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

Saturday, 27 April 2013

#4KCBWDAY7 - Looking Forward

I've done it! I've reached the final day of the fourth Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and I've published every single day.
The final task of the week is to look forward to what I hope to have achieved by Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2015.  Here are my 3 things to do:
1.  Tunisian Crochet
I have already started to learn tunisian crochet and know 3 stitches! By next year, I hope to have mastered more stitches and to have made a large project, an item of clothing or a throw, using it.
By next year I want to have taught crochet workshops!
3.  Design
I have already designed quite a few crochet items. These are born from ideas in my head which I then crochet up, adapting as I go along. However, I've never written them down properly (they are all recorded in 'Sarah Speak'. By next year, I hope to have written up one of my patterns, had it test crocheted and published it.
So, this time next year, will I have achieved any of my goals?
Do you have any craft goals you hope to achieve by #5KCBW?
Until next time,
Sarah x

#4KCBWDAY6 - Tools of the Trade

Today is day 6 of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and today's task is to write a post all about the tools of our trade.  I'm going to share with you my thoughts and feelings about the humble crochet hook!

A selection of my hooks
Hook It!

A poor workman blames his tools, sothey say, but actually the tools we use are extremley important in our craft. The right hook in crochet can allow us to crochet quickly and smoothly and to enjoy the project we are working on.  Choose badly, and we can end up cursing, trying to unsnag bits of yarn and generally end up frustrated and annoyed. 

Now I have acquired a complete mismash of crochet hooks - various sizes, materials and makes of hook. I have metal, wooden, plastic, teeny tiny, enormous, Pony, KnitPro and Clover to name but a few.  Some I love and some I hate.

My favourite hook has to be the Clover hook.  The particular range I use are the soft touch which have an ergonomic handle which makes them really comfortable to hold, especially improtant when, like me, you are doing a lot of crochet often for long periods of time.  The hook part is a brushed metal which is smooth allowing for easy movement with your work and no snagging. It is also slightly pointy making it great for pushing into those small, tight stitches when making items like amigurumi. I am slowly acquiring a collection of Clover hooks and, when purchasing a new hook, this is what I tend to buy.

The Clover Soft Touch
My least favourite hooks are bamboo.  I know that people rave about bamboo hooks and needles but I just don't get it.  Yes they are pretty but I find them really difficult to work with and that the yarn 'sticks' to the hook.  The only exception to this is the wooden KnitPro hooks (the very pretty multicoloured ones) which I can work with but only with certain yarns and only the larger sizes (they have a rounder head than the Clover hooks and I find them easier to work with when I'm crocheting loose items). I did have a 3mm KnitPro wooden hook which I snapped within 10 minutes as it was so thin and couldn't cope with, what is obviously, my Hulk strength!

I have thought long and hard about how I choose a hook to purchase. Here are my 3 things to consider when choosing a crochet hook:

1)  Comfort - to enjoy any craft it needs to be comfortable.  Nobody wants to do something that hurts them.  Try out different hooks before commiting to purchasing a whole set.  It is worth borrowing a friends hooks to see if they work for you or just purchasing a different type of hook as needed until you find the most comfortable for you.

2)  Price - Honestly, this does matter.  I have been guilty of buying a whole set of hooks on EBay, from some far off land, for what I thought was a bargain price (infact, I've done this twice!)  On both occasions I have received hooks that are poor quality and un-usable.  That isn't to say that bargains can't be found - I have had amazing hooks from charity shops for 50p each that I will never part with as well as the odd free hook in a magazine which has been great.  It is, however, worth investing a little bit of money in a decent hook that will last you and make crocheting an enjoyable craft.

3) Appearance - I am guilty of being drawn to the pretty shiny purple hook or the beautiful multicoloured KnitPro hook.  I am a bee (see #4KCBWDAY1 post) and so naturally am attracted to the shiny things in life.  However (and this is a good however) do not buy a hook just because it is pretty!  Some of my prettiest hooks and mere ornaments, displayed in jars in my craft room because I just can't use them.  The hooks I use the most are probably the least attractive to look at but they get the job done!

The very pretty KnitPro hook - but I rarely use it!

It is definitley worth reading reviews of hooks (like this post) and talking to other crocheters about the hooks that work, and those that don't, for them.  But remember, always choose the hook that works best for you, your hands will thank you in the end.

Do you have a particular tool that you just can't live without?  What are your favourite hooks or needles to work with?

