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Archive for the ‘memories’ category

This post is all about crochet :) I love to crochet, it is my passion, I love to design my own things and follow patterns, I love to go wool shopping, and adding to my already huge stash, I get excited when thinking up or choosing new patterns to do, I love the feel of crochet, I love how relaxed I feel when I crochet, I love the feeling of accomplishing something worthwhile when my project is done, I love crocheting for others and myself, for our home and competitions, I love everything and anything to do with crochet, and this post is dedicated to what is to me, the best of all crafts :)

Wouldn’t it be lovely if wool shops were like they used to be? I just love traditional, old fashioned wool shops, I have a wonderful memory of one where my grandad lived. It was not even in the shopping centre, but in the middle of a housing estate, as everyone used to knit or crochet, even then, not that long ago. It was a very old fashioned wool shop, which probably had not changed for a long time, wooden shelving and cubby holes behind the glass counter, and lining the walls, stuffed with wool of all different colours, glass display cabinets, that certain smell, a friendly lady behind the counter, there to help you and also to have a cosy chat, wonderful :) Even normal every day shops, the kind that are on every street corner, convenience stores we call them now, used to have a selection of wool, and knitting or crocheting paraphernalia in stock, as everyone used to knit or crochet! Imagine going into a local convenience shop for a loaf of bread and pint of milk, and also been able to pick up a ball of wool and spare crochet hook, wouldn’t that be wonderful!   I love the book Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym, it has a wonderful description of a very old fashioned wool shop in it, and lots of references to cosy knitting :) I would just love for wool shops to be like they used to be…..

I would love to hear your memories about traditional wool shops :)

I finished crocheting the vintage matinee set for Little J, and I love it! I really enjoyed crocheting this set, and Little J just looks gorgeous in it!

I’ve also just finished designing and crocheting a teddy bear pram mobile, for Little J’s pram :)

And I’ve also just finished designing and crocheting a little pixie style bonnet, inspired by the ones of the 40s and 50s :)

I just love Little J’s face on the next one

And speaking of designing, the book that I designed and made a few patterns for arrived last week! I was so excited to receive this, and see my work in it’s glossy pages! I was asked last year to design these, I was pregnant at the time, and now, here it is, in the flesh so to speak, I got my complimentary copy last week through the post, what a lovely surprise :)

Well, I’m going to do some housework and washing now, then relax with Little J, and do some more, yes you guessed it, crochet :)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend :) x




I have been harking back to my childhood of late, thinking about all the things I loved to do and read when I was a child, and thinking why not do those things now :) Just because I am now 26 years old does not mean I can not still enjoy reading my favourite childhood books, or dressing my favourite childhood doll up in pretty clothes I have made for her.

The news is so full of gloom these days, I avoid watching it as it makes me depressed, and to be honest, I think the world has gone slightly mad! So I have been thinking of happy times, innocent times, not just of my childhood, but of times my darling John and I have shared together, and that is what this post is to be about :)

When I was very very young, my dear grandad, who I adored and loved with all my heart, bought me a gorgeous Tiny Tears doll, whom I loved and took everywhere with me :) I spent all the money I got for birthdays, Christmases ect.. on dolls clothes for Tiny Tears, and accumulated  quite a collection for her, I had a special drawer where I kept her clothes :) Over the years my grandad bought me other things for my Tiny Tears doll, including a beautiful silver cross, navy and white, twin hooded dollies pram, which I loved with all my heart, and took everywhere, with Tiny Tears all snuggled under the broderie anglais blankets in the pram, I even took the pram into town shopping, which was no easy thing to do, as the pram really was quite big, lol. My dear grandad also bought me the most beautiful wooden dolls swing and dolls cot, which look so odfashioned and have sunflowers hand painted on them, Tiny Tears loved them :) The pram has gone, but Tiny Tears, the cot and the swing, I still have and would never part with.

My grandads lovely neighbour, Doris, was a great crocheter. I used to love to go and visit her, and hear about her childhood, and watch her knit and crochet, and to look around her exceptionally tidy home, which was full of old furniture, and smelled of polish and lavender. Doris was a lovely lady, and whenever she had a baking day, she always made my grandad a little something (my grandads wife died before I was born) and took it to him :)

On Doris’s bed was a lovely oldfashioned doll, I am sure it was a Tiny Tears doll, and she was dressed in a gorgeous pink crocheted dress and bonnet, which Doris had crocheted herself. I was allowed to handle the doll when I visited Doris, and I could tell just how much Doris loved that doll, as she held her so lovingly and gently, and the doll always look clean and pristine, sitting on Doris’s bed. I loved the dress and bonnet that Doris had crocheted for her, and always wanted one for my Tiny Tears doll, and now that I can crochet myself, I had the thought, well, why not make one now, so I did and here it is…

my favourite childhood doll, who I would not part with for the world, sitting on our bed, dressed in a crochet dress and bonnet, that I crocheted..

