I’m no slouch when it comes to making hats!

Quirky Purple Beanie HatsI’ve been making hats for quite a while now. I make quite a lot of beanies and use the technique where you make  magic ring and increase until you get the right number of stitches and then continue building the rows until the hat fits the head.

It’s quite therapeutic doing all those rows and there’s no making up involved either – unless you’re adding pom-pom or eyeballs or skulls, or a tiara.

Quirky Purple Ear-warmersFor the ear-warmers (or head-warmers, whichever you prefer), I use a number of techniques. Sometimes a straight forward double-crochet and then join/stitch at the back.

I also quite like doing a rib with a back-stitch crochet. This works really well and gives some good stretch to the finished ear-wamer. Of course there’s also the way of creating a chain, joining it and building up rounds, a little like the beanie hats.

Well, I decided to try something a bit different. My other half wears a lot of those big slouchy beanie hats which are machine knitted and many also look fully fashioned. So, I thought I’d give it a go.

Quirky Purple hat start Well first things first, I needed to choose the colours. I did a black, grey and white union jack beanie as a commission for a Christmas pressie and quite liked the combo once I’d finished. I’d already decided to do a stripe that went from the front to back, rather than the usual horizontal stripes so thought this colour combi would work.  That’s a 5mm hook there in the picture.
Quirky Purple Hat halfway So I started with 50 chain and started to work the back loops but after a few rows I wasn’t too keen so I unravelled it (don’t most crochet project start like this?) and started again with a back loop row followed by a standard double crochet. This gave it a more spaced rib design. Then I added in a grey 4 row, a white 2 row and a grey 4 row. This was so all casting on and off was at the same end.
Quirky Purple Hat almost ready So, then it was back onto the black and just alternating rows until it was big enough to fit around an adult head. It then needs tying off with quite a tail so that you can use that to stitch the edges. All the casting on and off tails also need tying off. Once that’s done then it’s a case of stitching and gathering the top and finishing off.

For a first attempt it’s not turned out too badly. As usual I ‘designed’ it myself, as in didn’t use a pattern and made it up as I went along. Here it is on my male head.

Quirky Purple Slouchy HatI thing I might make the next one in red, white and blue. I think it would nicely suit the mod/scooter look. I might also make less of a slouch. Anyway, I guess it’s like most of my ‘designs’… they sort of evolve!

You can check out my hats at Quirky Purple Hats or you can see some of the other handmade commisions that I’ve completed.

Anyway, the hat was a sort of diversion from starting the crochet doll toilet roll holders. The dolls I ordered arrived on Friday so there’s no excuse now to get cracking on them!

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I spotted a mod on TV today…

As any of you who know me or just read my blog, once a mod, always a mod. Anything 60s tends to catch my eye…

I’d got the TV on in the background whilst I was updating this website and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a beehive. It caught my attention.

Stacie StewartThe TV programme was just moving onto a cookery slot and a lady called Stacie Stewart was cooking a pie. She had a fab beehive! Once the TV had caught my attention properly I also saw she had a really cool 60s dress on as well.

So, I thought I’d better look up this lady. She actually describes herself as a mod and recognises that she dresses to blend in her love of the 60s and mod, so not a classic mod style. I like that. I think a lot of us do that to a certain degree. I can’t believe I haven’t come across Stacie before. Here’s a link to her website, Stacie Stewart Website, where she talks about how she became hooked on the 60s and mod.

Of course everyone knows these days that Bradley Wiggins is some new styled ‘King of the Mods’, in fact the BBC even wrote an article about mods during the summer olympics – Bradley Wiggins – what is a mod – so I guess it’s a little bit back out there in the media….

Is mod starting to return more strongly? I’m not just thinking about the more high-profile advocates like Mr Wiggins, but there seem to be more soul and 60s nights promoted near me. There’s one of the Quadrophenia Nights in Nottingham in a couple of weeks. Or is it just that I’m primed to notice these?

