Friday, 31 December 2010

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas gifts

Needle felted dog pin
 This is a present I bought for someone as a Christmas gift.  It is a needle felted dog pin and looks so sweet.  The blue scarf is such a good addition.  I would like to learn how to make such nice felted items.  Some fun activities for my days off during January 2011.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Nadolig Llawen ....

... Merry Christmas.  It's that time of year again, with lots of people on holiday.  It has been quiet in the town because of the snow and ice, but I have a feeling that tomorrow everyone will dash out at the last minute for the present and food purchases.

Last night I went out with colleagues and had a fun Christmas party.  My Secret Santa present was yummy!

Holiday time will mean plenty of eating, drinking and a few walks, then it will be time to get those knitting pins back out.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas time

It is the time for partying and last week was the Guild's Christmas lunch, held at Bosherston this year.  We had a raffle to raise funds and there was a sack full of Secret Santas.  This photo shows a selection of distaff bags, sent from our sister Guild in Canda.  They were well received - thank you to them for such a nice present.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

What will we do?

Snow is here again and everything has come to a standstill.  As things are right now, I am not sure that we are going to be able to get to the shops to buy our Christmas food to see us through the holidays.  Still haven't finished gift shopping either, so someone is going to have a gift free Christmas Day.  Sorry!

Football is cancelled!  Will I get to the shop Christmas party on Wednesday?  Only sausages in the freezer.  Will my veg box arrive on Thursday?  Royal Mail stopped delivering post on Friday, yet I haven't sent out all my post.  Sorry Australian crowd.  What am I going to do?

Monday, 13 December 2010

Amser parti ...

 ..... party time.  It is the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Christmas Lunch this week.  So it is Secreta Santas, raffle, eating, talking and laughing all the way.  We are all looking forward to meeting up and celebrating another good year.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Christmas knitting

This vintage knitting pattern was just what I was looking for as I intend to knit a tea cosy for someone's Christmas gift.  The cosy with the pompom looks like a hat, but I am told that pompoms are just the thing to have at the moment.

Thankfully the weather is supposed to be getting a bit mild at the week-end.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Pamela's yarn

Warming up slightly outside - well it was -3C this morning when I toddled off to work.

This yarn was bought from the wonderful Pamela - she dyed it her self with natural dyes, including logwood (the purple), madder (the red/orange) and dock leaves (mid brown).   The other pieces are natural sheep colours and still just as fabulous.

There are lots of Ffair Nadoligs (Christmas fairs) on this week-end, so I might pop along to one or two .....

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Vintage wares summary

It has been just over a month since I started my retail venture at Jane's lovely vintage store.  My section has gone quite slowly, despite making a number of sales.  At least I have sold something, rather than nothing. The messages are that recycling and vintage are popular with a niche, but perhaps handmade goods and vintage haberdashery are not really appealing to the mainstream shoppper. Questioning whether we should continue to purchase mass produced products has perhaps not reached everyone's thinking just yet.  There is a campaign going right now to ask Mary Portas to get the message to the mainstream public and I hope this will be a success.

In the meantime I looke forward to continuing to trade at Jane's vintage store and will keep on searching for those vintage finds.  As a customer I am always guaranteed to find items of clothing at a really good price.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


First of December and first day of Winter.  We still have snow and ice and although it is slightly warmer, everywhere is still slippery under foot.  Glad that I don't have to go to work today and can stay at home with the crafting.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Toy making

 This is a 1970s book I found recently and its contents show how to make toys from different types of materials, such as wood, paper and cloth.

Someone had spilled a cup of tea over the edge of the book so the pages were stuck together, but once I prised them apart, it was still readable and just a little unsavoury in appearance.

The instructions for hinged paper or cardboard figures are just the thing to make for next Christmas, as tree decorations perhaps, so off I go again with my forward planning.

 Strange how in the 1970s there is a suggestion for making a spaceman (spaceperson), but that is how we thought about life in those days; our view on technology.

What would be influencing our designs now?   A celebrity, owl or cupcake (not a figure but you could still do a hinged decoration)......

Monday, 29 November 2010

Fabric finds

Last week I found these pieces of fabric and at such a good price that I thought there must be some mistake.  The black and white country scene is a French linen fabric; I know this for sure as the printing on the side border said it was so.  There were 4 metres of yellow flowered  Laura Ashley cotton fabric and this is currently for sale in the vintage shop. 

 The linen country fabric is going to be made in to a tablecloth, for use on the dining table.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Snow arrives!

It is November and we have seen our first snow!  This is unusual and unwelcome as it is so disruptive.  The main roads are usually gritted and cleared but our side roads are not and it is most difficult getting out of our country lanes.

