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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 voilĂ ! 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

Monday, 21 October 2013

.....its that time of year again

Hi all!

I find that one of the disadvantages of being a crafter is that Christmas comes around a lot earlier than it does for many other folk. We have only just put our heating on, I'm still wearing my Spring/Autumn light coat, and I haven't even thought about Halloween or Bonfire night yet......but today I started making Christmas decorations....yes, I know, I hate it too!

I have a stall booked at a Christmas craft fair for the beginning of December so I thought that I had better actually make some Christmassy things for it. As I have been having problems with my wrists I have to make small, quick things, in order to actually have enough stock for the stall. I thought that decorations would be the best thing.

So, after a bit of time hooking something bizarre up, un-ravelling, hooking something else bizarre up I came up with a pattern that actually reassembled what I was hoping to achieve- a Christmas tree!

I have made six so far. What do you think?

They need blocking and I may decorate them with sequins or something but I'm rather pleased with them :-)

Heading over to Handmade Harbour to share in Handmade Monday for the first time. I can't wait to see what everyone makes.

Much love,

SS xx

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A bit of Autumn Sunshine


After the dismal day yesterday, this morning is gorgeous. It's sunny, and even a bit warm :-) I leapt on the opportunity to get outside and take some pictures of my work.

This is a girly version of my teeny tiny crochet bunting, ready for the craft stall.

Teeny Weeny Crochet Bunting by SallyStrawberry

Its definitely Autumn now though....there are barely any leaves left on the trees now, especially after the recent wind.  I noticed that you could see the change from Summer to Autumn all on the same bush/tree in our garden.

Some of the leaves are still green

Others are beginning to turn,

And others are well and truly that beautiful Autumn rust colour I love so much!

This little ladybird was enjoying the morning sun too

Hope you are all having a lovely day,

SS xx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday

Hi all,

How are you all today. It is rotten and miserable here in Manchester and it hasn't stopped raining all day. I've been dying to take some photos to share with you but the light has been terrible.How is it where you are? Actually, where are you all? It would be really fantastic to know where you all are :-)

Remember last week I showed you the big hat and the little hat? Well ta-dah!

Here is is along with a matching scarf

Annoyingly I ran out of wool for the last couple of stripes, and still need to sew in the ends (urgh!) but I really like how they have turned out. I am going to make some pink and white striped candy-cane brooches to sell along-side......call it a candy-stripe set :-)

For now I will leave you with a picture of our home-grown chilli, which has been slowly turning from green to red over the last couple of weeks. Bit random I know, but I think it pretty much sums my day up.....watching the rain from inside.

I am joining in with the yarn along again this week as loved seeing what everyone had been making!

Crochet love,

SS xx

Friday, 11 October 2013

Introducing 'Chorlton Crochet Club'!!!


I am thrilled to announce the creation of Chorlton Crochet Club........."a community group spreading the crochet love across Chorlton". What do you think of our poster? I really like that it has a bit of a vintage feel to it (and that it features loads of lovely crochet!). I took the pictures and am really please with how they look together. 

Since I moved to Chorlton (South Manchester) in January I noticed a distinct lack of crochet. There were a couple of knitting groups which unfortunately I never made it to. Before I moved I got in touch with Safina who owns a gorgeous, pink, craft cafe, Craftelicious, about the prospect of doing some work with her. She mostly specialises in decoupatch and furniture revamping but co-incidentally had just discovered crochet. She wondered if I wanted to help her run some informal knitting and crochet workshops. Unfortunately, despite lots of initial interest it appeared people wanted a different format.....so 'Chorlton Crochet Club was born! 

This is going to be an informal group for keen crocheters and beginners alike.....a chance for people to share their patterns and ideas, and also a place where they can come if they need any help. We are also happy to teach total beginners, although the emphasis will be on learning from others, the internet, books etc with our guidance. Safina has also very kindly said that I can sell some of my work in her shop which I am very excited about.

We have already had a fair amount of interest so are hoping that our club will be a great new addition to the Chorlton art community!

Check out our website and our Facebook Page !!!! 


SS xx

UPDATE 09/05/15 : sadly for the moment Chorlton Crochet Club is no longer meeting. This is for a variety of reasons but we really hope to have some news for you soon. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday is BACK!

Hi all,

After my recent blogging and general crochet hiatus I am slowly getting back on track. It no longer hurts to type and I am only getting sprodic spasms of pain if I do certain things. I can do bits and pieces of crochet and knitting without pain (or should I say minimal pain) and am able to be getting on with a few projects which I thought that I would share with you.

When I say a few projects, what I mean is I have loads of things half done, which makes a perfect WIP post I guess!

Firstly I have this hat I have been making for a colleague who is leaving. Its rare that I make an adult-sized hat and even rarer that it is for a man! I'm used to using bright colours so its a bit strange to be using colours such as these.

This led on to an idea for my Christmas craft show......stripy candy cane hats!

So late last night I made a bit of a start. What do you think so far? Its to fit a 1-3 year old. I would like to make a matching scarf too.

Big Hat and Little Hat by SallyStrawberry

Now this really is the most Christmassy I have got......a Christmas pudding hat. This is a commission and I have adapted the cute cupcake hat to make it Christmas pudding-y. Bottom left on the picture below

......so this is what my dining room table looks like....a total mess of half read magazines (Simply crochet has been read from cover to cover multiple times of course!), hooks and half-finished projects.

See the blue mice peeking out in the top right corner? These are a very exciting project, also for my Christmas craft fair which I will share with you in another post.

Now, as much as I would love to get on with some crochet I should take it easy on my wrists, providing me with the perfect opportunity to get on with my book for book club next week ('American Tabloid' by James Ellroy). Its pretty heavy going and I'm struggling a bit but am going to persevere and hope to finish it when we meet to discuss it next week. Any of you read it? If so what do you think?

I will keep you updated on all these projects......and will be sharing this post on 'Yarn-Along'. Click the link below to find out more :-)

Best wishes,

SS xx

Friday, 4 October 2013

Arghhhhhhh!!!! Sausage fingers!!!!

Argghhhhhhh!!!!! I woke up this morning and my fingers and hand were all swollen up like big pink fat sausages!!! The last few mornings they have felt a bit stiff, but this morning they felt more stiff and were pretty swollen. I guess the slight stiffness I had been feeling was just minor swelling that wasn't massively visible.

Off to Google I went and realised that is is probably due to my wrist problem.....which according to doctors is likely to be Carpel Tunel. They had been feeling loads better and I haven't been having any of the nerve pain that I had previously been experiencing. I have even been able to crochet for about an hour a day (with breaks) and also knit for the same time without getting much/any pain. Guess I had just overdone it a bit yesterday, so am having a no knit no crochet day today. This is kinda fine though as I have loads of other exciting things to do which I will tell you about later once its more finalised. Lets just say that it is crochet related :-)

I took a couple of potential 'logo shots'.....what do you reckon? Also although I say it myself I think my photos are slowly improving.

Thankfully after a little bit of a massage "in the direction of my heart"- direct quote from Google the swellng went down and I even managed 40 lengths in the pool this morning with no wrist pain :-)

Anyone else had similar problems and if so how did you deal with it?

Massive loves to you all 

SS xx