Thursday, 29 September 2011


Today is my late Mum's birthday. If she was still with us she would have been 101 today. I don't have any photos of her when she got older and ill so I like to remember her and my Dad as they are on their Golden Wedding Day. They had a great day as you can tell from their faces. This was taken back in the days when she still coloured her hair. When she stopped she had the most glorious colour of silver grey as did my maternal Grandma. Maybe one day I will inherit that colour and then I can throw away the hair dye. Unfortunately I am still dark haired under the blonde with hardly any signs of grey apart from 2 white wings over each ear.

A friend Steve, who now lives in Spain, put this photo of me on Facebook. It was taken at a Halloween party about 27 yrs ago. That is the natural colour of my hair. It is far too dark for my complexion now that I have aged. My witch hat was decorated with a crocheted silver spider web with a knitted spider with red sequins for the eyes.

I am feeling a bit more alert today. I have got 3 lines of washing drying outdoors as we are having a rare sunny day here in Manchester. It was lovely yesterday but I had run out of washing powder.

I have still not taken any more photos. I am more concerned with trying to get my living rooms and bedrooms back to normal. Well normal for me that is!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Craft Fair

I am here. Recovering from my first craft fair. I don't know whether I have picked up a bug or it's just tiredness from getting ready for the fair but I have been so tired for the last few days it's a wonder that I am awake now. I will have to get my sleep apnea machine checked out as well as that can make me really tired if it is not set to the right pressure. I have been out doing some food shopping today so hopefully the fresh air will have woken me up a bit.

The photos of the craft fair are disappointing. My niece took them and I don't know whether it was the lighting (a bit on the dim side) or a bit of camera shake but they are all a bit blurred.

Although I did sell a few things ( some bought by my sister in law) I did learn a lot from my first fair. To be fair the venue had let the organiser down with the advertising. They had promised to put posters up in the foyer and a sandwich board outside and when we got there nothing drew the eye to the fact that there was a craft fair going on in the hall, The organiser has also learnt from this experience and will make sure that there is more advertising done for the November fair. I am going to try to take some of those portable lights with me to try to illuminate my stall for next time.

I have learned that I need to gauge my potential customer base better. A lot of people admired my crochet remarked how beautiful it all was but it wasn't what they were wanting. I told everyone that came to the stall that I was a novice at the craft fairs and asked them for suggestions. They have given me lots of ideas. My customer base on Sunday was mostly fashionable young ladies mostly without children. My next fair will incorporate more items such as handbags (which I got asked for) and small gift ideas for Christmas.

I also had a rival stall who was selling hand knitted baby cardigans for as little as £2.50p!!  I enquired discretely and she is not going to be at the next two fairs. I don't understand ladies like her. She can only have made pennies in profit on those cardigans by the time she had paid for the yarn and the buttons. It makes the rest of the stallholders look as though they are overcharging. The prices have to reflect the cost of the raw materials plus the cost of the stall and transport to and from the venue. The only profit is what is left over after I have taken all these costs into consideration. Luckily my niece gave me a lift with my stuff and helped to set up the stall. I would have made nothing had I paid for a taxi there and back. I also have to take into account the money that I have paid for display props like the polystyrene heads, hands and dolls as well as the clothing rail. Even if I do well on the next two craft fairs I won't really make much profit until all the money for these is re paid into my account. Still as my Dad would say - You have to Speculate to Accumulate.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the day and that is the most important thing. I knew when I entered into this that I was  never going to make a fortune. It gives me an interest. Something to work towards and look forward to.

I could have sold loads of these fingerless gloves but I made the mistake of following a pattern (so unlike me) and they were too large for most peoples hands. Luckily I only made two pairs and my daughter in law has quite large hands so they will be put with her Christmas present. I got asked for them in black with military buttons on by a guy so I am taking his idea on board also.

