“Easter egg, darling?”….
A visit to that glorious yarn shop Loop in Islington gave me quite a start.
My knitting group friend from Palace Pins and I made our way there on Sunday….
I walked through the door and there was a little chair upholstered in a vintage design; nothing unusual in that really – except that the fabric, produced by Frank and Pamela Freeman in the 50s, was designed especially ‘for me’ as a child! And there it was – out and about in the wider world, sporting some of my childhood favourite things – shells, corals and sea-urchins. My older siblings’ fabrics had come first – a stripy pattern and a train – and then it was my turn. Of course as a little girl I had no idea that they were producing textiles commercially – the couple ran a cottage, or should I say kitchen table industry – to me they were simply important friends of our family who painted, printed, photographed, and made things especially for us! Weren’t we lucky? I hope I’ll have more to tell about this.
The allotment – the seeds are doing their stuff with leaves beginning to show their heads and the garlic spearing up with slim green spikes. Asparagus crowns – this year’s aspiration – have arrived and been tucked in their very special bed. I’m always so pleased to see the grass paths mown between the plots – a soft green grid amongst the helter-skelter of spring – yes, I’m a textile designer!
Every so often a flock of parakeets screeches overhead – they nest in the towers of flats in Crystal Palace park and feast in the trees.
This sunny sunny weather has made what to wear quite a puzzle. It is warm, or has been, in the sun, and then pretty nippy in the evening. I usually go about carrying the contingency of at least two scarves or a shawl in my basket; this week I’ve been sporting my new Shuka – a traditional Maasai wrap blanket from Kenya – red and blue check, a wide-width woven cloth. I haven’t yet discovered why that particular sort of tartan pattern became a favourite of this nomadic East African people, but I’ve attracted some quizzical looks and complimentary remarks – especially from South London Kenyans!
Talking of vintage as I was – from a variety of Collier Campbell’s own archive fabrics I make greeting cards collaged on hand-made paper – each one different and unique – florals, paisleys, abstracts…. There’s usually stock available at Joss Graham‘s lovely textile gallery where you can choose your favourites, or contact me to buy direct and take pot luck. Check out Wayne Hemingway‘s Vintage Fair too.
….”Yes please, dear – soft-boiled with soldiers.”