Letting it go

I’ve been steadily going through my belongings and sorting out my collections and generally “my stuff”.

This was prompted by wanting to “put some order” and moving some things into storage. I own quite a few beloved collections and finally decided to let part of these go.

Some items have been donated and others have been listed already, which feels good!

Here a few that have been or are looking for a new loving owner..

Original vintage sewing bust mannequin SUPAFIT Made in England with adjustable sizing. The vintage picture in the background is also being listed. (sold)

 

Beautiful flowerspray in white & blue jug still life composition

Lovely flowers and shades, from a Russian painter

The hues and motif is cheerful and peaceful, so I’m enjoying it on my wall until a new loving owner is found.

 

This antique 1930s British BSA bicycle has found a new home with a dad and son working on a restore project. They came all the way from a rather distant city to collect it! I would have loved to restore it, but enough time was not at hand….

After going through various thoughts and feelings, I am now ready to share the love – I will part with a sizeable part of my collections. It’s time to travel a bit lighter.

There will be:

  • extensive collection of old patterns and magazines (knitting, crochet, sewing and crafts), antique cards & ephemera
  • vintage jewellery
  • antique books
  • old items in silver and gold (flatware, home decor, table dressing, jewellery)
  • vintage and antique paintings, china, tins and boxes
  • quirk finds

I’m currently organising the items and this will take time. More beloved finds will be slowly listed over the coming months. It takes time to take photos and write descriptions 😉

Please get in touch should you be interested in some of these, I can provide details in advance, as well as quotes. I can ship to the UK and internationally.

My current listings can be seen here:

 

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Reusable bag for produce

I made a reusable bag for produce!

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I follow Celia’s blog (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) and she often offers interesting ideas to save the environment.

One of these is to make reusable bags for produce to avoid using plastic bags (VERY BAD for the environment) or paper bags (much better, but still why use unnecessary resources and cut down trees).

She used net fabric but I didm’t have any at hand. I didn’t want to use man-made fibre (= nylon = plastic = oil = BAD for nature)

The idea stayed in the back of my mind for a while, then one day it came to my mind that I had some vintage cotton (a charity shop from while ago) in my collection.

vintage-cotton-yarn

While cotton is a natural fibre, it is not necessarily good for our Earth: it uses a lot of water to produce the raw material and then process it. A LOT, like in

20,000 LITERS
The amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of cotton; equivalent to a single t-shirt and pair of jeans.

(source: WWF https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton). So I was happy to use some unwanted vintage one.

Pattern:
I went freestyle –  just did some filet crochet alternating sections of standard filet with parts of double-chain ((I think – whatever it is that it results in a “full square” rather than the “empty square” of filet).

Project notes with instructions:

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/ItWasJudith/reusable-produce-bag

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produce-bag-6 The first side

The only thing to improve is possibly making it with a finer yarn to obtain a lighter weight; this one is about 20-25g for a small size (finished bag is approximately 19×24 cm).

The bag is now finished and is being carried in my rucksack for when I go food shopping.

It’s perfect for the small vegetables (mushrooms, beans, carrots..), nuts or fruits (kiwi, mandarines), etc.

It can store the items as long as needed and then reused. When dirty it can be easily washed.

I’m so happy to have made it!

 

Repair : patching a pj (short tutorial)

This pj is made of a light knit jersey fabric, which recently was starting to develop some wear and tear… but I was keen to rescue it from demise.

I patched it with some iron-on material that is perfect for such thin and soft fabric: Kleiber repair patch for fine textiles (Oeko-Tex material)

I wrote this short step-by-step repair tutorial for anyone who wants to make-do and mend (and save the environment):

  1. Repair the damaged spots – I mended it by hand using fine thread
  2. Iron the mend to flatten the fabric. Raised parts may cause the patch to adhere unevenly and develop weak spots.
  3.  Cut a bit from the patch kit, larger than the size of the damaged area, allowing at least 1 to 1.5 cm (around 1/2 inch) extra. This would prevent strain points on the damaged area.
  4. Place the patch on the damaged area, laying a thin cloth on it before proceeding with the next step.
  5. Iron the patch, applying as much pressure as you can and hold the iron on it for around 1 minute (check instructions on your mending kit, they usually state how long you should hold the iron on it for).

    Let it cool and settle before moving it, to prevent any weakening to the repair.

  6. If you don’t mind the visible mending, apply a repair patch on the outside as well as on the inside of your clothing. This will make the mending even stronger and more durable.

  7. Mend any small weak spots before they develop into full holes
  8. That’s it.. Well done for rescuing your clothing from landfill!
  9. Now wear again & enjoy!!

Don’t forget to feel prod for having given a new lease of life to your item 🙂

 

 

Busy times

Most of last weekend was dedicated to picking items from my vintage collection to pass on to the next vintage enthusiasts (that is, listing them for sale on my Etsy shop VforVintageLondon).

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It’s always hard to part with things you picked and liked, but it’s not possible to keep it all… so let’s spread the love.

