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Wednesday 31 July 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday


How is everyone doing? Can't believe a week has passed by already! I haven't really had much time for knitting/crochet this week as had a busy weekend of work and then a fabulous day out to the zoo for a friend's Birthday and saw some baby Rhinos (among loads of others!)!

I also made a Lemon-Drizzle Birthday cake which was yum yum yummy! Its a very well tried and (very well) tested Mary Berry recipe plus it works every time!

On the WIP progress front I have stuffed the owl cushion I mentioned last week, completing bang-on target. Go meeeee!!!! and have done a couple more granny squares for my 'Groovyghan'.....so slow progress but every little counts ey? In addition it is the third week of crochet camp, with a gorgeous brooch to make and some really useful tips for following patterns.....can't wait to get stuck in! For now I will leave you with a pic of our new addition to our really rather large cushion collection :-)


Felted Owl Cushion by SallyStrawberry, designed by Rowan


SS xx

p.s don't you just love the blanket?! Wish I could claim it as mine but it was made for my boyfriend by a neighbour when he was a baby

Friday 26 July 2013

Cute Crochet!

Hi all,

Guess what I have done since my WIP post on Wednesday? You guessed it.....started a new project! Well two actually (naughty!). The first is a delightful little baby cupcake hat designed by Sarah at 'Repeat Crafter Me'. This is as a gift for a friend of a friend of my sister who is expecting very soon (hence why I had to get on with it ASAP!) Its is only for age 0-3 months so is teeny tiny, I love it! I used Stylecraft Supersoft Aran and a 5mm hook. Here is a picture of it modelled by my child-hood toy monkey 'Daniel' due to a lack of available babies!

And on its own so that you can really see the detail:

Baby Crochet Cupcake Hat by SallyStrawberry designed by Sarah of 'Repeat Crafter Me'

Top View

I am thrilled with the way this hat has turned out. It was a brilliant pattern to follow (US crochet) and I can't wait to try some more of Sarah's hats which can be found here, amongst lots of other crochet loveliness. 

Project number two is one of my own designs, a strawberry-centred granny square! I struggled to get the square to actually look like a square but think I achieved it in the end *tugging out the corners a bit*

What do you reckon? I think I am going to make a cushion cover out of them....

Crochet Strawberry Granny Square by SallyStrawberry

I am part way through writing up the pattern which currently looks like this....

.....bit of a way to go but hang on in there :-p

I had another post in mind this week about some really interesting blog posts I had read concerning designing and selling your own work, but due to a weekend of work (and the Deramores sale!!!! EXCITING!) it may have to wait til next week.

Have a good weekend everyone!

SS xx

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday


It is Wednesday right?? I work all sorts of hours and shifts and get confused sometimes! The last week has been mega busy with work, friends visiting, BBQs and more work.....which equals very little time for making things. In addition I have just discovered Pinterest which I am sure has sapped way more of my spare time than I should have allowed (call it 'creative inspiration'). 

The projects I was working on towards the tail end of last week are all part of a theme (a very yummy theme!) that unfortunately I cannot share with you for a couple of weeks as they are top secret (shhhhh) and are going to be given as gifts in the next few weeks. After that I can reveal all.

Due to a lack of completed projects I thought I would share with you all the things I haven't done- so all the things I have been putting off really. I'm sure everyone is the same....its so easy to get a bit bored with a project, or that something new and more exiting crops up that you have to make RIGHT NOW. I thought that maybe if I shared these projects I would actually have the impetus to finish them, and I may make 'Work in Progress Wednesday' a regular feature and update you all on my progress! Two of these projects are knitted, and the rest crochet.

1. Felted owl cushion

This kit was a gift about three years ago when I was still fairly new to knitting. It is by Rowan and uses Kidsilk yarn (in my opinion one of the best yarns ever- so soft and luxurious!). I don't think the kit is in production anymore and neither are the yarn colours :-( To make the stripes on the front I carried the yarn across which resulted in massive tangles and temper tantrums so it was left aside for a couple of years! It was only the beginning of this year that I finished knitting it. I machine felted it and now all it awaits is stuffing. Only unfinished due to laziness I am ashamed to say......AIM: finish by next Wednesday!

Before felting:

2. Single knitted sock

Ok, so this was my first attempt at knitting a sock.....and it took me three attempts! I kept on dropping stitches, putting it down and picking it back up only to knit back the way I had come from etc. I am thrilled with the resulting sock (and it fits!) but just need to pluck up the courage to make a start on the next one.....AIM: finish by....Christmas?In time for winter?

3. Crochet Camp Bunting

Week 2 of crochet camp commenced this week. The project: Granny Square Bunting. I have only managed to fit in making three but may join them up to form a down-wards hanging chain with some pom-poms at the bottom......AIM: finish by next week :-)

4. Zpagetti tote bag

Anyone tried crocheting with Zpagetti by Hoooked? It is recycled yarn made from fashion fabrics such as T-Shirt material. When it was introduced into the haberdashery department of my local department store last year I had to have a go with it. It is thick so I used a 12mm hook. It was quite tricky to get the hang of but great and crocheted up fast once I got going. I just need to finish it......I would need a second ball to do so as the bag I started making (after glancing at a pattern for 20 seconds) is way bigger than I anticipated. They now do a larger range of colours compared to when I got my yarn, which was then only available in 4 or 5 basic colours. AIM: finish by Autumn (I hope!)


