The love of Knitting

At Christmas my niece, Alice Lindsell, was given a knitting kit to knit of all extraordinary things a cover for your Starbucks takeaway coffee. sssss Seeing her complete it I suddenly realised this would be something  I would love to do.

So straight off to John Lewis, picked up a Rowan Kitting Pattern for a type of beanie and within 2 days I had my own kitted hat!  I was chuffed beyond belief.  It is pure wool, the colours of my choice and as cosy as anything and cost me £10.  Rowan seem to have the best selection of patterns and wool, although there is a great selection in general on the market.  As I spend much of my day with my glasses on I find my eyes are tired at the end of the day and the last thing I want to do is read.  I can do the kitting without my glasses so this is the most ideal hobby for me.

Since then I have knitted myself a dark marine blue tank top.  Yes a tank top!  I was inspired by a friend of mine who bought one back from Montenegro.  I have to admit it looks very hand made but not such a bad thing in a world where everything is churned out without a hint of love or care.

iiiiiI am now kitting what the pattern calls a Tankini.  Its a pair of shorts with a crop top to match knitted in cotton for balmy summer days.  I must add this is a present for someone young and lithe, not for myself.  I have discovered vintage patterns on Etsy and highly recommend 2ndLookVintage for a great choice.

Next on the list is a great little kitted waistcoat I found years ago at French Connection.  I have copied the pattern and reckon most of my family will be getting one of these next Christmas.  If not this waistcoat certainly something else I have kitted.

I am loving it.  John Lewis have a great selection of yarns. It is not an expensive hobby to take up and is extremely satisfying.  Whenever I come across a stitch or instruction I don’t understand I go straight to You Tube where there are countless easy video tutorials to watch and within no time I am off again.

kkkkIt is only since starting knitting that I have realise it is the preferred past time of catwalk models like Cara Delevingne.  They have got it spot on, it can engross you for hours and I dare say that is whats needed before you get to strut your stuff on the catwalk.

For those interested there is a wonderful campaign called Campaign for Wool.  Follow them on Facebook or check out their site to see some incredible creations.  I have a feeling this new found love is, not before too long, be appearing somewhere in my online store, CeliaLindsell.com

So its a big thank you to my niece Alice and to whoever gave her the kitting kit that inspired me so much to get going.  I highly recommend the hobby to one and all, it also has great health benefits which you can read about here.

Bath Towels with Swing

I just love them!  Brighten up any bathroom with these exotic bath towels.  Each towel is trimmed with either multi coloured or white cotton tassels.  All are machine washable and colourfast.  Available as a face cloth, hand towel and an extra large bath towel.

So you can either bring some colour into your life with the Carnival Colours Collection

Bath Towels with Tassels

Carnival Colours

or go for the peaceful Pure White Collection

White cotton Bath towel

Pure White

Find out more about the collection by clicking here

Tassels and why I love them.

White cotton Tassel I adore tassels.  I love their creation, their femininity, the way they swing.  They are just a great decorative item that can be found in so many different  forms, fabrics and colours that each can portray a different feeling.  The simple, the elegant, the frivolous, the royal, the decadent, the elegant.

They can be attached cushions, curtains, lampshades, pillows, blankets, cotton bath towels, roller blinds, cotton hand towels, book marks to name just a few. All in all the Tassel is quite a remarkable invention.

Cotton Bath Towel with cotton decorative tassels on each endIn my new collection of bath towels I have gone for cotton tassels.  They are so fresh and natural and can be made in so many colours.  Just a little detail like this can change the whole feel of a item.  The new collection of bath towels will be available in 3 sizes:

  1. Large Bath Sheet 160cm x 100cm
  2. Hand Towel 90cm x 50cm
  3. Face Flannel 30cm x 30cm

The collection is made from superior white cotton towelling and finished at either ends with a choice of multi coloured tassles or white tassels.  Which ever you choose, they are sure to bring a feeling of joy to your bathroom.  Collection debut 1st April (no April fools!) at www.celialindsell.com

For those of you who like to create things yourself see below for simple steps on how to create your own tassel.

Multicoloured embroidery thread for making cotton tasselsWe suggested you use cotton embroidery thread.  It is available in so many varied colour choices that you are sure to find a good colour match for your project.  Devere Yarns is a good supplier for the cotton thread.

Undo the bold of thread a couple of days before making the tassel, this way you wont have kinks and creases, or of course iron it flat.

What you will need:

  1. Some good rigid cardboard, any thing that does not bend easily.  It needs to be double the length of the tassel you wish to create and approx 10cm wide.
  2. Your bold of embroidery thread in your chosen colour.
  3. A good sharp pair of pointed sissors.

Here goes, remember to wash your hands before beginning.  For some reason threads always get tangled with dirty hands.

  1. Cut the piece of cardboard double the length of the tassel you want to create.  Wind the embroidery thread around the board again and again.  The tassel will be double the thickness as the loop you have wound around the board.  Be really generous, this will create a far more effective cotton tassel.
  2. When you have finished winding the cotton around the cardboard slip the wound cotton off the cardboard and lay on your worktop.  Cut a piece of 15cm cotton from the same colour and tie it tightly around the centre of your wound cotton.  Tie this into a tight knot.
  3. Now hold the knotted thread upwards and let the wound looped cotton hang down.  Cut the loop ends with your sharp pointed sissors. (You can trim the bottom of the tassel later)
  4. Now it it time to make the neck of the tassel.  Cut another piece of embroidery cotton approx 25cm long.  Make one end of cotton into a loop shape, then place loop on tassel. Hold the other end, and wrap it tightly around tassel and over the top of the loop to secure it. Wrap slowly, working from the top of the neck down, so neck threads lie evenly next to one another. As you wrap, ensure all the threads in the head and skirt are neatly in place. After wrapping neck, pass end of thread through loop and gently close loop, tucking ends into the head of the tassel. Trim tassel ends, a few threads at a time, to even them if necessary. Use the tie-off threads on top of the tassel to attach it to your item.diagram of how to make a cotton tassel

How did that go?  I hope you are happy with your result and have managed to create your first cotton tassel.

