Sunday, July 24, 2016

My days off work

 It's getting to the peak season now in my day job (on the Valentia ferry) so I'm at the stage of year when I try to do as much relaxation as possible on my days off -- so here's a bit of a summary of my last two days off :)
 I've added a few more listings to my Etsy shop - just sea shells and one more of the little treasure bottles; the only crochet I've been doing just recently is making the hats for Barbara's artists and also a pair of crocodile stitch wrist warmers for when I want to take my crochet out with me (lugging a great big cone of wool is fine as long as I don't go outside the garden/house!)

 I spent part of yesterday afternoon trying to fit in all my new yarns into my wool cupboard! I managed it finally (with a bit of rearranging) and now all my King Cole Country Tweed/Riot is on the bottom shelf.

It won't take me long to work my way through it all once I finish all the hats for Barbara - I ALWAYS have a crochet project on the go and I do get through a lot of wool.
I've gone through my Etsy shop to remove the wrist warmers that Jaye wants to buy from me - these eight and then I need to get some of the King Cole riot yarn in ''neon'' for another pair and she wants a further two pairs but hasn't made her mind up on the colour just yet.

I'll have to order some more wool soonish as I don't have any of the 'neon' yarn in my cupboard -- it's always the way; I never have the right stuff in there...
So my Etsy shop is looking a bit empty at the moment; but it's all good! I'm thrilled that she wants to purchase so many pairs -- I think a couple are for presents for her friends and the others will be going to be sold in her friend's shop. She'd bought 100% cotton scrubbies for her friend's shop from me last year.

This afternoon I headed over to Derrynane beach in search of a dead dolphin - yes, you read that correctly ;) I am a volunteer with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and there was a recording of a very dead dolphin earlier in the week.

I had a lovely long walk along the beach but couldn't find a trace of a dolphin -- I asked the lifeguards who were on duty and they said that they thought that the maintenance staff at Derrynane House had probably disposed of it already as it's such a public beach. 

 All my life I've loved this ship house! They mustn't have much privacy but it's the most wonderful design and is unique.
 It always amuses me to see how different the beaches in the locality are - you tend to find very little rubbish on this beach in Derrynane; it's more down to the tides and prevailing winds more than anything else, but it was refreshing to be able to look down and just see sea shells...and the occasional jellyfish ;)

On the way back I saw the rescue helicopter buzzing about but it didn't seem to be doing anything specific (like landing or searching) so I guess it was probably on an exercise.
I love all the wild flowers in Derrynane National Park - you could spend ages taking photos of them all...
 ..and a quick snap of Derrynane House on my way back to the car...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

More Wool

 I recently discovered that King Cole have stopped making their 'Country Tweed' yarn so while I have a little bit of spare money in my selkie-account I decided to do a big stock up!

 I ordered over 50 balls! They should last me forever if I only use them up on wrist warmers - but I'm toying with the idea of making matching scarves or hats to go with the wrist's a bit of a long-term project though as I'm still in the middle of making the artists' hats for Barbara and then yesterday I had a letter from a lovely Etsy customer who wants to buy 11 pairs of wrist warmers and a hat!

Some of the wrist warmers that she wants are ones that I already have listed in my Etsy shop but I will have to buy some wool for a couple of the other ones, and possibly for the hat too :)

Making Hats

 Barbara's given me the thumbs up on the new design and fit for this year's hat so I've been busy working on them in my spare time - work is busy now at this time of year (and will continue to be pretty bonkers for the next month!) - but my crochet helps me to relax/unwind so it's great to have a big 'project' to be working on.
This is my pattern (such as it is) - it makes sense to me but I don't know if anyone else could follow it (?) I've just started on hat number six already; they're quite slow to make and use a LOT of the wool. Each hat takes over 200g of wool but I still should have enough left over to make a few pairs of matching wrist warmers if they want them.

I'm not sure if Barbara still wants me to make plain hats (in a different colour) for the male artists/partners but in the meantime I'm concentrating on these 'fancy' blue ones.

I was thinking about going out for a ride on my bike this afternoon as I'm off work but I'm just too tired so I sat out in the garden instead :)

The garden is like a jungle this year but I'm hoping to tackle it in the Autumn! I can't wait for the black berries to ripen - the raspberries have been disappointing this year as it has rained so much that a lot of them have turned mouldy. Hopefully we'll have a better crop of blackberries.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Hat Design

 From this...
 Barbara the artist has asked me to make the matching hats for her artists' retreat again this year - this is my 4th year in a row making them for her!

This year I thought I'd try and push myself a bit - to learn a new stitch and come up with a pattern myself! we have this year's model: a puff stitch slouchy hat made in 100% pure wool.

The one in the photographs is really just a prototype version - I need Barbara to try this one on to check for the fit/size etc. - I love how it's turned out though.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

A new addition

Isn't he beautiful?! He's been passing through our garden for a couple of months or so and originally we thought he was someone's pet so we hadn't been feeding him. Then one day I took a closer look at him and realised that he was in a mess and obviously was living rough.

He had a HUGE mat of fur on his back which must have got snagged in barbed wire or something similar and in his struggle to free himself he'd ripped the fur off his back on both sides of the mat. It must have hurt him so much :(

He let me carefully remove the matted fur from his back (it was like a patch of carpet on his back, it must have felt so uncomfortable)- here you can see where the fur has started to grow back already there. Just having this removed must have been a huge relief to him.

For a stray cat he's quite friendly (very much on his own terms of course) and will let you pet him - he loves headrubs!

Shannon in Portmagee very kindly let us borrow her cat-trap again and so we set out to catch him - Bertie is NOT impressed!!!
Fortunately I was able to lure him in and he's now been neutered! He isn't so keen on me since I trapped him - it's such a stressful experience; like James, he also really freaked out when he realised that he was trapped. I think it will take him a while yet before he trusts me again - he disappeared for 24 hours once we let him free after he'd recovered from the operation, but has since arrived back in the garden and will let Peter feed him!


Phew, another month has already flown past -- soon we'll be in the throes of the really busy season at work but for the time being it's going ok. I'm so so happy that my boss has taken someone else on to help out through the busy season this year so it should make things a lot less stressful.

Back on the selkie-crochet front -- I've just bought all of this loveliness from the mighty Springwools in Dublin! 

There's a great big 2kg cone of gorgeous pure wool in there as well as lots of 50g balls of the same brand of wool.

This is the most gorgeous colour! I'll be using the cone to make hats and wrist warmers for Barbara's artists' retreat (which is in September this year) - I just adore the colour and it will be great to work with :)

The grey wool will be made into another of these scarves -this will be my 4th one!

 It's a pattern from the book that my sister Amy brought me back as a my birthday present from America and I love how it turned out. It reminds me of seaweed or lichen!
 The pattern uses chunky yarn so I use three strands of the aran weight wool to get the right effect.
All four of these are going to be bought by previous participants in Barbara's artists' retreat -- this colour was last year's shade and I was left with quite a bit of it left after making all the hats. I'm so glad that I'd kept the remainder of the cone for a special project; I love how the scarves turned out!