art, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, yarn

Selling Vintage and Craft Goods

I like to joke that I have enough patterns and ideas (not to mention stash) to retire now and be able to do at least 5 years worth of full-time crafting!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working out¬†how best to¬†tinker with¬†all of the crafts that I enjoy, sort out my stash¬†and have come up with a few options…

I’m going to streamline my Etsy shop and focus on accessories – bags, scarves, wraps, gloves and maybe the occasional hat.

Surprisingly, I have missed doing¬†Craft Fairs, I enjoy talking to people, once I get over my initial shyness! ¬†However, I find that the number of people attending, and¬†the current financial situation, for most of us, can mean that there isn’t¬†much profit in it.

I have¬†been looking into some local fairs, where you can sell your goods and clear your stash by selling trimmings, notions, wool and fabric. ¬†Sounds like the perfect fit for me…

This morning I was at my beloved Car Boot Sale (surprise…) and found another stash of vintage magazines. ¬†My friend Anna and I had great fun making up names and stories for each of the slightly cheesy models. ¬†My particular favourite is the ‘hello sailor’ one!

The interesting thing about the 1960s patterns in the below are that the majority of the women’s designs are still very wearable – there are some gorgeous knitted dresses and coats. ¬†Most of the male patterns are not quite so classic and wearable though…

I also found a few 1970s/1980s Vogue and Good Housekeeping materials and a great book on knitting design, which I may have to keep to refer to…

There is also a Vintage Market where I may sell some of my vintage finds and I will just have to shut my eyes and avoid looking at the other stalls (like that is going to happen!)

 

 

 

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Andalusia, craft, crochet, knitting, Spain, spring, travel, Uncategorized

Marbella Yarn Bonanza

After my latest visit to Marbella and another round of the haberdashery stores, I came away with some new ideas and some fantastic cottons.

First up is one of my new projects using more of the fabulous Marbella Cotton which I bought last time. ¬†I’ve decided to make a range of vintage-style cotton shoppers – in the UK as in many places, we’ve become more aware of the use of non-recyclable and plastic bags and so I thought these would be a welcome addition to my range.

These bags will be finished off with straps and lovely large buttons with some ribbon or cord threaded through the top.

As a true yarn freak,¬†I couldn’t help myself but buy, erm, a few more cottons in various colourways – oops!

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My next project is to make a few different versions of my favourite shawl – the original grey one is in a cashmere/cotton blend which makes it a bit on the pricey side, so I felt that a range of different yarns would suit all pockets.

These lovely cotton yarns in coral and soft pastel pinks and blues (again from Marbella) will certainly fit the bill.  I shall be delving into my stash to find some other possibles.

Finally the post-holiday blues meant a visit to my favourite local yarn shop –¬†Marmalade Yarns¬†– I must truly be a regular as this time I earned a discount – yay! ¬†I came away with the three gorgeous yarns above – without a definite plan for them other than I can see them all as lovely wraps or shawls.

First¬†is Fyberspates Vivacious 4Ply, a 100% superwash merino in ‘Sunshine’ – a yellow which is just so bright and spring-like, it makes me smile just to look at it (the test of a true yarn-mad person). ¬†The next yarn¬†is¬†Skein Queen Entwist 4ply, another 100% superwash hand-dyed merino in Emerald Lies, a breathtaking¬†mix of gorgeous greens. ¬†And finally,¬†Rowan Fine Art¬†in Pheasant – a beautiful mix of autumnal colours – reds browns and chestnuts.

So, you would think I have enough to be going on with, but I also have some other plans that I have been working on (more of them later in the week!).

 

 

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cats, craft, crochet, knitting, music, Uncategorized, yarn

Top Ten Review of the Year

Well, another prolonged absence due to work – I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but next year I will make more time to post on my blog as I have missed not being able to post so regularly.¬† Getting organised is half the battle I think…

This year has been an interesting one (in all senses of the word!) – a new addition to my family (OK, so he’s a kitten) and a rebranding of my blog and business as well as opening my Etsy Shop.