Until tomorrow,

Sarah x

Friday, 26 April 2013

4KCBWDAY5 - Something a little bit different!

Today's Knitting and Crochet Blog Week task has been a massive challenge - to blog in a different way to the way I normally do.  That really only left 2 options, audio or video.

I have opted for a video blog. A pretty big challenge although not as hard as I thought it would be.  It has taken me 5 attempts to record my final video (mainly because I have no idea how to edit it!) but I am pretty pleased with it and watching it back and listening to myself was not as painful as I thought it would be.

I'm hoping to post some video tutorials up in the future so let me know what you think of my first attempt at a video blog.
Until tomorrow,
Sarah x

Thursday, 25 April 2013

4KCBWDAY4 - Colour Review

What colours do you tend to buy when you shop for yarn or fabric?  That is the question I am going to answer today.  I'm going to look at this in   parts.  What I favour when I buy, what I have actually used in my projects and what I have in my stash.  Will they be the same?  Let's find out!

What do I buy?
I love colour and generally like anything that is bright and colourful.  I love multicoloured fabrics and variagated yarns, probably why I love sock yarn.  I buy lots of purple, teal and pink as these are colours I love.  I know now that I avoid black, white, cream and brown unless they are for a particular project and generally that will be for someone else.

What have I used in my projects?
Lots of purple.  Lots and lots of purple in jumpers and cardigans.  I have also used pink and turquoise and many variagated yarns in shawls and blankets.  I have used green for a gorgeous hooded cardigan which isn't a colour I'd normally used but is an item I wear a lot.

Project Colours

What do I have in my stash?
My stash contains: purple, teal, pink, turquoise, lots of variagated sock yarns in various colours and some cream.  I have sparkly yarn aswell as I love a bit of sparkle. 

A small selection from my stash!

It is really interesting to look at my yarn colours and see that I use lots of the same colours.  I do feel that I need to expand my colour choices.  I'd love to introduce some more green and orange into my stash as well as grey.

Take a look at your yarn stash.  What colours do you have?  Do you tend to be drawn to the same colours?

Until tomorrow.

Sarah x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

4KCBWDAY3 - Infographic

What a challenge for today!  Infographs combine images and texts in a way which visually communicates a piece of information.  (Think Venn diagrams, pie charts and other graphs)  They can be extremley accurate and scientific or can be just for fun.

Strangley enough, I have opted for a fun one today which is by no menas accurate and should not, under any circumstances, be taken seriously!!! I shocked myself with this choice as I am quite mathematical and would have thought I'd go for a lovely mathematical infograph but the lure of using sweets to express information was just to great.

Project Distribution

I have chosen to create an infograph to show the distribution of my craft projects.  Generally I make for 3 groups of people: me (yellow sweets), friends and family (blue sweets) and to sell (green sweets).  The infographs below show firstly I how would like my distribution of craft projects to look and secondly how it looks in realistically.

Project distribution I would like

Project distribution I have

As you can clearly see, I would like to be making lots of things for me (like that skirt I've been planning on making for the past year), some for family and friends and some for selling.  Realistically, I make less for myself than anything else with most of my projects being made for selling.

What would your infograph look like to show your craft project distribution?

Until tomorrow.

Sarah x

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

KCBW4 - Day 2: The Mascot Project

Yesterday my task was to assign myself to a house and, as you may remember, I decided I was a bee as I flit from project to project when something 'shiny' grabs my eye.

Today's task is to choose a project that is somehow linked to our house.

I could have chosen a cute crocheted amigurumi bee but I thought outside if the box and have actually chosen my ongoing project - The Hexapuff blanket. This happens to be the crocheted  version of the knitted Beekeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits and is so called because it resembles the hexagons within a bee hive.

This project us great for us bees for a number of reasons:
1) You can leave it at any time to flit off to do another project bday easily return to it days/weeks or even months later very easily
2) 1 hexagon crochets up really quickly so you don't get too bored
3) It is a great way of using up left over yarn from all if those projects on the go and so is all multicoloured to keep us interested!

My blanket is a WIP (work in.progress) and has a long way to go before it is finished! It mainly uses sock yarn (I love the stuff - the colors are soooo beautiful!!) and I use up all of my left over yarn from my other projects and so it changes colour and texture and keeps me interested!

What project would you have chosen to represent us bees?

Until tomorrow!

