It’s the only second hand shopping experience where I go with an actual list and expect to tick it off: the now legendary Banchory Scout Jumble Sale. Alas, I forgot my camera, but Oli took a few interior shots on his phone. A rainy start to the morning made for a better place in the queue and, I felt, a better chance at the myriad bargains inside the totem-poled gates. We also had a better strategy this year of splitting up and so I swerved the outdoor displays -garden furniture and equipment, suitcases, furniture, rugs, toys- and dived straight in to the meleé that is the indoor hall: books, clothes, DVDs, textiles, electrical equipment and the 12 metre long bric-a-brac table already two deep like a pub at half time.
The volunteers are easily divided into two groups: the experienced and the fearful, and I’m sure you can guess who gives the better price! Sadly the linen was disappointing this year; mostly curtains and no hand knitted blankets. The hand embroidered tea tray cloths, tablecloths and napkins were also pretty thin on the ground, which isn’t surprising as they have -quite rightly, if annoyingly!- regained their status as high-value items. But there were baskets a-plenty, and I nabbed a big one for dirty washing, a smaller one for vegetables, and a wee one for… well, I don’t know yet but I do love a basket.
I also picked up three clip-lidded glass jars and my long searched-for perfect lemon drizzle cake tin. A hand knitted jumper and some school trousers for Sol (school!) were the only fruits of a rummage through the mountain of children’s clothing, and we fought our way outside with my massive basket to make one final purchase of a battered old suitcase for the boys’ dressing up clothes. I spent £10 in total. Oli splashed the cash and spent £13 on a work bench and some ski poles to compliment last year’s skis.
The scout leader who sold us the claw footed bath last year spotted us immediately and enquired as to its status- sadly reported back as a handy receptacle for unused carpets and bits of wood. But no longer- it may be on the move towards fulfilling its fitful purpose, so watch this space! (And watch, I predict, one or two plumbing videos on YouTube)
Last year the scouts raised in excess of £10,000 from their sale, and in terms of bargains, enjoyment and general amusement, I think every penny spent by the customers was very well spent indeed. Can’t wait for next year!
Posted in Craft Fairs and events | Tagged antiques, Banchory, bargains, basket, jumble, sale, Scouts, second hand, suitcase, vintage | 2 Comments »
After the dispatch of the ship quilt to baby William, I was asked to knit a blanket for a baby Lily. I plumped for the faithful Old Shale Baby Blanket by the amazing Jared Flood and was even as unimaginative as to use the same exact yarn in the same exact shade as my first one, Drops Merino superwash in a soft dove grey.
But I make no apologies, as it’s fantastic yarn: not too expensive, soft, washable and with nice stitch definition. And I much prefer this sort of grey to any pale blue or pink out there aimed at babies. The pattern, which flummoxed me utterly on my first attempt, is in fact very simple and easy to memorise once you get going. It’s a great one for a beginner with YouTube at your fingertips!
Spring is (at last!) in the air, but even at the height of a Scottish summer those long light evenings need a wee blanket to keep the chill at bay. Happy snuggling, Lily! (Sol’s just testing it out)
Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged baby, blanket, Brooklyn Tweed, commission, coverlet, Drops merino, Garn studio, hand knit, handknit, Jared Flood, knit, knitting, merino, neutral, yarn | 6 Comments »
Every so often in cityscape I find myself very pleasantly surprised by unusual and arresting artwork. It’s best when this happens in unlikely places -there’s a bit of graffiti on the wall of a tunnel in Cupar which I particularly like- and that’s what happened when I spotted this primary school gate in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Now, I will sing the praises of the free primary Scottish state education system quite enthusiastically (and not just because my husband is a primary teacher!) but I have to admit that their buildings and outside spaces are usually unimaginative. They’re often cobbled together from the original Victorian school with portacabin extension -intended to be temporary ten years ago- with maybe the odd splash of colour here and there courtesy of the Gardening Club. But this gate breaks the mould and makes me feel happy every time I see it.
It was, I believe, created from the designs of the children as their own school building closed down and they were moved to this site, and hopefully serves to make the new site ‘theirs.’ I love its papercut feel and whimsical graphics, and the way the ‘O’ of ‘Once upon a time’ is so enormous! I don’t think it was without controversy, mostly relating to cost, but it has to be worth it to belong to a school with such forward thinking, brave artistic perspective.
