Antiques

I’ve always had a passion for vintage and quirky items and recently it steered towards antiques.

Of the many items I acquire, a part is then let go and sold on my Etsy shop.

Apart from yarn and silver, there have been a few antique finds recently. Some of them will soon be listed on the shop, because, you know, space….

The latest trove is a vintage (possibly antique) tray with beatific cutout paper decorations and brass corner elements. I love those old papers and faces.

Then there was this beautiful antique large teapot , with its orientale feel, delicate flowers and details that are slightly in relief.

Just last night an exquisite copper and brass miniature set made in England by Peerage sold and is now ready to be shipped to Arizona.

There are still many pieces that need to be listed but as the shop is a hobby, I can’t spend long hours listing, so from time to time I get around to add some item 🙂

A few more finds that I still have to decide whether to keep…

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An end, a begin… and a mistake

The Old Shale Shawl is finished and awaiting to be blocked. I promise it will happen some day!

The pattern by Amanda Clark is free and really easy to follow. I’m very happy with the finished object and it took me only 4 years… yep.

Short after the Nurmilintu Shawl was cast on, because I just couldn’t wait to try that pretty yarn. It’s Natural Dye Studio’s Dazzle, a British wool, 100% Bluefaced Leicester, in delicate shades of blues, greens and purples – very soft.

The first section before the lace is done

but obviously not everything could go well…

Sigh

See what happened?

That’s about 3/5 from the start. Mep

Whatever. It’ll get a lifeline (because this yarn is very slippery and would unravel to the next rows before I could blink) and hopefully I can recover from there. Not tonight though.

By the way, yes, I love blue and green, if you were wondering.

The weekend was overall quite productive and some tidy up was done, which leaves one with such a good feeling!

Some vintage yarn purchase also happened, because really, I need to build back some of my “collection”. And some antique silver – my new interest since I read some blog posts on silver items! Contagious. But expensive, so only done in wee bits. The best buy was a spoon with my initial engraved (well not mine originally but we share that letter), so now I feel very decadent to enjoy yoghurt with an antique silver spoon (1853) – that is when it arrives!

How was your weekend?

Vintage sock… gorgeous yarn and much more (a long update)

A finished vintage sock!

Fear not, it’s not an old sock!

This is going to be a lengthy update, since I haven’t been around in a while. Grab a tea or coffee and read on..

SOCKS

In one of my usual charity shop stops I found some lovely vintage wool yarn, just a tiny quantity. The colours were lovely – you know, the kind of 50/60s shades – so I got it anyway.

Now, I’ve been wanting to make socks for a long while, but actually never gave it a go. Until, while reading my usual blog posts, a fabulous tutorial on sock making came up – just what I needed to motivate me to attempt the task!

Winwick Mum’s Sockalong is truly well done, illustrative and clear, with step-by-step instructions and tons of pictures. Just what a new maker needs! She has done a great job with this tutorial – if you plan to try sock knitting out, that’s an outstanding resource and I can warmly recommend it. Did I mention it’s free (including the pattern)?

After long – my spare moments are pretty limited – last night (wee hours) the first sock was ready… and fitted perfectly! I’m so happy with the results (thanks to WM’s tutorial). They’re not perfect but I think they’re pretty good – anyway, judge for yourself!

A finished vintage sock!

A finished vintage sock! (Ok, it’s not fully finished here… I forgot to take a pic after grafting the toe and the rib)

Sock-in-progress.. just the toe left

Sock-in-progress.. just the toe left. See the pretty vintage yarn?

Sock-in-progress, the heel is turned

Sock-in-progress, the heel is turned

Sock-in-progress, the heel

Sock-in-progress, the heel

Sock-in-progress

Sock-in-progress, with notions and notes!

Sock-in-progress, the heel flap

Sock-in-progress, the heel flap

My first sock, the beginnings

My first sock, the beginnings

YARN PORN

After the recent fire, I allowed myself to do some yarn shopping.. naughty of me, as I have neither space to store it nor budget, but sometimes, you know, one just needs to treats oneself to lift spirits… I think I deserved it.

