It’s snow heels for me today!

The Beatles in the snowWhat is going on with the weather?

This time last year, I’m sure we were having a little mini heat wave.

Only a few weeks ago it really looked like spring was starting. The bulbs in my garden were poking out of the ground and giving a lovely splash of colour and the trees in the street were starting to get their blossom.

Quirky Purple TARDIS hot water bottleQuirky Purple zombie hot water bottleThen boom – people have started ordering my hot water bottles! These two particular bad boys have been flying around the world!

I’ve also taken UK orders this week for a bee and a purple flower design.

I thought I’d be packing these away until winter!

I know show evokes all the childhood memories of how excited you were when you woke up and the world was suddenly white. You could throw the stuff, build with it and slide on it. What could be a better toy?

Audrey Hepburn in the snowWhen you’re an adult, snow very often becomes a bit of a pest. It appears and finds a way to stop you doing things. Something that might seem a good thing is when you can’t get into work so you can have snow day. At the weekend it’s going to be a pain for vintage and handmade sellers, as even if they themselves can make it to the fair or markets, the chances are, their potential customers won’t be able to.

For me today, the snow if stopping me wearing heels! I’m meeting friends for a shop (I’m playing personal shopper again) and then some lunch. I was going to wear heels but when I looked out fo the window I decided that I didn’t really want to see the inside of casualty later so it will be some chunky boots!

Quirky Purple wrist warmers and head warmerOn the plus side, at least I get to wear the alpaca and cotton wrist warmers and head warmer that I made myself just before Christmas!

And a big bonus – I found some of the purple alpaca and cotton on sale this week so grabbed some to make myself a set to go with my purple coat šŸ™‚

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Crochet toilet roll cover doll

 Quirky Purple crochet doll toilet roll coverQuirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverWell, I blogged about these a little while ago in Crochet toilet roll dolls.

The dolls arrived a couple of weeks ago so I had a look around online for some patterns and they were sadly lacking. Lots and lots of pictures of various styles of these dolls but hardly any patterns. I’d already got some wool that matched the doll’s eyes – that’s not weird is it?

Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverIn the end I found two. The first one I tried just didn’t seem to make sense. I crocheted a few rows and couldn’t work out which bot of the dress it was! It didn’t help that there weren’t any pictures with the pattern, just the finished article. The second wasn’t much better. I started the bodice of the dress and it quickly became apparent that it was wayyyyy tooooooo big for my dolls. Also, again it was just a pattern and no real explaination of which bits of the dress you were doing.

Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverQuirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverSo, like I usually end up doing, I made it up as I went along. And it came together pretty well.

I liked one bit of one of the patterns and kept that. Quite nifty idea that I’d not tried before. You do your first chain around around a small elastic band. You end up with a stretchy piece of crochet. I used this to make the very top of the bodice so that it would fit nice and snug. It also means that the dress is removable and not sewn onto the doll.

Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverSo, I worked the bodice in a singe crochet until it reached the waist of the doll and then started to increase until the circle sat in top of the toilet roll and reached the edge. The I just worked the rows the same size in double crochet until it reached the bottom of a toilet roll and then for the final row I did a scalloped edge

The it was just a case of doing a strap for a halterneck and doing a few daisies to sew onto the dress. I also did a belt around the waist and a headband with a daisy.

This is what she ended up looking like – not bad eh?Ā Ā Ā  Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll cover

I think I’ll sort out the pattern next and I’ll post it up. Let me know if you want a copy. I’ll try and make it easier to follow and with some pictures šŸ™‚

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.

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 makeĀ  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.Ā  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 beĀ  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 ā€“ 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?

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?