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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Making lists......


How are we all today? I have loads to get finished off today for the craft fair, along with lots of other odds and ends that need to be tied up by the end of the week. 

Waking up early-ish and feeling ultra-motivated (and also a teeny bit head-achy from the beers last night) I got down to one of my favourite tasks......making a list!

I love lists, and I don't think I'm the only one judging by the number of list pads on Paperchase. I don't need a fancy notebook though, I'm more than happy with a paper bag

I just love that feeling when you can cross something off and visually see you are making progress. I even managed to cross something off whilst waiting for this picture to upload.....that's multi-tasking yeah?!

The only problem I have with lists is that I am too ambitious. I aim to get this list crossed off by 5pm  tomorrow, but realistically I know it will be more like 5pm next Friday.......

SS xx

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

WIP Wednesday.......pom-pom tastic!


Today is all about the pom-pom! I hadn't made pom-poms since school until I made them for my Raspberry Ripple Hats, when my love for them was re-kindled.

Due to my wrist problems I am trying to do a bit less crochet at the moment so that it doesn't get sore again......so what better than to make some more pom-poms! I wanted to make small red and white ones for use as Christmas decorations.

I had always made them using the two card-board rings, but after a quick Google found some brilliant suggestions for making teeny pom-poms using a fork. Genius! This tutorial on Mollie Makes shows you how its done, but I have put together a few pictures too:

(and then you develop a slight addiction and make a bowl-full until you run out of ribbon!)

Mini Pom-Pom Decorations by SallyStrawberry

I also tried out this pom-pom maker I bought this morning at my local craft shop but can't seem to get it to work properly......anyone else used something similar? Did you have success?

Have a good evening,

SS xx

p.s. Yarning along again.....

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

......and Durham in the day time!


So after my post on Durham Lumiere yesterday I thought I would show you some pictures I took of Durham in the day-time. We were lucky enough to be able to stay in Durham overnight, leaving Sunday to explore Durham (and the shops it has to offer) in the daylight. Before we hit the shops though we walked all round the perimeter of Durham centre along the river.

It was a gloriously sunny morning (and not even that cold either!), with the Sun reflecting off the turning autumn leaves

I especially love this picture of the Cathedral from a distance.

and this picture across the river really captures the essence of the morning.


Have a great day

SS xx

p.s. hopefully some crochet to share soon!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Durham Lumiere


Hope you all had a brilliant weekend! As you may have seen from my last post I was at Durham Lumière Saturday into Sunday. This is a festival where Durham is transformed into a city-wide spectacular of light every evening from Thurs-Sunday. I have never been in Durham before, and the trailer for the festival looked fantastic so was so excited to go! 

The festival consisted of installations across the old part of the city. One of the most spectacular were projections onto the Cathedral- so clever! Unfortunately I don't have any photos of this as it was too tricky to get a good picture. However, I did get plenty more.....

So here we have a couple of 'words in light' kind of installations......

I found the top one hilarious as I am the most impatient person ever (not the most unhappy though!)

Then we have some brilliant 'dresses' in the cathedral cloisters....

These changed colour and were absolutely gorgeous!

We also saw these light-up trees, all pretty and sparkly!

This was one of our personal favourites

...row after row of supermarket plastic bags filled with different coloured lights! Durham is on an anti plastic bag drive so this was partly to raise awareness....and a fantastic way of going about it I say. I loved the colours.....and there were hundreds and hundreds of them. At the end of this street was this:

....a Christmas tree made from carrier bags too!

There were loads of other installations too that I was unable to photograph, most notably a holographic elephant 'guarding' one of the bridges into the festival which was AMAZING! 

It will be on again in 2016 so if you can, definitely go! 

SS xx

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Testing testing testing


Please excuse this post as testing out blogger on my phone. Thought it might be quite handy. Anyone else had any experience of this?

Im in Durham this weekend for the festival of light so perhaps if this all works out ok I can share some pictures with you all.

Have a fantastic weekend!


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WIP Wednesday........making progress

Hi all,

As I mentioned on Monday I was feeling like I was getting pretty behind, especially as I have a craft fair in 4 weeks (eek!). However, I feel that in the last 2 days I have been making progress. Today I have been finishing things off which not only has made me feel a bit more organised and on-track,  has also cleared a whole lot of space in my living room!

I now have something that may resemble 'stock', albeit a small one!

3 cupcake hats (still need their colourful sprinkles but that's a job for this evening)
3 baby-sized Christmas pudding hats
......and my new favourite a Candy-Cane Striped Christmas Wreath!

I know I still have a way to go, but to see that I am making progress is spurring me on enormously.

I would like to thank everyone both on here and on my Facebook page for all your kind comments about the hat I made Monday morning. Guess what? They have multiplied :-)

I sat looking at the hat on my coffee table all Wednesday afternoon and realised that it really reminded me of raspberry ripple ice-cream, so it is to be renamed the Raspberry Ripple Crochet Baby Bobble Hat. I'm going to make some more in a similar vein so keep an eye open...

