My Knitted Childhood!

I love lavender soap, writing paper, sugar spoons, ink pens, a room full of books, white table linen, roses and yes, knitted sweaters!

No matter what fashion dictates or which trend is on the up, knitwear stays with us through thick and thin; through every season, every reason and for everyone!

Below, are a few of the remaining well preserved gems knitted by my Grandmother from around (cough) thirty years ago! I remember wearing these with needle cord flares (nice) or skirts and boots. She particulary liked working from Fair Isle patterns which were made popular in 1920’s when the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII) was spotted wearing Fair Isle tank tops.

blog6There are dozens of knitting cafes, websites and forums to choose from, and I am no expert, but my place for inspiration has got to be Inis Meain named after the Aran island (and the famous Aran sweater)  based off the West coast of Ireland and well worth a look for the history, story and shop.
blog2People who had an eye for a good piece of knitwear would often ask my Granny if they could see the inside of the sweater. If it was as immaculate (and finished) on the inside as it was on the out, it was the hallmark of a great knitter.

Im happy to say that over the years, my Granny got more than her fair share of raised eyebrows and nods of approval!



Out Of My Store!

Hi Everyone,

Since the debacle with Oprah Winfrey and that handbag, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight some things that has been bothering me for a long time now. I will call it retail rudeness, although it goes alot deeper than that as you will see in this video.

A short time ago I was introduced to Jewelry designer April Mcgee-Riess through a mutual friend Emmy Horstkamp. April shared with us an alarming story of a shopping trip she took with a friend in Munich where she was asked to leave a store within moments of arriving. Before this interview, I returned with April to the store to see if they would remember her, but as luck would have it, it had closed down either for refurbishment or relocation!

Whatever the budget, whatever the business and wherever the location, rudeness, racism and snobbery should no longer be tolerated.

Give good feedback when it is due but don’t be afraid to tell store owners where they are lacking or take it further if you have to. You will not only benefit yourselves, but those who will be using the services after you.

Rudeness is one thing. Racism attacks all of us.



Not on the High Street!

This is Chagford, an ancient stannary town set on the edge of North East Dartmoor National Park in the Teign Valley, South West England.

Steeped in history, it boasts a film festival, literary festival and has a vibrant arts community as well as a choice of pubs; tea rooms, art galleries, hardware stores and fashion shops.


I make a trip to Chagford each time I visit my family in Devon. Putting my time to good use I have decided to highlight a shop from the village each time I visit to show that you don’t always need to drive to the bright lights to get inspired or find something special.


Lois from Divine Trading Ltd  gave us a relaxed and friendly ‘take your time’ welcome in this beautifully laid out and well presented accessories store just off the main square.

With a fantastic array of hand bags, jewellery, scarves and purses and with equally divine prices it is hard not to walk away without buying something!

The store is colour co-ordinated so it makes it easy to beam in on your favourite colour palette or mix and match to your hearts content!

The Italian leather Vera Pelle bag (below) comes in dozens of gorgeous colours and is around 37 Euros. I have it in cream and have been using it all Summer. It’s incredible how much you can (still) fit in it without making it look like a punch bag!

blog5Next time you go shopping consider small towns and outlying villages instead of the overcrowded shopping malls for gifts and produce and always support your local communities and artisans wherever and whenever you can.