Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vintage finds

Sadly, one of our local vintage thrifty shops closed it's doors last month. It has long been a favourite haunt; just the place to pick up old lace doilies, odd buttons, embroidered pillow shams and old ladies gloves. They have also stocked an excellent range of vintage hats, shoes, frocks, and ties, and usually enough daggy pre-loved gear to outfit one for those dress-up-parties-of-the-unmentionable-birthday variety.


Apart from the beautiful blue French embroidery cotton, I was able to pick up a silk kerchief, a couple of fine lace doilies, a string of pearls, some vintage buttons ...

... lots of assorted triangle cards of old press-studs, and a box of fine crochet cotton.

I also scored a whole bolt of scrummy chocolate-coloured braid. I can see it now, stitched around the collar and cuffs of a future Regency Spencer jacket creation ...

I spent an entire hour sitting awkwardly on the carpeted floor rifling through knitting patterns that stretched back some seventy or eighty years at least. I could have bought so many, but it was the quaint Paton's knitting booklets from the 1940s that came home with me in the end. There were baskets full of odd balls of wool, tins of knitting needles and crochet hooks; boxes of old dress patterns, magazines, and other strange assortments of ye-olde-things.

I can't help but be captivated by the ephemera of the past. Perhaps they are the things that link my modern-day life to the whisper of my grandparents' hand-me-down existence; the time when a woman's handiwork was valued and cherished, when remnants were hoarded up to be repurposed, when a reel of thread was eeked out sparely and gathered resources were conserved. I still feel as though I have one foot on that polished linoleum floor, as though I could rest my head upon the velveteen cushions in the dimly-lit front room, and listen to the steady rhythm of the wind-up clock.

I love to dip my hands into the tin of old buttons, to thread a fine needle, to make tiny stitches and slowly create something useful, or even something beautiful. 

These are the things that help to ground me when I feel overwhelmed by a pace that is not of my making.

It helps me to breathe.


No comments:

Post a Comment

If you would like to leave me a comment, (just a line or two will do), then I will get back to you, and that would be like having a bit of a chat (and that's always nice). :)