I’m really trying not to add to stash mountain, but I can’t not spend money on crafty stuff when I’m this anxious.
So instead I’ve been looking at some shiny new accessories. First up I wanted a proper project bag, and I spotted this one on Jibbyroo Sews:
Which came in the prettiest packaging with a proper nice teabag and a free stitch marker.
I deeeefinitely recommend the Etsy shop if you’re looking for some pretties.
Then I went on a search for some stitch markers, and geezo are there a lot to choose from! It turned out to be an easy peasy choice though, as soon as I saw a set of afternoon tea markers from KoPo UK:
I can’t believe how teeny and perfect they are – just look at that little crumpet! And the sugar cube feels like a real sugar cube! Also on the recommend list for sure.
There were so many pretty things in both shops it’s very likely I’ll be visiting again next payday.
Ah, Christmas. That time of year when my WIP list runs out of control and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Actually that’s not true; I exerted some control this year by deciding to only make presents for a select few people. It would be lovely if I had the time and resources to make for everyone, but I somehow skipped half of October and November, and I have a full-time job that takes up far too much of my day, so that’s just not happening.
I compromised a little for my other friends, and raided Etsy for handmade-but-not-by-me gifts. This way everyone I love gets something special, I don’t end up having to pull all-nighters from now til Christmas Eve, and a few Etsy sellers get to do a happy dance. Wins all round!
As for the pressies I am making, obviously baby Flax Light is now going to be a Christmas rather than birthday present, as I only have this much of one sleeve done:
There’s also a hat present in the works (thank you, Alissa, for bringing this gorgeous yarn to my attention months ago):
And I decided the cupcake hat will also be a gift, as I have a couple of friends who love bright colours as much as I do. I just need to work out how to attach a pompom so it stays put.
Considering there are only 3 weeks until the big day, I’m feeling pretty calm and in control about Christmas this year. Probably because I’m not thinking about all the Christmas cards I want to make!
We’re rocketing on with the year and it’s already November tomorrow, I can’t wait for bonfire night!
Here’s how I did with my October goals:
1.Make at least one Christmas decoration per week.
Done. Post coming soon to show them all off.
2. List the rest of my cards in the shop.
All done, plus a few extra goodies I made
3. Make 12 new blog posts (3 per week).
So done! This is post number 17 for October, which I find particularly impressive considering I lost 4-5 days going to Budapest.
4. Write up a proper pattern for my waffle hat.
Um. Yeah. I at least looked at the rough notes I made in a blog post a while back.
I wouldn’t be me if I met all my goals for the month!
5. Finish this doily that’s been hanging around for months
Done. I sent a photo and he seemed really pleased with it, so hopefully he’ll like it as much in person. I’ll be handing it over next week at choir.
Something I didn’t write down, but was kind of hoping for, was reaching 500 views on this here blog. It was a bit of a stretch goal, but the views have been steadily increasing month by month so I thought I could probably just about manage it.
I was wrong.
I totally smashed it!!
Thank you so much to everyone who’s popped in for a read, like, and comment this month; I love all the interaction in this crafty community and the new friends I’ve ‘met’. I just love yous all!
Now, on to next month! Here are my goals for November:
Get my snowflakes listed in my shop.
Write up my waffle hat pattern
Make at least one Christmas present per week.
Make all Christmas cards for my family/friends
It’s getting very Christmassy around here, and I’m already starting to get excited about it. The only way I could love Christmas more is if face paint were a regular part of it. Then it would be perfect!
How’s your October been? Got any plans for November? Let me know in the comments!
It has taken me six months and four attempts, but my wee shop finally has a logo!
I’m so happy with it!! I love that it’s tag-shaped so I could use it to tag up my items when I finally make enough stock to do a stall.
There’s also a banner, which I can use on my facebook page as well as Etsy.
These lovelies were designed by Louise of Designed By Lulu, who I found through a facebook makers group I’m part of.
After the faff of previous attempts to get a logo I was a bit wary of the whole thing, but Louise is just a lovely person and she’s really, really good at this. The whole thing from first contact to receiving my files took less than a week, and it would have been shorter if I hadn’t been rushed off my feet and had answered her questions straight away.
So if you need a logo at any point, I highly recommend Designed By Lulu.
So what do you think? Isn’t my logo fabby! Let me know what you think 🙂
I have managed to shrink my WIP list, hooray! Although only a little
Here is my super cute finished cactus pin cushion.
Thank goodness I never have to use that yarn ever again.
My third finished octopom.
I used a bigger hook for this guy so he’s turned out with a bigger head, but somehow I managed to stitch his face the same size as the smaller poms so he’s ended up looking quite smug. Oh well, I’m sure somebody will love him.
And that’s all I’ve managed to finish. Curse those camper van wheels, that’s all I’m gonna say.
In other terribly exciting news, I made my first Etsy sale!! *happy dance*
As an added bonus, it wasn’t a member of my family or a friend. A complete stranger on the internet found my card and decided it was worth spending money on. I’m so happy 😀
This is just the boost I needed to get my backside into gear and list all my stock. Now I know for defnite that people are willing to pay for my items, but they won’t be able to if they’re just sitting in my FO drawer never to be seen!
So that’s my Friday. 2 WIPs down, 10 to go!
Who else is having a good Friday? Got a FO to share? Let me know in the comments!
I remember now why it took me so long to open up my shop in the first place.
Yesterday I decided to add my zentangle cards to stock, as I’ve got a few made up ready to go, so I opened etsy and signed in.
Wait, I need photos of the cards first.
I set them up and took a few photos – rubbish photos because it was starting to get dark, but I figured they would do as placeholders until I could take better ones.
But wait, if somebody actually buys one it might get damaged in the post.
Over to Amazon, where I lost half an hour comparing various plastic wallets and board-backed envelopes, and trying to decide which size(s) would be best to get. That’s another £20 closer to just not tracking how much I’ve spent on this shop with no return because it’s becoming too much to think about.
Right. Those should arrive tomorrow so let’s get the cards listed at last.
Oh wait, I wanted to take proper photos of them so I can get a run printed instead of them just being one-offs. But now it’s dark and there’s no hope of getting quality pictures.
You know what, never mind. I’ll just go to bed.
So my little shop is still sitting there with only 4 items in stock and not a thing sold. But at least I thought about the board-backed envelopes now, and I’ll have some ready when I finally sell my first card. That’s quite organised for me!
You may have noticed that I haven’t had a tangle of the week post for a couple of weeks. That’s because I’m moving to a new flat this weekend, and I just haven’t had time for tangling! I’m hoping to get back to it in April. In the meantime have a post about my shop name.
I find names really interesting. Where they come from, what they mean both lexically and personally, whether people like their name or not, what name they might have had. It’s just so interesting!
For example, my first name is from the Bible, and means ‘God has favoured me’. If I had been a boy I would have been called Samuel (from the same Bible story). One of my middle names is my Mum’s name, and the other is the name of a family friend so close we may as well be related. I love the stories and the ties created by all of my names.
I’m also a writer, and a good chunk of time before I start any story is spent working out the names of my characters. I find that if the name isn’t just right, the characters will not work with me.
So basically, names matter to me. A lot.
Now let me tell you a secret: Quiet Water Craft was not my first choice of shop name. In fact I took a while to be talked into it. What I really had my heart set on was ‘Bäsksele’.
Just look at it
It’s a Swedish word that, aside from looking lovely, is chock full of meaning for me. During my gap year I spent 4 months in Sweden helping a couple of missionaries from my home church. They lived in a teeny tiny village (99 people) called Bäsksele. The people were super friendly and welcoming, I learned so much and became strong in so many ways, it was really a pivotal point in my life. So it’s a word that’s important to me.
The word itself translates roughly as ‘quiet water between two rapids’. Being an introvert and suspected Highly Sensitive Person (wow you’re learning a lot about me today!) this idea of quietness in the midst of noise and busyness appeals to me in ways I can’t even explain. Silence is my nirvana.
Last of all, it reflects the way I feel when I’m crocheting or zentangling, or just creating in general. I have a full time day job in a busy open plan office; it’s all go, all noise, all the time. After work I go home and have choir or salsa or pole dancing, shopping, and cleaning, and laundry, and cooking, and and and. Then I pick up my crochet hook or fine liner pen, and suddenly everything stops. The rapids are rushing by on either side of me, but in my wee bubble of creativity the water is quiet and calm.
I really wanted Bäsksele for my shop name. But a wee focus group of people who have never met me (so hopefully unbiased) pointed out all the problems with it:
I’m based in the UK and will probably have mainly English and American customers, so a foreign word could put some of them off.
It makes it more difficult to remember, especially as people were not sure how to pronounce it (say ‘best seller’, but replace the ‘t’ with a ‘k’. That’s close enough).
It didn’t really give an idea of what I was selling. Even when I made it ‘Bäsksele Crafts’ they weren’t buying it.
So I admitted defeat and went for a somewhat watered down version of the name I super wanted. Thus Quiet Water Craft was born.