So finally, after about 18 years of wanting a crocheted dress and bonnet for my dear Tiny Tears, she now has one, and I think she looks lovely in it :)

Speaking of my grandad, I have a few things that belonged to him, that are so precious to me. My grandad was my mothers father, and he was the most wonderful man. He was a miner, right up until he retired, and I can still remember the knots of soot in his veins, from where he had a cut and went down the mine, and got soot in his cuts. He also lost his little finger down the mine, poor soul, and it was the mine that killed him, when he was 81 years old (12 years ago), as all the soot he had breathed in got into his lungs, my poor dear grandad. He loved me so much, and I loved him so much, and still do, and I still think about him all of the time, and dream about him too. Every year on his anniversary I go to pay my respects to him, in the crematorium,  and have never missed a year since he passed away, and I never will miss a year, I am the only one in the family who does this. We were so close, and it broke my heart when he died, but I still have a few things that belonged to my grandad or what my grandad gave to me that I treasure. Two of the things which belonged to my grandad is a very very old poem book which had been in the family for years, and my grandads diary and wallet…

The poem book is over 100 years old, I do not know who it originally belonged to, but now it is mine and I treasure it. My grandad also had other books that he always said I could have, and when he passed I did get them (no one else wanted them) but then my mother got jealous and demanded I give the books to her, saying they were her dads books! So I gave them to her, she put them somewhere and never looked at them, never looked after them, then when she moved home a few years ago, she lost them in the move, so now they are gone forever, and it breaks my heart!!! Also, my grandad had an extremely old walking stick and umbrella which had been in the family for over 100 years, and my grandad said I could have them when he had gone, as he knew I would look after them, but alas, my mother got jealous again, took them, and they also got lost in the move, never to be found again. But at least I have these few things. I used to love reading this poetry book as a child, it is a child’s poetry book, and the poems in it are magical!!!

And the notebook my grandad used as his diary is a treasure to me. In it he listed all the things he planted in his garden as my grandad was a wonderful gardener, he listed what he and his family had ate that day, there are shopping lists in there, and local news events too…

The pen that is stuck in the middle of the book also belonged to my grandad, and he kept it always in the pocket of his blazer which he always wore, he was an extremely smart man :)

In the diary I also keep my grandads wallet, which still has stamps in which he bought in the 60s, and it has a very fragile newspaper cutting in it of my grandad, as he was the one millionth customer to put his wages into the bank, so he got his photo took, had some champagne and was in the papers :) And in the diary I have birthday cards my grandad gave to me, and I also have Christmas cards he gave to me too, I adore my grandad :)

Other happy childhood memories I have are of reading. I have always loved to read, and would devour the likes of Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter, and I still have some books from childhood. I had quite a collection of Enid Blyton books, most of them vintage, which I had found in charity shops, and when I moved out I asked my mother to keep them , and I would take them off her hands when I had found space in mine and Johns new home, she said she would keep them, but then behind my back, she gave them away, so that is also something else precious to me gone by the hands of my mother (i do not speak to mother any more, have not for almost 2 years, we do not get on, she is wild and out of control now) but some books I did manage to salvage are these…

All of the Beatrix Potter ones my grandad bought for me :) I love childrens books, and even though I am now grown, I can still enjoy reading them, there is an innocence in them that I long for. I am now reading The Adventures Of Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley and am really loving them, they are so full of innocence, so cosy, so family orientated, they are wonderful, and the illustrations in them are so wonderful too, and I mus confess, I am currently colouring them in, lol, something else I loved to do when I was a child :) I am finding the gentle process of colouring in very relaxing, and I am sure I am not the only one who has coloured these delightful pictures in lol..

I was looking through some old photos and found one of mine and Johns engagement party, another really happy even and memory :) John sang to me, he is a wonderful singer, and my dad played guitar while John sang, he sang to me Diamond Ring by Bonjovi, it was beautiful :)

Other memories that has been popping in my head are of my favourite holiday of all time, which John and I went on a few years ago, we went camping in Appleby and had the most fantastic time. I love the countryside and I love camping :) I loved this holiday so much because it was just John and I, in a tent, in the country, simple holidaying, and spending lots of quality time together :)

A photo of the beautiful river Eden :)

On the brewing front things are going well :) We bottled our nettle beer, but it is so fizzy, one of the corks popped off and flew into another adjoining room!!! Here it is when it exploded…

We also have on the go a beetroot and carrot wine, made from beetroots and carrots we have grown in our garden :) Yesterday we did the last stage of it, straining and adding the extra sugar and water, here it is before those things were added…

Isn’t it a glorious colour!!! And just look at the colour the lemons went from the dye in the beetroot!!!!


The other day we went shopping and got a new cheap table to use as a tea table in the sitting room, and to use to hold my ever growing collection of wool, lol

Has anyone been watching the new channel 4 programme Superscrimpers??? I have, and have loved some of the tips on there. My friend June, who has also been watching it, suggested that we all put on our favourite thrifty tips on this post, in the comments box, so please, if you have any good tips to share, please do :)

Before I go, I want to tell you about a give away my good American friend Barb is hosting on her blog The Barbara Show , to enter, please visit Barbs fab blog, leave your answer to her question on her blog, and you could win some vintage maps and books :) Good luck :)

I am off now to collect a dress dummy from someone fro freecycle, then I shall have a lovely rose scented bath, put on my jimjams which smell of sunshine, and relax :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog and leave your lovely comments :)

Take care everyone, bye for now :) :) :) :)

Quick edit :) I have been trying to remember a book I saw on someone’s blog )can not remember which blog) and on it they showed  a book they had found, a vintage childrens book with illustrations. The illustrations were black and white and from what I can remember, there was one of a granny and grandad (I think) sitting in armchairs on either side of a fireplace, and the book was called something and something,  can not remember the name, but I am sure it was …… and …… if you know what I mean, if you have any idea which book I am talking about please let me know :)