Thursday, 16 October 2014

Making something a little different................

........from the usual sewing.

Decoupage coasters from vintage ephemera.

vintage French ephemera..........

vintage French adverts

.........and old Christmas cards from the US fromVictorian times through to the 1950's.

I have lots of these bought off eBay a few years ago, knowing I would use them for a project at some point.

All these photos show decoupaged coasters at various stages, awaiting the next coat of varnish or drying.

I shall back them in felt and make up bundles tied in ribbon, jute or raffia.

This is fun!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Latest Vintage Finds and Festive Sewing!

Hi everyone and thank you for your comments on my last few crochety posts!

Things are settling back down now into the usual term time rythym when my thoughts turn to getting back on with improving the home (forever ongoing!), more furniture painting, and, with the Festive season only a mere 10 weeks away (eek!) lots and lots of sewing of stock for Xmas Fairs.

Part of the regular term time jaunts include a visit to the local Antique and Flea market, and the photos here show some of the lovely "stuff" I found last week - lots of pretty white embroidered linens, laces and crochet trims, some lovely vintage floral fabric, embroidered traycloths and tablecloths, some tiny monograms, a vintage knitting pattern, and lots more.

The stitching on the following few pieces is so incredibly neat and tiny!

I found this gorgeous embroidered table cloth below with  all four corners embroidered with colourful cottage garden flowers. It's a shame it has a few holes but still lovely enough to use at it is.

This beautiful vintage floral fabric has a few holes too, but there is enough for a cushion cover cutting around the holey bits!

I've also made a start on stitching Christmas hangers as they always seem to go down well at Fairs.

First up this year, as they take the longest to make, are some cross-stitch hearts with a Nordic feel.

I've had great fun designing these little cross-stitch tree and snowflake designs below, but the first snowflake design above was based on a tiny little vintage pin-cushion that I have.

I shall also make some using a vintage natural linen I recently sourced - just started a white embroidered one.

And I shall be making more of the vintage white wool red stitched hearts that usually go down well..............

And more rustic country-style hessian trees (some of these hangers below, left over from last year, are now available in my Etsy shop ).....................

more tea-stained ticking doves...........

and more festive gingham hearts.

Better get on then!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A Cowl and More Yarn

Well, no sooner said than done!

And two post in two days......after a month with none.

For those of you who haven't a clue what I'm talking about, I've only just returned to blogging after a summer break and found myself swept along on a crochet roll as the weather has turned wetter and colder.

And having dared to share a hat, I am now sharing the cowl I made yesterday in the same wool, shown in some rather fuzzy selfies, and also showing that instead of spending time crocheting I should really have been doing some housework and cleaning the hall mirror.

I couldn't wait to get started on crocheting a cowl, mentioned in my last post only yesterday, so yesterday afternoon as the rain poured down, I trawled Ravelry for a cowl pattern and found this brilliant one from Sarah at Annaboo's House, a lovely blog which I have somehow managed to lose track of and haven't visited in a long time.

And I see she has another cowl pattern in her latest post - one talented lady!

Within a couple of hours I had made the cowl in the same rust wool as the hat I made at the weekend, mainly because I had little choice in the matter as it was the only chunky yarn I had. I didn't have the large hook needed either, a whopping 15mm one, so just used the largest one I had, a 10mm hook.

I then had to adapt the pattern a little to allow for the smaller hook, but the excellent instructions meant this was no bother. It is an easy make, and very quick, with a straightforward pattern. I decided not to make this cowl as deep as the pattern instructions, but the next one I might make a little deeper so I get an extra fold.

But it fits beautifully and I know I shall wear this lots.

After this crochet frenzy in the last couple of days, and having stirred myself up yesterday with thoughts of other yarny goodness, I rushed out this morning and succumbed to some lovely soft and chunky yarn so that I can make more hats and cowls in colours other than the rust.

