Tuesday, September 8, 2009

pretending to have knitted a hat


It's a sheltered life I lead here, away from motorways, roundabouts and the scrum of city shopping. So when I bestir myself and enter the fray, it takes me aback. The ability to be in the right lane at the right time with the right determination wasn't sprinkled my way when personality traits were being doled out at birth.

We followed the hectic retail trail on a family trip to Scotland last week, and it struck me that although I may sometimes smile at the current crafting and upcycling trend, I'm all for it. All those shiny, flimsily sewn clothes in the high street shops, the flat-pack MDF furniture, this season's disposable accessories, the factory-produced art: they just bring more and more people out into a world of traffic and queues and frustration, and half price sales exist because the merchandise isn't worth anything like half of its full price.

And although it's more peaceful here at home, I could still do with a new table. I need old-fashioned emporia leisurely selling carefully made goods to fulfil the social function of shopping, complemented by a diverse, reliable online shopping service for items that require little experimentation or choice. Ireland may have some remnant of the former, but it's still lacking much of the latter. Reader, what shall I do until I've mastered making my own shampoo and ballgowns?


This is a hat I bought at the local market. My hope is that people will look at it and think 'Oh what a good mother, she must have knitted that charming hat for her daughter'. That's a start, right?

11 comments:

  1. It's a trade off, isn't it? It may just be a case of the grass is always greener but your life sounds positively idyllic to me. I have to admit though that if I were you, I'd probably spend the better part of my income on shipping charges for online orders from overseas.

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  2. I am with you on the issue of merchandise not being worth anywhere near the stores' original prices, and I rarely buy anything from anywhere but the thrift store. But I do love to browse shops in person, just to gently remind myself of all that is out there. Also, that hat is really cute!

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  3. That hat is Obviously hand knitted by you. You must be a great mother. I am with Alek I would be doing a lot of shipping from foreign countries. Focuses the mind I think to have to do it online, less likely to do an impulse purchase

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  4. You know what cracked me up the most? The thought of how this post will come up in Google for all those trying to figure out how to "pretending to knit a hat."

    I love it.

    I agree with Alek. I think your life sounds and always looks unbelievably gorgeous. I especially think this as we are buzzed by airplanes, buses and honking trucks at 2a.m. ;)

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  5. You may live in a sheltered part of the world when it comes to 'shopping'. But I do believe you have nailed the majority of shopping experiences around the world. I would think you a lovely mom who knit a cute hat like that. Oh, I can't believe you don't know what a s'more is! Can it be something only done here in the Americas??? I'm going to post what it is and how to make it just for you.

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  6. That photo at the top of your post is stunning - did you take it?

    I was never the most fashionable of people, but as I get on a bit (!) I seem to have less and less interest in buying things that don't have a specific, practical purpose. I just can't take the hassle.

    PS I've got to pop into Oxford Street later today and you've put the fear of God into me!

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  7. Alek & Jane, you're right, online from abroad is the way to go. Mind you, Jane, I find that although online shopping (especially with high shipping charges) is an impulse buy deterrent, I tend to get obsessive and spend too long browsing for The Perfect Thing.

    Heather, thank you! This blog thing is such an education.

    Serena, no, that's my father in law's photo - I'm not that dab a hand at composition. Good luck in Oxford Street!

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  8. i think things are usually cheap because there not worth it , retail therapy is an absolute NEED though isn't it ?, but you don't have to get it from that shiny emporia of which you speak , charity shop and car boot sale gets my vote
    you did a great job on that hat, it has hand-knitted by the best mother ever written all over it...

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  9. Your hat is adorable...just though I would pop over from Heathers blog and meet this person who doesn't know what a smore is! You are too cute for words. I hope you enjoy these lovely treats...I only make them when we go camping so I am going to try Heathers indoor smores! You will be hooked! You have a lovely blog ..off to read some of your past posts and see what I have been missing!

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  10. Shopping is usually a hideous experience, and I live right in the "big city". Love the culture, cafes, etc, but seeing people weighed down with shopping bags makes me anxious, and they look positively greedy.
    As for that adorable hat (I'd call it a small toque) I would take full credit for it as well. Well done!

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  11. I've had similar feelings about the whole retail experience myself. I have decided to buy less things for more money (if that makes sense)...i.e. NO to loads of old shite from Primark, YES to one very gorgeous dress from NoaNoa. And as much vintage tat that I can lay my hands on from thrifting.

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You're looking particularly well.

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