I am very excited about this project which I started over the weekend in the park.It is going to be a 'Groovyghan', the pattern for which I found on Ravelry and is designed by Tracy St. John of stixyarn- check out some of the fantastic free patterns on her site. I just love all the interesting motifs and with so many different components and colours how could I possibly get bored of this project?!?! I am not 100% happy about my choice of yarn colour (Stylecraft from Deramores) but having already sent half of my order back after my initial re-evaluation of my colour choices I am sticking with what I have got! So far I have completed 3 of 7 granny squares......AIM: complete by when it gets cold/before I have to start making presents for Christmas!

I have read some brilliant blog posts this week which I will share with you in my next post!

Love, SS xx

Thursday 18 July 2013

Crochet Camp Week 1- Cherry Delicious Potholder

Hi y'all!

Hows it going? Enjoying the lush weather? I'm feeling pretty lucky as up North its a little bit cooler and less sweaty!

Earlier this week I introduced Crochet Camp 2013 which I am taking part in. The first project is a gorgeous, summery Cherry Potholder (anyone else have problems spelling "delicious"?! thank goodness for spellcheck!). It is a beginners pattern worked in rows of double crochet. The applique cherry is worked in 3 rounds. Despite it being a beginners pattern I still didn't find it 'easy' especially when I had to put it all together. I think with crochet there is always something new to learn and there are always issues such as 'is this a real stitch?',  'do you count the chain as a stitch?' and getting the gauge right (its a good job I don't really make clothes as I don't think I EVER get this right!).

Yesterday morning I made a start. I desperately wanted to be outside so scribbled down the pattern, took my now grass-covered blanket into the garden with my yarn,  hook and notebook to keep a tally of my rows! Not forgetting my snazzy new red sunglasses (thanks Pete!).

Please excuse the slightly shady pictures-  our tiny garden is totally canopied by 4 large sycamore trees! It has been lovely in this weather as it is shady all day but the poor grass is mainly moss due to lack of light! The yarn is Rico Creative Cotton Aran in 05, 40 and 32 purchased from the fabulous Deramores

Once I got the chain and first row under-way I soon realised that the yarn splits very easily- so much so it is pretty difficult to work with.

By half way however it got a bit better and the resulting crochet felt really robust yet still quite soft. 

I finished both front and back panel (in red) and the appliqué cherries fairly quickly (I had to add an extra 2 rows to make it square).......but then I had to sew in all the ends and put it together. Now, I don't have the most patience in the world so this is my LEAST favourite part of crocheting or knitting anything. I don't know if I dislike it so much because I am not very good at it (which is very true) or just because it takes ages......anyway here goes .......10mins.......20mins.........unpick........30mins.....

Ta-Dah.......an hour or so later! Looks ok from the front but you don't want to look at the back! Just glad there is a backing piece which thankfully is attached using double crochet.....

If anyone has any tips on appliqué onto crochet (or sewing projects together at all) it would be most welcome :-) and is definitely something I need to improve on. I am always really happy and excited about a piece til I sew it together, then I feel that in doing so I ruin it!

Here is my finished Cherry Delicious Potholder (in the bit of light that made it through the trees). I am about 80% please with it but feel it is let down by some of the decoration, especially as the yarn on one of the stalks split a bit. It definitely has the 'home-made' look about it when you look up close!

Cherry Delicious Potholder made by SallyStrawberry, designed by Kat Goldin

Don't get me wrong, I love cherries (my second favourite fruit) but I love strawberries just a tiny bit more so made a matching pair of potholders by also making a strawberry one! If I were to use them I would definitely need two anyway- I had big heavy pots and scrawny weak arms so lifting my pans is always a two-handed job!

Strawberry Potholder by SallyStrawberry based on a design by Kat Goldin

Here they are together, the 'perfect pair'

And hanging in pride of place in my kitchen. 

Can't wait for next weeks project! 

SS xx

p.s. anyone noticed that I finally worked out how to put an image in my header without messing up the layout of everything else? Just needed a bit of CSS code which I found on the Pretty Things Blog- this blog page provides all sorts of useful information for bloggers.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Crochet Camp 2013- Week 1


Thanks so much for all the positive comments on my Strawberry Crochet Bunting through the Crochet Camp 2013 Facebook Group, I am so glad that some of you are going to try out my pattern :-)

So, what is Crochet Camp then? Crochet Camp is the mastermind of Kat Goldin who runs a mega successful website/blog Slugs on the Refrigerator. She is a keen blogger, crocheter, designer and photographer. Crochet Camp is a 4-week online crochet course aimed at beginner crocheters. Four projects will be taught throughout this course posted on Slugs on the Refrigerator, with excellent picture tutorials, patterns, hints and tips supplied by Kat. To join in, join the Crochet Camp 2013 Facebook Group

Along with the brilliant teaching by Kat the group is a bit of a forum to share our work (and blogs!) with each other, offer advice and support, and is an excuse to indulge in crochet chit-chat.