Last night I went out with the shop girls for tea at a local pub and we came out to hailstone storm as we left tthe pub to go home.

Will be spending today looking at the snow from the warmth of the conservatory and doing some knitting, drinking hot chocolate and eating ginger cake.

This weather might be with us for the next 10 days.  Oh dear.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Birthday week

 Some of the birthday cake we had this week.
 This week there was a birthday to celebrate so we had cake and wine, as you do.  Some of you might not have the wine, just tea or coffee, of course. 

The cake was plain, with pink icing and 100s and 1000s sprinkled on top.

We also went to Cardiff for the day to do some Christmas shopping, but I prefer independent shops these days, rather than large corporate organisations.  I am not that keen on buying items mass produced in China either, so purchasing becomes limited. 

Our lovely meat man delivered organic lamb this week, so we have a freezer full of lamb to enjoy.  Yum Yum.

The vintage shop had a charity day in support of Children in Need and was selling scrumptious cupcakes.  The shop was very busy, which was pleasing, and I bought a  soft blue velvet jacket, just a little small for me but I don't mind looking a little squashed!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Making Christmas decorations

This ribbon is going to be used on Christmas decorations I am planning to make this week-end.  In my fabric box I have lots of sparkly bits and pieces to make into hearts, birds and round shapes, which will then be used to dangle from lengths of driftwood, with the decorations finally ending up in some of the windows of the house.  It would be nice if I could purchase all my Christmas presents from independent shops, such as Folksy and Etsy, but I have also decided to venture to Cardiff this week for a look at the retail stores there.  It is always such an effort to leave Pembrokeshire as everywhere else is so far away, but there we are.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Vintage haberdashery

These are a couple of examples of the types of haberdashery I have in my rented space in the Vintage Clothes store.  The ric rac is so lovely I didn't want to sell it but then most people who create and sell goods probably feel the same way.  The mending yarn is really good for sewing and knitting with and I have a selection of colours for sale.

Yesterday I found lots of fabric and will be posting photos of my treasures later next week.  It is amazing what people reject from their homes and give to the charity stores.  Lucky for those of us who can upcycle.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Needle felting

During the summer I dyed quite a few pieces of fleece and they have been sitting in a heap in the sewing room, gathering dust.  A few weeks ago I saw someone wearing a long necklace laced with buttons and the idea came to me to attempt to make a fleecy button necklace.  This fleece has been died with woad and some with indigo to give these blue shades.  It is very light in weight and I have other coloured pieces of fleece which will eventually be made into necklaces.

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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Sock time

A hand knitted white lace sock award for gener...Image via Wikipedia

Now is the time for making socks.  These old patterns include knitting on 2 needles but I quite fancy the ankle socks, knitted on 4 pins.  Once you cast on the socks are quite easy to knit up.  Last week I  ordered yarn from Blackers in Cornwall.  They had an article in November's Country Living magazine and have some lovely wools for sale.  Some of the wool is over dyed with some nice colours but I prefer the yarn natural.  The sock yarn is 4 ply but does not contain any nylon, so any socks made are not going to be hard wearing.  Keep them for indoors only.
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Thursday, 4 November 2010


This is a beanie I knitted for sale in the shop.  It is made out of a mix of Angora and Goathland yarn and is very soft, making it a nice experience on the head.  A lot of customers come into the shop and once they spot all the wool products, complain that "they can't wear wool".  Good luck with the synthetic life then.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Black mountain sheep

This yarn is from Black Mountain sheep and a lovely dark shade of chocolate brown.  I am using them to make a large cowl/snood for myself.  The yarn from mountain sheep is going to be coarse but from the feel of the garment it is not going to be too itchy and scratchy.  Perhaps my skin is just not as sensitive as I thought it might be.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Knitting hats

Found this lovely site on Etsy - and bought a vintage knitting pattern or 2.  These hats look wearable for today and am going to have a go at making them.  I particularly like the flower pot shaped one!  It should look good in mohair, don't you think?

Monday, 25 October 2010

Vintage sales

As you can see I only rent a small space for my vintage/recycled/de-stash/new haberdashery, but it is a sweet little space.  Jane's shop opened on Saturday and I sold a piece of fabric!  Hope to reach my weekly targets so that I can at least pay next month's rent.  There are lots of lovely items of vintage clothing, handbags and shoes in the shop and are at affordable prices.  We were also served with coffee and cupcakes.  Wonderful.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Haberdashery shop

Today the Vintage Clothes Shop had their opening night party.  This is my space where I am aiming to sell my vintage/recycled/de-stash/new haberdashery.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Embroidery floss

Last year I came across a 1930s pattern which used embroidery floss to knit, (yes knit), small figures which could then be worn as a brooch or pin.  As you can imagine, it was quite fiddly but certainly different.  I have never come across any patterns like that before.  Now I have some spare embroidery floss, perhaps I should try knitting a fairy or angel for the winter festivities in December? V small knitting pins required.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Fire pit and bats.

