30 Nov 2011

Check me out - hot water bottle covers

November is here and it is so cold. It doesn't help that in our house the builders are here and we can't have the heating on. I find myself being drawn to the oven and hob and lamps- anything that gives out a slight amount of heat. I am dreaming of roaring fire's, duvet's, snuggling in layers of blankets and hot water bottle. Hot water bottles are something from my childhood. Something that was a real treat on a cold winter night, my mum tucking me in with the hot water bottle or even better - the hot water bottle heating the bed up before I even get in it. I also remember the down side of being burnt on the rubber which would just get too hot (I can't believe I am saying the words too hot!). I remember putting the hot water bottle away from me in bed and trying to get the heat from afar.  Well this was the inspiration behind my hot water bottle cover's, something to help prevent the burning and something that is pretty and make's a great gift (look out for hot water bottle shaped present under our tree this year).
To make them I thought about several ways I could make the opening. A few of my drawings below show some options I contemplated. But in the end the sac idea won out, it is slightly easier to knit but I just like the texture it gives the very flat hot water bottle.

Just check out Folksy to see my selection:

A few lovely hot water bottle's as well -

27 Nov 2011

Success - or something like it

Yesterday was Polly Purl's first craft fair and we had a great time! It was so much hard work to get ready, all week we had been working our socks off (or working on the socks) but Friday night was still a mad rush. There was stress, sweat, tears and laughter (although it might have been manic). I found myself with all the pricing and labelling still to do by midnight on Friday, as this was something that required some nice handwriting I decided not to do it while I was half asleep. Instead we labelled and priced on Saturday after setting up at the market, this actually turned out to be OK as we had two hours to set up!
The Hope Street Market was lovely, I was pleasantly surprised as I had never been to that area of Liverpool before. Had lots of interest in the stall and managed to had out some business cards.
Learnt a lot too -
1. Don't stress - the worst case is either you don't sell anything or you sell out and both or not that bad
2. Think about the display more than just a passing moment- it's worth spending a bit on it if you plan to do a few fairs
3. Write down a few notes that can be used in your sales- I was incredibly nervous and surprised when people wanted to buy things!
4. Take some water and a snack that will pick you up at around 3pm when my energy completely dropped.
5. I think it's worth trying to get a good table-i.e turning up early, we were near the beginning and a lot of people said they wanted to look around before buying.
6. Each craft fair is worth it as I can learn something new and get people's reactions to my products.

A few pic's - a HUGE thank you to my sister-in-law Jenn for the lovely bunting

I am still recovering - my body just wanted to stay in bed all day today.

22 Nov 2011

Christmas craft fair!

I have been neglecting my blog of late - something much more important has come up...
My first craft show!!!!
So excited now it is almost here! On Saturday the gang will be heading down to Liverpool - 

My knitting machine needles have been on fire and half the time I have almost set them on fire! They never said machine knitting would be easy but many, many, many mistakes later I am finally getting there! Laid it all out tonight and seeing it may stop the recurring nightmare's. 
The Folksy website has been helpful with advice and stuff -

And I will be making a poster of the above picture to go up in my studio! Focusing has been really hard, especially having the studio in my home - popping downstairs for a cup of tea can be drawn out for a long time! 
And finally I wanted to share with you all the view from my knitting machine - 

11 Nov 2011

Button and Pom Pom heaven

Oh I got the most lovely box in the post today. Some lovely second hand and vintage buttons I ordered off lovebuttonsHQ.com. Check out the below, can't wait to add them to an item to give it that speacial something -

My favorite is the little green glass jelly mold with gold on the edge's - it's sooo small!

PS - a big thank you to the people at lovebuttons, I ordered these late Friday, they emailed me back on Saturday, they had been dispatched and on Monday I got them. I even got a few extra buttons, could not have been better service.

The other lovely thing this weekend was pom pom making! I went into a pom pom mania and just wanted to add them to everything!

Spot the pom pom. 

These were just made the old fashioned way with two cardboard rings - a quick time saver was to double up the yarn lots of times before using so you have lots of strands to wrap around the cardboard ring. I like the idea of these as Christmas tree dec's. I would like to get some spray glitter and just lightly coat them - a little sparkle.