So let me show you some gorgeous yarn…

Wensleydale and Shetland 4 ply by The Knitting Goddess, one skein each of Slate and Green (picture from TKG’s shop as I still haven’t the wool with me):

Wensleydale & Shetland 4 ply yarn by the Knitting Goddess in Slate

Wensleydale & Shetland 4 ply yarn by the Knitting Goddess in Green

The yarn, a blend of 85% Wensleydale and 15% Shetland, is grown, processed, spun and dyed in the UK, and has a high twist for extra strength. If I could, I would buy all of it (ok, maybe not literally ALL – there’s not enough room in the flat). Here you can see all of the available colourways.

One Farm Yarn, also by The Knitting Goddess, in Flower Power (of course, with such a name I couldn’t pass it):

One Farm Yarn 4 ply by The Knitting Goddess in Flower Power

One Farm is a genuinely Yorkshire yarn!

Here you can see the many pretty shades (variegated, solid or semi-solid) and the interesting story of the yarn and its (local) production: a journey of 72 miles in Yorkshire from sheep to dye pot. What’s not to love?

As you can see, I’m a sucker for blues and greens, although lately I’ve been lovingly looking at natural shades and tones of browns too. But budget is limited, so that was it for now.

NEW FIREPLACE

In other news, this week a new fireplace was delivered and now we need to get workers to remove the old and put the new one in. It’s limestone in Deco style. It was quite a (costly) adventure to get it from the curb side into the flat: we had to get helpers to lift and carry the dead heavy but very fragile limestone pieces. They were amazing, but it came to over £100 for less than half an hour work. There was no way we could do it ourselves, at about 100 kilos each side piece… at least, we got it cheaper because it was ex-showroom. Here you can see a showroom image of The Faulkner fireplace.

The Faulkner fireplace by Chesney’s

LAMP SHADE

Another charity shop find was a Laura Ashley lamp shade at a steal price tag, in just the perfect shade to match the curtains in the living room. The colour is actually more green than it appears in the photos.. it’s a sort of grey/dusty silver green (faded teal? a pale Jade? Persian Green? I’m sure there’s a more accurate name). Such a stroke of luck… What do you think of it?

Laura Ashley lampshade

Laura Ashley lampshade

Laura Ashley lampshade in the sofa corner

Laura Ashley lampshade in the sofa corner

Laura Ashley lampshade by night

Laura Ashley lampshade by night

BAKING

While ago there were over-ripe bananas laying around. Normally, I would eat them as my other half doesn’t like them ripe, but I’m on a low-sugar, GF diet. In order not to waste them, I thought to make some gluten-free loaves replacing sugar with some ripe fruit (there were bananas, self-picked blackberries, ginger and pears involved). The texture was not too bad for GF, but a hint more sugar would have been in order 😉 Hence the spoon of jam.

Enjoying a slice of GF, low-sugar loaf

Enjoying a slice of GF, low-sugar loaf

Gluten-free, low-sugar loaves

Gluten-free, low-sugar loaves

Well, that was it. Well done if you reached the end of this post! Thanks for joining.

How was your weekend?

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The end of my beloved yarn stash.. (and some considerations)

Last night a huge fire broke out in a storage complex in North London. Here a BBC article about it. The pictures show the level of devastation.

p05ghywn

Source: BBC

Most of my yarn collection, lovingly selected, was in there.

When I was first told the news, I couldn’t believe it was true. My partner said, there’s a fire in the area where we keep our things… “What?!”

Disheartening as it may be, for now I’m taking it with a philosophical approach.

Firstly, there were no casualties, no one perished.

Then, was it meaningful to have a collection well beyond a knitting-life expectancy? I don’t even have much time to knit!

And although I dearly love(d) my yarn, it’s (was) still a thing. In fact, it was a rucksack, somehow a burden: “Will I ever get to use it?”, “Where do I keep it?”, “How do I protect it?”.

