Having been very neglectful of teacosies for months and months, I’ve suddenly got all re-invigorated for a number of reasons. Anyway, the result is that as I mentioned in the previous post, I uploaded my Union Jack teacosy pattern on Ravelry and have been very excited to see it added to more than 75 favourites lists and 20 or more queues! Meanwhile, I’ve completed what I’m calling my ‘High Tea’ collection of teacosies, each with a vintage teapot, to restock my Folksy shop. ‘Battenburg’ has been joined by ‘Cucumber Sandwiches’ and ‘Lemon Drizzle’. I love the soft retro colours and can’t decide which is my favourite!
A little more apple cookery today- only one product, but after finely chopping 1.5kg of apples can you blame me?! The product in question is Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin Compote from The Women’s Institute Book of Preserves and although it doesn’t look terribly tempting, it tastes yummy. Yesterday’s Blackberry and Apple jam set fine, by the way.
Little bit more work done on the ‘High Tea’ collection of teacosies for my Folksy shop- finished one and begun another, but I’m going to keep them more or less under wraps for now. I also took a deep breath today and braved putting one of my teacosy designs up as a free download on Ravelry. The Union Jack cosy was one of the first ones I did for the Folksy shop and was the first one I sold- it led to a couple more on commission and I got very sick of intarsia as a result! It’s scary to think that other people will be trying to follow the instructions I wrote, even though its a pretty simple pattern. Last time I looked it had been added as a favourite by quite a few people, with a few also downloading it or adding it to their queue- eep! If you’re interested, you can find it here.
I’ve finally got a bit motivated about restocking my Folksy shop after my pre-Christmas success. A dinky little brown betty for one now has this ‘beehive’ style cosy made from Cornish Organic wool. To join it, the slightly larger brown betty is getting a humbug striped number made from more Cornish Organic and also some Sherington Flock Hebridean Wool, bought at last year’s Woolfest to make a hat I never got around to (think I fell in love with the cute sheep more than the idea of the headgear!)
As the tea cosies can just about be managed with P running around during the day (only one ball of wool to keep out of his way) I’m keeping the evenings for the Fairisle. The latest update is, I’ve reached the armhole shaping, so I’m steeling myself for dealing with armhole shaping while working either side of the neckline separately, while maintaining the Fairisle pattern. Yikes!
What’s on your needles?
I fully accept that I’m never going make a living from making stuff. I’m not even sure I’d enjoy it if I did, as I’m never keen on making the same thing more than once. That said it has been immensely gratifying to enjoy some modest success with my Folksy shop. It feels even better when I can boast about being ‘on commission’. A customer who bought a Union Jack tea cosy ended up giving it to a friend who admired it, so she asked me for another. As I was a little bit tired of the red/white/blue colourwork I was very happy to oblige when she requested an alternative colourway. Hence the pink and purple confection you see here. And yes, I know it really doesn’t go with the orange teapot, but that was the only one I had that fitted!
Well, I went and pressed the button and as if by magic (okay, the ‘magic’ of Royal Mail who delivered quickly, but decided to deliver everyone on our street with their next door neighbours mail today. Lucky we are all nice, honest people on our street) today the rest of my fabric for P’s quilt arrived. Beautiful,no? And the colours seem to work really well together. Just a slight hiccup…I spent ages deliberating over shades, patterns, price per fat quarter etc. and then failed to notice that the lovely multi polka dot in the top picture is actually fine needlecord as opposed to the cotton of all the other fabrics. Oops.
Anyhow, no problem, I’m sure I’ll find a use for it- at the moment I’m considering a Noni felted market bag which I made (complete with the fiddly fuschias, which I wouldn’t do again) for my mum’s Christmas present a few years back. I think the larger size, lined with the polka dot cord would be rather lovely.
Of course, the real problem I’m left with is that my careful calculations for how much fabric I need are now out by one. I rifled through my fabric stash and could find any number of blues, pinks, florals etc. but no green to speak of at all really. Then I had a peek in my wardrobe and found a Howies skirt from a few years ago. I think I originally fell in love with the cute little mushroom print fabric, but the style has never really suited me- it’s just a tad to short and flouncy for someone of my shape and age. I’ve hung onto it because it wasn’t cheap and because I still harbour one of those daft hopes you have about certain garments that one day you’ll try them on and magically look good. So what better than a reality check for my wardrobe and a chance for that sweet fabric to look so much better as part of a handmade-with-so-much-love quilt? You can see it nestled in the middle of the ‘final collection’ in the second picture. It fits the sort of ‘magical woodland’ theme that seems to have developed in the prints (the fish are obviously in a pond in a clearing!) and gives another lighter shade to the mix.
I’ve given myself backache tonight, sitting for too long on the floor and using my brand new birthday dressmaking scissors to begin cutting out squares. I’m trying to keep track of the time I’m taking to make the quilt and so far, with planning, choosing fabric and now cutting out I’m on 3 and a half hours of uncharacteristically careful work so far. It’s providing a bit of contrast to the knitting though- at the moment I’m working on a commission (I love saying that!) for Audrey’s Tea Shop, which involves fiddly colourwork that it’s good to have a rest from sometimes. I’ll post some pictures of that soon.
Although I know you can’t put a value on bringing up your child, but when Christmas is coming up, it’s tough not bringing any actual money into the household kitty. It’s therefore been a surprise and a delight that following my shop being featured on the front page of Folksy (along with other tea and Britishness themed items), I sold three items- two teapots with cosies and an extra tea cosy! Typical that the labels I ordered a few weeks ago only just turned up in time to go on the last cosy I shipped, but so exciting to have earned money and nice feedback for my handiwork. Only problem is, now my shop only has one lonely teapot in it- yet more knitting to do then.