9 Nov 2011

Christmas is coming! (crochet snowflakes)

We have been booked into two Christmas fair's, YAY!!!!!
The first is on the 26th of Nov in Liverpool - Christmas on hope street - http://www.blackburnehouse.co.uk/whats-on/event/hope-street-christmas-fair/

and the second is at Croxteth Hall on the 11th of Dec

Now the hard work begin's - stock to be made up, business cards to buy and decorations to think about.
I found a great blog post on things that are needed for the craft fair -


Stock for me will be many hats, scarf's, socks, mittens and snoods as well as some jumpers for adults and kids.  I may even be selling a few of my new favorite crochet item - Snowflakes:

 - these came out of the Crochet Today magazine. I am not great at crocheting yet so they all look a bit wonky but that just adds to their character. They weren't very hard to make and were finished in about half an hour! An idea I had was these would be a great little tag to add to gift wrapping for that something special -(that's if I could find time for presents let alone these) 

My lovely Mother will be selling her felted bags on the stall as well - She is just experimenting on knitting them up on the chunky machine and then felting them. Much faster then the hand knitting and if it's going to be felted then why not?

I have invited my two nephews along to help with the running of the stall (not sure how much help) and I even said if they can make some crafty things they could sell them too (probably asking too much). I am hoping they will enjoy seeing the fair and learn some things about business and selling that will help them in the future.

Come along and say hello to PollyPurl and her knitting mum - Hilary Shacklady

7 Nov 2011

Listing on Folksy

This weekend I managed to get photo's of everything I have finished so far and list them on Folksy for selling. If you want to see them all there is a link to my shop on the side bar.
It's not easy thinking about somewhere pretty but plain as the background to the photo's - when looking through Folksy I noticed that I liked the knitwear pictures that were set outside. It is where these things will be worn after all. So I dug out my tripod and set up something in the garden - with the help of my mother I got a few good images. However after adjusting them on the computer I was disappointed when I realised Folksy only show square images. Meaning a lot of re-cropping, not sure why they decided to go with square as most people will have the usual rectangle shape photo's.
It really takes time to list things - thought has to go into the description, price and photo's - I hope it is worth it(I'll keep you up to date)
Just a few out takes of the very professional photoshoots -

 Socks on the wall? 

Just hanging out against a wall

Check out the below link if you are into crafts -
Selvedge magazine: The Fabric of your life: textiles in Fashion, Fine Art, Interiors, Travel and Shopping:

'via Blog this'

2 Nov 2011

Socks, Socks, Socks

I got my socks pattern to work so at the end of last weeks I was completely absorbed in socks - the first sock is always so much fun and full of anticipation of what it will turn out like and then the second sock is boredom and rushing to move on to the next one's.

I will be adding the pattern for these very basic socks to my pattern page. The yarn used was from Yeoman yarns - the main is called Lux Kaleidoscope, it is a space dyed bright acrylic. I know what your thinking 'acrylic!' but they are super soft and hard wearing and come in these amazing colours - am I convincing anyone? I added the clever comfort stretch yarn to give the socks a really fitted feel. Mother has not had them off her feet so they must be comfortable! 

I also experimented with making booties - another success I felt! Check out the pictures below -

Next stop children's booties me thinks!

1 Nov 2011

Transfer Carriage among other things...

Today the builders are in and I can not reach my studio space so I am confined to the computer - I good thing really as I have been really bad with the posts of late. Last week I had a spurt of creativity and productivity and just couldn't bring myself to leave my machine for any time. In the post last week were some shade cards with JC Rennie yarns, such lovely colours and yarns. Glad I discovered this little gem - they are a Scottish mill producing all the yarns in Scotland, using green energy. They have a range of lambswool and cashmere mix's, it all looked so scrumptious! Check out the below
This weekend I was at the boyfriend's so that was gone and I still have not finished his cardigan off so that is added to the list of things to do, the list never seems to go down!

Also last weekend I headed off to a craft fair at Newton-le-Willows, very close to home. Unfortunately I was not selling but it was great to go along and show support. Some really lovely stuff but also a few odd stalls - non-alcoholic wine from all over the world at a local craft fair? I didn't take any pic's - sorry guys!

Just a little up date - the transfer carriage is working away like a star! I really love this little gadget, so simple yet saves me soo much time.

And finally an update on the colour changer - a little pattern a knocked up.

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