Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Hot dogs and yellow elephants...

A week or so ago I heard that I'd been allocated a table at a local craft fayre. It's a well attended one, held just once a year. Nothing fancy, just a complete mixture of crafts. Of course I'm terrified. I love making things but I do hate selling face to face. It's partly worry that nothing will sell, partly that I will make a giant prat of myself by not being able to converse in a noisy village hall which echoes thanks to the lack of carpet or curtains. Actually that last worry is guaranteed to be the case. M will be my back up ears at least. Let's face it he will make a charming salesperson too.

Anyway, I have a month to focus on supplementing the stock I've already made by way of leather/wood/metal jewellery. It would be mad not to try a few crochet items right? Something simple like hats maybe? Ugh! Not simple at all given that hat size charts vary wildly across the Internet. Oh well. I've stuck to one and that's all I can do. I've allowed for a bit of give too so they will get a bit of extra time out of it if it's for a growing child.

It was a good opportunity to dive into my Aran and chunky supplies and see what could be used up. I picked out all the machine washable yarns and used my wool winder to make neat 'cakes' of what wasn't already wound that way. It wasn't a very inspiring colour palette but after a frenzy of woolly hat making I now have a basket tray of each weight leftover. This is superb news! I've been working really hard over the last few years to whittle down my stash. The tiny amounts will probably get made into random pom poms (always useful!). This just leaves me with pure wool and wool blend yarns in more useful quantities which I prefer to work with these days.

Fun as they are, my random striped, side to side constructed baby and toddler woolly hats, there comes a time when you can't face making another. So in complete contrast I decided to make a big yellow elephant! Well biggish, not that big. The pattern calls for DK but I find Aran easier to work with so instead of roughly 8x6 inches he's coming out at 12x8 inches. Ella has a weakness for both elephants and the colour yellow so I need to be very firm about his destination ie. as an eye catching craft stall item!

I have Mansfield to thank for the elephant inspiration. M had some legal work to do there this week and said he thought it might be charity shop heaven if I wanted to tag along. There were plenty of charity shops but there was also a haberdashery closing down sale within their department store. I don't usually buy a lot of Rowan yarn, especially if garments are involved but the sale prices meant that I could at long last knit up a cardigan/jacket pattern that I've had for a while but hadn't found a substitute yarn for. It would normally have cost £98 just for the yarn (who buys that stuff?) but I managed to get the required number of balls plus a bit extra just in case for £32. It won't be as enjoyable as crochet but it's the end result that I will enjoy; a chunky, throw it on over anything kind of cardigan. It's also good to refresh my memory where knitting is concerned too! I also picked up the book with the elephant pattern in it for less than half price. It has been out for years and caught my eye long before I knew how to crochet!

So, it's back to my big yellow elephant now in the dappled shade under our trees, while a certain four legged friend looks at me and sighs every now and then as if to say, 'is it cool enough to go for a walk now?'. We had a heat wave kind of day yesterday and I waited until the temperature had dropped to a milder 24 degrees (from 30!) before attempting to load them up in my car and take them off to the river for a swim. I so wanted to have a paddle too but I'm not so keen after watching a very large grass snake slither into the water a few weeks back. I've been managing to walk a bit further with my dodgy knee and hoping to see my Heron. Finally the other day I saw not one but two!


  1. The elephant looks amazing, looking forward to seeing the end result. Good luck with your craft stall I am sure you will do really well with all your beautiful things.

  2. I love the little hat you've made, I'm sure they'll sell very well. The elephant will be very eyecatching. I'd like to see a photo of it all finished :)