Posted in I love | Tagged art, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Eastern Primary School, gate, iron, papercut, public, school, street, street art | 2 Comments »
Remember this sorry looking bedstead I posted about last summer? Poor Sol has been very patient and Oli has been very dedicated, and I, I am sorry to say, have been rather removed from the whole thing. I did a bit (a tiny bit) of sanding here and a moany attempt at brass polishing there, perhaps; but on the whole this Finished Project is very much Oli’s.
It needed to be stripped of its white paint on the cast iron frame, sanded and re-painted. A technical challenge then followed to replace a broken bolt with some brave attempts at welding by a friend and Oli. The welding failed, as did the plasticine-like substance that hardened (sorry for my total lack of terminology here), but a long bolt through the length of the bottom support beam did the trick. Then the brass needed to be taken off and cleaned (two bottles of Brasso later) and a wooden frame built for the mattress. The mattress turned out to be an odd size -shorter than a standard single bed- so we ordered one to fit properly. This all took rather longer than we’d thought it would. But, we all think, very much worth it. Sol especially!
Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged antique, bed, brass, casr iron, child's bed, restoration, vintage | 5 Comments »
After the ship quilt and in between another Old Shale baby blanket (and the interminable Christmas present for my sister) I knitted this woolly hat for… myself! In an alternate reality, I really want to knit the amazing Kate Davies’ Ursula:
But as I think such colourwork beauty is rather beyond me at the moment, not only in terms of skill but also of time, I opted instead for a hat adaptation of the gorgeous Hemlock blanket popularised by Jared Flood. The lovely knitter who provides the hat adaptation, Robyn Wade, is here.
As you can see, a nice warm hat is still very much in order, and we’re off skiing soon (which seems rather ridiculous!) so I hope it will keep me cosy on the slopes. It’s in Drops Lima, a DK wool and alpaca blend which I thought would be soft and fuzzy (alpaca) but durable (sheep’s wool). It was a lesson in using double pointed needles, which I found a total faff and resorted to the magic loop method which is basically cheating. But it still works! I enjoyed the stitch explosion of starting with only 8 stitches in the centre and rapidly increasing with each round- the big holes are made by creating a double yarn over and then dropping the first one off to create 9 stitches on that one bit of yarn. The resulting stitch and creation of further stitches is just so pretty and starts of the petals. Clever people, these knitter folk.
It ended up quite slouchy and loose, but I love it. And it’s rather nice to have something to keep for myself!
Don’t you love the abandoned ride-on Lightening McQueen car in the background? Classy.
Come back mummy!
Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged beret, Drops Lima, Garn studio, hand knit, hand made, handmade, hat, Hemlock hat, Hemlock Tam, Jared Flood, Kate Davies, knitting, Robyn Wade, snow, tam, winter | 3 Comments »
This is the second cape from Meg McElwee’s Growing Up sew Liberated I’ve made as a gift. I’m getting quicker! I had bought a pale pink fabric to line the cape, but realised that I had bought about 10cm too little, which was extremely frustrating. Time limitations meant that I had to use something from my stash. It hurt a bit cutting such a large piece from this striped shot cotton that was my grandmother’s, but there’s still some left and I think it makes for quite the pattern clash contrast!
Therefore this one is truly reversible with a button on both sides, a Gabrielle Reith bumble bee and an enamelled coconut one. Hope she likes it!
NOT in the cape-modelling mood.
Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged beginner, cape, child, cloak, dressing up, easy, elf, fabric, fancy dress, hand made, handmade, hood, Meg McElwee, role play, Sew liberated, sewing, superhero, wizard | 2 Comments »
After a bit of playing around with the sawtooth edge (also known as prarie points) I have finished off the ship quilt! I embroidered the baby’s initials and date of birth on the prow of the ship (I think that’s right, the prow?!)
The back: the wee triangles are pinned and then sewn on, folded over and the front slip stitched in place
I asked Sol if he thought these looked like waves, and he replied very matter-of-factly, ‘No. But this lovely bit at the bottom is the seaweed at the bottom of the sea.’ I can live with that!
I had hoped to get outside to photograph it hanging from the clothesline, but the weather has involved far too much horizontal snow at 25mph wind to do much more than scurry down the track to the car and back! I just need to wash the quilt (gently!) to remove the Sewline pencil marks and then it will be off in the post. Bon voyage! (That’s the last nautical reference, I promise!)
Posted in Finished Projects | Tagged baby, baby quilt, bespoke, blanket, boat, commission, embroidered, embroidery, fabric, hand made, hand sewn, handmade, handsewn, nautical, ocean, patchwork, prarie points, quilt, sail, sawtooth edge, sea, ship, triangle | 4 Comments »