Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Secret Life of a Knitter by The Yarn Harlot

Have you ever read a book that you just couldn't put down?  I have read quite a few of these and my post today is about one such book.  I want to share and recommend to you all "Yarn Harlot ~ The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

I came across the book purely by chance as I was searching Amazon for crochet books.  I had heard of The Yarn Harlot's fabulous blog and had even taken a peek at it and, before I knew it, it had fallen into my basket and had been bought.  When it arrived I resisted temptation and saved it for my holiday and I am so glad I did! 

Now, I feel it is important to add that, at the time of reading, I was not yet a knitter.  Since then I have learnt to knit (more about that in a later post) and part of this was down to reading this book. 

The book is extremley well written and difficult to put down.  It is organised into sections which are then split into short stories about her knitting experiences, some of which are taken from her blog and some written for the book.  I laughed out loud an awful not (much to my husbands puzzled looks), sympathised with some of her yarny experiences, nodded along and also, at one point in the book, felt particularly sad.  I am not going to share any of the stories with you as it would spoil the book and I hate people who spoil books!!! My favourite part of the book, and it is very difficult to pick just one favourite bit, in The Green Afghan.  

I thoroughly recommend this book for anyone who loves yarn. It is a great accompaniment to any knitter or crocheters book collection and would be most appreciated for a present. 

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Yesterday was a most exciting day, it was Woolfest day!  We (me and my Mum) got up very early and set off on our 2 hour drive to Mitchell's Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth.  I had put the postcode in my Sat Nav, however, just past Keswick it appeared to freeze.  We had no need to panic, as Woolfest was very clearly signposted from the A66.  Parking was easy, with a large number of men directing us to our parking spot and making sure we all budged up to fit all the wool addicts in!  We were a little bit early, but managed to get our tickets, a programme and nip to the loo before we were released into the hall (SQUEAL!)

I have to say I was completley overwhelmed by all the stalls offering a whole range of wools, hand spun, hand dyed, commercial and then there where books, buttons, felt, spinning wheels - the opportunities to spend a small fortune where endless!

We started by visiting the animals.  There where sheep, goats, bunnies and alpacas to admire with lots of information on hand.  We particularly liked the alpacas who where just the cutest things ever!

Angora Bunny


Angora Goats
We then started our shopping, admiring all the yarns and notions on offer.  The choice was immense and you could certainly find something for everyone.  I had a lovely chat to the nice people from Inside Crochet magazine where I purchased a subsrciption and some back issues.  We then headed over to The Textile Garden who sell the most beautiful buttons and shawl pins.  I definitley recommend checking out their website!  Heartfelt by Liz was amazing!  They make beautiful items out of felt and other textiles and had the most amazing flower brooches and hair pins.  We purchased a kit to make them and where able to watch a fabulous demonstration aswell which was truly inspiring (so inspiring we are now looking at a feltmaking course!)  We purchased yarn from Fyberspates and artisanyarns who had a great choice of colours and blends. 

A fraction of my stash!
When we needed to rest our weary feet, there were plenty of places to grab a drink and some food and to have a sit down.  I purcahsed some beautiful lemon cake from a handmade stall and there was even ewes milk icecream, which we didn't have chance to try but I am assured it is delicious!!!  If you fancied some entertainment whilst you rested, you could watch some clog dancing, a harpist or a folk band.

We had a fantastic day and left inspired and ready to start many new projects.  The venue was perfect for the event and extremley well organised with clear signposting, a help desk and plenty of people on hand to help you get the most from your day.  I would recommend heading there with a mission or two to focus you in or you made end up as overwhelmed as I was! 

Next years Woolfest takes place on the 22nd and 23rd June 2012 and I am looking forward to it already!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

An intelligent form of life - well I think so!

Shrek!  What I would give for his merino fleece!

Last week saw the passing of a hero.  A hero of the wooly kind; Shrek the Merino sheep. He became famous when he evaded his shearers in New Zealand for 6 years (yes folks, 6 whole years), hiding in caves!  Eventually he was caught and his 27kg fleece was sheared live on television.  Just think of all the beautiful wooly garments you could make with that fleece.  

The sad death of such a wooly celebrity got me thinking about just how intelligent sheep are.  I mean, you only have to look at the Shaun the Sheep (star of Wallace and Grommit) and the adventures of the Electric Sheep on Hoxton Handmade's podcast, to see that sheep are really rather clever and can be found getting up to all kinds of mischief.  