Perhaps, I had spent too much of my life preoccupied with it – acquiring, caring, storing it and so on.

A lot of my belongings from various periods of my life were lost there too, but perhaps it was DESTINY?

Perhaps, it’s another of the eras in life that are destined to pass – all passes away and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Perhaps it will make it easier if one day I were to move elsewhere or change my life?

There have been signs of change in the last years, some days I feel it’s time for a bigger change, but I’m not sure about it yet.

Meanwhile, should I “travel light”? Should I detach myself?

Anyway, as there’s nothing I can do about it, life moves on!

PS some yarn kept at the flat has survived…

PS2 my collection before

Synthetic fibres (a pledge and a WIP)

Today I was reading a post by Fadanista, who was making a more environmentally-friendly alternative to a fleece jacket from a vintage pattern.

In it she mentions the issue of man-made (i.e. synthetic materials like fleece, nylon, acrylic, etc.) and the negative impact these can have on the environment (as well as on the people wearing them). Apart from the production of such materials, which come from oil basically, one of the key issues is the tiny particles and lints that such garments release in the waterways while being washed and treated. In her post, she mentions some interesting articles and sources (like this one from the Guardian – please visit her blog for more links).

These particles ending up in our waters and oceans, are ultimately contaminating water, as well as are being swallowed by fish and so ending up in the food chain (= on our tables).

I now feel really bad because I know that I have some synthetic yarn and fabric in my stash (not much, but still). There is no good way of dealing with it:

  • if I pass it on, it will still end up in the water
  • if I consign it to the bin, it will end up in landfills where it won’t break down (unlike natural fibres)
  • if I burn it, it will still release polluting fumes (like all oil products)

As she suggested, the only good option may be to “leave it alone” at the bottom of the stash.

Still, I think it’s a good time to have a conversation in the crafting communities about man-made fibres and their ill effects on health and environment. I think of the inexpensive craft packs that are being used in large quantities – the end product may look pretty, but it has a hidden nasty side effect: it pollutes our environment.

So, today I pledge to try and avoid using synthetic fibres as much as possible. I hope others will join in!

~ ~ ~

On the bright side, I had just decided to bring some order to my UFOs queue. There aren’t too many items in there (about five, I think)… still it’s worth dealing with them – do something with them or reuse the yarn.

The first I picked up, is this summer top: Sea top (Ravelry project). It’s made of aran silk and based on Simple Irresistible, a free pattern that I slightly tweaked.

I looked at it again: after measuring the part I had so far (about 1/3) it looks that I casted on too many stitches and is now too large for my size M (even allowing some positive ease for a more flowing line). Despite that, I decided to carry on, because:

  • so I can actually have a better idea of how to alter it the next time around
  • it’s a quick knit, so it’s ok to do extra rows, even if I frog it in the end
  • I’m curious to see how it is in its current version

I’m still expecting to most probably ending up at the frog pond!

A few shots of the top short before it was put on hold… I’ve now added more rows to it and started a new skein. The yarn is an aran silk in Seaweed (one-off stock), it’s soft, drapey and shiny.

There are many other things I wanted to share, but I will leave them for the next posts… one will be about some vintage lace gloves and how they went to some period dances in grand halls.

Until then, take good care x

 

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Fairs, restoration and vintage jewellery

Flowers are blooming… here’s a beautiful bush from the neighbourhood

spring flowers

Spring is coming!

A catch up post with a bit of all….

The ABBS market I attended recently wasn’t bad – all in all it was an interesting experience and helped me getting a feeling for what items may sell and in what price range. Sadly, I managed to delete the photos I took at the event, thinking I had already downloaded them… doh! So I will offer some flower pictures instead, which are always nice to see.

