Thursday, 26 March 2009

Busy, busy, busy

It's been a while and I can only apologise! Things have been hectic here chez Shamu. First it was Duck Pond Market and then I was a "victim" of a Ssneak Attack on Etsy. In 24 hours my stock was virtually wiped out! I can't begin to describe how much it's boosted my confidence - after going to the last few fairs where I was beginning to feel like I was selling my soul, I had begun to doubt whether I'd keep trying to sell for much longer. This has just cemented the deal!

Apart from selling, I've been making a bunch of new things for my shop(s). I'm now making little bags and I hope they'll go down well. This one is made from bamboo and cotton, and is modelled by my little star. I love the way that holding the two yarns together gives you such random colour blends. It's so pretty that I've had to hide it from Bea as she wants to wear it all the time now!

This one is the adult version, crocheted in Noro Cash Iroha - a luxurious blend of silk, cashmere and wool. It's a great size - perfect for a small purse, a phone and a lipstick. The sort of bag that I need on a night out when I don't want to lug a huge bag around with me.

I am still adding to my stock and will update with pictures of my new legwarmers and hairslides as soon as the weather gets better and the sun comes out again.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A night of knitting

Last night I made it to my second knitting group meeting. The Harrow Area Knitters meet in Grims Dyke Hotel once a month, for an evening of knitting, nattering, yarn lusting and general fun! I had had a very prodcutive day - I'd been to a morning run by Harrow Carers where they had discussed a range of issues that are pertinent to me as a carer. I hate sitting idle, even when listening to presentations, and so sat and crocheted a couple of brooches, hair slides and a bag! I must have looked a little loopy, but never mind.... At least it gets my stock up for my shops and upcoming craft fairs (more about those in another post though).

So I set out in the howling wind and pouring rain for the hotel, which is situated in the middle of nowhere. I arrived, ordered my drink and sat down to knit, wind some yarn and generally relax. As more and more of us arrived, it was great to sit down and chat with likeminded women (yes, we were all ladies - we're quite open to men who knit too though!). We passed around books, magazines, yarn, needles, bags, allsorts. No one batted an eyelid when we talked about unfinished projects, enormous yarn stashes, impossible lace, frustrating yarn. How I wish my husband was as understanding! My hand dyed yarns were quite a talking point and my leg warmers were received enthusiastically - hopefully the same will happen when I (finally) put them up for sale.

So today so far, I've been sewing in ends, attaching brooch backs and hair clips and generally finishing off projects. I hope the sunshine stays put so I can take some photos later - watch this space.....

Sunday, 1 March 2009

A winning streak!

I never usually win anything (although there was the prize of a year's membership of a gym that I won at the annual medical students' ball around 18 years ago - anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact I am not gym material.....), but have been inspired by reading posts on Folksy to enter a couple of blog competitions recently. I guess it's a great way of getting folk to read your blog and to make a comment, and I know I'm always intrigued to see who is actually reading my blog. So I was a little shocked and very happy to find I have won some mohair fibre from Llamas, cats and crafts! I'm really pleased as it will be a good excuse to get on and learn to spin with my drop spindle. Plus as they say, good luck brings good luck, so I'm going to have to start entering more competitions!

This weekend has been very inspiring - with the sun on Friday and my parents visiting I've had a lot more time than usual to think about my creations. We visited Kew Gardens on Friday and it was so uplifting to see the spring colours, vibrant and alive, sparkling in the sunshine. The crocuses were amazing and I even managed to take a couple of pictures which really show them in all their glory - I'll try and upload them tomorrow. I have dyed some aran weight yarn in shades of purple and electric blue, and am calling the colourway "Electric Crocus" as it brings to mind the colours of the crocuses (is that the correct plural spelling???!!!). Hopefully, I'll have a picture of a finished article later in the week.

Today we went to the Victoria and Albert museum - I suppose I ought to be ashamed to admit that despite living in and around London for over 9 years, this was my first visit. To say I was in awe is an understatement. Hopefully, I'll start visiting more often. We went to see the Stephen Jones exhibition of hats and I can assure everyone that has checked out my Folksy and Etsy shops that there will be hats featured in my next autumn/winter collection... Watch this space!