Georgian Tassel, try making one from Anya HindmarchGo one step further and try making a Georgian Tassel demonstrated here by Anya Hindmarch.  These really are a work of art, or craft, however you like to call it.  These tassels cannot be made by machine so keep a highly skilled craft alive.

 

elegant lavender tassels for use in the hometurquoise tassels for decoration with a french feeling

 

 

How the French ‘La Poste’ celebrates Valentines Day

St Valentines day is a great excuse to show someone you love them and this can only be a good thing.  The more LOVE in the world the better and this collective giving of love must produce some great positive energy in the world.

chanelThe French post office, La Poste, publishes a series of heart shaped stamps every year to coinside with Valentines Day with a design from a renowned designer. Imagine the joy in receiving a letter with a stunning heart shaped stamp designed by Chanel.  They also have had Hermes, YSL & many other couture names gracing their stamps.  It does make the envelope look pretty inviting.

 

 

Yves Saint Laurent used to create a new LOVE image every year, in collage form,and send it to his friends and clients.  Below are some examples from the Gallery at the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco.

ysl 1

 

ysl 2And a few close up details as they are so great and I cannot resit it.  Yves Saint Laurent was a truely creative genius.

 

Treat someone to a colourful hearts Lavender Bag.  They will always cherish this.  See our collection here

 

I hope you have a special Valentines Day, enjoy giving LOVE

Lavender for the Car

I so loved creating this lavender bag. I loathe the smell of dogs in cars! Some are worse than others of course.  But at some stage or another dog owners have smelly cars.

I have kept lavender bags in my car for years.  Everyone always comments on the wonderful smell in my car.  They can get pretty musty.  Any as far as I know the only alternative are those things you buy in car washes that swing from the mirror and mainly smell of synthetic strawberries.

So here it is  A Lavender Bag for the Car full of the finest Provencal French Lavender.  I found the fabric in America.  It really makes me laugh, all those dogs of various shapes and sizes against a dogtooth background. So clever.

I reckoned also it was important to be able to wash the bag.   So it is closed with press stud poppers, just open up  and chuck in the washing machine.  Clean as new.

The other great benefit of this lavender bag is it keeps everyone in the car calm and relaxed.  Imagine that, something to relax the kids in the car.  Keep the driver stress free too.  And guess what I have just lean’t, the scent of Lavender will help relieve the symptoms of car sickness.  Now mothers, how useful is that!

You will never want to take it out of the car.

Enjoy £16.95 plus P & P

 


Herbal Teas, Infusions, Tisanes

Freshly made Herbal Teas

Make the Best of Herbal Tea

It has always amazed me that people tend to reach for the  tea bag rather than make their own fresh version of a herbal drink.  Most of the ingredients you can use you will have in the house anyway and the difference is enormous in both taste and benefits.  Below is a selection of ingredients I use to make my own herbal teas.  I suggest you experiment with what suits you best:

Fresh Mint for Herbal TeaMint can be added to hotwater for a relaxing yet refreshing drink.  Add a spoonful of Lavender Honey if you want to add a bit of sweetness.  You can make a whole jug of this infusion and then pop it in the fridge.  It is delicious cold.

 

Fresh Thyme for Herbal TeaThyme  This is one of my favourite herbs to add to an infusion.  It is very soothing for a sore throat and using fresh thyme just makes all the difference.  Leave the thyme in the hot water for about 3 – 4 minutes.  The tea can be drunk 3 to 4 times a day for the treatment of coughs. Thyme contains an essential oil that is rich in thymol, a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and a strong antioxidant.  The tea may be sweetened with Lavender Honey which also acts as a demulcent, thereby increasing the tea’s effectiveness. You can also add a slice of lemon or a glove of garlic.  More on both these ingredients later

Fresh Lemons for Herbal Tea

Lemon  The use of lemons in infusions is very common.  They say a cup of lemon infusion is the kindest way to start the day for your stomach.  It is very beneficial to the digestive system.  I tend to cut a lemon in quarters, squeeze one quater into the mug of hotwater and then toss in the segment for extra flavour.  You can add lemon to any of the ingredients above and below and it will always ensure a zingy flavour to your tissane.

Fresh Garlic in Herbal TeaGarlic  If you drop one clove into a hot infusion it will give a very mild taste of garlic to your drink, rather delicious and very beneficial.  Garlic promotes the well-being of the heart and immune systems with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation.  Again you can add a clove of garlic to your infusion with any of the above ingredients.

Fresh Ginger in Herbal TeaGinger  For years I had the habit of having a couple of slices of ginger in hot water every morning.  I loathed to start the day without it.  It is one of the most cleansing drinks I have found.   Ginger can help to decrease nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, motion sickness, surgery and chemotherapy treatments.  It is believed that the herb helps to increase the production of digestive enzymes and acid, which helps to more quickly break down and empty foods from the stomach. This then decreases feelings of nausea and helps to promote regular bowel function.

Fresh Rosemary in Herbal TeaRosemary whether fresh or dried, is a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.  Just snap off a couple of springs from the garden and infuse in hot water for 5 minutes.  I find this drink very refreshing

 

So go for it, experiement and see what you like.  Use the freshest, wildest herbs you can get your hands on and make the best of what nature has to offer.  Dont worry about all the bits and bobs floating around in the water, they only add to the flavour and remember that if any of your infusions need sweeting use our very finest Provencal Lavender Honey – its divine!