This hat and scarf set was admired by so many people that I am surprised that it didn't sell. I wasn't making much profit on this as it was Collinette wool and the two hanks cost me quite a bit even on eBay

This hat did sell. It is made of handspun wool with a mohair content so once again I couldn't really charge as much as I should have as the wool was expensive. Still it didn't take me that long to crochet so it's swings and roundabouts.It isn't such a bright pink as the photos shows. It is a mix of pale pink, lilac and cerise.

This hat was picked up and admired so many times that I was sure that it would get sold. Perhaps they would have preferred a darker colour.

I sold one of these sweet little hats. I thought that they were rather pretty and felt sure that they would have both sold.

I didn't sell any of my baby items although they were greatly admired. Most people said they would have bought them if they knew of a baby. The lady on the next stall to me said that I should gift box them up in cellophane boxes and put ribbons on them and they would look more attractive. I will have to price out these boxes as I would have to increase my prices to adjust for this extra spending. The darker colours of baby wear were the ones that caught everyones eye. She also said that I should look out for any local baby fairs as that would be the proper market for my baby wear.

I sold two of the shawlettes in dark multi colours but they were made by my crochet partner Sue who decided to join in the fairs with me, I sprung this fair on her at the last minute and she was going to be away with her man on holiday. Hopefully she will be at the next one. We met up on Monday and swapped ideas for what would be more suitable to make for the next fair. That one and the Christmas fair will be concentrating on smaller gift ideas.

I still haven't photographed most of the baby things that I made lately. Hopefully I will have got some more energy by the end of the week.

I did have a great evening at the Kings Arms Knit Club on Monday. Quite a few people came in and we were laughing and chatting away. We attracted the attention of a would be writer who was rather drunk but wanted to get ideas from us for a play he is writing. There was hardly any knitting or crocheting done after that, Just lots of laughter. No wonder he said that he prefers the company of women as they are more entertaining!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I'm Late For A Very Important Date

I feel like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. I'm late. I'm late for a very important date. No time to say Goodbye - Hello I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!

Eek the Vintage fair where I have a stall is on Sunday and I still have lots to do. I promise that I will catch up with events after Sunday. In the meantime I am slaving over a hot crochet hook!

Part of the bunting for my stall. Now I am having second thoughts - is it too retro rather than vintage? Wish I have time to crochet another 12 triangles in different colours. Perhaps more subtle?

Meanwhile more buttons are arriving from China. I have just shown one of each on here. I got them from EBay and they are so cheap compared with buttons from the haberdashers.

Such cute little wooden teddies.

Another outfit finished for the fair. Not sure what happened to this photo but it is actually dusty pink!

This is more like the colour.

One of my favourite distractions. One of three reasons why I am running late. The other 2 reasons are called Poppy and Buddy (next door's dogs).  Still I love them all dearly especially Buster. He is such good company when he visits me for the weekend. I wish that I could have him back with me all the time but I simply can't walk him any more. He is such a happy dog. All he asks from life is some attention, food and to be played with and his life is content. He does think that he is still a lap dog which is why I am behind with my crochet. Dog hair and crochet do not go together.

Enough waffling. It's time to get the sparks flying from my crochet hook! I will hopefully remember to take my camera to the fair and show you the things that you have missed seeing in my rush.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Where Do I Start?

Such a lot has been happening since I last blogged. The first obvious thing was that I had no Internet for a week. I felt like part of me was missing. I had things on EBay outstanding that I couldn't bid on or worse still I didn't know if I had won anything and had to pay for it.

After twice daily phone calls to Orange I was getting extremely frustrated as they passed me back from pillar to post. Orange blamed BT for a fault on my line. BT tested the line and said nothing wrong. Meanwhile I got re-assured everyday from Pakistan that everything would be right by the morning. Eventually when I started talking compensation and cancelling my contract I got put through to someone in the UK. I am not a racist but it was reassuring to speak to someone in Queen's English. Eventually as she went through every single check on my PC one by one we found out the problem was when someone from Orange had told me on the first day to alter something in my settings and that was effectively blocking the signal from the Internet to my PC. Needless to say that made me madder than mad as it would never have reconnected but for the lovely Amy from Orange who spent over an hour on the phone sorting it all out.

