Saturday, April 26, 2014

end of the month update

This will probably be my last update for this month unless something dramatic happens in the meantime; I'm finally getting the hang of starting to update on a regular basis - I have to admit that initially it was a bit of a chore to update my blog but now I find myself thinking ''oooh I must remember to write about this or that'': it's a nice feeling :)

 We've had a poorly old dog in the last week or so -- Peter had to take Henry to the vet one day last week while I was working as he had somehow managed to break one of his claws on his back leg and it got stuck into the sole of his foot and was obviously very painful. He had to wear a bandage for two days (you can just make it out in the photo) and was on antibiotics for five days. It did start to get better but then all of a sudden it was getting worse again and his foot was swelling up so he went back to the vet again - poor Henry, he absolutely hates going to see Paudie (our lovely vet) and twice in a week was a lot for a poor old hound to accept. But now he's on different antibiotics (and for ten days this time!) and it's already looking lots better - the swelling has finally gone down and he is able to put weight on it again (though he's still hobbling about a lot)

I had my first craft market of the year last weekend (Easter Sunday in Ballinskelligs) but although it was a wonderful sunny day and I was able to make practically a complete pair of wrist warmers while I was there, it wasn't really the most profitable one I've ever done - I only sold a chunky scarf, two of my cards and a pair of wrist warmers. It wouldn't have been too bad if people hadn't kept saying ''oh I'll be coming back for this'' and then never did :( - I always believe people when they say that and it gets my hopes up - rather than being realistic about it and thinking that they might just be being polite.

I'd taken a break from making the burgundy hats as I don't have to have them finished til some time in June, so I'd rather do them a couple at a time rather than having to sit down and make all ten in a concentrated burst. I like to have several different projects on the go at a time - usually using different thicknesses of yarns, different colours etc - to give myself a bit of variety.

 These are the wrist warmers which I was making in a blog post earlier this month - I LOVE how they turned out! They are made from sock yarn, which is just so incredibly fine but it's worth the extra time and effort.

 And I've made two of these granny square hats :) I really like how they turned out - and the blue and purple yarn was stuff I had left over from making wrist warmers so it was nice to be able to use some of that up in something different.

And I just finished these lovely cuffs yesterday - I utterly adore these colours :) The wool is super-duper soft too, they are just perfect. Hopefully they will go to a good home.

I managed to get down to the beach yesterday (with my crochet) - it was a bit cold but I was there for an hour and a half before it finally got too cold! I was thrilled to see that the sea pinks are nearly in flower - this little clump was right next to where I was sitting.

I love the colours of this dried seaweed - it looks like ribbon.

and this is where I was sitting - the tide was coming in so I was up on a rock to keep dry :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Back at Work

 Now that I'm back at work I thought I'd post a few photos from my day job - on my first day back on the ferry we transported this little fella back to the mainland! I'm always saying that one of the many things I love about my job is that you never have two days or even two crossings the same - there are always new people to meet, locals to chat to, interesting wildlife and of course the weather is always changing's always different.

But this was the first ever terrapin we've brought across as a 'foot passenger'! It turns out that he had come across in August last year, on holiday with his owners and their family and he somehow escaped and managed to survive the winter outside on the island. He must have just come out of hibernation recently, and was found wandering about. So he was dropped down to the ferry in a box and came across with us so that he could be picked up on the other side and then transported back up to Cork where he lives.

And this is the view from my workplace - isn't it just out of this world??! I feel very lucky to have a job that I still enjoy (despite this being my ninth season). I am utterly exhausted at the moment though - it's always a real shock to my system to get back to work again after having been so lazy all winter. But I was off work yesterday and today, and then I'm back again for four evenings - so it isn't too bad -- and best of all, I'm off for the Saturday and Sunday of the Easter weekend!!

I had been hoping to make it to the beach yesterday or today but I'm so tired out that I'm going to give it a miss - I've got a big long list of jobs to try and get done in the house instead and inbetween my chores I'll hopefully be taking it easy.

My camera seems to have sorted itself out: which is, of course, a major relief. I am SO attached to my camera, it almost is like an extension of myself. I'm so happy that it is ok again, it's served me so well in the last seven plus years.

