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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Craft Sale January

I did go back for the January Makers Market on my own selling my hand-crochet scarves, more keyrings, earrings and phone charms and some sock cupcakes. It went much better, the scarves and keyrings from last time that didn't shift at all I actually had real buyers for!!! My scarves were going like hotcakes. I had virtually zero interest at the last sale, people weren't even picking up to look but I took 10 and all but 3 sold! So i'm definately going to make more of those for the sales I do in the colder months. Christmas i'll get cracking and make loads. My newer items did really well too, still no jewellery sales, I think the market is a bit saturated with jewellery.

 This one is made with some rather bright coloured orange wool (acrylic) that I got from poundstretcher of all places. It was £2.50 a ball so wasn't bad. I made this one double the usual width and crochet in a weave style pattern then did twisty tassles! The stitch is done by making a chain (of even number stitches) then you miss two, and dc into each chain until you get to the end of the row, chain 2 up then DC around the front post of the first DC, then DC around the back post of the next one. you just keep repeating fpdc, bpdc until you get to the end of the row. Then you chain up 2 and when you come to turn....whatever the stitch was underneath (previous) you just to the opposite. i.e. if its a FPDC to a BPDC. All the rows of opposite front and back post crochet make a basket weave type pattern. To do the twists you just draw up a really long loop, twist it round and round tightly using the crochet hook (think spinning as if you were winding something up) then you slip stitch (tightly) through the edge of the scarf which leaves a tassle. Repeat this moving along the edge of the scarf doing various length tassles and it looks really unusual. It does take up a lot of wool though! This one I sold on ebay, I was worried the postage would be extortionate but although it was chunky it was light so only cost a couple of pounds. The lady was very happy with it...she left me some lovely feedback describing it as "fabulously scrummy".

 This sea green one is paton's acrylic wool from Hobbycraft. It was only like £1.20 a 100g ball which was why I got it, plus I loved the colour. I made this one using the same basket weave front post back post combo as above, but did it in treble crochet and using a size 6 hook which is a chunky one. The tassles are just really long pieces of wool leftover at the end of crochet just tied on. No fancy crochet twisting for this one i'm afraid. This one sold on ebay.
This one was so soft and fuzzy it was made with a brown yarn called "popcorn" from the bargain basket of a local wool shop in one of those indoor markets. I used 3lots of 50g balls and just used a size 4 hook and did basic double crochet so that I could see what I was doing with all that fuzz. I had to keep counting the posts as I sometimes get carried away and add on extra stitches and it ends up like a dogs back leg from where its gone in and out again. This one sold after 5mins!
 This one was made using patons acrylic wool mix and was a lavender blue grey colour. Although it looks quite narrow it was a very chunky thick scarf because of the stitch. I used a size 4.5 hook and double crochet alternating the front post back post stitch BUT when moving onto a new line you do not change the stitch to make it opposite of the row below you do the same. i.e stitch directly underneath was FPDC, this stitch is FPDC. It creates a ridged line pattern which looks lovely but is very thick and takes up a lot of wool. Hence the lack of tassles on this one.

 This one was done using more of the patons DK, it was a lilac colour and the pattern was created using double crochet by dc 3 then leaving a gap, dc3 leave a gap then when you go up the next row chain, and dc in the gap.

This one was again patons DK but this time a slightly more pale blue rather than lilac. It was also using double crochet and again by dc three in a row and missing (or just chaining 1 in the space) a stitch but this time on the return back across the top of the row you continue to keep the missed stitches and row of 3 in exactly the same place to make a holey pillar style. The tassles are short twisted ones like on the bright orange scarf at the top.

This one was done with a chenille type feathery wool - it was another bargain basket job so i'm afraid I have no idea what it actually is called. Its a marbled mix of grey, white and brown which sounds awful but it looks lovely once crochet up! Again since its tricky to see in amongst all those fluffy bits I did DC with a size 3.5 hook to keep the stitches a little tighter (easier to distinguish apart was the theory). The lady who bought this at the craft sale was actually my lovely auntie who'd come along to have a nosey and hadn't intended on buying. She bought it for her sister as a birthday present, promising to pass on all credit if she receives any compliments.

This one was in a grey patons acrylic wool mix (although it looks brown against the milk chocolate coloured background) and I did it using I think its called brick stitch. You basically chain a row, then chain your first post, then in the base of that post, you DC another, and another and another so you've got 5 posts in one chain link in a little cluster. Then on your 5th DC you miss 5 links in the base of chain and slipstitch it into the 6th. So you're effectively pushing your cluster on its side. Then in that 6th chain hole where you've just done your slipstitch you chain 2 then again DC in the base of that post until you've got another 5 posts. You repeat this all the way to the end of the base chain. Once you've joined your last cluster of 5 to the base chain with a slip stitch, you then you slip stitch along the top of the last cluster of 5 and chain 2. Then in the base where you've just chained two, start doing your cluster of 5 again. Since you dont have your chain anymore (to skip and slipstitch into the 6th link in the chain) all you do is slipstitch into the top left hand side of the next cluster then chain 2 to start your next cluster of 5.
This one is with the infamous poundstretcher £2.50 wool and is actually a bright jewel purple (even though it looks a shocking indigo on here). The pattern is a little hard to see but I sort of made it up as I went along working lengthways rather than width ways. i.e start with one long chain the full length of the scarf then stitch around the chain to fatten it up into one long narrow piece. This sold about an hour into the craft sale and had lots of people picking it up trying to figure out the pattern!
More poundstretcher yarn, this time in bright magenta pink! I think this one was done in the waves of 3 fpdc, 3 regular dc, 3 bpdc, 3 regular dc but I didn't have a chain that was a multiple of it staggered itself everytime I changed rows. It looked pretty. This also vanished off the table at the craft sale with amazing pace.