I don't have any photos to show you as despite crocheting away for the craft fair I haven't been taking any photos as I usually do as I didn't have a PC to upload them to. I will show some photos eventually. At the moment I am just finishing off a crochet baby aran in a Dusty Pink shade of Patons Washed aran cotton.

I have had the dogs from next door for the last two days and nights as my neighbour's Mum was dying in hospital and she was spending every minute with her. Her Mum passed away in the early hours so the dogs have now gone home. No rest for me though as my furry grandson Buster is coming tomorrow morning for the weekend.

As my stock of machine cones has increased since I last blogged I got another of those plastic shelving units for the dining room. At least I look a bit tidier now. I didn't want anything permanent as if ever my stash diminishes I can take the unit apart and use it as garage or stash room shelving. My dining room floor was full of storage boxes and I could not get to my knitting machine. Worse still I was in danger of falling over them. Now most of them are off the floor and on the shelves now.

The time is ticking by so quickly to my first craft fair. My friend Sue who is in partnership with me will be away on holiday for the first fair but has left me her crochet shawlettes to put on the stall. I am having some business cards printed up. I realize that I may not sell anything at my first fair so the important thing for me is to get my name known as a crocheter. Word of mouth is always the best kind of advertisement. I am going to print off photos of my former work and put them into an album so that people can see the sort of work that I usually make. I am trying to make a sample of different things for the stall but obviously I can't make that many things as I have only got one pair of hands ( well two pairs if you count Sue's!)

Bit of excitement for my niece last Friday. She helped to deliver her best friend's baby on the bathroom floor as her third baby (Yeah a little girl at last) arrived so suddenly that Mum didn't have time to get to the hospital. My niece was literally left holding the baby but fortunately the paramedics arrived and took over. The Mum's youngest boy was peering at his Mum who was on all fours in the bathroom and said 'Has Mum done a big poo on the floor?' Bless him - he is only 2 and didn't recognise that it was a baby and umbilical cord. Mum says that was the best delivery that she has ever had and was up walking about an hour later saying that she fancied some fish and chips. Needless to say my niece and her friend's Mother in Law who was also in the bathroom, and helped catch the baby, were far more shocked than Mum was. I now have another girl to crochet for. Gracie Victoria who was much larger than her brothers at 7lbs 3 ozs,

Hopefully I will have some photos for you next time I blog. Fingers crossed that I stay connected and that Orange has finally sorted out the problem.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Back Online

Just a quick note to say that I have just been put back online after having no internet connection for a week due to a fault. I will blog later once I catch up on e mails etc.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Some of My Baby Crochet Items

These are photos of some of the things that I have been crocheting over the last week since I last blogged. You will recognise a lot of the designs as being my old favourite patterns.

This is a new pattern that I bought through Etsy from Mon Petit Voilin. It is blocking out at the moment

This was made from a part ball of James C Brett Marble DK using a King Cole pattern

I will hopefully have more to show you soon. In the meantime it's back to the crochet hook for me!

I'veBeen Busy, Very Busy

I am fine. Just not had the time to blog. I have only a couple of weeks left to my first craft fair so I have been using my time to crochet instead of blogging.

These are some of the supplies that have been arriving to me via Ebay. I think both the postman and my bank manager think that I have gone completely crazy.

Job lot that I bid for. Will be useful for scarves, hats and fingerless mitts.

More from the same job lot.

Some Colinette and Sirdar Reflections from different sales.

Rowan beige yarn that looks a bit like a bandage and some multi coloured DK cotton.

Job lot of machine cones. Now I really will have to get my machine going again.

One of three multicoloured cones that I have bought to crochet with. I just love the colours in this.

One of a pair of velvet covered hands to display fingerless mitts on my craft stall.

After paying £'s for a few flower effect wooden buttons I ordered all of these ceramic buttons from China for the same amount as I have been paying for 10 buttons in the UK.

The yarn is just a fraction of what has been arriving this last week to the house. Now you know why I have been too busy to blog!