Firstly, this lovely soft Super Chunky Hatfield yarn with  20% wool, in a lovely soft blueberry heathery colour that I was imagining when writing yesterdays post - I was very happy when I spotted this, and despite Bella's reluctance so far to have anything made in crochet, she is now wavering, with thoughts of a cowl in this pretty yarn.

I bought enough for either two cowls, or a cowl and a hat.

As I also fancied another hat in the same pattern as the rust one, this time in a quiet, tweedy type of yarn that would go with anything, I chose this super soft and chunky Sirdar Husky. In tweedy browns, there should be enough here for one soft hat.

I shall also be buying some gorgeous wool from this online shop recommended by Gillian from Hookin' a Yarn blog - the New Lanark Shop - some lovely yarn here, the soft colours are wonderful, and such good prices. 

Thanks for the link Gillian!

Sigh of contentment.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Crochet Hats


As the weather now turns more determinedly autumnal, my thoughts turn to crochet - and to  autumnal coloured yarns reflecting nature: shades of greens, browns, russets, reds and oranges and yellows, tweedy yarns even, and the colours of heathers, the soft mauves and purples (Scottish holiday influence!) - and I'm thinking textures - textured cushions, blankets, hats, gloves, scarves and cowls. 

I'm definitely on a bit of a crochet roll at the I mentioned in my last post, a crochet cloche hat was on the cards and is now indeed made.

Using this excellent pattern on Ravelry, it made up easily in a couple of hours or so. A lovely pattern, very straightforward, a joy to follow. I used a UK half treble crochet throughout where it said hdc in US terms, and a UK treble where it said dc - worked for me and looks just like the picture and fits a treat (although I used all the same yarn instead of stripes).

You need to use an aran weight or similar yarn as the pattern recommends, ordinary dk would be too floppy I would imagine.

I used just over a ball (100g) of a pure wool Sirdar Norsgarn, one of 6 balls which I bought new off eBay for a few pounds, although I suspect it is a  good few years old. It is a lovely very soft but very thick wool with a tufted and fibrous just off the spinning wheel look about it. It is lovely to crochet with. I used a no. 5 hook as per the pattern, which I should have added is a free Ravelry download.

It is such a neat little hat which holds its shape well, and you can wear it various ways. I think its going to be a very useful hat and I must admit I'd like to make another. Maybe add a flower to the side - or a bow as per the pattern. Or a nice tweedy wool one - browns or greens, or maybe a soft flecky heathery mauve? I'm thinking Harris Tweeds, earthy colours.

I'm wearing it more conventionally than I intended in the photo above, with the brim slightly turned up at the sides and worn further back on my head, as when I wear it turned down and pulled lower a la cloche style, my cruel family start humming the tune to Bill and Ben the flower pot men.................but us craftswomen are used to this, and are hardened and impervious to our family's occasionally less than complimentary comments by now. We care not.

So I am the owner of three new hats for this season - the lovely tweed and velvet cloche shown in my previous post, the rust cloche wool hat just finished, and the little denim blue aran Nicki Trench beanie from her Cute and Easy Crochet, that I made earlier in the year here.

I've also finished the fourth ribbed square ready to be joined and made into a cushion cover. I used a pattern from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks, one of my favourite and most reliable of crochet books - pattern no.72 in the book. The yarns are all Stylecraft with 20% wool. I'm loving the stretchy ribby textures.

So the weather now having turned more autumnal, I know what I shall be doing this evening! I am certainly a seasonal crocheter, much preferring to hook in the autumn / winter months!

I'm wanting to make a cowl too I think, maybe in the same warm rust colored wool - I'll be checking Ravelry and Pinterest for ideas, but if anyone has a tried and trusted favourite cowl pattern please shout out!

Thanks for your comments on my last post, it's good to be back! Am slowly catching up with some of your blogs, but lots more to go!

Edited to add: I have just finally put some projects onto my Ravelry page which I set up a couple of years ago and then did nothing to. If you are also on Ravelry then please come and visit me and add me as a friend so that I can find you there!

You can find me on Ravelry here:

Have a good week everyone!