Vintage threads

In yesterday’s post I shared my latest purchase, a large basket of embroidery and crochet threads. Today I’m sharing more of what I discovered as I tried to untangle its contents.

A basket of vintage craft supplies

There were several pieces of cardboard with the embroidery threads wound around and labelled, no doubt for use in a project. The yellows, oranges and greens will come in useful for my future tablecloth project, but as I was sorting through these I couldn’t help but wonder about their original intended purpose, or their owner.

Embroidery threads

There was a clue on what the crochet threads were used for, with a couple of beautifully crocheted squares and more in a plastic bag. Just look at the detail and exquisiteness of the stitches, as well as the colour, which as you’d imagine was a hit with me.

vintage crochet squares

Sorting through the basket revealed quite a few balls of crochet threads, some embroidery and tapestry skeins, and a rather shocking amount of gold sewing thread. Fourteen in fact, most of which still had the protective wrapping on. Had I stumbled across the craft supplies of another yellow fan? Or had she bought them with a project in mind, that didn’t come to fruition, who knows?

sorted out and organised
yellow thread and embroidery threads on cards

There were also some trimmings, the sort you’d find in the haberdashers. There were pom poms and fringing, the white ones were interesting though, as the individual threads are clearly visible.

pom poms and trimmings

There was a booklet of patterns, dated Spring 1938, which I need to look at further and which gives a clue to the age of the previous owner. The handwriting too of some of the threads which were labelled with the price (1/6 d) and number of skeins suggests these might not have been in active use for quite a while.

vintage crochet
tiny crochet hooks

But the real find, apart from the yellow cotton obsession, was these tiny metal crochet hooks each with a cover for the hooked end. And I thought the crochet was exquisite, these were something else.

So all in all, quite a find.

Now I just need to find a home for them, and a plan to use them - but even I may struggle to get through the lifetime supply of yellow cotton…

14 reels of yellow thread

Reflecting on my week #95

It’s been another of those weeks where the work days fly past pretty much unmarked and almost unnoticed apart from the amount of time spent away from home, and where it feels like we’re living for the weekend. And in a way, we are, as without the confines of the office we can cram as much in as we can. Or we can choose to stop and chill.

Or do a bit of both. The end of last week saw both of those. A relaxing, but get things done kind of day at home, where I finally ordered a new kitchen bin (the one we saw at Grand Designs in May) and some doormats which I’d been pondering for a little while longer.

There was also a trip to Norfolk, in the wind, and after a short delay at the Blackwall Tunnel we were on our way. Only to be paused again a few miles further down the road, with a small fallen tree. Recognising that it could turn into one of those journeys, a loo stop was built in. Nearly four hours later we arrived armed with a fish and chip supper.

Sunny Hunny in the wind

It’s often windy in Hunstanton, but even for there it was windy this weekend with its 50mph winds. So of course, what better than to go along the cliff tops for a walk?

Beside the sea in sunny hunny

It was hard work at times. Even the plants were struggling.

Plants in hunstanton battered by the wind

With the forecast proving to be correct, some indoor activity was needed. And that’s how we found ourselves in Setchey, close to Kings Lynn, wandering around a warehouse of antiques and collectibles. It was the sort of place that was displayed in a series of spaces, each with items belonging to a separate vendor.

fab-licious vintage sign

The result was a visual assault on your senses, so much so that it was impossible to see everything on a single walk around the vast space. There were items along the way, like this Fab-licious sign, that seriously tempted me and challenged me to remember their exact locations, should temptation really bite and turn into a purchase.

There was a small decorative brass box, which I was so taken with somehow I didn’t even photograph, and now wish I had. But by then something else had caught my eye - a large basket of embroidery and crochet threads, which I immediately thought could work with the part-finished tablecloth, and project for the future, which I purchased in a similar kind of place in Suffolk a while back.

A basket of vintage craft supplies

Looking back at that post I was pretty pleased with my colour matching memory. I was also pretty sure that I’d have fun just sorting through its contents, which turned out to be the case, I’m sharing more about what was in the basket in my next post, but no promises on exactly how I’ll use them!

Reflecting on my week #66

After managing to survive my first five day working week of the year relatively unscathed, the weekend called for some taking it easy. Like most of the population I’ve been trying to get January off to a healthy start, and for me that’s involved walking to and from work each day and so most days I’ve clocked up a healthy 4-5 miles.

After watching a recording of the Twinstitute, where they pitched one of two sets of twins to lose weight through diet, and the other through exercise to see which fared better, both did well, but with diet just tipping the scales I realised something I already knew deep down. And that’s, this year as well as getting more active - I mean, I am seriously threatening to actually make it to the swimming pool this month - we probably should look at what we’re eating, or more specifically our portion sizes.  So maybe a fortnight or so after everyone else we’re getting on the healthier eating bandwagon.

We've fallen into a bit of a rut, especially with the lunches we take to work so I’m looking to branch out from our failsafe rolls, which if I’m honest can be quite dull, but easy to put together of a morning. It’s going to take more planning, but it’s entirely doable and if we work it right our lunches will be tasty, and good for us, and not leave us starving!

Getting organised 

My craft supplies drive MOH mad, well not mad exactly just a little exasperated. He doesn’t get them, and doesn’t see why there’s so many, or why I keep things just because they might be useful one day.  On one level he does have a point (there’s no need to let on, is there?) and I do need to have a bit of a sort out as everything is everywhere, it’s all mixed up somehow and I’m struggling to find what I want, which is hardly conducive to a productive and mindful craft session.  

Oh, and I want the storage to look pretty too, surely that’s not too much to ask. On Saturday I rounded up the ribbon I’ve saved and wound them securing with pegs, real size or miniature depending on the quantity and dropped them into this glass storage jar, which is now on display.

I bought the jars originally to use in the kitchen a good few years ago, and while I regularly use the smaller size, I  use this larger size less.  I think it’s worked well and is much nicer than having the ribbons shoved out of sight. I’m not sure if MOH has clocked it yet, so there’s no verdict from him as yet...

Russian doll and a jar of ribbons

I don’t mind having my supplies split between our two upstairs rooms, but I’m as keen as MOH that they don’t take over - and with wool for crochet and knitting projects, materials and threads for all sorts of sewing projects and card making loveliness too, that’s quite possible.  I’ve been hatching a plan to get items for the same crafts together to make it easier for a little while now, but I’ve needed some of MOH’s DIY skills as the plan only works if I’m able to access the storage space I have. 

And that’s meant fixing the shelves to the shelving unit, rather than balance them on the boxes. lt’s a small thing, but it’s radicalised my craft supply storage. The shelves have been cut for a while, and the boxes and baskets have been storing stuff. It’s just that, in the case of the boxes I’m not sure exactly what and finding out has been a palaver.  

baskets shelves and boxes makes me happy

But no longer. Now the shelves are attached to the units - like proper shelves - I can get the boxes out easily, and that’s meant card blanks and envelopes can be stored in the grey boxes, and other “they’ll be useful” items, like maps and music can for the first time be stored together in the larger cream boxes.

All of which makes me inordinately happy.  

music and maps

During this latest sort through I rediscovered all my momentoes from London 2012, including tickets and maps from the events we attended and much from my time volunteering as a London Ambassador. So many memories, some of which I’d forgotten all about, but all of which came flooding back with extraordinary detail once prompted. These included my pink and purple uniform, walking maps, pin badges and my ID, along with the handbooks of useful information and the celebratory teamwork baton presented once the Olympics and Paralympics had completed. What a great time, and experience that was. 

I’ve a couple more spaces to sort out - not craft supply spaces (at the moment anyway!) - and who knows what memories they’ll provoke, I’ve no idea, but I’m quite interested to find out.  MOH is just pleased that his DIY skills were much appreciated, and happy for them to be stood down for the next phase, I’m sure.

And the best bit? Once the organising is done, the crafting and card making can begin again - yay!