Yes it is the trusty fire pit in use once again!  Last night we sat out until 8pm and watched the bats fly around.  Our very own Autumn Watch going on.  Not a cloud in the sky and more again this morning, but so chilly!  Now I can think about wearing my mits and hats for the season.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Balmy weather

The weather is so lovely today - soft breezes on a south westerly wind, coming all the way from the Med.  Time to sit outside and craft, drink tea and enjoy all this before the wild west winds come to yell at us. 

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

October warmth

October is set to get warmer next week - nice in one way but not how I like my Autumn months to behave.  These rowan berries show us how beautiful the fruits of the trees are.  Could they be used to dye fleece and what colour would it result in?   I have never tried it but I bet it turns out yellow.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Wensleydale yarns

One of the nice ladies from the Guild sold me these yarns.  They are from Wensleydale sheep and have been hand dyed with madder.  There are variations in colour because the dye had been used a few times before.  Nevertheless the colours are still pleasing. 

Monday, 4 October 2010

Wrist warmers

The weather is wet and mild - poor Ryder cup followers have been suffering in the bad weather.  This also means that I can't yet wear my wintery knits.  Such a shame!  These wrist warmers have been sitting in my glove bag waiting for an airing.  They are made from indigo dyed, Shetland DK yarn and are extra long to keep my arms cosy.  Come on Autumn, let's have some mellow cool and misty mornings.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Hand dyed yarn for the dolls.

This lambswool yarn has been hand-dyed, using indigo and madder, amongst others and I am going to be knitting it up as the edging for a doll's dress. Also included is a photo showing details of where it came from.  It is only a small amount of yarn, but beautiful and will enhance the dolly dress.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Wool winder

Thanks to the loan of a wool winder I was able to wind this yarn from the many cones of wool I had acquired.  There are now more manageable balls of yarn for me to start being creative with.  The trouble is now having to decide what to make!  It is mostly 4ply, so I could follow a Fair Isle pattern and make a hat with red, blue and brown.

Friday, 24 September 2010


The wind is now coming from the North and last night we had the log burner going.  Not that the weather is going to stop me from going on a sponsored walk Saturday afternoon, with the reward of a bowl of cawl (soup) when we all get back.  There will be a camp fire and music too.  Narberth Food Festival is also on and this year they have crafters.  I was not organised this time around so am going to miss out on sales, but lookout Narberth FF next year!  My intention is to take lots of photos of both these events, to add to my stories here.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

winding wool

This is how I am going to be occupying myself this week-end.  Well almost.  I have borrowed a small wool winder so that I can wind a huge cone of red lambswool, 4 ply, into manageable balls of yarn.  It does look silly when I have to start carrying around huge amounts of wool on a cone for my knitty exploits.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Felt brooch

A few weeks ago, when it was sunny and warm in these parts, I went to Newport, Pembrokeshire to enjoy the beach and have a picnic.  There is a lovely craft shop there selling products made by local crafters.  The shop was full of lovely things such as teddies, wicker baskets, paintings and jewellery.  I bought this felted star, which could be worn as a brooch but I have it attached to my willow basket.  The artists other felt brooches include puffins and hearts and would make a great present for the up and coming end of year festival (not actually going to say the word as it is far too early!).

Friday, 17 September 2010

Willow weaving

This looks simple to make doesn't it?  I haven't tried willow weaving as I already have enough activities to get along with, but something like this would like really good in the garden.  Perhaps with flowers growing around it, such as sweet peas.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Peg loom

These yarns were hand dyed with natural dyes but members of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  Last night I went to the monthly meeting and we were given a demonstration on how to use a peg loom.  It is such a simple device and method yet you can produce useful products such as rugs, chair seats and bags.  All sorts of materials can be used on the peg loom, such as chunky yarn, raw fleece, selvedge etc.  This is going to be a good way to use all those bags of fleece I have in my craft room.  Now I will have to think about what colour scheme to use so that a really nice item is made.  We have a show and tell meeting at the Guild in March (such a long way off) and I would like to take a peg loom item to show.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Bunting is everywhere these days, but it is still a cheerful sight to see.  This could be made with some recycled fabric and ribbon.  I have been knitting bunting with similar colours to the ones in the picture.  Perhaps autumn colours would be appropriate now.