Monday, June 30, 2014

I did it!!

Yay!! I reached my goal of getting 600 Etsy sales before July 11th (the anniversary of my first ever sale) - I'm so over the moon, I was thinking that it wasn't going to happen but then while I was sleeping a lady in Minnesota bought two of my cotton scrubby sets and that brought me up to 601 - woo!

I can't quite believe how much of a success my Etsy shop has been; every so often I have to stop and pinch myself. I'm not sure what my next 'goal' will be - really none of it matters that much because each individual sale and customer is an achievement for me: Etsy is such a huge site and there's so much competition which I can't possibly ever keep up with but I am feeling very proud of myself for getting to where I am all the same.

As a celebration I've treated myself to something I've had my eye on for a while; it's a silver ring from a seller in the US but it's cast from two little crab claws that she found in Ballinskelligs beach (literally the other side of the bay from where I live and go beach combing myself)

This is her shop please click but she's put her shop on 'vacation mode' while she's away on holiday but she'll be back after 14th July so please check it out. I really adore her limpet pendants too but this is what I chose for my celebration gift to myself crab claw ring - I'm so excited about it and can't wait for it to arrive! By serendipity I placed my order just before she was closing for her holiday so the ring will soon be in the post to me :)

Meanwhile I've been busy with my crochet - this is the pair that I posted a photo of the last time -- they're all finished and listed in my Etsy shop already - I LOVE these colours!
 and the next two pairs are made in King Cole's 'country tweed' - the colours are a lot more subtle than in 'riot' but they are lovely too.

 I really like the vibrant green in amongst the shades of browns in this shade of yarn
 and this is what I'm working on at the moment - in King Cole's 'galaxy' (the shade is 'ruby' I think?)
this pair is taking me a while to make as I've been busy making scrubbies in lots of different colours at the same time in an attempt to get some extra listings in my shop scrubbies!!! - click on the link to see all twenty different colours that are available at the moment :)

I really love it when my scrubbies sell - I am such a huge convert to them myself so it's exciting to know that someone else will hopefully soon be feeling the same about them too.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New colours - part two!

I've been busy trying out my new colours of Riot dk from King Cole (bought from the wonderful Black Sheep Yarns) - these are the ones I've used since my previous blog update...

these ones are JUST finished but I need to take the photos so I can list them in my Etsy shop.

The only problem is that I have now used up all my new colours of Riot so I'm kind of at a loss now - I've started making yet more crocodile wristers in the new (to me) shades of King Cole's Country Tweed (also from Black Sheep Wools) but the colours aren't half as exciting or spectacular as Riot's are...sniff...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Colours!

 I couldn't resist and I have already started using my lovely new Riot yarns; this one is called 'Neon' and it has just the most amazing bright rainbow colours - I love it!!!
I've got this pair listed in my Etsy shop just now and I have enough of the wool for another pair too - I'm so glad I bought two balls of this yarn.
 This one below is called 'Volcano' and is still on my hook (though I'm on the second wrister now, the one in the photo is the first one) - this was my crochet spot when I got home from work yesterday; just sitting out in the garden with my crochet, coffee and some yummy chocolates!

 Once I get this pair finished I'm going to make a pair with the new purple/green shade (called 'reflections') - oh I love King Cole riot so much!! It's a really fun yarn to work with as the colour is forever changing and merging from one shade to the next, I find it quick to work with as I'm always saying that I'll just keep going til the next colour change, but then of course I want to see how the next one turns out..and the one after that etc etc.

Our weather has been so perfect just lately, I thought I'd include a couple of scenery shots :) This is how a beach should look! No plastic or other marine litter, just lots of shells and clear water. I do voluntary work for the Irish Whale and Dolphin group so if there's a dead stranding in this area I go out to take photos, measurements and record the species etc - well I've been a bit of a jinx lately as I got an email about a stranding here (Beal TrĂ¡) but by the time we got there the tide had taken it out again so there wasn't anything for us to find - it was a nice drive out though, and is somewhere that would be great to go with a picnic and my crochet sometime :)

the wild flowers there were breath-taking too (this is a type of wild orchid) - next time I go back I'll take lots more photos.

...and these are a couple of 'work' photos - this sunset caught my eye the other evening when I was on the way home from work and I just had to pull in and take a couple of photos to try and capture it.

and this was taken at my workplace - it's so funny how we can have a full load one crossing and I'll be totally rushed off my feet and have barely enough time to get all the fares collected, and then we'll have a load like this!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

New Lovely Wools!!

Feast your eyes on these lovelies! I got these as a wonderful surprise present from a dear friend who is over here, visiting from America -- they are all brands that you can't get here (unless you order them online I guess?) I'm going to have so much fun using them :)

And then I got all of these below in the post at the end of the week - BlackSheepWools were having a 15% off sale on King Cole riot so I thought it was a good chance to try out the new colours!
 All of these yarns (apart from the Debbie Bliss ones) will be eventually turned into crocodile stitch wrist warmers :)

 I've started to make a pair of wrist warmers in this colour (below) already - I just couldn't resist!!

aren't they wonderful? I took the photos in the sunlight and it just makes the colours really 'pop'.

Experimenting with a new pattern

A friend recently found this pattern on ravelry (also for sale through Etsy) so I thought I'd give it a go -- skully hat pattern -- I have to admit that I am generally very nervous of trying new stuff; I get kind of comfortable with what I can do and what I'm (relatively) good at so I tend to stay inside my comfort zone. But it's good to dip a cautious toe into the bigger, wider world of crochet so I thought I'd give it a go.

Buying the pattern on Etsy is a cinch - you can download it straight away and then print off a copy to work with.

I used just some cheapish acrylic yarn that would be easy to work with (and easy to rip out whenever I made mistakes!) and the recommended size hooks for the pattern.
 Here's a close up of the 'skulls'

 ...and the finished hat...

I have to admit to having kind of mixed opinions about the pattern -- next time I'm doing it I will add a few more rows of the rib as I feel just one round of it isn't enough.

The hat came out TINY compared to how it was meant to - this size is meant to fit an adult but I'm not sure if it was me working too tightly or what but it was tiny; I ended up leaving out a round of the skulls so that I could decrease the length of the hat as the circumference was just so small.

The decreasing came out kind of funny too - I'm not sure if that is me and my wonky crochet or the pattern itself - next time I will concentrate a bit harder I think ;)

It's definitely a pattern that I would use again and I do want to perfect it -- this attempt was very much a proto-type and a bit of an experiment. I tend to make a lot of alterations to patterns anyway but I was definitely going to add more ribbing to the bottom edge and then thinking about doing the skulls in single bands (in one colour) and then doing bands of plain trebles in a contrasting colour to hopefully make the skulls stand out a bit better.