier. In the meantime, progress continues on my blanket, which I am now determined to finish quickly so that I can move on to a few requests and commissions I’ve had since starting my blog. It’s not far off…
We’re having a new sofa delivered soon and it would be lovely to have the blanket finished and ready to make it even more cosy. My other half has even offered to help me stitch the squares together – military men are surprisingly good with a needle!
It’s taken the best part of about three weeks in between work and everything else, but I’ve finally finished my first crocheted bag.
I’m really happy with it – it’s been a good learning process and for a first attempt at making this kind of thing, it’s not bad at all. Lining it was good fun – it was about time I tested out my sewing skills again. I used my little sewing machine to stitch some of the pieces of the lining together but much of it is hand sewn – including the zip pocket and the stitching actually holding the lining and the bag together. I love the fabric of the lining and there’s plenty left for other things.
Now I get to enjoy one of the best things about finishing a crochet project… choosing what to create next.
As regular readers will know, I am currently working on my first crocheted bag (see earlier blog). The main body of it is now just one and a half rows away from being completed and I really like the look of it. I’ve just got the handles to crochet and then, according to the pattern, I’m done.
However, I started thinking over the past few days, wouldn’t it be nicer if it was lined? So I’m going to have a bash at lining it with a beautiful Japanese print cotton which arrived via mail order yesterday:
At first I thought I’d just do a plain simple lining. Then I watched the Great British Sewing Bee and my ambition grew – surely I’d be able to put a simple pocket into the lining, just big enough to drop my iPhone into so I’m not rooting around in the bottom of the bag for it. Now I’ve got really carried away and bought a short cream zip so that I can put a proper zipped inside pocket into it, like a shop-bought handbag. I’ve done a fair bit of sewing before but not for a while. I’m sure I’ll find my way back into it… and I’ll be posting the results on here when I finally get there.
While I was ordering the fabric, I spotted a couple of other prints that caught my eye, so I bought those too. Now my plan is to create some smaller bags, which are much quicker to do, in order to sell a few. I’m yet to try to sell any of my work but I think I’m getting brave enough (almost).
Here are the other fabrics – hopefully you can see why I was tempted into buying these too:
So many projects in my head – and nowhere near enough time.