The restoration of the ceiling rose is in progress: it takes ages to clean it up properly. Here’s a shot of a recent state – you may not see much progress, but I assure you there is. You may notice that in some areas the stucco details are much clearer – those come out after hours of careful brush work. Here are some pictures of the WIP (the work has now proceeded further, but I haven’t taken a photo yet):

After most of the extra material had been removed

Material has been removed from the outer circle

The stucco details in the left quadrant are starting to come out after careful brush removal work

I also booked tickets for The Ideal Home Show currently held from 24 Mar to 9 Apr 2017 at the Kensington Olympia Grand in London. Yesterday when I passed by on my way to work (the venue is just next to my office train station) it was pretty crowded already! As we’ll visit at a weekend, it’ll be necessary to get there early to avoid exhausting queues. If anyone is interested, you can get a reduced price (from £15pp to £10.50pp booking for two, using code OLYMPIA).

I have been continuing my quest to acquire more vintage jewellery boxes. I already have quite a few, but I love these old boxes, so more are on their way. They will be used for some of the vintage costume jewellery that is to be sold on my Etsy shop VforVintageLondon and at the upcoming fairs. Speaking of which, the actual listing of such jewellery on Etsy is high up on my to-do list! I seem to never get around to it, although I have many photos already and “just” need to write the listing… I hope to do some this weekend, because they’re really beautiful! Just a few pictures to show you some… (if you’re interested, please get in touch, we ship worldwide).

Recently I was shipping one of the Etsy orders (an elegant vintage red leather purse) and came up with the idea of decorating a beautiful blue box with some delicate flowery vintage paper, in a blue-white-red theme. What do you think?

Finally, I booked at another fair: the Pop Up Vintage Fair is a regular vintage fair taking place in the beautiful old St Stephen’s Church in London. As well as plenty of vintage shopping, you will find “retro” live music and a vintage tea room with yummy cakes. If you would like to attend, I have some free tickets 🙂

Details: Sunday 9th April, 11:00-16:00, at St Stephen’s Church, Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, London, NW3 2PP. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these 🙂

Have a lovely weekend!

The Fiver Curtain

(Vintage Way No. 2)

Finally this weekend I was able to dedicate some time to repurpose a lucky find from some time ago: a curtain in a beautiful shade of blue.

The material: curtain and matching haberdashery (all for a fiver). It feels like a linen-cotton fabric, so not bad at all.

The bathroom needed a small one to avoid or reduce see-through when the lights are on at night.

Luckily the width of the repurposed material perfectly fitted in our window, so the work needed wasn’t a lot.. but bear in mind that currently I have no sewing machine, so it’s hand stitching all the way.

Before being shortened

Out it came (part of) my sewing thread stash (lots of vintage threads and some less old – ebay, charity and market finds). For a quick refresh on some more of my stash, see this old post: Wooden Reels (no, this isn’t it all, and yes, they’re still stored in boxes). If I ever need a colour, I’m pretty confident it’s going to be in there, or at least something closely matching..

In my usual freestyle way, I didn’t do much of complicate measurements (i.e. none). After putting it up on the curtain rail I just marked the desired length in a couple of points, then proceeded to bast and cut the extra length.

The extra length has just been cut off

The bottom has been basted, ready for trying it up

Then the edge was fixed – the result is not particularly pretty, but works. There was a little fiddling with the basting as in the middle section the length was slightly longer. Then the two layers were fixed together with a small, mostly hidden stitch. And that was it: new curtain’s up!

“New” vintage curtain is up!

It still needs a curtain hook to hold it on a side when open, then the haberdashery blue rope can be put to use too.

I was very happy to repurpose the lucky find: “new” nice curtain for a fiver.

Environmentally friendly: check; economic: check. Win-win.

~ ~ ~

As some may have noticed I don’t blog very often. I thought about it, and I believe it’s due to my instinct of presenting things only when they’re complete. This way I miss out on the spontaneous update and just putting it out to the world really.  So I end up having quite a few photos of things I’ve done, seen or am making, but actually posting very little of them. Also, life often gets in the way and throws many things at you – sometimes there isn’t just enough energy left to sit, edit photos and write it all down. I wonder if that’s a common problem with bloggers?

Anyway, next time (this week!), I will discuss: