Vintage crochet shawls

I had a fantastic find a little while ago. A stash of vintage shawls and ponchos. Most of them are hand crocheted too.

They are a real mix of hippy chick style, evening shawls and some 40s 50s style ‘bed jacket’ style. Quite an eclectic mix!

Some of the 70s ponchos sold as soon as I put them online, but I’ve just popped up a more varied selection which would be perfect for the current cooler weather.

They are on the eBay Shop and the Etsy Shop.

Incidentally I have also sourced some cool 70s crocheted shoulder bags. These are in fab bright colours and are just on the Etsy Shop at the moment.

I’ve got a few more shawls to work through at the moment but so far they are looking fab! What do you think?

Halloween hats!

I did a little post a few days ago about a tea cosy that people kept asking me if it was a hat. Basically, I ended up making hats too as they were quite popular – here’s the post.

Jack O'Lantern hatA similar thing happened a few times at fairs with my Jack O’Lantern tea cosy. Kids would rush up and then look a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a hat. This year I’ve decided to create a hat based on the tea cosy design. What do you think? I think it looks pretty cool 🙂

It’s clearly getting closer to Halloween as I’ve had a couple of orders for the Jack O’Lantern tea cosy, so rather than finish the TARDIS coffee cosy I started on, I’ve somehow become side-tracked and been working on Halloween hats. Yeah I know, I should finish what I started first…

So far I have a Jack O’Lantern, a zombie, a scary ghost and a skull hat. What do you think?

Halloween hats

These can be made in 0-3, toddler, child or adult sizes. You can find them on my Etsy Shop.

Tea cosy or hat?

Granny chic tea cosiesI made these granny chic tea cosies a little while ago. I think they are pretty cool and look great on a tea pot. Imagine a lovely plate of homemade cookies next to them and some Earl Grey in the tea pot….

But, for some reason people keep asking me if they are hats. Every time I do a vintage or craft fair people are drawn to them and then say “Oh, I thought it was a hat”. Even when they are on a tea pot 🙂

Well they seem to be much more popular now as hats and I’ve had a couple of custom orders to make them as hats instead of tea cosies. Isn’t it funny how things turn out?

Here’s a little baby hat I made for a boy, replacing pink with bright greens and blues. I also added a nice big rainbow pom-pom!

Granny chic baby hat

Busy, busy busy!

Well, I’ve not posted on the blog for a while but I do have lots of excuses, erm, I mean reasons!

I’ve actually been pretty busy with a number of things. Firstly, being pregnant has been slowing me down more than I thought it would. The tiredness has been greater than I expected and it’s much easier to get sidetracked 🙂

I also write articles for the Nottingham Post for my other business, Quirky Web, where I help and advise small businesses on the web and social media.

And of course, I’ve been preparing for the Vintage Suitcase vintage and handmade fairs. I’ve been making some new handmade items to preview at the fairs. Also, for some reason I seemed to have been inspired to increase the range of handmade baby items. I can’t imagine why…..

Matlock StallFirst of all was the Matlock Fair in June. The location, right in the middle of Matlock, was excellent. Due to all the lovely traders there, space was a little bit tight, but a little bit of wriggling our stalls around seemed to work. Lots of lovely people came by the stall for a chat and I had a few cusotm orders from people after the fair.

Buxton StallLast weekend was the Buxton Fair. The venue here was just stunning. A big old domed building. Very impressive and lots and lots of room for us stallholders. Lots of people seemed to be milling around all the lovely stalls and having a good time. There was also a big area to sit down and have a brew and a chat. There were over 50 traders and a real selection of vintage, handmade and remade. Just my sort of thing!

Bakewell Fair posterThe next one is at Bakewell on Wednesday 7th August, which is next week. There are details here. This one is taking place at the same time as the Bakewell Show, which will be fab! As usual, it’s only a quid to get in and take advantage of having a mooch around all those lovely vintage and handmade stalls.

Hope to see a few of you there picking up some great bargains!

The sun’s out and so is the denim and check!

Well the sun appears to have finally started to show its face in the UK.

It’s encouraging me to get out all the denim and checked items I’ve been slowly collecting over the recent months. I’ve got a stash of them!

Denim shortsI’m working on levi shorts and other vintage cutoffs. These are being studded and having little extras added to them.

Some will have bleach effects too. I quite like to use bleach to create patterns in the material rather than just to lighten the denim.

Denim waistcoatI’ve also got some denim jackets which are being turned into sleeveless waistcoats.

