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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Little Mermaids


I have a craft fair coming up in May, and have realised that I need to make a few new things for my table.  Usually it is my little knits that sell best, and as this is not just a craft fair, but a family fun day, this will probably be the case again. So keeping with my seaside theme, I have been knitting these little creatures all week. 


Frankie would like the little mermaids to have bras, but I am insisting they are just baby mermaids, and so don't need clothes. Really it is because although I am dipping a toe into the pool of cuteness, I don't want to completely dive into Disnification.

I am thinking that I might make a few fairies, or just little dolls. Though they would also need clothes I guess. So watch this space! I can't quite decide whether to put the mermaid on ravelry as a pattern. It is such a little knit, but perhaps if there were a few other options, it would make a nice pattern. It is quite fun deciding on hair colours and styles.

 

A small selection of my fairies and mermaids are available to buy in my Etsy Shop.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Confessions of a Secret Technophobe


Are you a secret technophobe? I know you are sitting at a computer, reading my blog, so you must be techie to some extent. I also know that I have been running my blog for over a year now, so you would probably say "of course you are not technophobic!", but I am, I just try to keep quiet about it.

I am fine once I get used to a way of doing something, but new versions of software etc. can completely throw me. It is partly an age thing. After all the most sophisticated thing I had as a child was probably an EtchaSketch. But I will call out to hubby (who is older than me) if I am stuck, and he is more than happy to click around in a programme that he is not familiar with and explore. I like to know exactly what I am doing before I begin. I think I put off blogging for about a year, as I thought I would have to know everything before I started. But it does seem the best way to learn is to just get on and do it, and probably make a few mistakes along the way.

It is not just computers, I am just the same with household appliances. I have still not made a cup of coffee from hubby's new coffeemaker that he got at Christmas. I love some of the functions of our new telly now (but when we got it was so upset by its size that I would sit upstairs watching the old portable one). And do not remind me of the trauma of adjusting to a new car!

What has brought this to mind is that I have been trying to branch Ginx Craft out. I have created a Ginx Craft facebook page, thinking this might be a good way to separate my crafty self from my other facebook self. There is a link to it at the top of this page. I would love it if you want to pop in there and have a look. But even this hasn't quite worked as I intended, as anything I link to my new page still seems to come up in the newsfeed too, but I am working on this.  I have also opened a Pinterest account. I've not got very far with this, as I have just pinned a lot of my own pictures.  But early days.

So I would love it if anyone has any tips on how they link their blog to other social media, and how useful they have found this? 

Or just tell me in what ways you are a secret technophobe.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Little Seaside Bags

Firstly thank you for all the kind comments on my spiral shell pattern. 

 And now another mysterious set of little bags.



Inside them are some sets of my beach creatures. They could be used as an educational toy, but are also very decorative. A little reminder of happy days at the seaside.

The bags are hand dyed. (You may remember my recent tie dying project which I was being a bit secretive about.) They are a heavy duty natural cotton, with a silk pull cord. Each one contains an individual set of hand-knitted and embroidered beach creatures: a spiral shell, scallop shell and starfish.




The sets are for sale in my Etsy shop. (Apologies that I keep plugging my shop, but I am really trying to make a go of it.) As I have made quite a mixture of colours, you can request a specific set, or just leave it to chance. I will try to accommodate any colour requests.

Set A

Set B

Set C


Also I just thought I would mention that I have set up a Ginx Craft Facebook page, so if you are a Facebook user you can follow me there. You just have to like the page. It is at https://www.facebook.com/GinxCraft  and there is an icon to link there in my sidebar on the right. I am still getting to grips with the technology, but I will link all my blog posts there. At the moment I have just put on some of my favourite photos, as it was looking a bit empty.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Troll Makeover


On our recent holiday we found this sad little creature washed up on the beach.  How long had she been in the sea? What adventures had she been through? Little One decided to adopt her, but she definitely needed a bit of a makeover.