Anyway, this article from Mod Culture always makes me laugh – 10 varieties of mod. Which type are you? Do you recognise any mates there?

Oh and it’s the perfect opportunity for a gratuitous Quadrophenia picce 🙂

Quadrophenia

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Hurrah – we’ve started doing men’s vintage!

Well quite exciting news, or what?

We’ve started to stock some items of men’s vintage. I’ve just been photographing the first batch and getting them ready to go on the online shop.

This first batch are mainly men’s vintage tops, including Lacoste, Polo and some cool collared mod tops.

Here’s a sneaky peek at what will be going online this afternoon –

Men's vintage tops

I’ve got a few more items to sort through yet, but I’ve been a little way laid with sorting out some lovely vintage wedding frocks that I picked up a couple of weeks ago…

You can find our Men’s Vintage section here. I’ll be adding more as I sort through!

Feeling shirty?

Shirts are one of those things that never really go out of fashion and many styles are real vintage wardrobe staples.

Think about some of those classic black and white films from the 30s and 40s, you can see some real classic shirts styles on the screen icons.

Shirts were always a big thing for mod girls in the late 70s and early 80s. If you were lucky you could get them from local charity shops, but more likely from Carnaby Street or London markets. Long collars, button-down collars, plain, checked, striped or paisley, teaming them up with a pair of hipster trousers was always a cool look.

Cool shirtsRecently I’ve managed to get hold of some really cool shirts that fit that same sort of style – that mod, come psychedelic, come smart hippy. There are some geometric patterns, checks, velvet and even some frills. They all have one thing in common though – lovely long collars!

Reworked shirts are also still very big at the moment, and you can see them in all the High Street shops. Usually though these seem to be a lower quality cotton with those ‘stuck on’ studs. It’s much better to get a vintage or reworked shirt from an independent shop. They will have made all the changes themselves and you’ll get a real individual piece.

A little while ago I did a blog post on re-working shirts, which you can find here.

Reworked shrtsWe still have a few reworked shirts in the online shop, in various sizes and colours.

There are both sleeveless and long-sleeved, but they can also be made to order, by dropping us a note here.

You can find many of these styles at the Quirky Purple online shop.

What’s your favourite style?

I like reading zombie books on my Kindle, so…

Well, I do like reading!

Until 18 months ago I liked reading physical books. I liked the whole experience of walking into a book shop, browsing the titles, liking the look of a cover and then reading the back and flicking through. Books even smell nice – that dry, papery smell.

I resisted those new fangled eReader jobbies. How could I flick through one of those and decide whether or not I wanted to read a book? Yeah, OK, I used Amazon to find books a lot more these days, and I like having recommendations based on books I read.

When I went on holiday, I’d take half a suitcase of books with me to read. They actually took up quite a bit of luggage space and resulted one year in a rather embarrassing encounter with customs guards in Cuba – and believe me you don’t want to have any fuss and bother with Cuban custom’s guards!

Well, to cut a long story a little bit shorter, because I love gadgets I bought myself a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Fab bit of kit. Loved it. Then I realised that I could but an Amazon book reader app on there and the lure of free books persuaded me to download it and give it a try. Once I’d downloaded it and logged on I found that I could browse my recommendations and then find freebies. I downloaded a few and was completely surprised… I quite liked reading on the Tab and that I read books even quicker than usual.

I took it on holiday with me for a long weekend in Spain but found that I couldn’t read the screen very well outside due to the glare. I got home and took the plunge and bought a Kindle. Why, oh why was I an eReader Luddite for so long?

I’ve downloaded whole series of books and read them one after the other. I’ve downloaded free and really cheap books by authors I’d never have tried before. I’ve read an awful lot of independent authors which I’d never have found in a book shop. And I’ve loved them. I now have new favourite books by independent authors who actually do their own Facebook pages and blogs. One independent author contacted me after leaving a review to agree with me and offer me a free copy of his next book.

