Archive for the 'crochet' Category

Work in progress

August 22nd, 2007

It feels like ages since I have posted – after my initial glut of (very long) posts, sampling the delights of blogging, I kinda dried up a bit. That’s more due to having a lot on, and not having my camera around with me to be able to take pictures of the stuff I have acquired. And that has been particularly fruitful recently. How is it that when you are skint, you see some real bargains? I cannot resist a charity shop, and luckily I know a few really good ones. I also seem to have “urges”(not those kind!) to go into shops, and when I have I have managed to find some real bargains. Take this for example -

This vintage peach cut glass dressing table tray was bought for the princely sum of 10p. I am not kidding. Now, although I have a dressing table my set is green, with lots of mismatching trinket boxes and dishes. The peach will not be making an appreance on my dressing table, but I will use it to display some of the things I have made, andwill be nice for sorting beads on, as it has a small lip all the way round to stop them rolling off. I will find some use for it – even standing a plant on it – for 10p I could not resist.

Then this:

for 30p. Yes, charity shops do still have those kind of prices – you just need to know where to look and go when you are being called! It’s a daisy maker, and I have been looking for one for ages, after buying a Golden Hands book for 10p on holiday, that showed a lovely quilt made up of nothing but daisies crocheted together – so pretty.

I do love the instructions – how to be creative. It should be serialised and put into one of the part work magazines that no one manages to collect because newsagents stop stocking it. Like you can learn how to be creative. I feel everyone is creative, just lacking in confidence in their abilities. I also love this woman’s expresison – she’s shocked that her top has daisies on it. Either that or she has really bad wind….
Daisy makers were big in the 70′s when there was a lot of interest in crafts, and then all of a sudden you couldn’t find them anywhere. This was in the middle of a load of knitting patterns, and had the sheet from the magazine, and the daisy maker hadn’t even been made up. Made a few to practice, and I will make these into a baby blanket to sell in my Pinky and Boo shop (when it is eventually set up).

Speaking of Pinky and Boo,I thought I would show you some of the things I have been making for the shop – pincushions galore. Not all of them are finished, but I have made quite a few. Well, about 50 or so….

I think they look better like this though

- much nicer. Some of them are nice and squishy, some have lavender in them so when you push your pins in it releases the smell. They are made either from vintage fabrics, or new fabrics that are vintage inspired, and all have wool felt leaves and crocheted flowers, often made from vintage threads, such as some lovely smocking threads Susan gave me – they are quite hard to use as the fine hook (1mm) splits the threads, but when they are done they look really lovely with a soft sheen, and curl up on themselves like they are just opening up. They are all finished on the bottom with a mother of pearl button.

One of the other things I have been doing is working on other things to sell, and have been making some “rosebud slippers” from a pattern in Essential Crochet” by Erika Knight – a gorgeous book that Pamela gave me – these will have ribbon ties on them, almost like ballet shoes and are really pretty.

So far I have made a pink pair and half of a pair in a lovely eau de nile colour. The purse I have my crochet hooks in was 50p from the same charity shop I got the daisy maker in. I keep my really fine ones that I make the Irish crochet flowers with in an old wooden pencil box I have had since I was a child – keeps them from sliding around too much and getting damaged. I have also been crocheting some dishcloths for a gift pack I am going to make up for the shop, although I may use the experiments pictured here at home myself.

Another long post, so I will go now and get on with some work! xoxo

Karma, and a corner of my nest

August 15th, 2007

Do any of you out there watch “My name is Earl”? I do – love the programme – Randy is my favourite – would like to go out drinking with him, but that is by the by. Reading everyone’s lovely comments, and thinking about how lucky I have been got me thinking about Karma. I try to do good things for people, and live my life by reasonable standards, and I really think it has been paying off with the kindness and opportunities I have been given. It must be the weather or my hormones at the minute but I am feeling very loved -up, and reading your comments has been a lovely boost to my days – thank you x

As I was ranting in an earlier post about living in rented accomodation, I thought I would share the one corner of my home I don’t mind people seeing. It’s one of the only areas myself and my housemate can control what it looks like, and we are very different. My old room in the other house was the attic, and was huge and kinda odd shaped, which I liked. This room is about half the size of my other one, in fact is the same size as the one I used to have as a sewing room. I decided to cover up the grey walls (why – WHY would anyone paint a bedroom mid grey?) with a lovely turquoise colour, and teamed it with a curtain panel made from an old cutwork tablecloth, and some 50′s curtains I adapted. With all my furniture either being vintage dark wood or painted Lloyd Loom stuff, it looks lovely. Apart from the mess. The photo’s are carefully taken to not show the mess, but we won’t go into that …

If you don’t like clutter, look away now. You can still see some!

Here’s my dressing table – with all my pictures, trinkets and bits that I have built up over the years.I have hooks at the side raided from an old wardrobe to hand my necklaces on. The picture in the middle in the wooden frame is one my dad took at a day out at Swanland, a village outside Hull, where I grew up. It was a favourite day out for us for years, and was one of my dad’s favourite pictures. I will take post the picture itself at another time, when I get my head around using the scanner.
This is a picture I took when I was 13 at Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire – gorgeous place. After my dad died I put the photo in this frame for my mam, and it used to sit on her bedside cabinet. I love it as it has such happy memories for me. The doily it is sat on is one from a set that my housemate’s mum, Madelaine bought me – so pretty with Irish crochet roses on it. Next to it is my Wishing Troll, waiting to be picked up and wished on.