It is amazing what can be done with a bit of pink fluff, some glue and an indeliable pen.  And a bit of pink wool for her new outfit. Her name is Dune.



Now she is ready to meet the other little trolls, and be part of the gang.  But she will always retain the marks of her adventures. (Can you see her smooth hands, feet and ears?)


And the bigger trolls. (Some of these trolls are nearly as old as me, which is why they are so wise.)  I just love trolls.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Shells


I've been busy on one of my little knits, that I know may provoke the question "why?" Not sure what the answer is. 

I made several attempts to design a spiral shell last year and each time I failed. Eventually I put the idea aside. I had designed a collection of small seaside knits, and a spiral shell seemed to be the main thing missing. So the idea has been niggling away in the back of my mind.


I have spent quite a lot of time looking at various shells in textbooks and online. There are so many different types, but I wanted my shell to be definitely conical and not a flat spiral. So I think you might call this a turret or auger shell, depending on which part of the world you live in. I would love to try and knit a conch shell, but I'm not sure knitting lends itself to all those spikes.

My shells are knitted with two doublepointed needles and short rows, and the shaping makes the knitting fall into a natural spiral. The knitting of the shell is not too tricky, although some people may hate the way I have written the pattern. 155 rows may seem a bit much to produce a tiny shell, but as you are decreasing all the time it does not take as long as you might think. I can knock off a complete shell in an evening. The wool is ordinary 4ply sock wool, and I am now slightly fixated on finding realistic shell shades in multi-coloured sock wool. Well it's a hobby! To find the pattern CLICK HERE!



There is one long seam, and I found it easiest to sew and stuff as you go. And then sewing it into a spiral is done with tiny stitches. The pattern has detailed photographs and instructions explaining how to do this.


Just a reminder of my other sea creature patterns. My recent trip to the seaside gave me the chance take some new photographs, on a real beach.

But if this all seems like too much work then keep an eye on my ETSY SHOP, as I still have a few sets of sea creatures for sale there

Sand Dollars, if you were wondering.
Scallop Shell






Starfish


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Beach Life


I am back from my holiday in North Devon with a camera full of photographs, and not very much crafting done. So many photos that I don't quite know which to pick. It was cold much of the time, but we did have some lovely walks on the glorious beaches.

Running around a beach can be really exhillarating.


Who needs to go abroad?

The last comment is mainly for my children, who spent a lot of the week moaning that their friends apparently all go much more exotic and exciting places.

And as for crafting I have had a really good week. I am almost at the point of posting a new pattern on ravelry. I so want to put it on, but haven't quite got the right photos yet. It is so tempting just to think "that will do", but I am going to try and get it all as perfect as possible, so that will probably be another week.

My monarch butterfly toy sets on Etsy have sold out. My first online product sales. (OK, there were only two.) But it has made me think that selling online is probably the way to go, and I am busy making another set.

Also on Craftsy one of my patterns got into the Craftsy Trending Patterns Charts, which really boosted sales for a short while. Very exciting for a day or two, but then a bit sad as I slowly dropped down and out of the chart. I have not really considered the power of advertising before ...







Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Hattie Models the Leafy Cowl


I have been waiting on tenterhooks for the photographs of Hattie wearing the adult version of the leafy cowl. Aren't these pictures of her stunning. (I think I am allowed to say that as I didn't take them, but her father, one of my neighbours, did!)


I decided to go for autumn colours. Not very seasonal for us in Britain, but it is always autumn somewhere in the world. I hope the photos show how cosy and versatile the adult version of my cowl pattern is. The pattern is slightly deeper in the neck, broader across the shoulders, and the leaves are bigger than the child's pattern.

Patterns for both cowls are now available on ravelry or Craftsy.
 


And I have put both this cowl and my children's green cowl for sale in my Etsy shop if you would like one readymade. They are both knitted from Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester Aran, although other similar Aran or 10ply wool would work well.