And there are more little treasures (at least to me) that have been photographed, waiting to be added…

But there’s no rest ahead!

This Saturday I’m hand delivering a thing of beauty: an old mannequin head that I sadly have to let go (sigh, my heart is aching, now I’m having second thoughts, third even, “I might change my mind”).

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And Sunday I’m again at the Alternative Sale with vintage jewellery, handmade upcycled wooden boxes and quirky items (which there is no shortage of).

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As a reward for my work, I ordered these old beauties…

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(Can I still change my mind?)

The kindness of strangers

That’s a lofty title for a simple blogpost, I admit.

There isn’t a philosophical commentary on kindness and people to come, sorry…. I don’t think my boring style of writing would be up for the task.

Anyway, what I’m meaning to talk about today is natural dyes. And incidentally mention Freecycle.

The natural dyes have been kindly donated by a sweet elder lady through Freecycle (a site where one can offer or ask for free things). Freecycle is “a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. […] Membership is free”. Isn’t Freecycle a wonderful thing? And there are local groups across the world, I believe. I’ve used it to give and get items countless times – it’s fabulous. Go check it out, maybe there’s a local group near you?

The lady was offering quite a few of colours, dyes and art supplies. I hope she didn’t have to relocate or downsize, but she was just tidying up her home. I didn’t want to be nosey and ask…

Back to the main topic, I’ve long been curious about natural dyes. The only experience with them was in my teens when I used some walnut powder to dye the dark squares of a chess board I was making.

I’d love to try them again. Two things hold me back though: lack of space and the desire to avoid any harsh chemicals. So I’ll need to do a bit of reading on the best way for me to fast the colours. And then I may need to wait to have space somewhere at some point to do the process.

This is what I was kindly given:

  • madder
  • quebracho red
  • pomegranate
  • logwood purple
  • teal
  • indigo? (unlabelled blue powder)
  • woad
  • Brazil wood chips
  • cutch
  • sorghum
  • old fustic
  • cochineal
  • some unused packets of tannic acid and cream of tartar

If you have advice on easy and gentle dyeing, please do let me know 🙂

PS I’ve just learnt that off Freecycle (wikipedia link), a new non-profit organisation was born in the UK: Freegle (wikipedia link). I think I’ll join them too!

Yarn shopping

Recently I had a bit of a hard and tiring weekend dealing with teenaged relatives…and it left me with a bit of a weird mood.

On Sunday I was in a state that made me feel like doing a stint at yarn shopping (totally unneeded! Obviously).

So off I went, without the other half, to the LYS Loop in London.

They have a nice range of beautiful yarns, albeit rather expensive 😉

So this therapy session wasted a good deal of money. Luckily it doesn’t happen often!!!

Here”s a pic of the haul:

After filling up my basket with pretty yarns, I browsed through books and single patterns.

Loop’s Zabadoo shawl looks very nice – who knows what I will do with so many shawls…. if I knit it it will be with yarn from my collection as I dint fancy the colour combinations and really don’t need to spend £££ on a shawl!

At the shop they had a sample of the Oak Knot beanie knit in the very same shade as the one I was buying (like the one also pictured in the pattern) and the comfortable fit was perfect for my liking (I dislike tight beanies) and large head! So I grabbed that one too, because I yet don’t have enough patterns (lol)

And the skeins in details…

Eden Cottage Yarns Bowland DK in Yassop (British yarn):

La Bien Aimee Merino Singles in Sosu:

The Uncommon Thread BFL Light DK in Citrus Peel (orange) and Fern (green) – another British yarn:

Madeline Tosh Tosh DK in Deep (blue) and Patagonia (light blue):

Well, was adding yarn to my collection sensible? I don’t think so.

Did I feel better after the shopping “therapy”? Somewhat.

So maybe, while not rational, it was a good thing to do (one-off). My wallet tells me that it disagrees…

Next, some natural dyes and maybe new projects (or at least preparations for them)

Little Bird is growing

The Nurmilintu shawl (a little bird, alas a wee child, lullaby in Finnish) hit a standstill some time ago because there was a mistake in the stitches quite a while below.

After long pondering I decided to incorporate that as a “feature”. I didn’t fancy unraveling because the yarn is really slippery and thin, which most probably would result in me having to frog it all!

The shawl is for myself and I don’t mind this feature too much, I hope. This is how it looks after the first lace repeat:

I was happy to see progress after the standstill… when I realised that I may be short of yarn… eek!

I tried to couple the current yarn with others in my “collection” but the only one that seems to match the shades, albeit rather lighter in tones, is The Little Grey Sheep Hampshire, of which I had three mini skeins. This is a swatch next to the main knit (the most accurate colours are shown in the second photo):

It looks ok, but I’m not 100% convinced. What do you think?

Alternatively, I’ll be playing the yarn-chicken game, which I wouldn’t mind, being it not for the prospect of unravelling back some section to then include the new yarn – which I really wouldn’t want to do (it would be difficult to unravel this yarn safely).

So what do I do??

Next time, of yarn shopping therapy (terrible, I know) and natural dyes