Monday, 20 January 2014

Car boot-y!

Car boot sales are always fun (even if only for those "oh my, we have/had one of those" moments!). But just occasionally they turn up something really interesting. And this was my little gem, picked up in Cheshire.....

What a terrific little haul of old dyes :-) !

Local dyes developed and made in Bolton...

Of particular interest is that these dyes are shown as dyeing both cottons and wools - an early fibre reactive dye perhaps? Must research this further....

Likewise these Fairy Dyes, manufactured in Glasgow, also refer to dyeing both wools and cottons, so clearly it wasn't a one-off. It's amazing that the dye is in tiny little glass test tubes with cork stoppers.

These dyes are possibly older? I haven't heard of this company so will need to do some more digging to find out.

 I'm guessing the jiffy dyes must date to around the 40's judging by this little message on the label...
Isn't it incredible how much we take for granted? And how every little bit of recycling really did count.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Design! - Alien Alert! - The Knitting Collection

Judging by my recent posts and tweets you'd be forgiven for thinking that I've forgotten all about designing! I can promise you I haven't but running the mail order business, teaching and working on my research project (more of which later) have really sucked up my time. The ideas are there but the hours in the day aren't!

Still, I couldn't resist knitting up this little number after watching a great programme on retro-gaming in the run-up to Christmas. Fond memories of a mis-spent youth in arcades and cafes blasting little pixelated aliens - ah, happy days!

So here is my latest little design, the Alien Alert! tie. It's double-knitted which makes it reversible so you actually get two ties for the price of one! The tweedy Jamieson's yarn makes it subtle and earthy enough for the more conservative chap in your house but funky enough to be fun and enjoyable to wear - a grown up tie for boys who haven't quite grown up yet! (It would also make a rather fun lariat for my fellow girl-gamers, too, or knit extra repeats for a super-cosy scarf).

You can find the Alien Alert! Tie in The Knitting Collection, a great new publication brought to you by the fab team at Inside Crochet. Featuring 47 fabulous original designs it's packed with many hours of knitting pleasure - perfect for sitting clicking in front of the fire while the winds are howling and the rains are lashing the windows - brrrr!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

So you think you know your knitting nancy? Well meet her rather saucier companion!

Spool knitting, cotton reel knitting, i-cord or knitting nancy? Which one were you? I'll bet you haven't heard of this one. I just found this cracking post on the Big Blue Bully Bus blog and it made me laugh out loud so I thought I'd share it. I won't spoil the fun, go check the post! While you're at it, take a nosy round - it's rather a cool blog, too, esp. if you're into allotments, VW camper vans and things crafty (and who isn't?). (Oh, and the author is called Debby and hails from Leeds - not that I'm biased or anything.....)

Home Make Me Happy

Creative Crafts for a fabulous cause with Home Make Me Happy!
 I love to help with charitable projects when I can so I was thrilled to be invited to contribute a feature on Funky Finger Knitting for Home Make Me Happy. (If you look carefully in the top centre of the page you can just see a snippet of my little paws demonstrating how it’s done!).

About Home Make Me Happy 
Home Make Me Happy is a fabulous new craft book produced as part of the Prince’s Trust Million Maker’s project.With 29 exciting projects from a whole range of artists, designers and foodies, it’s a great book for anyone with an interest in all things crafty. From cupcakes to cushions, bags to booties, there’s something for everyone! 

You can find out more about the project and buy your copy of the book here. Every penny goes to the Prince’s Trust Charity so you’ll not only be getting lots of hours of pleasure but you’ll be helping  to change young people’s lives, enabling them to fulfill their potential too.
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