Joking aside, I have seen and met many sheep in my life and have always thought them to be intelligent creatures.  Whilst on my Scottish adventure I was lucky enough to be staying opposite a whole field of sheep and woke every morning to their baas and bleats.  Many of our day's out involved driving down small country roads  where we encountered sheep.  However, these where not just any old sheep, they where most definitley Commando Sheep.  Commando Sheep is a term that me and Mr Bunny gave to a lamb we had an encounter with a few years ago in the Lake District.  It's Mum had crossed the road, it came running after her down a steep slate hill!  It could see it's life flash before it's little sheepy eyes but luckily managed to stop before plummeting over the edge.  Phew! It then acted as if nothing had happened, jumped down onto the road and ran off to it's Mum.  

The Commando Sheep we met in Scotland where not under as dramatic a circumastance as the one above.  These sheep where on a hunt for pastures new (namely the rather scrumptious looking bush across the road!)  They had cleverly escaped from the field their farmer had put them in.  The Commando Sheep could be seen adopting many military manoeveurs in a bid not to be caught and returned to their field, hiding in the bushes, diving down ditches and quickly clambering through the gap in the fence which they had escaped out of. 

You can't see me hiding in this bush!

I can't seem to fit through this gap in the gate!

So, what more evidence do you need to show you that sheep really are an intelligent animal?  But then  again, for those of us who are addicted to (yes, Mr Bunny now says that I have an addiction) to wool, we already knew that!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Gift of Giving

Happy Birthday to me!

Last week I celebrated my 28th birthday!  I am a great lover of birthdays as it means I get to have a special day for me (I spent it at the coast and visiting a yarn shop!), you get a birthday cake (I love cake) and, best of all, lots of presents for me! 

The tradition of giving gifts can be traced back to as early as Roman times when people gave gifts on a person's birthday as a good luck token.  Many years ago in Europe, people believed that evil spirits would seek you out on your birthday and haunt you and so people would gather together to protect that person with good wishes and so presents became a symbol of this.

I received lots of fab presents for my birthday, some very nice shoes off Mr Bunny, tribal jewellery for bellydancing off my Mum and Dad, jewellery, candles, photo frames, smellies and chocolate off other friends and family members for me to enjoy as well! 

I also received a crafty crochet gift off my best friend, Mrs Shinybees (she has a fab crafty blog you can check out) of some gorgeous Sirdar Snuggly wool, which I have already petted, and patterns for a cloche hat that I can't wait to start making!

A very thoughtful gift for a crocheter!

Sometimes, however, people give you gifts and it isn't your birthday or Christmas.  I love these gifts, both giving and receiving them!  Quite often I buy gifts that I have seen and think someone would appreciate.  This week I received a fabulous present in the post from the lovely Ali (writer of the fabulous Random Wooliness blog)  who was the winner of the beautiful red book pouch in my giveaway.  She has made and sent me some fabulous felted bunnies that are just so cute! 

Aren't they just so cute?!
 They have been made by needle felting, using some merino and silk blend fibre and the dark brown one from some uncarded wool covered with fibre.  I feel very honoured to be the recipient of such beautiful gifts and am going to place them in very special places.  Thank you so much Ali!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Happy holidays and crocheting in public!

Well, what a holiday I have had and I am going to share some of the highlights right here over the next few weeks!  I have just returned from a fabulous week in Scotland (well I got back about 2 hours ago!).  Mr Bunny and I stayed in a beautiful cottage in a tiny place called Minto surrounded by hills, plenty of sheep and a couple of peacocks!  There has been plenty of rest, a fair bit of crafting and quite a lot of sight seeing and shopping. 

Me outside our gorgeous holiday cottage!
 I took along enough crochet projects to keep me busy, for a couple of years, some journaling supplies and a couple of books (one of which I absolutley loved and will be reviewing in the not to distant future).  I finally got round to crocheting the mitts to match my Rapunzel snood and made a few more granny squares for my patchwork blanket.  There was plenty more that I am saving for future blog posts)

Today is Worldwide Knit in Public day.  I would have loved to have attended an event (and there where a few not too far away from me) but as we where driving back from bonny Scotland this was not logistically possible.  So, to make up for it, as we drove back I made Mr Bunny stop at Carter Bar on the border and take my picture as I crocheted in public both in England and in Scotland! 

Crocheting in England

Crocheting in Scotland