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Handbags and Questing August 3, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Really good day.

I have a theory, and it’s to do with the colours that are in fashion at the moment, which, I have to say, I think are horrible.  I was in Gap this afternoon and it’s all washed out pinks and beiges and greys and insipid navy, and I thought, this stuff doesn’t look new.  It looks old, and worn, and a little bit shabby.  Knitwear is also back in, chunky, maroon and mustard and off-white baggy jumpers.  Big boots that look, in a sort of stylised way, like they’re for walking long distances through mud in.  Wellington boots.

My theory is this: what people want is handmade.  What people want is built to last, and maybe it isn’t new, but it keeps on being useful and practical for a long time.  And the glorious irony is that the big stores have realised this and are selling throwaway garments as they always do – only this time, they’re cunningly disguised as things that are might be heirlooms.  We’re trying to escape throwaway consumerism in some small way, and as these things always do it’s coming back to bite us in the bums.  It’s doing it yourself, without having to do it yourself.  It’s things that look homemade, without actually being so.  It’s the side of fashion that makes me want to scream, and bang my head against the wall, because it’s all the things I love and am interested in, with faux emblazoned in front of it in curly font.

Meanwhile, finding actual higher-than-ankle boots to traipse through mud in, in a UK size 5 1/2, remains impossible.  I am destined to wear through the soles of my walking boots, I think.  They already have barely any grip left on them.

In the spirit of handmade, therefore, I went out today and bought more crafting equipment than you can shake a metaphorical stick at.  I recently found this tutorial for freezer paper stencilling and thought it looked really interesting to have a go at.  Unfortunately, finding freezer paper in the UK is, as I’m sure many people before me have discovered, nigh on impossible.  However, I was not deterred, and I think I have found a substitute with the combination of the super powers of the ladies in Fabric Land in Southampton, and the as-yet-unchallenged notion that if you can’t do it with Vilene, it’s not worth doing.

Three quarters of an hour of traipsing later, and I had myself a craft knife and cutting board, and had located a gorgeous little art shop to supply me with fabric paint.  Don’t you just love art shops?  They may well be my favourite type of shop in the world – full of different textures of paper and pots of brightly coloured stuff and ubiquitous Things To Stick Things To Other Things.  It always speaks to me of such potential.

And so continues my quest to be more adept at making pretty things.  There will be photos, ditto of The Skirt, as soon as I am not a lazy beggar and can get my hands on a camera.

Oh, and one other thing that happened today: I discovered that the lady in the John Lewis haberdashery now recognises me on sight.  Also, apparently a new yarn shop has opened in Newcastle.  Add that to this absolute gem, and I’m starting to think I’m at the wrong end of the country.

I’m going to go and play with buttons.



1. ruethewhirl - August 3, 2010

Ah, you should have said you were after crafting stuff – if you need specialist tools, i’ve got a frankly scary set of craft knives and spikes and whetstones and all sorts of gub, and a cutting mat, sitting in the bottom of my cupboard. it’s in a metal briefcase, that’s how serious it is. Yours if you need it xxx

2. Lucy - August 4, 2010

I cannot tell you how jealous I am that you can go to a FabricLand in person!!!! Also, that stencilling is amazing, and, and, and… and I can’t tell you how happy this post makes me!

3. Jenny - August 10, 2010

This goes with my whole new philosophy on clothes: I’ve spent the summer getting rid of a lot of things that I just don’t wear and I don’t plan on buying anything new for a while except boots that will last a good long while and go with everything. And probably something mindlessly floaty at Towersey. And also: I’m knitting a shawl! No really! At last! I added you on Ravelry, and there will be pictures at a later stage of making and once I have a camera. And also that hat is amazing and well done you and I am going to make it at some point but this is kind of a comment for a totally different post and oh now I really must work. Once I am more free, too, we *shall* meet up.

How is the 19th for you? It’s a thursday. I have a driving lesson at lunchtime, and then after that we can meet up and I will have knitting for once to go with my coffee.

Fiona - August 10, 2010

I’m not about next week – sorry! Let me know how the shawl goes, I want many pictures! What sort of yarn are you using?

4. Jenny - August 13, 2010

I’m around until Tues 24th, and then not around until Weds 1st of Sept. And I’ll probably need advice on blocking at some point in the next few weeks, so hopefully we’ll manage to organise something sooner rather than later! Photos will be taken when I get my cameRAH 🙂 *excitement*.

I don’t know. All I know is that it’s highly fluffy and slighly itchy, so probably wool, it’s peachy in colour, it’s 2-ply but quite…thin? I’m using a circular needle which seems to be about the same size as my 3.75mms and that seems to be about right for the yarn.

I found the yarn AND needle in my mother’s knitting bag, hence my ignorance.

And yes, there will be photos :).

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