Linking with Ginny again this week so pop over and see the wonders being created

Have a great evening,

SS xx

p.s. Apologies for the massively uninspiring photos, it was getting dark when I took them and I was feeling too impatient to get the 'big camera' out.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Something I knocked up this morning.....


I have been struggling to blog recently due to a number of reasons that there is no need to go in to right now....although I'm sure I will do at some-point...perhaps in a 'November round-up' post or something like that! 

Make-wise I have really just been finished off my Christmas decorations and Christmas Pudding hats. Last week was mighty stressful and things just got in the way of making......plus the guilt I felt when I was making when I should have been concentrating my time elsewhere was a bit too much to bear. T'is a new week though with lots of new projects planned :-)

I now only have 4 weeks to go until I have my first craft fair so am still predominantly making/designing things for that, and to start of the week I have made a hat! I woke quite early this morning, and as usual my mind was occupied by what I still need to make. This is made worse by the fact that I don't really have a plan and am jumping from one idea to the next, and on to the next, and back again and so forth. This morning though I knew I wanted to make a baby-sized bobble hat! So here goes......

Following the basic guidelines on Kat's brilliant tutorial on hat design. I made a basic hat in Sirdar super soft aran, finished of with a couple of rows of ribbing in a light pink colour. Then came the best part.....the pom poms!

I used the traditional cardboard ring method using both colours of pink yarn




And all together now......"ta-dah!"

Crochet Baby Bobble Hat by SallyStrawberry

I'm pretty pleased with it considering I envisaged the design in the early hours of the morning. I never would have thought it would be something as inconsequential as hat design keeping me awake at night, but I should be thankful for that I guess!

I hope you all had a great weekend, and have a fantastic week to follow.

SS xx

p.s Sharing the link love with Handmade Monday

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

OK, I'll confess.........

......I've become hat obsessed! I am seeing them everywhere and they are invading my dreams (got to be worse things though!). Last night was especially bad.....Bonfire Night.....people out en-mass to watch h local fireworks display....and loads and loads and loads of hats......beanies, hats with ear-flaps, berets, and my personal favourite the cabled bobble hat! I couldn't help but stare and marvel over them all. I then of course spent a couple of minutes lost in thought (helped by the Mead I had been drinking most likely) dissecting how they were made....were they made in the round, or were they seamed, was it a real cable or the 'mock' kind......

A friend recently asked me to make a hat for him....totally my choice and design. Its got to be a chunky cabled bobble hat as I'm dying to make one, and its the perfect excuse/opportunity to try.

I've done some cabling before (a scarf that was entirely cable right across the width) but unfortunately it was way before the time I started to take pictures of my work. I loved it and can't wait to try again. 

So today, I've been trawling Ravelry on the search for a perfect hat.....and I think I've found it. Next challenge is to find the perfect wool.....

Staring at everyones hats was bad enough so I couldn't take photos. Instead I will share with you some pictures of the fireworks.

All together now......."oooooooooh..........ahhhhhhhhhhh........"

Did you go to any firework displays??

SS xx

p.s. I know it should be a WIP Wednesday post but to be honest, I haven't really been making anything different from last week!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

WIP Wednesday


Oops! It appears I missed last Wednesday (shame on me). But anyhow, I'm not going to feel guilty about it, I just hope that I can keep it up in the coming weeks.

As those of you who have been following my blog for a while you will have realised that I'm not a massive fan of large projects*. If it takes longer than a week it ain't happening! Its not that I'm lazy or anything, its quite the opposite really. I tend to flit about from one thing to the next at breakneck speed, and get impatient very quickly. This week has been no exception.

I've made most of a second Christmas Pudding hat, and I've finished some more of the Christmas decorations I posted about earlier in the week.

I also started a third Christmas pudding hat. Its not all been so successful though......I am trying to make the same hat to fit a 2 year old.....do you think it will fit a 2 year old (baby hat on the right, "2yr old" hat on the left)? Neither do I! Back to the drawing board I think. 

I've had a lovely few days crocheting with my friend who lives down the road. She is a teacher so is making use of half-term to finish off a gorgeous star-shaped blanket for her cousin who is expecting a baby any day now. We've been drinking lots of tea, eating cake, reading magazines and doing the odd bit of crochet. Its been really relaxing and nice to hang out with someone, as often I spend most days alone with 4OD as my companion (and there's only so much Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares I can watch!). Its back to work tomorrow until next Monday though....need money to buy some more wool!

Oh, and here is another Christmas decoration I finished yesterday (told you I've been busy :-p).

Crochet Holly and Berries Christmas decoration by SallyStrawberry

Linking up with Ginny again to see what everyone else has been up to.

Have a happy Wednesday,

SS xx

*I did start a blanket yonks ago but it has stalled as 7 granny squares. I use them as props for photos though so it wasn't all in vain.....and yes, it will be finished one day!