I studded up a couple of maternity skirts last autumn and they were sold as soon as I put them online, so I have another couple of those to work on. They looked really cool and you won’t find anything like them in the High Street.

Checked shirtOn the shirts side of things I have some more of my popular re-worked checked and denim shirts. Some are going to be sleeveless and some will have roll up sleeves. They’ll also be studded.

These are a cool cowgirl or rockabilly style that can be dressed up or down and are perfect for holiday or festivals.

I couldn’t really get inspired to do these while we had the grey skies, even more so when everywhere kept getting covered in snow. The sun’s out and now these are getting a make over.

They’ll be up on the Etsy and eBay shops soon. Contact me if you want something special.

Market day in the sunshine

Quirky Purple stallWell it was Not the Camden Market again yesterday and I think a good day was had by all again!

Considering the tram works have closed the road by Bartons, people still managed to find their way there. It was also Not the Hay Book Festival so it was a pretty eclectic mix of people there. I think the sunshine encouraged people to get out of the house and come and visit us! It’s amazing how much more smiley people are when the sun finally comes out 🙂

I had some new items on the stall and some of these were the most popular. I sold all of the handmade pacman toilet roll covers. The little scottie and westie dogs I made were also very popular. As usual, my zombie horde found lots of new homes.

This month there were also quite a few new stallholders, so it was lovely having a wander round and chatting to some new people.

TARDIS Kindle coverIt was a fairly quiet start to the day, so I was finishing off a TARDIS Kindle/tablet/iPad mini cover that I’d started the day before. As soon as I’d finished it and popped it onto the stall someone came by and bought it. They have been so popular recently that I can’t make them quick enough!

At the moment I haven’t got any more fairs or markets booked until June, but I’m sure I’ll find another one to slot in for May!

Check out our Events page to see where we are next!

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!

Crochet toilet roll dolls

Toilet Roll Holder Doll Ages and ages ago I mentioned crochet toilet roll holder dolls in my post More Tea Vicar about tea cosies.

Well, I regularly get searches and even requests for patterns for these lovely retro items.

Like may children of the 70s, we had one of these in our toilet. There seemed to be 2 main styles – crinoline lady and Spanish lady. I’m guessing the popularity of the Spanish variety was due to the rise of foreign holidays to sunny places like Spain.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make on of these for a while now and just not getting around to it. Well, drum roll please, I have finally got around to purchasing some dolls! This means I need to get cracking on doing the crochet.Toilet Roll Holder Doll

I’ve had a look at some patterns for inspiration. I say inspiration because I don’t think I ever manage to follow a crochet pattern or a food recipe without ‘improving’ it – which to other people just means me fiddling with something that probably works for 99% of the population…

I think I’m going to start with a Spanish inspired creation. I’ve got quite a good selection of nice bright wools in my stash so it would be good to use them up. Once I’ve done that one, I’ll adapt for different colours and styles.

Well, when I say different colours and styles, and if I’m true to form, I mean that my second one is like to be  zombie toilet roll holder!

Toilet Roll Holder Doll

What would be your design or colour combo for one of these? Would you match the colours in your bathroom or go all out for vintage colours and designs?

If you would like one of these dolls to grace the smallest room in your house – then you can find it here Quirky Purple crochet toilet roll cover doll on Etsy.

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!

Vintage valentines…

Vintage ValentineThere were lots of Christian martyrs named Valentine so there isn’t a definitive Saint Valentine associated with our celebration of St Valentine’s Day. As with a number of other similar Christian celebrations, there was also a pagan festival around the middle of February.

Over the centuries this date has been a celebration for lovers and would be lovers.

Since the days of Chaucer there are valentine poems and verses. In the 18th century, ‘off the shelf’ poems and verses became more available and more popular. By the 19th century, those handwritten notes had started to give way to mass produced cards. By the time we get to the mid-20th century, the exchange of cards had extended to exchanging gifts too.

Now, in the 21st century, Valentine’s Day seems more and more like a day created by the greeting card industry. It’s so mass-produced and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a High Street shop or online shop that doesn’t have a Valentine range. You even find vintage and craft markets geared towards Valentine’s gifts.

I thought I’d share a few of the vintage cards so that we might take a few moments to pull away from the mass-produced bulldozer that is Valentine’s Day!

I also love these Hollywood pin up style and homespun images –

Will you be buying vintage for Valentine’s Day, or will you be looking to make something yourself and make that card or gift extra special?