Add to that the most manic year of my (full-time) working life and major changes within my working structure – which are all still in a state of flux!

But in many ways a fantastic year, much love and laughter with friends and family, and finding a kindred spirit in crafting in my friend Anna (and her five-year-old Mikey who’s favourite phrase is now “let’s get crafting!”)

So here is my Top Ten Review of the Year on looking back through my blog, I do hope you enjoy it!

One – The arrival of Sir Patrick of Naughtiness

As an Astronomy geek, I managed to persuade Anna and Mikey to name their rescued kitten Professor Brian (Cox) after everyone’s favourite physicist and ex-popstar.¬† I was amazed they went with it…

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I was even more amazed that I ended up rescuing his brother, whom I named Sir Patrick (Moore) after the famous and much beloved Astronomer and BBC Presenter (RIP).¬† It particularly helped that he had a squinty eye in which I could imagine the real Sir¬† Patrick’s monocle.¬† I met the real Sir Patrick¬†once, he was absolutely delightful, and was very kind to me when another celebrity was very rude to me (you know who you are, Michael Fish!).

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Two РOpening my Etsy Shop

This was a long-term aim over the year and was delayed many times due to factors outside of my control!  In the end it was opened in October and I had my first sale within 24 hours.

I haven’t quite had the time since then to promote it as much as I would like, and I have exciting plans for my Etsy shop¬†for 2016, so my upcoming week off in February will be spent at home getting things sorted…

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Three – Vintage Shopping at the Car Booty

Regular readers will know that I love a bargain.¬† Most Sundays I can be found at Frome Car Boot Sale, rummaging around in other people’s junk.¬† For several months this year I had an amazing run on vintage notions and patterns and went a bit overboard buying them.

I have now decided to offload some of them in 2016 when I take part in a Craft Fair which also lets you sell related goods.  Some, though, I cannot bear to part with!

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Four РYarn, lovely Yarn

I wrote about my yarn addiction on several occasions, it has perhaps got a little out of hand, especially after I visited the Kensington Olympia Knitting and Stitching show in March – but I did get some beautiful yarns, including the cashmere / cotton blend to make this lovely shawl on my Etsy Shop.

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Five – Devon knows how they make it so lovely

Through my lovely friend Anna, I’ve had the chance to visit Chagford, in Devon on the edge of Dartmoor, twice this year for Craft Fairs.¬† Such a beautiful place and the people are so friendly and welcoming, it’s a real treat to visit there. ¬†Bonus treat – the tiny ponies and other cute critters at the Miniature Pony Centre nearby.

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Six – Holidays-a-go-go!

I’ve been extremely lucky this year with holidays – having a gorgeous week in Marbella in March, with Mum, and then again in Bayeux in June with Mum, Dad and my brother.¬† The first time we’d all been away together for several years.¬† Both were fabulous holidays, much needed and much enjoyed, and allowed me to expand my stash even more with some really lovely yarns and notions (as well as some cheeky¬†goats producing the softest mohair)

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Seven – My first giveaway of Crochet Patterns

In October I gave away the pattern for my first designed project, some mini Halloween Treat Baskets – to fill with yummy chocolates.¬† I had great fun designing the different faces and putting together a beginner’s project which I was happy to share for free.¬† Although a simple design, it has given me a taste for more!

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Eight – Geek Loveliness

A fabulous year of nerd-dom¬†has been bookended by Star Wars. ¬†In May I posted about my trip to Marbella and the surprise of hearing a youth orchestra starting up with the Star Wars¬†soundtrack – I have never departed¬†a cafe in such a hasty fashion¬†before… ¬†In May I also posted a cheeky geeky guide and then followed up with a visit¬†to the Doctor Who Exhibition in September with my family. ¬†There is an adventure to go through which is rather interactive – I was more scared than the kids!

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Nine – Animals A-Plenty

It never surprises me that my most popular posts tend to be around my two black cats, Ella and Sir Patrick.  After all, they are endless sources of amusement to me!

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Ten – Art and Crafts

And back to my main loves Рart and crafts.  In April I visited Standen, a home filled with delights from the Arts and Craft movement which I so admire.  Moving on to June I waxed lyrical about Salvator Rosa, one of my favourite artists, and in July I wrote about the beautiful lace that I encountered on my goaty adventures in Bayeux (and of course the famous Tapestry).

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And finally, throughout the year I have been extolling the virtues of crafting,¬†thank you for joining me on my journey this year, and here’s to 2016!

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Uncategorized

Don’t be a Dummy! (or rather, do!)

As regular readers of my blog will know, I love a bargain and most of all my local car boot sale…

One of my recent purchases was an adjustable mannequin Рit is a bit on the skinny side for me to use to make clothes.  Add to that that my dressmaking skills would horrify the gorgeous Patrick and May from the Great British Sewing Bee!

I did have plans for this mannequin though (unlike some of my random car boot purchases like these…)

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I do love vintage patterns and haberdashery items, so I am sure there will be a use for these somewhere (even if with these patterns, it is just to have a laugh at the 1980s typical lack of style!

So, with my Etsy shop back on track (opening up later this week), I have put a temporary calico cover on the mannequin to show off some of my scarves and wraps. ¬†Here’s a little sneak preview…

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Happy crafting!

Lou x

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Uncategorized

Marbella Crafting Fun!

Well, I’m pretty much unpacked and back to normal (ish) after my trip to Marbella with Mum. ¬†The dull British weather has certainly brought me back down to earth with a bump!

I managed to find the haberdashery/wool shop again in Marbella, but was a bit disappointed with their lack of range. ¬†I did manage to find one yarn that I really liked – Retinella by Oso Blanco. ¬†It’s a mix of Merino and Acrylic with a bit of Polyester to add a bit of sparkly shimmer. ¬†It feels like an Aran / Worsted weight but knits up as Bulky. ¬†I’m making a stretchy V Stitch crocheted scarf with this.

I also bought some more of the Marbella Cotton which made up lovely coasters which I left at the Marbella apartment last time and was glad to see that they are still there being used!

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On our last couple of days we wandered around trying to find a shop that we had seen earlier in trip.  The Old Town in Marbella is full of windy cobbled streets which all look the same, but I have a pretty good sense of direction (usually!)  We found the shop but on our way discovered another Wool Shop which had a fabulous range of Lanas Stop yarn.  This is really good quality stuff РI bought some in Bath and it cost me a fortune, but made up this lovely simple ribbed Alpaca mix scarf for my Dad when I first learnt how to knit.

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So I went a teensy bit mad, bought some gorgeous Extra Merino double knit in burnt orange, to make a scarf for Mum, and¬†Algod√≥n Soft which is 3-4 ply and I’m not sure what to do with it but I’m sure it’ll make something very pretty.

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More news to follow about my Etsy plans and also naughty cat behaviours!

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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Uncategorized

Vintage Craft Style – Part II

Afternoon all!

I have spent a lovely morning with my friends at the Car Boot Sale – after not having gone for several weeks, I realised just how much I had missed it…

My last post was focused on vintage patterns – this week I’m sharing some of my vintage purchases. ¬†I am a complete sucker for anything crocheted or knitted, as I still consider myself a bit of a beginner, I love to work out how they made it and how I might recreate it or perhaps use that design in another way.

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I’m sure I have many weaknesses at the Car Boot Sale, so I couldn’t resist these. ¬†I can remember having a sewing kit from a very young age, with some poppers and needles which seemed, even then in the 70s, quite ancient. ¬†Now they look even older but with age comes a better appreciation of them!

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Yesterday I attended a knitting class at my local haberdashery, and got into a long conversation with one of the other attendees about how I enjoy reusing old knitting needles.  I was given a large batch from a friend of the family, whose Mum was no longer able to knit and she wanted them to go to a good home.  I love using these knitting needles, not only are they more comfortable and easy to use, but as I am using them my mind wanders in contemplation of what they may have made and how much enjoyment she had from using them, as I do now.

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My final pile of vintage purchases includes some mending yarn, tools of the trade (including the bell for sizing needles / hooks, which I absolutely love. ¬†There are a few tools there I’m not too familiar with – I wonder what they are used for? ¬†My favourite in this stash though has to be the woven labels – two little boxes half-full with printed labels for ‘Drawing Room’ and ‘Dining Room’.

My overactive imagination has been unleashed, leaving me pondering the origin of these labels РI am picturing them being sewn into the linens in a Gosford Park / Downton Abbey setting.

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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Uncategorized

Works in Progress and looking to the past…

Morning all!

What a lovely weekend it’s been so far – I had an extra day off on Friday and it has made such a difference. ¬†Spent this morning dancing and singing around the house like a whirling dervish. ¬†That’s what happens when you put on your¬†Britpop CD rather than getting on with writing your blog…

I’ve been happily getting on with some long overdue gifts, including my first project for myself! ¬†I recently posted about my Dad’s ‘Hombre for Ombre’ scarf, which he loves, but realised I had neglected to list the yarn used – it was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran which I bought at my temple – the wonderful Peter Jones (a John Lewis shop at Sloane Square, London).

This amazing shop is so much quieter than the John Lewis on Oxford Street, yet the range of goods (especially wool / haberdashery) is fabulous Рand the Christmas decorations are to be seen to be believed.  Mum and I do an annual pilgrimage every early December for presents and atmosphere (perhaps also a bit of cake!)

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As discussed in my last post I had finished an Infinity scarf for Mum – ssh, she doesn’t know about it yet – made in the same Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran as Dad’s scarf. ¬†I think this is the quickest scarf I have ever crocheted. ¬†If you haven’t already had a go at an Infinity scarf just do it, you can knock one up in an evening or two… ¬†This is just alternate rows of double crochet and treble crochets (UK terms). ¬†Finish at around 60 inches, and flip one end over before sewing up – this enables you to wrap it around your neck so it lies flat and can either be wrapped double or triple to make a real neck warmer…

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When I first started knitting I made Dad a simple ribbed scarf from Lanas Stop Top Merino which I bought in Wool, a lovely knitting shop in the beautiful Spa City of Bath, which I am lucky to live very near to. ¬†This was my first attempt at knitting and I was actually quite pleased with the outcome. ¬†As with all handmade things it has a few quirks (I don’t like to call them mistakes!) but that adds to its charm in my opinion… ¬†I must admit this was my favourite yarn so far to knit with, it was just gorgeous.

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My brother and Mum also benefited from¬†knitted gifts in the early days – these were both from patterns on Ravelry – on the left¬†Concombre¬†– I called it ‘Concombre en Bleu’ – as a French scholar my brother appreciated this. ¬†This was made in Rico Soft Merino Aran, again bought at Wool. ¬†Lovely to work with and holds its shape well. ¬†He was so appreciative of the hard work that he only wore it on special occasions… ¬†I told him to not be daft¬†and¬†get on and wear it…

Mum’s scarf ‘Easy on the Eye’ from Easy Eyelet¬†pattern¬†on Ravelry was made in Jarol Heritage 4 Ply which I bought in the bargain bin at my local haberdashery shop (don’t tell Mum!) – I ¬†must admit I found it hard knitting¬†with a much thinner yarn…

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I do have a hankering to do more knitting, so this will be my next plan РI have two classes coming up mid February at my local haberdashery shop РIntermediate Crochet Cables and Intermediate Knitting Рso hopefully will learn lots of great new techniques from those.

Finally I have to post another work in progress – I have never made anything for myself so finally took the plunge. ¬†I bought some Sirdar Americana DK in the reduced¬†bin at my local haberdashery (again – I love a bargain!) and it wasn’t until I started making myself a wrap that I realised this yarn crochets up to something much more beautiful than expected.

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This pattern is from Red Heart on Ravelry – it looks so pretty with a variegated yarn. ¬†I can’t wait to finish it so I can enjoy the fruit of my efforts for the first time…

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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