Complements of the Season

May I wish you a very Happy Christmas?

I am spending my Christmas in the rural North, with no internet coverage.

Normal blogging coverage will resume when I return to civilisation.

Until then, enjoy the holidays

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Vintage Car Envy

On one of the last sunny days we had in Falmouth – goodness, that seems a long time ago – I came across these beautiful cars parked up at the side of the road in the town centre.

Silver Karmann Ghia

Silver Karmann Ghia

White Karmann Ghia

White Karmann Ghia

 

Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one taking notice of these beauties.

Side view of white car

Side view of white car

 

These are VW Karmann Ghias convertibles, made in Germany sometime between 1957 and 1970.

Rear view of this German beauty

Rear view of this German beauty

 

These examples were in beautiful condition

Gleaming in the sun

Gleaming in the sun

 

Look at the beautiful red leather upholstery, trimmed with white piping.

Interior of the white car - check out the upholstery!

Interior of the white car – check out the upholstery!

 

The Karmann Ghia won awards for its design, and its clear to see why.

The cars were produced by the same VW  factory that made the VW Beetle after the war, and the early models used a Beetle chassis and engine.

In 1974, the Ghia was replaced by the VW Scirocco and the Porsche 914 – a sad day for fans of stylish cars.

Beautiful SIlver Car

Beautiful SIlver Car

These cars had German plates, so I assume they were here on holiday. I didn’t get to meet the drivers, but if I had I would have loved to have blagged a drive – purely in the interests of vintage research of course!!

Another Wool Stash Surprise!

I blogged a while ago about buying a vintage wool stash at auction. Given that there was so much it filled the back of a Mini, it has taken some time to work through the boxes to find out what I had actually got.

I’ve already been surprised by an unworn mink and velvet hat tucked into the wool, this week it was the turn of a grubby little bag to yield a surprise:

A Strange Little Bag

A Strange Little Bag

Inside were two pairs of stockings, beautifully knitted in complex patterns and very fine wool:

Two Pairs of Knitted Stockings

Two Pairs of Knitted Stockings

They have been very well worn, darned and then worn through to holes in places, so there’s no monetary value to them, just their significance as part of domestic/fashion history.

The brown stockings have a leaf like pattern

The Top of the Brown Stockings

The Top of the Brown Stockings

The (much darned) foot of the stocking

The (much darned) foot of the stocking

The grey stockings have a more geometric pattern

The Top of the Grey Stockings

The Top of the Grey Stockings

I think that they date from the forties, when nylons were in short supply, silk stockings would have been the norm for ‘smart’ wear, and ladies would have knitted their own stockings to keep their legs warm, tights not being part of the regular wardrobe at that time:

I can only imagine how much time it would have taken to knit a pair of this complexity, the patterns I have been able to find certainly look time consuming, which may explain why darning rather than replacement was so important.

Lace Stocking Pattern

Lace Stocking Pattern

If you’re interested in trying, you can find knitting patterns at: http://www.vintagepurls.co.nz/womenspatterns.html and http://knitting.craftgossip.com/free-pattern-vintage-hand-knitted-stockings/2010/11/12/

You can imagine how they would have looked with a smart forties suit like this one, modelled on the Mariposa Chronicles:

Lovely Vintage Forties Suit

Lovely Vintage Forties Suit

The back of the suit

The back of the suit

This suit is currently for sale on etsy, but I couldn’t find any stockings to go with it – you will have to knit your own!

As for my stockings, I’m not sure what to do with them. I feel that they should be preserved as a part of fashion history but have no idea where they would be appreciated. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Vintage in Redruth

Redruth is not the first place you think of visiting if you visit Cornwall. It was once a hub of the Cornish mining industry, and is full of faded grand Victorian buildings, but since the decline of the mines a hundred years ago, it has suffered from a loss of direction and a lack of investment. But in the five years I have been visiting, it has been re-inventing itself and the low rents mean that among the high street regulars you can find a number of vintage and other individual shops.

I went to visit Daisy Rain, a family run vintage business based in Redruth’s Old Steam Bakery, tucked between a florist and the Post Office on the main street:

Who would guess this is the entrance to a vintage emporium?

Who would guess this is the entrance to a vintage emporium?

Down the alleyway, is a complex of buildings that used to form the bakery, and now make up the shop, stores and workshop.

The family found the Old Steam Bakery over 20 years ago, and have kept the character of the building while building a thriving vintage business.

As you go in, you’re greeted by a treasure trove of vintage clothes, furniture and ornaments:

A rack of vintage hats:

A rack of hats, ready for next summer

A rack of hats, ready for next summer

This is the main room of the shop – chock full of goodies!

Everywhere you look, there's something of interest in this room!

Everywhere you look, there’s something of interest in this room!

I loved the way they’ve used parasols to cover the ceiling.

The old steam ovens can still be seen in the main part of the shop. These were heated by steam filled pipes – these and the fire places to stoke them are still in place (although you can’t see them):

One of the two steam ovens visible in the shop.

One of the two steam ovens visible in the shop.

These original (rickety) stairs lead to a second room, stuffed with vintage furniture and other goodies

Stairs to the First Floor

Stairs to the First Floor

Again, this is full of treasures

Upstairs at Daisy Rayne

Upstairs at Daisy Rain

I liked this unusual compote dish, I’ve seen plenty of cabbage leaf plates, but never one with grapes and vine leaves.

Grape Compote Dish

Grape Compote Dish

Downstairs they were preparing for Christmas, with vintage party clothes and heavy winter coats;

Racks and racks of vintage clothes, including Christmas party clothes

Racks and racks of vintage clothes, including Christmas party clothes

Lots of vintage christmas baubles:

A cabinet of Christmas decorations

A cabinet of Christmas decorations

More Christmas baubles

Even more Christmas Baubles

Even more Christmas Baubles

I love the baubles and had great fun spotting the ones we had on the family Christmas tree when I was growing up!

I left with two coats and the intention to return soon, and I’d recommend it as a place to visit if you’re in the area.