In crochet business - I've made the three beanie hats for my friend Barbara's 'wholesale' order (seven ladies hats and three beanies for men). I'm thinking about doing a different slouchy pattern than my normal one but have yet to sit down and choose one instead. There's no rush to get on with them just yet, I have about a month and a half to get them all finished but I think I'll try and sit down and look for a pattern this afternoon so I feel some bit organised...

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Wow, well I'm back at work in my day job this Wednesday - another winter has flown by and it's back to 'normal' again soon. I'm going to find it hard to get used to getting up at the crack of dawn but I know once the alarm goes off on Wednesday morning that'll be it and I'll just click back into my old routine again.

It looks like I will be needing to buy a new camera soonish - my beloved Sony Cybershot is starting to play up; I love that camera so much: it goes everywhere with me. It has to be at least 7 years old now which I guess is good going for something like that nowadays? The problem is that the little 'doors' that cover the lens aren't working - they got stuck closed, but I managed to get them open --- only now they are stuck open and I'm sure the lens will soon get scratched or something.

It might be something that can be fixed, I'm not sure if it's because it has a tiny grain of sand stuck there or if it's something mechanical...fingers crossed it can be repared.

I know I'm going to have a really hard time trying to choose a replacement...I know I've always thought that the one thing I'd change about my camera is that I'd love it to have a better zoom, so this is something that I will be looking for in my new camera.

Anyway, on with the crochet...

I've been adding some new listings to my Etsy shop lately:

this cute bow hat -- I'd even forgotten I still had some of this wool in my boxes so I decided to use it up; I've sold a few of these hats in the past on Etsy or at craft fairs.

and this headband/earwarmers -- I've made a chunky scarf out of the cream wool and had just enough left for this headband.

I still have to list the scarf though! I made another one the same but in chunky green wool -- have to get photos taken of them both and get them both listed. It's a pain really when it's something that I have to get photographed when I'm wearing it - so much easier when I can just take the photos myself.

I had a message from a lady in England asking me if I could make her a hat in a dark grey yarn as she had recently lost her own grey hat and wanted a replacement. Of course I hadn't much of a clue as to what colours I had in my after a lot of excavation I found two shades of grey and made two hats!

The top one is more of a slate grey with creamy white tweedy flecks and the other is a dark charcoal with browny flecks. It doesn't take too long to make a hat like this so I thought I'd make both up and give her a choice of the two and hoped that she'd like one but instead she bought BOTH! YAY!!

I still have enough of the charcoal yarn to make another one so I think I will make one to have listed in my shop -- sometimes I look at what I've got online and it all seems to either be blue or purple (my favourite colours I guess) - so a bit of variety would be a good idea.

I'm going to be kept busy for a while as I've had a 'wholesale' order for ten hats - the lovely Barbara asked me to make some last year for her art workshop and she's asked me to make a new batch for this year's one. I'm so excited (and super-appreciative of her thinking of me for this) but I think I have my work cut out for me -- look at the huge cone of wool that I ordered!

Yet again the wonderful Springwools sorted me out with this - it's a 2kg cone of the wool! I ordered it one day and it arrived the next day. It's wonderful stuff; 100% pure wool from the people at Studio Donegal - and is full of little tweedy flecks in all sorts of colours.

My order is for three beanie hats (for the gents) and seven slouchy hats (for the ladies) -- I made a start yesterday on one of the beanie hats but had to rip out the whole thing as it was coming up too small (thanks to using the wrong sized hook); it's frustrating but I want to do it properly and I learn from my mistakes!

Oh and some more good news -- I've donated €80 to the Vietnam gift fund thanks to all the sales of the greetings cards last month. BIG BIG thanks to everyone who bought them; the money is going to such a great cause. A lady from the ActionAid Irish group said that they are putting together a new brochure for people who are thinking about child sponsorship and that they will include a piece about how I raised this money through running this promotion in my  Etsy shop :) I'm thrilled! All my sponsorship money (the regular payment every month) actually comes out of my regular Etsy sales (or any local sales too) -- I really love that I am able to do something good with this money that I have earned through my craftiness.