Saturday, January 31, 2015

 I thought I'd include a few of my recent beach combing finds - I'm always looking out for the interesting and the unusual...
 It's quite common to find little plastic toy soldiers/cowboys/animals - I must write a separate blog-post with all the photos of the ones I've found, one of these days...

 This is a Pepsi-Cola bottle from Canada! It had a competition offer on the inside top of the lid (dated to end December 1990) - I didn't win!
 a beautiful piece of sea glass, I love this shade - a perfect seagreen.

 I don't have too much to update on this time but thought I'd write a bit of a catch-up anyway...I've had to 'finish' my wooly blanket - Oscar decided that it was plenty big enough for him so there was no need for me to continue! He made his feelings known by sitting on the blanket whenever I put it down (even when I was in the middle of sewing in the loose ends, see the photo below)

So, like any good cat-owner, I've stopped...and as you can see the cats are loving it.

 I'm still quite keen on making a proper full-sized blanket at some stage - I'm not sure when I'll ever get around to it though, or if it would be a fancy one (like I'd posted on here a few posts ago)

In other news, I haven't been feeling so great recently so I haven't done any crochet for a few days - this isn't like me at all and I'm happy to write that I am now feeling much better and am wielding my hook and yarn again :)
 My friend Shirley sent me these two cottons as a surprise - they are perfect for scrubbies so that's what I made! The colour combinations are bright and zingy so I hope they will sell for me.

Things have been pretty quiet in my Etsy shop lately, but it's my own fault as I haven't really been making and listing new items - I really find that you have to keep making/listing for things to sell (it's obvious really!).
I've just finished these wristwarmers last night so I got them photographed today and will hopefully get them listed later on today or tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Meet James! Oh I know we don't exactly 'need' another cat but he started turning up in the shed and garden back in the middle of November last year and was looking down on his luck so I started to feed him. There are so many stray/wild cats here with no homes and no one to look after them so I always try to do my bit. Anyway, James has decided that he wasn't just passing through, and now seems to be permanently living in our shed!

It's taken a LONG time and a lot of very gentle perseverance but he now is that the stage where he will tolerate being stroked. He still is very very wary but you can tell he enjoys being made a fuss of - I think he will be a really sweet boy in time.

His eyes seem to be permanently inflamed/running and I'd love to be able to treat them with cream/gel from the vets but if I tried that right now I know he's scratch my arms off and run for the it's still slowly, slowly with him.
He surprised me the other day when he was willing to eat out of the same twin-bowl as Bertie! The two of them tolerate each other most of the time but there's often a bit of voices raised and fur flying; hopefully this will lessen in time.

My goal right now is to be able to pick him up - with the aim of being able to get him to the vet and get him checked over and neutered; so far it hasn't been a success - I have picked him up three times and each time he goes into full-blown panic. I am hopeful that in time we will get there - at first he was the same when I tried to pet him: he'd think I was going to grab him and hurt him and would run away like a shot, but now he loves it.

I really hope we can make a difference to his life - so far all I've been able to do is treat him for fleas/worms/ticks etc (which must have made a big improvement to his comfort/quality of life)
This isn't a great photo of him but I love it - this is him sitting on the windowsill, just letting me know that he was waiting outside & was hungry!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ta-daaaa - my blanket is starting to look a bit more like a blanket and a bit less like a cushion cover :) This was it as of yesterday, now that it's bigger it's taking more and more time to complete a 'round' but I have got this far and I'm going to keep going til it's big enough. I've only been working on it for about a week but it's still only about half the size I want it to be....

It has just SO many different colours; so far I'm making it from all the left-overs from various wrist warmers, hats etc. It's mostly in aran weight yarn, I have had to double up some thin double knitting for a couple of the rounds but it's generally just one colour per round.

I've just finished these a couple of days ago - made using my German pure merino wool (the same brand as the ones I posted in the last update) - I still have this yarn in another two shades to make wrist warmers with :)

I've also been busy making scrubbies - the emerald green ones are made using some of the cotton I bought in Germany - I actually bought two shades of green but thought there's really no point in having two similar shades of green listed at the same time so it's just these ones for now.

...and these are the scrubbies that I've made for a bulk order - a total of eleven sets (there are two sets of the white ones and the dark red in the bottom row) - my Etsy customer will be buying them from me at the start of the next month hopefully: in the meantime I've got to get Peter to sort out the correct postage rate for the order and get them listed as a custom order.

We've had some really stormy weather recently but today's a much better day so I'm going to go and get myself organised so that I can go to the beach for an hour or two :) Photos to follow if I find anything of interest...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Time for another update before I forget stuff - my big news is that I've started to make a blanket!

It's something I've wanted to make for ages, pretty much once I realised that I could crochet, I was thinking that I'd like to make a proper bedspread/blanket but I never got around to it til now.

I started on it last night and this is the size of it this morning - it's SUCH slow work! It's going to be a thousand and one different colours as I am only using up oddments of yarn that I have accumulated from when I make my hats, wrist warmers etc..