Monday, 28 October 2013

A little bit more of the Christmassy stuff.......


How is everyone? I hope no-one was affected too badly by last nights storm. We missed it really up in the North-West, its just raining buckets and buckets (which is no different to the last week or so!).

Last week I showed you these Christmas decorations that I had started. Then I had only six.....but then I think I developed a bit of an addiction and now have about 25! Thanks so much for all your lovely comments about them. Towards the end of last week I went on a little shopping spree and got myself a glue gun (so excited, I've always wanted one!), sequins and ribbon and finished them off.

There are some with multi-coloured stars and pink ribbon, some with silver stars and silver ribbon and some with gold stars and red ribbon! Though I say so myself I'm really happy with them :-)

Crochet Christmas Tree Decorations by SallyStrawberry

In-keeping with the Christmassy theme (I think Halloween is going to totally pass me by this year!) I thought I would share with you this Christmas commission I have been working on. Its a crochet Christmas Pudding Hat to fit a new-born. I made this cupcake hat in the summer, designed by  Sarah at 'Repeat Crafter Me'. I posted it on my Facebook page and an old school friend got in touch asking for me to both make her the same hat to give as a Christmas present, and to make a Christmas pudding hat for her boss at work as he was expecting his first Grand-Child at Christmas. All I did was use a darker colour for the base and designed some holly leaves and berries to go on top.....and voilà! Here is it:

Crochet Christmas Pudding Hat-newborn size-3 months by SallyStrawberry based on a design by Sarah at 'Repeat Crafter Me'

Here is a close-up of the holly and berries. I think I may make some more of these for brooches.

Crochet Christmas Pudding Hat-newborn size-3 months by SallyStrawberry based on a design by Sarah at 'Repeat Crafter Me'

Now time to make some non-Christmassy things for a bit! Sharing the link love at Handmade Harbour today. Pop over and see what everyone else has been up to :-)

Have a great week,

SS xx

Friday, 25 October 2013

Last weekend


Hope you are all well and enjoying the bit of occasional sunshine we have been getting! This post is a bit delayed as I would have liked to have written it earlier in the week but oh well, things just got in the way.....work, crochet, more work and general faffing! Since I have been out of full-time employment I seem to have become a champion faffer- everything takes me so much longer and sometimes I look back over a day and realise that I have achieved absolutely nothing bar doing the dishes!

I have loads that I want to write about really but not sure I really want to write an essay...the PhD thesis was enough for me! Lots of things have been happening.....

1- Life/career crisis/re-evaluation
2- Craft show panic......followed by a re-ignition of crafty passion
3- The first meeting of Chorlton Crochet Club
4- A weekend visit from my Mum and Sister
5- Discovering a fan-tabulous yarn shop (with my Mum and Sister)

For now I'm just going to share a few snippets of my weekend with my Mum and Sister (the eldest of the three younger than me-I'm the eldest of 4 girls!).

This was the first weekend that any family had visited so I was really excited and made loads of plans. Ok, so most of these revolved around food, but thats not a problem yeah? We ate Japanese, Tapas (complete with Sangria and Sherry of course!), tea and cake (lots of cake) and doorstop sandwiches at my favourite cafe, and did I mention cake? 

They also came bearing gifts :-)

The Mollie Makes Crochet Book is brilliant with loads of lovely colourful pictures. Even for a fairly experienced crocheter it offers ideas and tips for improving your crochet. The CD is by a band called 'No Age' who Pete and I saw a couple of weeks ago. They are an LA-based experimental punk duo- very load and very fun- their drum-kit had holographic rainbow stripes on it! The CD is being propped up by a jar of home-made mincemeat (veggie of course!) for making mince pies. But, you may be wondering, what it is they are laying upon?

Here are a couple of close-ups

Its a massive crochet blanket made by my Mum! Its large enough for a double bed and took months and months of intermittent crochet. I LOVE IT!!!! THANKS SO MUCH MUM!!!!

Apart from eat we didn't really do loads. We went to some fab shops in the Northern Quarter of Manchester city centre. I saw loads of pretty dresses that I will definitely be putting on my Christmas list! I did buy a couple of things- a wooly hat (I know I could have made one but it was such a lovely colour!) and these gorgeous espresso cups from the Age Concern charity shop down the road from my house

P.s this pic also shows some of my favourite things on my side-board: my elephant teapot and my knitted peas (a Valentines gift from Mum)

They have a cherry and butterfly on one side

.......and a strawberry on the other!

These are so going to be used as props on the stall :-)

We are so lucky that we have so many great places on our doorstop......the Japanese and Tapas restaurants were just a 5 minute walk down the road, we have a flock of 5 charity shops within a stones throw and we also have this gallery. It focusses on recycling and had a brilliant re-cycled garden which I will share with you. I'm not going to explain them.....partly because I don't know what everything is, but they are all fantastic and inspirational.

So, this was my weekend.....how was yours?

Much love, SS xx