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Dreams Of Thatch & A Crochet Headband ‘Tadah!’

Sigh…back from our Cornish travels:(

I do so love going even deeper into the West Country and South West; Devon and Cornwall are just so beautiful that it’s no wonder people migrate there in their thousands on an annual basis. When the sun is shining there is no place I’d rather be in Summer than Blighty, Exmoor in particular and the picture-postcard villages of thatched cottages that pepper the landscape so prettily. So much so that we are seriously considering ways of bringing forward our dream of running a guest house and tea room/garden in the Porlock area. Like this one that we have been frequenting for over twenty years – Kitnors in Bossington, a mile’s walk from Porlock.

P E R F E C T I O N ! !


Owned by the National Trust, the lease became available recently and I would have loved to be in a position to take it. Isn’t it pretty?


Back to reality and I have permission to show you a photo of a special little girl wearing a gift that I crocheted for her birthday last week.

This is said pressie: –

crochet headband - 1crochet headband - 3crochet headband - 5crochet headband - 6

I made an adjustable closure of velcro so it should fit however it is worn.

I found the pattern here by the very creative Revlie – pop over and have a look at her colourful blog REVolution. This is HER photo…


…and this is MY photo of the birthday girl wearing the headband another way.

Sophie's hairband

How sweet? Simple and quick to make, it’s a great project for using up small amounts from your stash.

crochet headband - 2

I’d love to see any crochet headband, or any other small project, that you whip up from scraps of yarn – I know I’m not the only one who can’t bear to throw them away!

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Crochet Glastonbury Festival Bag!

Well, the festival season is here upon us once again and I happen to live near to the biggest and best – Glastonbury! 

Whilst I’m not actually going this year, two of our daughters are stewarding for free tickets and the eldest son is taking the traditional route in.  By that, I mean he bought a ticket and is not planning to climb over the fence.  (Did you know that Michael Eavis is on record as saying how disappointed he is at the lack of ingenuity shown by would-be festival crashers when trying to sneak in for nothing?).

We used to be able to hear the music from our house but, since moving seven miles further east, no longer have that (dubious) pleasure.

I digress….

The first event was in 1979 and attracted 1,500 party-goers at the cost of £1 each (including FREE milk from the farm!), but it wasn’t until ten years later that Eavis used it as a fundraiser for CND, raising £20,000 for the cause. 


Last year (2013) saw 175,00 ticket holders paying £210 each and raised £2,000,000 for charities and local good causes!

So what images spring to mind when thinking of the Glastonbury (or, more accurately, Pilton) Pop Festival?  Think hippies, rainbows, love, peace, cannabis, wellies, mud, sunburn etc. (although my husband refers to the annual migrants as “smelly soap-dodgers”!)

Taking the optimistic view and thinking ‘sunshine and rainbows’, I designed some free-form crochet bags in the “Hippy-Chic” style.

Would you like to see them?

Of course you would!

Here is my very lovely daughter modelling them together with that other festival staple – wellies (well, my Dubarry’s actually): –


Here’s a close up of the front showing that gorgeous “ripple” pattern…


…and the back is felted wool.  Fully lined with contrasting blue fabric with white polka dots, there is a pocket inside for your mobile ‘phone and it closes with a magnetic clasp.


Here’s the other one: –


This was made in one piece so the back is a continuation of the front.


Lovely spotty fabric for the lining and this shows the ‘phone pocket and magnetic clasp –


Are they “Festival” enough for you?  Both crochet Glastonbury Festival bags are available from my shop on the link at the top of the page – go on, unleash the hippy in you!


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Vintage Treasures and The Craft Revival!

Unless you’ve been asleep since 2006 (pre-recession), you can’t have failed to notice the revival of traditional crafts and the resurgence in popularity of all things vintage.  

Being a child of the seventies with no television(!), we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves in the long winter evenings after the dusk curfew. My grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet and my mother inspired me to learn how to sew – I have been making things since the age of five. During the eighties I was rarely seen without a garment I had made, whether it was a mohair jumper (itchy, but very trendy back then) or a tailored jacket with “power” shoulder pads (ridiculous on my diminutive 5’2″ stature!).

My house was filled with junk shop and auction “treasures”, and my furniture was comfortably dressed with home made quilts, cushions, curtains and anything else I could make myself. My baby daughter wore the most adorable sets of all-in-one, bonnet and even matching shoes, all lovingly and painstakingly made by hand and shown off with pride.

Then came the late nineties and millennium. Ikea and Primark reigned supreme with their cheap flat-pack furniture and throwaway clothes. Everyone could afford to buy new, discard when they fancied a change and repeat every twelve months (about the length of time the furniture was made to last – only a matter of weeks for the poorly made clothes.)

I was embarrassed to admit that I could knit, sew and crochet. I would let people assume that the ironically fashionable “distressed” furniture were new purchases, not the genuine article having acquired a gorgeous patina during the course of an interesting century or so of being.  I am ashamed to say that, with the end of a long relationship, I succumbed to change and donated twenty years of accumulated “memories” to various charity shops or sold at car boot sales for pennies.

Out went vintage kitchenalia, antique pine dressers and patchwork bedspreads. In came soulless Ikea bookshelves and acrylic throws.

And I hated it.

When the recession took hold I was in a new, happy relationship (we’re now married with two children), in a house we bought together and the need for change took hold of me again.

This time, I reverted to my true nature and gradually filled our home with things I loved, mainly eBay bargains (easier than auctions) or charity shop finds.  Sewing and crochet were still not cool, but I didn’t care and made new heirlooms to replace the ones that I’d foolishly given away.

Gradually “Knit ‘n’ Natter” groups became The Thing, vintage tea rooms popped up on every corner and everyone knew what a Granny Stripe was. Charity shops are the place to be. Second hand is no longer a dirty word and hand made is valued over mass produced.

I’m in my element and I couldn’t be happier about the change – which is the only good thing to come out of the recession!

I thought I’d share with you the lovely bounty of things I bought at our local St. Margaret’s Somerset Hospice this morning.  I spent £12.49 in total, a snip and far more beautiful than anything you can buy today.

This vintage pickle jar complete with fork for all my home made chutneys;


An utterly divine jam pot – I swear my Wild Damson and Port Jam will taste even nicer served up in this!


A tiny mint sauce boat – just perfect.


This table runner, not vintage, but so pretty – brand new and still in its original packing!



All this second hand loveliness for £12.49 – amazing!


Do you love vintage and hand made? Show me your second hand bargains and hand crafted masterpieces – I would love to see them!