What do you think of the two names? Does your name have an interesting story behind it? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve received my first ever commission (from my sister, for a friend of the family, but shush – it still counts!) for a crocheted baby blanket.
After wanting to make a star blanket for months, now I get to make two at once as I’m still finishing off my Caron Cake star blanket and my sister liked it so much she asked me to use that pattern for the baby blanket.
I’m not sure whether we don’t know yet if it will be a boy or a girl, or my sister knows that I hate the whole ‘pink for girls, blue for boys’ thing, but the end result is that I’m using green and pale yellow baby merino DK. The green is a wee bit brighter than it looked online, but the yellow is nice and subtle so I don’t think it’s too garish a combination. I do love working with Spring colours as Glasgow is dragged kicking and screaming into warmer weather.
So far I’m only on round 7 because it’s been such a busy week I’ve had to squeeze in a few stitches whenever I got a minute to myself. It keeps peeking out of my bag and giving me the eye, so this weekend I’ll make sure to spend a good chunk of time working on it.
I’m so excited to make something I know will definitely be wanted and go to a good home!
A bit of back-story: Although I live in Glasgow now, I’m originally from Cheshire, where the rest of my family still live. Because my Mum is lovely she sends me care packages now and then with bits and bobs like sweet treats, pretty earrings, cool recipes I might like to try out, and little useful things.
The magic part is that nine times out of ten, the parcels will contain something I need. For example, I notice my deodorant getting a bit low and make a mental note to buy some more next time I go shopping, then a Mum parcel arrives all stocked with deodorant.
When my flatmate moved to London she left behind a massive bottle of fabric softener. The weekend after that finally ran out, guess what Mum said she’d bought me?
So basically my Mum is magic and/or psychic. But this week she really outdid herself.
I follow a lot of yarn crafters on Instagram, and since Monday/Tuesday-ish they started talking about Caron Cakes. They look gorgeous, and when I found out they were 200g of beautiful coloured yarn each, they went straight to the top of my I WANT IT list. However, I’m in the middle of a pact I made with myself not to buy any more yarn until I have a least 20 items in my etsy shop.
It’s fine. I can wait…
Then a parcel arrived from my Mum
How gorgeous are they?? I’m going to make a star blanket with the one at the back, but no plans for the other two yet.
Of course the parcel also included tapestry needles, which I was waiting to buy on pay day, and some cute crochet patterns.
I really don’t know how she does it. My Mum is just magic!
I’m almost certainly running before I can walk here, but I’ve decided to start making some crochet goodies without patterns.
The patterns I’ve bought so far are fabulous, but they take up almost 20% of the money I’ve spent on my shop. Plus they all (so far) use really simple stitches that I know how to use; in theory I could have written any of the patterns I have bought. So I’m going to give it a go!
Obviously you don’t just dive into something super-complicated for your first go without a pattern, so I decided to start with a hat.
I know from experience (having to restart one hat project at least 5 times) that beginning with the brim and working up doesn’t really work so well for me. Those chains were determined to twist, no matter what I did! There’s also the fact that I love magic rings, so the obvious choice for me was to start from the top and work my way downward.
Here’s what I did (Yes, I’m as British as they come but still use American crochet terms. Don’t go looking for logic here – there is none):
1) Make a magic ring, 6 double crochet into the ring (6)
2) 2dc in each stitch (12)
3) *dc, 2dc into next stitch* 4 times (18)
4) *dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (24)
5) dc in each stitch (24)
6) *dc, dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (30)
At this point I wanted to do something a bit more interesting, so I decided to experiment with some front post and back post double crochet (fpdc and bpdc)
7) Ch 2 (counted as dc), fpdc, *dc, fpdc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)
8) Ch 2 (counted as bpdc), dc, *bpdc, dc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)
9) Repeat 7) and 8) until desired length (including a stripe of colour because I can) (30)
10) Finish it all off with a row of single crochet and a slip stitch at the end (30)
That gave me this awesome waffle-patterned hat
Looking at it on my desk I was super proud of myself for actually making a real thing without a pattern, but…I didn’t like it. To me it looked like an old lady hat. Given the choice, I would never wear it. But my taste in hats is not everybody’s taste in hats so I tried it on, ready to take some photos for listing in the shop, and it’s actually not that bad!
Then one of my friends modelled it for me
She really likes it, which makes me feel super duper proud! Thank goodness for individual tastes in the world – if my friend likes the hat then there will definitely be someone out on the internet willing to buy it when my shop finally goes live.
So there you have it; my very first pattern-free crochet make.
What do you think? Would you wear the hat? Let me know in the comments!