Friday, 13 November 2015

Fifth Stallaversary...

Today marks the huge milestone of five years in my little stall. From humble beginnings with a little bit of stock in a tiny corner of my counter, to the point now where I have very little room for anything new, this stall has been my world for the last five years. I have made friends, had more neighbours than I can remember, and lost and found my creativity more times than I can count. I've seen so much change, both inside and outside my stall. I've had so many good times, and some pretty rough ones too, but this little place will always be in my heart. 

I will be closing my stall doors (ok, putting up wooden shutters)for the last time on Christmas Eve. The decision has not been an easy one, in fact there have been sleepless nights and moments of terrible uncertainty, but the time has come to think about the future, where I want to be in another five years, and to be honest, I don't see myself making progress if I stay here. I need flexibility to take my work out into the world, and structured opening hours just won't allow that. And I need new eyes to see my work, because I just can't keep waiting. 
There are people I will miss. I will miss my little stall and all of it's quirks. I will miss the familiar faces that pass by every single market day, hearing about their families, the relief when I see them again after unusual absences. I will miss the stories. I will miss the gossip. I will miss visitors - the dear sweet lady that brings me a mice pie every Christmas, the Christmas cards and well-wishes. So much to miss. 
I make it sound like it's perfect. It's not. But the things I will miss will outweigh the bad stuff. I hope I will always think fondly of this place - the first home of gemmipop designs, my first toe in the pond of self-employment and the place that has given me the confidence to try. 

Brooch Workshop

An evening of crafting is not really unusual for me, but last night I opened up my studio for a crafty brooch making evening. 
I was joined by two lovely ladies, and we had a jolly productive evening making fabric puff brooches. We had a lovely time picking fabrics, drinking tea and admiring our finished brooches - we each finished three! 
I'm so excited to be able to offer these evenings, I genuinely enjoy sharing skills and ideas and I am always so happy to know that my visitors enjoy it as much as I do. My next evening session is a second Crochet Christmas evening, I'm already looking forward to it!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Crochet Cowl... or The Tale of the Rescue from the "Never Going to Happen" pile...

These lovely granny squares were made in a fit of enthusiastic crocheting, and sadly ended up moving from the "work in progress" pile to the "I'll come back to it" pile and eventually landed in the "never going to happen" pile... me being me, I never made a note of hook size, and the yarn I used ended up sucked into another project, so all I had left was a sad looking bundle of unused squares, waiting patiently for re-discovery.
 Ten little squares were never really going to be very useful, and so they were picked up and put back in the "never going to happen" pile repeatedly, until a couple of weeks ago when I looked at them with fresh eyes and inspiration struck - cowl...
And so, I began stitching them together, a nice little invisible join, and when they were all joined to each other in a nice long strip, I put the ends together and they became A THING. I worked around it with a nice simple double crochet edge, and now it is ready to begin it's life as a cosy winter-woollen, just at the right time of year. And so I have hope again for the "never going to happen" pile, because it would seem that it has treasure lurking below the surface, waiting for a good idea to come along...

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Christmas Crochet Evening

Last night I hosted a Christmas Crochet evening up at my lovely new studio. We made tree and star decorations, using patterns that I've adapted from the Royal Sisters blog. I really love teaching crochet, this was the first time that I've had such a large group, and they all did wonderfully. 
 I picked out my best Christmassy coloured yarns, including some rather splendid sparkly stuff, and unpacked my loveliest tea cups and saucers, and we had a fabulous crafty time!

I have a head full of ideas for seasonal makes for next year, I'm hoping that these little group sessions can be a regular thing. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

A Crocheted October...

In October I joined in with the Lazy Daisy Jones Crochet Hook Up on instagram, a daily photo to go alongside the theme for each day. I am proud to have managed to actually post something every day, and thought I would share the month here...
Day One - Hello - me, obviously...
Day Two - Work In Progress - my 2015 blanket
Day three - Colour combination - several of my favourites
Day four - Blanket - my first ever blanket
Day five - Chunky or lace - brooch with tiny doilies
Day six - favourite hook - my 'go-to' hooks
Day seven - square or circle - squares, always!
Day eight - future project - Sarah London pattern
Day nine - Fave Stitch - puffs and popcorns
Day ten - cushion - sunburst with Brian modelling
Day eleven - border - I like a scallop
Day twelve - fave book - 200 crochet blocks by Jan Eaton
Day thirteen - scarf - chevron scarf from last winter
Day fourteen - fave make - bundles of blankets
Day fifteen - storage - cupboard in my studio 

Day sixteen - where? - my cosy spot on the sofa
Day Seventeen - Fave yarn - cotton in lovely colours
Day Eighteen - Christmas Crochet - glass baubles made last year
Day Nineteen - Who taught you? - my first ever square, made with the help of a fellow student at uni
Day twenty - Vintage pattern - my great grandmother's crochet book
Day twenty one - pastel or bright? - always bright
Day twenty two - amigurumi - unicorn from Simply Crochet
Day twenty three - crochet blog - Meet Me At Mike's, Emma Lamb, Twinkie Chan and Dottie Angel
Day twenty four - Flowers - my rosebud brooches
Day twenty five - yarn stash - my sock yarn, the neatest of my stashes...
Day twenty six - gift - teacosy from the pattern on the Crochet With Raymond blog
Day twenty seven - stitch markers - Yummy Doughnuts 
Day twenty eight - inspiration - galleries
Day twenty nine - local yarn shop - RKM in Oswestry
Day thirty - crochet toy - Groot from Twinkie Chan's pattern
Day thirty one - Halloween Crochet - my 2015 blanket square

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Books... October

October has passed me by in a blur of adventures and busy-ness, and I only managed to finish two books. Unusually for me, I am also in the middle of three others, I don't really know how that happened...
October Books - 

  • Posy Simmonds - Gemma Bovery 
  • Robert Newman - The Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution

Saturday, 31 October 2015

My Week...

Such a fabulous week. It started with a visit to see Lucy Rose, supported by Billie Marten and Jake Isaac. They were all really very talented and had such pretty songs. 
Monday was our trip to London, to deliver the Big Knit hats, followed by a whistle stop highlight tour of the British Museum and the National Gallery and a couple of cake stops! 
Aside from the big adventures, there was a Christmas shopping trip to Liverpool, and lots of lovely time spent at home. The cosy dark evenings are bringing out my usual need to make blankets and read books in front of the fire, the typical late autumn/early winter hibernation thrill that will no doubt quickly descend into cabin fever. For now though, I'm enjoying it.