Thursday, 9 June 2016

Berets, Wales, and cutting into the good fabric

As you might remember from her part in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Hat, my Mum lives in Wales, and I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be visiting her this year. Well, we have been, returned, recovered from jet lag, and fumbled our way back into our regular routines.

It was Spring, and a not unpleasant mix of cold and sunshine, with a generous sprinkling of lambs, daffodils, and blossoming cherry and pear trees.

Teacup had what might be the time of her relatively short life so far, learning to water plants, eating oregano straight off the plant, picking all the daisies she could find, playing with cats, and so on.

My husband and I pursued our separate interests while he was there, with him mostly launching himself at high speeds down things, like mountains, white water and zip lines, and me mostly enjoying scones. We only visited one castle, Dolwyddelan, which was on the way to Blaneau Ffestiniog, where he had a date with an underground zip line. Still, the castle was cold and windy, and there are at least five ways you can injure yourself on it, apparently, so I guess everyone was happy!

Rather than overdose you all with holiday snaps (not that I took that many, actually, as I was having too much fun relaxing and enjoying things and only occasionally remembering to pick up my camera), I'm mixing it up with some hats. On a theme though!

When I last visited, almost three years ago now, we discovered the Trefriw Woollen Mills, and I came home with three short pieces of gorgeous wool tweed. Which sat around waiting for me to have a design worthy of them. Which had to be very good, because this was lovely, expensive stuff, as well as being meaningful to me, and not something I could just pop over and get some more of any time I wanted.

Except that the years rolled on and I had actually popped over to Wales again before I had cut into two of the three colours (I made some of the brown into the "small chic beret"). So I decided that one of the first things I would make when I returned, would be a beret with one of my Welsh tweeds.

I don't feel the photos do the variegated colour of this fabric justice, and I'm still deciding how I feel about my beret pattern, but I'm glad I've used at least some of the good fabric. And I did buy more!

Berets have been one of the themes of my winter restock at The Blackheath Hub, and I'm happy to say (relieved, really) that they are all from fabric I had in my collection already. Because I really don't need to be buying more fabric! Using up this snow leopard faux fur is one of the great ongoing missions of my life, having some time in my youth decided to buy three metres of it. Hmmm. It's lovely, but it sure takes up a lot of space.

I love berets, and my own red one is a go-to everyday hat for me. This hounds-tooth below is also from an old coat, one that I picked up in an op-shop. You can't go too wrong with black and white, or with hounds-tooth wool.

I made a mix of the classic "French" circular berets and ones with a 6-panel crown. I think in general I prefer the sectioned crown, but it certainly wouldn't work for the faux fur! I tried the cheetah print in both. That's another one that has been lounging in my craft room for many years, having appeared before as a 1960s style hat. I've almost finished with that fabric and I'm thinking cheetah print butterfly cap for the last of it.

More of my quiet Wales adventures and more winter hats to come! Are you an adventurous holiday maker or more into relaxation and inspiration like me?


  1. Awww, how lovely is this! Who wouldn't enjoy a holiday with lambs and scones and daffodils? I wish my spring had held a little more of that kind of thing. It sounds like you had a lovely visit. Also, is that your kid? She's so big! I feel like you didn't have her that long ago, am I mixing up children?

    1. It is! 19 months ago, can you believe? She makes me realise how quickly time is passing, that's for sure.

  2. That is so, so sweet regarding Teacup having such an amazing time. It's awesome that she has been able to experience international travel already at such a young age.

    Scones, gorgeous landscapes, history, it definitely sounds like you had a fun filled, wonderful trip and I'm so very happy for all of you.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    1. We sure did! It was a glorious time :)

  3. Wales sounded so much fun! Even with the castle danger lol!

    I was just thinking about a Beret today as I was thinking about what kind of hat I don't own and a Beret came to mind. Funny how this post is all about that. Those berets are darling!

    1. Berets are such a useful hat, Liz! You need one! They are so versatile and stylish :)

  4. I think a friend of mine visited that woollen mill a few weeks ago whilst on holiday and she came back with some goodies! The blue fabric is a beautiful colour. I really like this array of berets, they are all super!

    1. Thank you! I think it would be hard to come away without goodies from the mill. I'm looking forward to using some of the new ones too!


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