The first project is a beautiful cherry pot-holder.....too pretty to use don't you think?

This is Kat's version posted here

Hope mine looks as great! Will have to wait and see as working all day- no crochet time for me today.

Other group members have been posting pictures of their pot-holders and I have a lot to live up to! 

Have a good day and happy crocheting everyone!

SS xx

Monday 15 July 2013

Crochet Strawberry Bunting Pattern

Hi all,

As promised here is my pattern for my crochet strawberry bunting pattern which can be found here! Putting the pattern together was way more laborious than I had imagined, and am happy to have it finished. As it is my first pattern please have a look/have a go and let me know what you think (would also love to see your pictures please!)

I have only made a small amount (4 strawberries) to fit perfectly in the door frame of my living room. Living in rented accommodation everything is painted white so it has added  a bit of colour to the place! 

Crochet Strawberry Bunting

In addition I am very excited about the start of 'Crochet Camp 2013' today! Can't wait to get going  but knew I wouldn't finish this pattern if I started another project-am so easily distracted!  Crochet Camp to a deserves a post of its own :-)

SS xx

Thursday 11 July 2013

Designing a pattern

Hi all,

Hope you are all still enjoying the sunshine!

Following from my last post on Monday I have been putting together a pattern for the crochet strawberry I made to share with you all. I think it would make fab bunting :-) Its been a lot more fiddly and time-consuming than I thought to convert my scribbles and scrawls into something useable! Then there are the constant typos I keep making ('No, I meant half-treble, NOT treble etc!)......and my loosing the ability to count (the sun must have gone to my head!)......and my occasionally illegible hand-writing (htr into the same stitch or the next???). It is getting there though so patience please! 

I was directed to a brilliant blog post earlier today by Not So Granny about pattern design which was both really useful and also highlighted the amount of work that goes into designing a pattern. Definitely work a read if you are into pattern design, but equally if you buy patterns online/moan about the cost of them!

After all the 'hard' work I turned to cake.........

SS xxx

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Strawberries in the Sun

I would just like to say a massive THANK YOU to those who have looked at my blog and a special thank you to Mrs Brown of mrsbrownmakes for my first comment!

Having had the first proper day off work for a while I made the most of the sun and time to crochet. Sitting under a cherry tree in the park I got to work designing and making the logo for this blog. Can anyone guess what it is yet???


Crochet Strawberry!

Just missing the yellow seeds! I am really happy with how this turned out, especially as it is the first pattern I have designed entirely by scratch. I would like to use a darker green for the leaves so a trip to the wool shop for me (YAY!). Watch this space for a final version, at which time I will write up the pattern so that it is intelligible by anyone other than me!

Next project.....Cherries??

Saturday 6 July 2013

Hello and welcome


Welcome to my first ever post in my first ever blog! Please bear with me as I am very new to this.....and coupled with being terrible with technology it is all a bit scary!

I learned to knit as a child but only really picked it up in my early twenties during a PhD in cancer research, both as a stress reliever and for relaxation. The crochet came about a year later after my Mum learnt and then taught me the basics. I taught myself from there and have never looked back. I love how quickly crochet pieces grow and how it is possible to crochet a small piece or a set of granny squares in an afternoon or an evening.

More recently having completed my PhD I am trying to get a job in science research but has been much more of a challenge than I anticipated! However, whilst I am only doing part-time work at the moment (working in a local cafe making yummy cakes!) have been doing LOADS of craft-both knitting and crochet and thought I would share with you some of the things I have been doing. I am also starting to design my own patterns (which I will share of course) and would love some feedback on any of these.

For the time being I will leave you with a couple of pictures of a project I completed very recently. The pattern for these crochet mandalas which I will use as placemats and coasters can be found on the fabulous Made in K-Town blog-one of the many blogs that have inspired me to start this one! 
Crochet Mandala Placemat and Coaster Set

I crocheted 4 of these mandala to use as placemats

....and 4 of these to use as coasters
These all used aran wool (well actually acrylic as is all I can get at the local craft shop!) and a 4mm crochet hook. The placemats were made using the spring mandala pattern by Made in K-Town and the small mandala coasters are a modified pattern of a granny circle combined with the original mandala pattern.

The pattern for the mandala coasters is as follows:

Round 1: 12 trebles into a magic ring

Round 2: 2 trebles into each treble space with 1ch in between

Round 3: 3 trebles into each 1ch space with 1ch in between each group of 3

The surface stitch and final 2 rounds are the same as the 5th, 8th and 9th rounds of the original mandala pattern (Made in K-Town), placing the double crochet (or single as the pattern uses American crochet terminology!) in the 1ch space between the sets of 3 treble crochet.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about the coaster pattern (tis my first time  putting a pattern together for others to interpret so could be confusing....?) then please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Enjoy the Sun! xxx