These are my sock cupcakes. I got the instructions off a lovely lady who calls herself  Giggle on the infamous Money Saving Expert Forum and is always sharing her crafting ideas. She has her own blog called Little Puddings.

Basically I bought some multi-packs of socks from the local supermarket in pinks, purples & lemon combo colours and wrapped them into the cupcake shape Giggle has a tutorial I there are some on the internet if you search. Then you try get them to stay in a cupcake case, without exploding over the edges. I used a batch of pink swirly cases I got with a cake making kit for Christmas, I topped them with some foamy sweeties I got from Asda called love txt sweets. They're a bit bigger than a 50p piece (and were on special for 50p a bag at the time. They were heart shaped foam sweets with little messages embossed on like "love you" "xxx" etc, similar to the love heart sweets or candy hearts messages. They were all natural flavours and colourings so good for those allergic to E numbers. They were quite tasty too, fruity. Well I had to sample the strays that were leftover!!

 Then I wrapped them all in clear cellophane and tied with some pink elastic that my sister gave me with a box of leftovers from her scrapbooking session.

I used up the rest of the luv txt sweeties by filling up glass jars to do "jars of love". I basically used all the jar's i'd been storing for a jam making session. Well its free packaging, recycled, and they're easily sterilised (you just put them through the dishwasher or wash them in the sink then dry off by baking in the oven). The pic here is the bare jar, they looked much better once they were all finished but I did label them up with pink gingham stickers on the front, some pink tissue paper over the lid kept in place with more of the pink elastic donated by my sis. I think that was from Hobbycraft, the tissue paper was recycled from a Christmas present but is cheap enough in card shops & the supermarket.

I also made some gingerbread and used a tiny cookie cutter to stamp out some little hearts and I filled a couple of jars with those and decorated similarly. I called them "breakable hearts". My gingerbread recipe is:
1lb of plain flour (plus loads more for dusting)
2tsp ground ginger
tsp mixed spice
tsp baking soda
4oz butter
4oz soft brown sugar (I love billingtons dark brown its really tasty and caramely)
3 heaped tablespoons of golden syrup
1 large egg - beaten

Basically you put all the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking soda, spices)
then heat up the butter, sugar & syrup in a pan on low heat until its all melted together.
Pour all the wet ingredients onto the dry ones and mix, then add the egg.
It will look like its never going to combine, but once its cool enough get your hands in there and have a proper mix and it will form a ball of dough.
It will be sticky and you'll probably need a lot of flour to work it. Roll it out into a piece about the thickness of a £1 coin and cut out your shapes. I bake it on gas 3 for about 15 mins but keep checking on it. You'll smell it when its done. Dont worry if it looks a bit cakey when you take them out of the oven, so long as they're golden/gingery coloured you'll be fine. Let them cool on a wire rack so the air gets to them and they'll crisp up as they cool.

I also did some big gingerbread men and gave them little cranberry/cherry hearts. I soaked some cranberries & cherries in some blackcurrant juice to soften them up then cut a little slit from the top into the centre of the fruit (think radius when doing maths and pi). Then once you squashed it onto the gingerbread man it made a little heart. I wrapped them in cellophane and sealed with tape on the back so they wouldn't go soft. They weren't dis-simlar looking to these: Gingerbread hearts. I called them "perfect men".

I also put together some little bags of kisses (cherry lips sweeties batches of 30 tied in little pink cellophane bundles and curling ribbon). They didn't sell so well but I can re-package them for father's day as "kisses for Daddy" or "Santa Kisses" at Christmas. The gingerbread men did surprisingly well I only had about 5 left and I made two trays full (16). The remainder went to my dad & one of the lads at work's 3 kids. My jars of breakable hearts all went, and the foamy sweet jars sold. So I think next craft sale I'll do more decorated jars!!! The sock cupcakes went really well too, I think I have 4 or 5 left (from 12) but the sweets on them dont run out til March 2012 so I can always re-use for Mothers day, Easter, Christmas or even next Valentines day.


  1. Lovely makes there. I noticed you didn't have any followers, so now you have 1!

  2. Yeay. I finally have a follower. I did this just as a little bit of a diary (and to try make notes on how on earth i've made things - as I forget when I try to re-create). But I like to share x x