Saturday, January 20, 2018

Wool Hats

 I've finished up using my little stock of Lopi! 

I'm going to keep this one for myself as I love purple and am keen on that shade of blue too - I don't actually own many hats (this will be my third one) but I do find them handy for when I'm beach combing or working on the ferry.

The two below are up for sale - I must get them listed in my Etsy shop presently.

They are great warm winter hats so I hope they will find a good home :) I feel a bit sad now that my lopi is all gone - it had been living on the top shelf of my wool cupboard since we got back from our holiday (almost two years ago now!) but I'm glad I've made the decision to keep one of these hats myself :)

Monday, January 15, 2018

I just placed a repeat order with Moo for more of my little business cards - I don't actually really hand them out as business cards but I do attach them to pretty much everything that I sell. They had a special offer where you get free postage, so I took advantage of that and purchased 200 of these little cards. It's a lot of cards but I will get through them over time...

I'd a message from a friend about making a replacement hat for them (people seem to lose hats a lot - I know even I did - I still haven't forgiven myself for leaving my favourite one on a bus in Iceland) so I was rummaging through my wool cupboard. Of course I don't have the 'right' wool so I'll be making a small order soon but I did rediscover my Lopi wool from Iceland!

I'd only bought a few shades of it - it comes in every colour under the rainbow - and of course now I'm looking back and wishing I'd bought lots more. You can see more of the colours here... buying wool in Iceland

So anyway, I made this slouchy hat last night and really do like how it turned out. A friend is going to buy it from me already so at least I don't have to worry about taking all the photos for Etsy and having to write up a listing :)

Once I finished that one I started on this one straight away...

The blue is actually the thinner version of the Lopi wool so I'm using two strands of it at the same time - it seems to be slower to work up than the white and grey version, I guess because it's easier to see where the stitches are in a lighter shade?

The grey/white hat used up nearly 200g of wool so I will still have enough Icelandic wool left for a third hat once I've finished this one as I'd bought a paler shade of blue as well (see in my work basket below). There *might* be enough of all/some of the colours left to make a 4th hat out of the left overs - maybe a beanie one rather than a slouchy one but we'll see how it goes.

Oh and look at the little late Christmas present Peter had bought for me! A tiny little package from China came in the post the other day and P said that it was for me :) I've always wanted one of these pretty 'stork' scissors - and now I have my own pair!

Pink and Grey

 A few photos of what I've been making since the start of the New Year - I'm always making wrist warmers (years on and they still are my most favourite things to make)

and some plain grey tweedy ones...

 I've started working through the pink 'Freedom Spirit' dk wool - this pair was bought by one of my sisters (thank you Barbara) so I made another pair and I have sold those ones too (just today, to a lady on facebook)

I've started using some of the Tivoli yarn too - these always sold pretty well for me when I used to buy the wool before so I'm hopeful that they will be good 'sellers' again.

..I haven't made the hat in silvery grey and black just yet.

I'm thinking about putting pompoms on the hats to kind of finish them off; so if I go ahead with that I'll have to rephotograph them again.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Beginnings and Old Favourites

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Last year was the first year since I started my selkiecrochet hobby where I've kept proper records of the money that I had earned and the money that I'd spent on all this. I'm happy to say that I ended the year with a profit - but it certainly isn't enough to live on so I think it is destined, for the time being, to continue to be a 'hobby'. My main priority is to be able to continue with both of my child sponsorships through ActionAid Ireland - I've been able to pay them both with a lump sum again this year.

Hopefully this year will be a better year for me as I will be selling locally in two locations - Lucy's sea synergy centre in the village again, and Daly's ice cream parlour on Valentia. Daly's were only open for a few weeks last year so hopefully I will have a longer season there this year and more sales.

I'm starting the new year with the intention to spend a little more time reading books and a little less time online - Facebook is an awful drain on my time sometimes, it's so easy to spend time keeping up with everyone else. I was lucky enough to get some new books for Christmas - and Dad has passed a couple that he liked on to me too - so I will start off with them and see where that takes me. I have so many books that I intend to re-read also.

One of my other intentions is the same old chestnut .... BUY LESS WOOL!!! It's funny then that all this turned up in the post this afternoon.

I'd already bought some of this 'Freedom Spirit' last year from a seller on Facebook - I think she used to own a wool shop and is working her way through the old stock and selling it off at very reasonable prices.

She only had this shade left - it wouldn't be my favourite but it looks really nice when it's worked up into wristwarmers so I bought up what she had left of it and will use it for that.

She posted on facebook in December that she had Tivoli's 'colour blend' aran up for sale too - this was one that I always liked for wrist warmers and hats and like the 'freedom spirit' it's been discontinued so I splashed out and bought all her stock of it. I'm not sure where I will put it all - I need to sort through my wool cupboard and boxes one of these days to fit it all in.

It's going to take me quite a while to work through it all but I know I will do eventually! It's a yarn that I used to use for both hats and wrist warmers so it'll be nice to be able to offer people 'matching sets'.

She only had three shades left in stock - they used to make it in black with red/navy blue/green and turquoise as well but I'm happy enough with what I've got :) 

Hopefully this will be the last time that I buy wool - unless I need it for a specific order - until we are on holiday in Poland in March!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Bits and Pieces

 Look! I have my own spinning wheel!! A friend of my Mum's is clearing out their attic and rediscovered this. I bought it from her for €60, which seems very reasonable and it is in full working order (if only I knew what to do with it!!)

Learning to spin is something that was on my long-term list but I didn't think I'd get a spinning wheel so soon. My friend Jeanette spins so she will teach me :) Watch this space for updates in the New Year!

Talking about updates - I just received the latest update from one of my sponsor children - Bariki in Kenya. I just love the fish and mango tree that she has drawn!!

It's only thanks to everyone who buys my crochet bits and pieces (or sea glass and cards) that I can afford to sponsor two children - so thank YOU! 

 And here are some ceramic Christmas decorations that I made at a workshop with a local potter :)

 More Christmassy posting!  I'd taken this photo above to show my old penpal friend in Germany some of the little decorations that she had sent me over the years -- but it turns out that the fireplace on in the centre must have been given to me by someone else as she has no memory of it! So all these years, I've been thinking about Michaela and Tom when I light the tea light in the fireplace, and it is nothing to do with them! 

Our conservatory is finally finally almost finished - all we need to do is to fix in a couple of loose wires and then give it a lick of paint where needed.

After a lot of nagging the electrician came to finish our lights last month - up until then we had just had wires hanging from the walls with bare bulbs -- we'd waited over a year like this! I know it isn't really that big an issue in the big scheme of things (first world problems) but I am so relieved that the job is done and we've finally had his bill.

Now that the light fittings are in situ we could start to hang up our paintings and pictures on the wall - something that I've been waiting for for so long! 

 There are still a few more bits and pieces to go up in there but it feels like a proper room now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Nearly Christmas

 I've been busy decorating the conservatory, ready for Christmas :) I love this time of year - taking down the boxes of decorations and lights and then putting them up on the tree. So many of our decorations have lovely memories attached to them and while I decorate the tree and room I remember the 'story' behind each one - whether it was a gift from a friend or family member, or if it is one that we bought ourselves, where we were when we bought it.

We got a lovely big tree this year! It's slightly wonky and definitely has a 'good' side but that's part of the charm of a natural tree I's never going to be perfect.

I've got some new decorations this year - we bought this wreath when we were over in England - and I added the bow at the top and the felted snowman (I bought him in Marks and Spencers last week)

..the little mouse and polar bear are from M&S also..if they have any left on sale after Christmas I will buy a few more as they are so cute and would be nice on the tree...