Sarah x

Monday, 22 April 2013

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 1

It's here! Day 1 of knitting and crochet blog week. It has very quickly come around and I feel completely unprepared. I am writing this whilst waiting outside the school I'm working in today as I'm really early (I've never been.good.at judging how long it will take to get to places!)

The subject of today's post is to choose my house (just like in Harry Potter!)

After much deliberation  the Sorting Hat has placed me in Bees. It has chosen this house due to my inability to stick to just one project. I'm easily distracted by a new project and don't think twice about dropping my existing project to start a new one!

If you want to find out which house you are in then check out the lovely Eskimimi Makes blog!

Until tomorrow,

Sarah x

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Words of Wisdom

This weeks words of wisdom reflect something I did on Friday. Something that I shocked myself with but am now pretty proud of myself for doing (and which shows I'm definitely much better than I was months ago!)

On Friday I said no! This might not sound like a big deal but historically, I'm the person who does everything they're asked and never says no.
I was asked to do something that I didn't agree with for a number of reasons, most importantly that it was completely inappropriate for the children I've been working with.

Saying no can be the hardest thing to do, but when it's a matter of what you believe, we  need to have the courage to stand up and be counted.

Until next time,

Sarah x

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Monday 22nd April sees the start of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013!  In it's 4th year, it is a way of knitters and crocheters coming together as a community of bloggers.  The wonderful Eskimimi Makes has come with a topic for each day of the coming week for us all to use as our blogging inspiration.

This is the first year that I've participated, and after seeing the wonderful posts last year, I am really looking forward to joining in and seeing what everyone else has been inspired to write.

Its not to late to join in!  Just follow these links to the Eskimimi Makes website to find out everything you need to know!

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 - Join In Here!

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 - Post Topics

If you want to follow all the posts, participants will be using the hashtag #KCBW4 on Twitter and other social media sites.

Until next time.

Sarah x

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Words of Wisdom - Glitter

I love glitter - it is shiny and colourful and sparkly. 

Just before Easter, a little girl in the class I am currently teaching was asked how we could make our school better.  her response was to decorate it. 
"How would you decorate it?" she was asked. 
"By painting it with glitter." was her reply, and a wonderful one at that. 
I loved her answer and, infact, I think that if we painted the school with glitter it would look awesome and would make everyone smile.

This weeks Words of Wisdom are inspired by that:

So this week I'm going to make sure I leave a trail of glitter everywhere I go.  I'm going to be sparkly and shiny and make people smile!

Until next time.

Sarah x

Monday, 1 April 2013

Toft Alpaca Open Day

Despite being absolutley knackered, I just had to tell you all about the amazing time we have had at the Toft Alpaca Open Day. 

Me and Mr Bunny headed off early this morning, down the M6 to a little village called Dunchurch just outside of Rugby, the home of Toft Alpaca.  It was really easy to find and they even have their own sign pointing you in the right direction.  When we arrived, we were greeted by a lovely, and very helpful, lady who handed us our leaflets for the day and pointed us in the right direction for parking.

Straight away we booked on our activities - halter walking and the farm tour - and made plans to wet felt, have a brew and shop!

The halter walking involved leading an alpaca around an obstacle course.  This was great fun and I bonded with my alpaca, hugging him and talking to him.  He did, however, refuse to move at some points along the way and was much more interested in chatting with his friends, but all in all, we had great fun.  Mr Bunny had a rather disobedient alpaca but did manage to complete the course twice!!

Me and my alpaca

Mr Bunny and his alpaca

Next it was time for cake and a brew and then for a little but of wet felting.  Even Mr Bunny tried his hand at this and made a rather good piece of flat felt.  I then went shopping.  I resisted the urge to buy any yarn but did buy a rather large quantity of fleece and some buttons.

Plenty of time for shopping!

We finished our morning with a tour of the farm, led by the extremley interesting and knowledgeable Sheila.  We met more gorgeous alpacas and learnt lots about them.

It was an awesome morning and it was free - all we had to pay for was our felting materials which where plenty and came in a Toft bag with an 'I love Alpacas badge' (I will wear mine with pride!).  It was all brilliantly organised and there were plenty of friendly and helpful staff around to make the day run smoothly.

I can't wait for August's open day, which we are definitley going to, where I hope to take in one of the many talks I didn't get chance to today and to hug more alpacas!

Until next time.

Sarah x