It's another few rounds bigger since I took the photo but as it gets bigger and bigger it's going to take longer and longer for it to grow in size. I'm determined to finish it though - ideally I'd love it to be big enough to use as a bedspread or so that Oscar and I can snuggle up on the sofa together. Since he came back from the vets he's been really cuddly and has taken a liking to curling up in any of my wooly jumpers that he can find.

THIS is the blanket I'd love to make! I think I'll wait a while just yet though as even I couldn't manage to have two blankets on the go as well as trying to keep my Etsy shop relatively well stocked....maybe some time in the future though...

I'm still making inroads on the yarns that I bought in Germany - these scrubbies are made in 100% cotton - I love the funky colours! As always, I'm wishing that I had thought to buy some more of it while we were there, but there's always online shopping ;)

 And these wrist warmers are in pure merino wool from Germany :) I was really happy with how they were turning out until the great big brown section appeared - I don't know if it's just me or what, but it doesn't seem to 'go' with the other's kind of disappointing.

There wasn't even enough spare yarn left over so that I could have cut out this portion of the wool and just carried on with the regular shades. I'm making another pair of wristers in the pinky/purpley version of this wool and I think they will come up better

In Etsy news, I've got someone who is interested in ordering 11 sets of my scrubbies so that they can be sold at a friend's shop! I'm so excited about this :) We're still sorting out the colours, it's a pain that I don't have a tonne of all my different yarns in stock, usually it's just one or maybe two balls of stuff (and yet I still have seven big boxes full!) I'm hoping that my making this scrap-blanket will help use up a lot of the bits and pieces that I have held on to and then it should clear some room up in my boxes too ;)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Looking Back at the Beginning - part two

I thought I'd continue my looking back over the beginnings of 'selkiecrochet' in this blog update; it got too tiring last night to keep trawling backwards through all the photos on the computer so I thought it was better to spread it over a couple of posts instead.

My first two pairs of wrist warmers - I sure I still have both pairs lying around somewhere as they were both for myself. I wouldn't be happy with either pair now - I don't like using all treble for wrist warmers nowadays as they end up going more saggy and stretchy than ones made with just plain double crochet do... the striped pair is a kind of hybrid pair I guess, with double crochet on the wrist part and then trebles for the rest... but soon afterwards I switched to using just plain double crochet throughout. I much prefer the texture and durability of the ones that I now make; part of the fun of it all though is that it IS a kind of journey and you do learn new things and leave other things behind.
I started to make little cotton clothes-peg bags - we still have our one in use, nearly five years on!

 and large pure cotton tote bags - I still use this pattern (but have made a few alterations along the way)
cute wee baby cardi!
and these were the first wrist warmers that I ever sold through my Etsy shop! Well - I kept this pair for myself and the pair that sold were just the same (big thanks to Carrie for being my first ever Etsy customer)

 more and more prototype wrist warmers! My photography could really still do with a big improvement but oh gosh I cringe when I look back at these listing photos...and people still bought my items!
This was the first pair I think I made in plain double crochet - I much prefer them like this and haven't looked back since :)

One of the things I still love is how portable crochet is - this was in August 2010, when I was working on a pure cotton scarf.

some more photos of my work from 2010...from about August onwards I seem to have made pretty much just wrist warmers; having fun trying out the great choice of wools that I could buy from Springwools...

By December I had started to make hats...
and by the time Christmas 2010 had come around, and I'd been crocheting for a full 12 months I had somehow managed to have 46 sales on Etsy!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Yay - first post of the New Year  -  hopefully the first of many.

I thought I'd start the New Year off with a look back over my shoulder - I started this blog with the intention of being able to look back and see how far I've gone, what mistakes I've made, what I could do better etc, etc, etc so what better than a glance back at my first attempts at crochet and photographic evidence of my wonky shaped journey.

I was given a book about crochet as a Christmas present back in 2009 and having had to give up knitting (due to my tennis elbow, which is still a problem, sigh) I decided to really try and give crochet a go.

I picked up my new hook on the 28th December 2009 and made my first proper chain...a couple of days later I was trying to make sample squares of different stitches...

I hope that you can see an improvement over those three photos in my tension and evenness of stitches.

I moved on to trying more complicated things in January....

 wonky chevrons -- I later mastered this and have made several scarves using this pattern (see photo below)

Then I thought I'd try my hand at motif, which all seemed to come out a bit wonky!

I cringe now when I look back at these - I've actually kept the red and green one and still use it as a wonky shaped coaster.

I decided to step away from the motifs and go back to practicing the stitches and patterns in the rest of the book.

By the middle of January I was feeling brave enough to make my first proper crochet 'item' - a baby bib for a friend who had just became a grandmother again. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but it's meant to be an owl ;)

By the 19th January I had made this baby cardi! I made it just using scraps of yarn in contrasting colours.

 In February I decided to make something for me - I was so proud of myself - it took me quite a while to make!

I loved finding out cute patterns for little things to make - Peter still has his crochet cactus and the little chickies are egg cosies that I made for friends.

By March I had made my first handbag - I still love this bag, it's pure wool from the Kerry Woolen Mills, just outside Killarney.
 and I started on my first ever crochet scarf (with help from my parents' cat)
all finished - I still wear this scarf...