Monday, 11 November 2013

Magpie Monday - The need for tweed

Apologies for the slack and somewhat haphazard posting of Magpie Monday of late.  We've been on half term holiday and with a teacher training day tagged on the end it wiped out two Mondays (that and the horrendous hangover I had on the first one).

We spent the week in glorious North Wales, and had a blast.  There was much yomping up mountains; scanning for lakes for the Old Man to dip into; rampaging round old castles; windswept walks on deserted beaches and huddling round flasks of hot coffee.

But what there wasn't, was much in the way of second-hand booty.  Now, I love the rugged outdoors as much as the next man, but I can't be too far away from civilisation for too long.  By 'civilisation' I mean the odd charity shop; a sniff of a car boot or perhaps a tatty house clearance sale.

On the drive there we drove past a sign which read "Tweed Mill - Factory Outlet". My heart skipped a beat at the thought of rolls and rolls of beautiful Welsh wool tweed, a bit of cushion action and maybe some snuggly blankets.  But we whipped straight on past, with assurances that we'd call in on the way home at the end of the week.

To be honest, I became a bit fixated with this promise.  In my mind the Tweed Mill shop became an Aladdin's cave of sheep-derived goods; glorious dyed woollen clothing at mucho-cheapo prices, and this thought kept me going on many a rainy day.

So, on the return leg, I (repeatedly and doggedly) reminded him of his promise and kept my eagle eye out for the sign again.  Turning off the motorway, it was soon apparent that this was going to be quite a diversion and we meandered about 20 miles off-route, through tiny towns and strange estates, until at last we reached it.

But. This was no 19th century industrial brickwork mill with towering chimneys. There was not a water wheel in sight.  No looms or shuttles.  Not a sniff of tweed.

No.  It was a carbuncle of a 1990's retail unit, set out of town, surrounded by a giant car park.  There were hoardings advertising Yankee candles and Farah trousers. This was not a wool mill, but a factory outlet industrial unit akin to Cheshire Oaks or Bicester Village - but on a smaller and even naffer scale. I was furious.  I'd let my love of tweed cloud my vision and got completely carried away.

So I sulked.  Pretty much all the way home.

I finally got over myself and this weekend headed off to the local jumble sale. Well, it seems the thrifting fairies were feeling pretty guilty for their cruel trick, and guess what the first thing I spied was?

Only a genuine, vintage Welsh wool tapestry granny purse.  You can go all the way to Wales and not a sausage, come back to Bedfordshire, and here you find it.

This will now become my jumbling purse, stuffed full of loose change.  Maybe it will be my lucky purse?

I also managed to get this tweed jacket for £1.  It's got a few small holes in it so it's no longer wearable, but it will be just perfect for knocking out a few more door stops (just in case you were cursing me for cutting up perfectly good clothes).  I love the colours on this, they're just beautiful.

So, all's well that ends well.

Have you found any great preloved items lately?  I'd love you to grab the badge and link up. 


  1. Great post. I know that sulky feeling all too well:) Great first picture too.

  2. PS I tried to link but I don't think it's worked. Could just be me though.

  3. reading your posts make me want to rush off to the nearest boot sale to fund some bargains..I promise that one day soon I will have something for you!

  4. ooh I love that coin purse! I've been looking for a good little coin purse myself without much luck, but yours is awesome!

  5. Always the way isn't it - finding what you are looking for when you are least expecting it! Loving the granny purse!

  6. LOVE that purse. I wish I was clever enough to make a doorstop out of an old jacket. Will you teach me?!

  7. That's just what I wanted to ask you! what do you fill doorstops with? Got some old toys I want to restuff as bookends! Linked up the most awesome blog trip I have been on.... check out the vintage! Swoon! xx

  8. What lovely scenic photos Liz.I love tweed as it such a versatile and robust material to make things from especially for draft excluders too.

  9. I have been away from thrift blogging myself. I am late but I am here!

  10. Linky cant be seen till I click through?? Would love a tweed door stop are you going to give us a tutorial?