The Violet Blanket has been a labour of love, that I have been working at on and off for the past two years, and I finally finished it last week. I started it the first summer that I lived in the USA and whenever I found myself looking for something to do, I would crochet a square. 240 squares and several months later, I had crocheted as many squares as I needed. However, soon after, I started a new job and then moved back to the UK, so the poor squares sat waiting to be sewn together for months. Once my craft things from the UK got delivered to Lincolnshire, I picked up my crochet hook and finally the blanket was completed.
I was absolutely thrilled with the outcome. The blanket is made up of granny squares, in a mix of pink, blue, teal, purple and cream, and has a grey and cream scalloped border. It measures 60″ by 55″ and has a nice heavy feel to it, perfect for snuggling under on the sofa. Each of the granny squares I hand-crocheted myself, then crocheted together and finally, added the border.
It was my mother-in-law who suggested the name ‘The Violet Blanket’ because of the purple. I loved the suggestion and think it suits the blanket perfectly, so that’s what it’s called. I look forward to making the next one!
Here is a behind the scenes tour of my lovely little craft studio, all ready for launch day. I’m not going to lie…it’s not normally this tidy! I’m completely in love with this space and plan to spend a lot of time in here getting things made!
So, six weeks after I ran down the stairs with rightmove open on my phone, shouting ‘Matt, Matt I’ve found our house!’ we’ve had confirmation that the contracts have been exchanged and we will be getting the keys to our first house on Monday. To say we’re excited would be a bit of an understatement. The house couldn’t be more perfect. It’s a three bedroom semi-detached cottage in a small village not far from Louth. The house itself ticks all the boxes. You walk in through the porch into a little kitchen-diner, where we’ll have just enough room for a sofa and a dining table with four chairs. The kitchen is small, but the space has been used beautifully, so we’ll have no problem cooking up a storm in there. Even with my tendency to turn into a hurricane in the kitchen. There’s a double oven, so I will be able to bake to my heart’s content. The living room is off to the side and has a wood burning stove! We have plans to make it look like a country manor in there, with tartan blankets, tweed cushions and a wooden stag’s head for the wall (don’t worry, no stags will be harmed in the making of our living room decor. I’m insistent on fake taxidermy.) Upstairs, we’ll have three decent sized bedrooms. The smallest will become an office for my husband, for now, and the second bedroom will be the guest room. It will be lovely to friends and family to stay without having to put guests on the sofa-bed in the living room! None of the rooms are overlooked and we’ll have a lovely view of the Lincolnshire countryside from all of the bedrooms.
However, the joy of all of this pales in comparison to how excited we are about the outside of the house. As mentioned in my last post, both my husband and I wanted a workshop and thought we’d end up with a house with one workshop that we would have to fight over. THIS HOUSE HAS TWO WORKSHOPS!!! Both come with power and lighting and I’m happy to say, I’m getting the particularly nice brick one. I could not have asked for a more perfect studio for my crafty ventures. Finally my craft stuff will all have a home and no more will I be squirreling away balls of wool all over the house. It’s going to be a couple of weeks until the things we shipped from America will be delivered, but in the mean time, I will be giving the craft workshop a lick of paint and getting it looking all beautiful. I should probably put a kettle in there as I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave!
The house also comes with a lovely garden, complete with a vegetable patch, fish pond and a couple of fruit trees. I’m determined I’m going to become a green-fingered wizard and will grow all kinds of fruits and veggies for us to eat, freeze, pickle and make into jams. We’re planning on getting some chickens soon too. I’m claiming it’s for the eggs, but really I’ve always wanted some as pets. Not sure what the dog will make of the chickens, but we’ll see how that goes.
It’s now just under a month until we move into our new house. I am crazy excited. Not just before it will be the first house that we’ll be buying, not renting, but also because I am almost at three months without my craft stuff and I am starting to get withdrawal symptoms! I’ve already got my craft workshop earmarked and have been busy planning where everything will go. It’s going to be the perfect space and I cannot wait to get all of my jars of buttons and piles of fabric on the shelves.
So what’s a girl to do without her supplies for 3 months? Book craft fairs, of course! I now have seven booked for the coming year across Lincolnshire and I’m getting more and more excited by the minute. I love love LOVE craft fairs. Granted, I get super stressed in the run up and everything in the house normally ends up covered in wool and fabric during my last minute panic, but it’s still one of my favourite things to do. There is nothing like the feeling of looking at the table once I’ve laid everything out at the fair and knowing that I made everything by hand. I also love chatting to fellow stall holders and customers. I nearly always come away with something I have bought from another stall and pick up plenty of tips for the next fair, and people visiting fairs are always super complimentary about my products and table. I love talking to people about things I’ve made and always like to hear people’s plans for things they hve bought from me.
One of the plus sides of not being able to do the usual amount of making that I do is that it’s giving me extra time to plan for the fairs. I already have my table lay out pictured in my head and am much more organised with my paperwork than normal. Who knows, by the time I moved into my new craft studio, I might even have got my emails organised. Now that would be a miracle!
Our first fair is the Easter Bazaar at the Beachcomber, Cleethorpes on Sunday 16th April, so if you’re in the area that day, make sure you stop by to say hello. We promise it’ll be a good one!
After an exciting two years away in the USA, Rose Petal Cottage is now back in the UK. It was fantastic having the opportunity to sell my products at US craft fairs and to meet American crafters. I’m certainly going to miss the great big craft super stores that I had down the road from me! Packing up my craft workshop, I realised just how many more craft supplies I had acquired while being over there, and I can’t wait until it makes its way across the Atlantic so that I can start crafting again. There’s only so much wool you can fit in a suitcase when you also have to bring clothes! We also brought our little dog, Otto, back from the USA with us and he is looking forward to starting his role as craft assistant in the UK.
Now that we’re back, it’s super exciting to be getting settled. We’re currently looking at buying our first house, and naturally, I’ve got my eye out for the perfect craft room. As my husband is also looking for a house with a workshop for his woodwork, I can see us getting into a craft-related turf war. Sawdust vs buttons. Lathe vs sewing machine. Lumber vs wool. I can see it getting messy. I can’t wait until we’ve found the right house for us and all of my crafty stuff can finally get a permanent home.
I’ve now got my first couple of craft fairs booked in Lincolnshire, starting at the end of March, and I am very much hoping that we get settled by then. It’s going to be great to be able to start attending craft fairs regularly, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to start attending them on a weekly basis. I like selling online, but nothing beats being able to talk to customers in the flesh as they buy my lovingly made creations.
2017 is going to be a very exciting year for Rose Petal Cottage!