This mirror sits above the fireplace – it was my parents, and my dad got it from a mate of his in the 60′s. We had it painted gold, and it weighs a ton as it’s plaster. Managed to get the same one slightly smaller for £3 once in a charity shop, and I painted them both silver and highlighted with silver leaf. Much better.The fireplace in mine and Rach’s rooms were boarded up, and hadn’t been cleaned in about 50 years. The carpet was also covering up the lovely green tiles that form the hearth, which we cut away – such a shame to cover them up when they are so pretty. The fans are ones I collected years ago – have some really lovely and very old ones. They are sitting in some cups that were given to me by a family friend when I was little, to use with my dolls – they have cherry blossom stems painted on them.

This tapestry hangs above my bed – my mam did it years ago, and my dad made the frame for it. I have another much larger tapestry that my mam made and dad framed but as yet I have nowhere to put it. I will find a place for it soon though.

Anyway, I realised just how long my posts have been and so I will keep this for me, a relatively short one, and leave you with a picture of the riple baby blanket I finished the other day, on my bargain wicker chair (£5 including home delivery! I have seen these for £40, so I was very lucky, and glad I snapped it up when I did). This picture was taken just before it started raining, so it was a quick dash inside with chair, blanket and cats!


August 10th, 2007

Second post, and this isn’t so scary after all! Thanks for the lovely comments you gave me on my first post, it is appreciated.
Thought I would get the camera out and have a play with a little bit of the stuff I have acquired recently. I go through phases of getting stuff then droughts – if anyone is a seasoned charity shop addict/thrifter like me then you will probably relate to that.

I have a lot of stuff (scary but exciting to think of taking pictures of it!) and it drives my housemate Rach to distraction at my clutter everywhere. It’s part of my nature – I am naturally messy and something I cannot fight against.
David, my other half helped me sort out the tiny box room that holds my craft stuff, fabric, craft books etc a while ago – I discovered that I loved my life being organised into clear plastic boxes that stack really neatly on top of each other – I could see the contents, and the dust was kept out. Most importantly of all when the cats do a bit of orienteering around my box room (it’s a favourite sport for Stella in particular), they can’t knock the boxes over. Genius! The trouble then is, I have to keep buying boxes to put what I have recently acquired into, and I never seem to have enough boxes for my stuff, so it always looks a mess. And I struggle to get to stuff.

Take, for example my room at the minute (I am too embarassed to even take a picture) – it’s full of stuff for the craft group that we have recently started, stuff I have acquired from charity shops and worst of all, the amount of stuff I have been given – I cannot say no to anything. It will get better, I tell myself when my friend Angela is given the pile of stuff that is for her (big pile) – she recycles anything, and organizes the most brilliant craft supplies days. I will post about that at another time. But then deep down, I know I will just acquire more, and it will be back to square 1 again. Ho hum.

So, on a brighter note I thought I would show you the bag I made from my grandmother’s curtainsI don’t know how this piece of fabric survived, but it did – it was just big enough for this bag. The phot doesn’t really show much of the beading – maybe the light was too strong.

Here’s the reverse.
And a bit of a close up of some of the flowers
some need repairing and re- beading, but considering I made this 2 years ago and have used it constantly I don’t think it’s that bad. When I started it I used some of the beads I had from being a child, and didn’t have enough to use for anything else, so I am pleased I used them up. The lining is from a Rose and Hubble fabric I bought when I was 17 and made a lovely long wrapover skirt (which I still have alhtough cannot fit into right now). It’s only since I have been writing this that I realised the fabric on the outside is Rose and Hubble. Coincidence or what?

As Pamela said she was looking forward to seeing my doilies I mentioned in the first post I thought I would put them on too – the sunlight was quite bright so maybe they aren’t as clear as they could be, and the stitching certainly isn’t, but considering I was either 8 or 9 I don’t think are too bad!


The use of colour has developed (I hope) in some of the stuff I will post later – quite a lot of orange in these. I clearly remember the day we bought them. It was a visit to Haworth (best known as the home of the Bronte sisters) in West Yorkshire. My mother lived nearby for about 15 years, when she worked in a woollen mill, and my parents, as they put it, did a lot of their “courting” round there. My dad had instilled a love of steam engines in me, and I was becoming obsessed already with the Bronte sisters – after watching Jane Eyre on TV, so this was a fantastic day out. When you arrive in Howorth on the steam train, as you walk out of the station, to get to the village you walk uphill through a beautiful park, and at the edge of this park, in what must have been an outbuilding for the station was a haberdashery shop run by 2 little old ladies. I had been given a sewing box my brother made for christmas that year, and wanted to practice my new skills on something other than hankies, so my mam bought me these. I was so, so excited and spent hours trying stitches, pulling them out til I was happy with what you see here. My mam kept them and used them for years, and when we cleared her house out after she died it was one of the first things I made sure I kept.

When I was taking the photos, Boo came along and wanted a fuss, and made sure I couldn’t ignore her by parking herself on one of the doilies. This is one of the few of her “helping” out.

She’s so sloppy she just wants to be picked up and fussed. As soon as I picked her up to take her off the table she started purring… who could resist?

Anyway, after a very long post I will leave you with one of my many works in progress – a baby blanket in the very addictive ripple stitch.