Indulgent Saturday

Work has been a bit full on of late so, this Saturday I decided to indulge myself a bit. Therefore with my fellow homesick Yorkshire lass Julie, a.k.a. Jamsandwich, I headed out to Fitzroy and Brunswick in search of some handmade treasures.  We weren’t disappointed at all.

We met at “Meet me at Mike’s” (the shop that inspired one of the books in my last post) on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, where I purchased a few cute badges.  Then we popped round the corner to Gertrude Street where we stumbled on Cottage Industry which is full of hand sewn and knitted pretties, I purchased this adorable wheatie hottie.  The shopping bags they use are made in India from recycled newspapers and support 2 charities in India, a lovely touch I thought.

Following this we drove to Sydney Road in Brunswick where I showed Julie round some of my favourite handmade shops such as Olive Grove who sell hand made ethical clothes and teach silk-screen-printing, and Lulamae where I bagged a bargain  end of season jacket.  It’s made from a lovely green herringbone cloth and has a nipped in waist and cute collar, I love it.

I finished my indulgent Saturday in the time honoured fashion in our house, beer, pizza and a movie.  The beer was a creamy porter which is the second beer my husband and I have made at Barleycorn brewers.  A delicious dark ale kind of in between brown ale and stout it has lovely caramel and bonfire toffee notes.  I’m a bit boring with pizza and tend to stick to mushroom and prosciutto with a rocket salad, but it is all made from scratch.  My pizza dough looked a bit rude in the bowl though!

The movie was Alice in Wonderland, which I found to be fantastically whimsical and visually wonderful, just as it should be.

Today, I’m trying to finish the second sock for Sam (I’ve finished the foot and onto the leg) whilst listening to Muse and pretending I can’t see that the floor needs a clean and the school shirts need ironing.

Handmade with love

Just to let you know that progress is still being made on Coraline and Manu though slowly and I have decided to make a red clapotis but haven’t bought the yarn yet, sock yarn has arrived from baaramewe for my menfolk, but I need to buy needles.  So needle and yarn buying are on the agenda for this coming week but in the meantime I have made a couple of spontaneous purchases that have made me very happy.

I don’t know about you, but being a knitter has increased my love of the handmade and the original, buying from independent craftspeople has always made me giddy with joy, partly because of owning something unique and partly because supporting cottage industries has always been important to me.

My first purchase occurred on a visit to Abbotsford Convent to buy freshly roasted and ground coffee and enjoy an indulgent Sunday morning breakfast (Mocha french toast with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, yumdiddlyscrumptious).  Happily, we just happened to be there for the skirt and shirt market, so after brekkie we wandered around the market where many beautiful handmade goodies were on display.  My eye was caught by a dress in a lovely grey and brown wool fabric with hand dyed silk ties that can be worn in many different ways.  I chatted for ages with the designer and maker, a lovely Croatian woman called Sunčana and she showed me the many ways I could wear it, my favourite are shown below.

It makes me want to learn dressmaking especially as I’m constantly disappointed by the lack of and quality of dresses and skirts in the shops.  Especially, as I have recently resolved to avoid wearing trousers and jeans as they are unflattering on me, yoga pants for the participating in yoga are allowed though for obvious reasons.  Ho hum, will just have to buy more handmade.  The skirt and shirt market is on, on the third Sunday of the month between 10am and 4pm at Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne and Sunčana also sells at the Rose Street Market at Fitzroy, Melbourne.

My second spontaneous purchase occurred as I was whiling away some time waiting for my boots to be repaired, so I wandered into The Stitchery in Essendon to check out yarn, as you do.  I was massively pleased to find that they now stock more boutique, independent yarns than previously and found myself deliberating between some Aslanyarns Merino and Alpaca or a Mohair and Jasper handspun 12ply from Peru.  The handspun won out as there was only one skein and they wouldn’t be getting any more in, here it is.

I only know that it is really soft, 250g, 12ply but, have no idea about yardage or who spun it. I want to make some kind of shrug/scarf/shawl with it, any suggestions? It should go very well with my new dress and many other garments in my wardrobe.  The button I am holding in the last dress picture was bought in The Stitchery to go with the yarn, my purchases might be spontaneous but they are co-ordinated.

Now ISO red yarn and red boots…