Which leads me onto the title of today’s blog. I do love reading Zombie books and I’ve blogged about this before. But, on a Kindle, no-one has any idea what your actually reading (which is probably just as well if it’s one of those awful Shades of Grey). So, I decided to design a zombie cover for my Kindle. Then I got carried away and designed a whole raft of them. I did a skull, a daisy, a robot, a TARDIS, a Union Jack and a mod target (once a mod, always a mod).

They are all for sale in our new Etsy shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuirkyPurple

Here’s the link through to the zombie Kindle cover – https://www.etsy.com/listing/107013711/handmade-crochet-zombie-kindle-ereader-7

Quirky Purple Kindle covers

I’ve been thinking about some other designs too, maybe for Halloween and Christmas. If you have any ideas for new designs or would like a specific design creating, let me know!

Olympics, being British and Union Jacks!

Have you been watching the Olympics?

I had to admit I was typically cynical Brit about the whole thing. Even when we had the Olympic torch coming through town I kind of thought I should go but wasn’t really that bothered. But I went along, the sun came out and there was a great atmosphere. It was a really excellent way of bringing the Olympics to all areas of the UK, without it being an exclusively ‘London thing’.

I’m not the biggest lover of sport but even I have been engrossed in watching the Olympics.I started just watching the odd bit where we had Brits in the finals and we stood a good chance of a medal. After a few days, I was watching all sorts of sports that I’d never even seen before.

Even the opening and closing ceremonies has had that quirky, distinctly British style to them.

I was in Spain last week, and I might add that I was still managing to keep up with the Olympics, and it was a little bit surreal. There were a lot of Union Jacks on clothes. Nope, I wasn’t in ‘British Benidorm’, I was in Alicante, and these weren’t all Brits wearing the Union Jacks. I’ve also seen the UK High Street creating all sorts of summer clothes based on Union Jack styling.

Has the Union Jack come back into fashion again? We all remember Gerri wearing the dress to the Brits and I certainly remember a lot of Union Jacks and targets on clothes in the late 70s and 80s. My mate’s boyfriend even had a Union Jack blazer, but then again we were in a mod club…
Anyway, it must have got me think and made me feel a bit patriotic so I decided to make a couple of new crochet designs for Kindle covers. I’ve got a Union Jack and a mod target. I think both look fab and fit most eReaders and 7 inch tablets (Samsung Galaxy etc) too, and can also be made to iPads and iPhones.

Union Jack and mod target Kindle covers

These are now available online in our shop.

There’s also a bunch of other designs too – a skull, zombie, robot, daisy, and a TARDIS. All can be Kindle, eReader, 7 inch tablet, mobile phone, iPad or iPhone covers. All are handmade which makes each one a little bit individual. If you would like something different or bespoke, please contact us with your request at https://quirkypurple.com/ask-us-to-source-and-item/

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

£100 Asos blogger challenge

I came across this challenge yesterday at the Discount Coder Blog and thought I’d try and give it a go, but with a vintage twist – if at all possible.

Quirky Purple Asos challenge style collageWell, I decided to try to go with a 60s inspired look so thought I’d start with a dress and then add some accessories. It was actually quite tricky to get what I wanted within the £100 budget. The collage here is the overall look. Looks pretty good doesn’t it? And it’s all for under £100! The dress is really cute. I was also tempted for a nice white crochet dress look. There’s also a nice little daisy theme going on here.

Here’s the breakdown of the items and the costs:

Vera Moda 60s Dress at £26.50Quirky Purple Asos challenge - dress
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - shoesAsos crochet ballet flats at £15.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - handbagRiver Island handbag at £40.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - headbandAsos daisy headband at £4.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - tightsGypsy 40 denier white tights at £7.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - ringAsos trapped daisy ring at £3.00

This all comes to a sum total of just £95.50.

That leaves enough to buy a nice 60s cocktail...

You can find the challenge and other entries here at The Discount Coder Blog

Could you do this challenge for under £100 and try to give it a vintage look?

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple