Saturday Shopping

It was my birthday on Friday and lovely A gave me a voucher to spend at the Eternal maker, so I spent Saturday afternoon browsing round the delights of the shop, I adore the table laden with china cups filled with  a wide variety of buttons, or the cosy corner of ribbons of every tone and shade which makes me feel like a hunter gatherer if only for fabric, ribbon and felt.  Saturday was such a dull overcast day, typical of January that it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon, T came along too and we followed the visit with tea and cake in a nearby cafe to thaw our fingers and toes. (If you intend a visit it is well worth investing in several layers, the shop is not very warm and I had to give up once the cold had seeped into my bones!) 
The biggest difficulty I have is can be a struggle to find fabric and notions that match my ideas, I have lost count of the number of times I have desperately searched the shelves of fabric stores only to have to give up my project simply because the fabric to bring it to life is elusive. Ideas often perplex shop keepers, I have often heard them exclaim “no-one has ever asked me that in all my years owning this shop” or “why on earth would you want to do that?” so EM is a welcome relief, the staff are so helpful and when I told them what I had in mind, their expert knowledge of the wide range of fabric for sale, some of which journeys from as far away as Japan; soon had me smiling with pleasure. Not only that, but suggestions and exchange of ideas flowed easily, I always feel I leave the shop with a friend behind me. 

I gathered these lovely cotton ribbons together, I was particularly delighted with the red and blue ribbon at the bottom because it was exactly what my project needed. 

This fabric is called the vintage workshop, I love the combination of pattern pieces alongside vintage sewing instructions. It is an Amy Barakman design from Red Rooster fabrics. 

I simply could not resist this Trefle crazy sewing pattern by kokka, my inner compulsiveness struggles with the upside-down design, but I love the retro colouring and style. It reminds me of the french schoolbook I had back in the seventies!  I love this pattern because it offers so many colour combinations to pick out from the lovely bright reds to the pale blues and lime green. 
These lovely notions are so beautiful that I will struggle to cut this design up! I love the little buttons and the keys, it is simply delightful. It is a Charlotte lyons design from Blend, called walnut farm. 
So that is most of my supplies in order, now with a little sketching and research, I am almost ready to begin, but I can’t tell you what it is just yet, you shall have to wait and see. 

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Roses and tea

I find that wool shops can be like stepping into an artists palette, the colours and hues really do excite me. There seems to be an endless variety of textures as well as colours and after years of seeing haberdasheries and wool shops disappearing, the new wave of knitters and hookers has seen an upsurge in new wool varieties, merino and alpaca as well as denim, but I have a liking for cotton type wool and this is called baby bamboo.

Choosing colour is difficult for some people they are daunted by the sheer magnitude but I find if you look at a range you will find that the shades and colours have a harmony. Such was the case with this, there were a beautiful palette of the baby colours, blues, yellows as well as greens. The pink has come out in this picture a lot brighter than it is naturally it is lovely. Very soft to work with and gentle on the hands.

I have a sweet little tea pot, from Whittards, its lovely blue and white but was being swamped under tea cosies made for stouter pots! I felt it was small enough to practise on!

I wanted to learn to crochet but I have a terrible problem understanding practical things from books,  I wish I had let my Nan show me when she wanted to, she made the most wonderful bed covers using the granny square!

Since she could not show me, I did the next best thing and I took myself off to a local WI where a lovely lady kindly showed me the basics. I was then able to decipher the books and learn new stitches, but I still struggle to follow patterns!

So this is my little journey into playing with various stitches, made from two straight easy pieces of plain crochet and some practice frills. The roses were great fun, as usual I went off the pattern to create my own rose  but I was pleased with the results.

Crochet is so much more free form than knitting, you can make holes, add frills or simply pull and it will all come undone and you can start again. It really is the most forgiving wonderful craft.