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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter warmers

I have been aware for a while that it is past time I gave a few more Etsy artisans such scant extra publicity as can be gained by virtue of being mentioned on this blog.

The weather outside being currently what can only be described - even by lovers of low temperatures - as frightful, now would seem like an excellent time to recommend some cosy accessories to people who are feeling the chill.

Firstly, therefore, a big shout-out to Kim of Kimonos for her fantastic fingerless gloves. If you sit at a computer keyboard at home during the day - as I do - and leave putting the heating on as late as possible, then these are an absolute godsend. I reckon I can delay putting the heating on by a good couple of hours if I'm wearing these. (In my own case, I just dislike being constantly in a centrally-heated atmosphere. As does my eczema. I'm not just being mean and/or impoverished. But I'm sure these gloves will work equally well for persons who are mean and/or impoverished.)

The gloves come down low on the wrist, covering the all-important pulse-points. They're wonderfully snuggly, and they don't impede keyboard-use at all. They're also ridiculously cheap. So you can buy several pairs in different colours, if you are that way inclined. (I know not everyone is as colour-fixated as I am.)

Being prone to serious (and virtually instantaneous) over-heating, I possess very few garments with collars. I use scarves where other people might use high necklines. I can remove a scarf in seconds, which is more than can be said for the poloneck of a sweater. (Unless I were to use scissors. But that might not do a great deal for the longevity of the garment as a whole...) Plus, you know, that whole double-chin-in-high-necked-sweater look is really not flattering.

Absolute favourite scarf fabric bar none is silk velvet, which is why I was so thrilled to discover Mimi's Madlight13 shop. Mimi makes long, lustrous, luxuriant, silk velvet scarves out of fabric she has dyed herself and - oh, my dears - such colours!! Mimi's skill with colour-combining is unparallelled. Dying the velvet herself, she is able to combine the most unlikely colours because they have either complimentary or contrasting degrees of warmth. Indeed, you can tell simply from the way she writes about colours in her listings that she has an innate feel for their constituents and tones. You are never going to find a scarf in black plum and pumpkin anywhere which sells mass-produced items. But, in Mimi's reliable hands, that improbable combination absolutely sings.

Madlight13 is not, admittedly, going to appeal to determined wearers of solely beige, stone, navy and bottle green. But, then, it's beyond me why anyone would want to clothe themselves in the colours of walls and pavements. If, on the other hand, you're a basic-black sort of girl, any of Mimi's scarves will set your outfits off an absolute treat.

I have said in feedback that I would buy every scarf Mimi has listed if I had the money, and I stand by that statement. They are just gorgeous. Go and look. If they are meant to be yours, they will call to you.

Despite my love affair with silk velvet, I do recognise that some winters are so cold that something thicker and more snuggly is required around the naked neck - particularly at bus stops after dark. If you look as risible as I do in a warm, woolly, winter hat, might I interest you in Ella's stoles, collars, shawls and scarflettes? I had the great good fortune to snap up one of these Winter Sky Collars on a day when its price was temporarily lowered quite significantly, and I went to collect it from the mail depot this morning.

Dramatic, much?

The great thing about this particular style is that it protects not only the neck, but also the back of the head, from chill winds. In my own case, that would obviate the need for a hat in even the lowest temperatures and strongest winds Liverpool can throw at me.

If you, on the other hand, look charming in a beanie, but feel the cold round your shoulders, Ella has lovely capelets which would resolve that particular problem. Scrummy combinations of yarns, crocheted using what I can only assume is a gargantuan size of hook, result in seriously-cosy - but very far from stiff - fabrics. I dithered for ages about buying one, and I now wish I'd taken the plunge at least two months earlier!

Needless to say, all three of these ladies are courteous, charming and humorous: no matter how good their products, I never recommend to anybody sellers who are brusque, off-hand, uncommunicative, or in any way unprofessional.

The Editor


Blogger Scriptor Senex said...

The gloves look great. I've just ordered a couple of pair. The problem I have had with Etsy shops before is that some don't deliver to the UK which is a shame. Nice to find ones that do.

6:18 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


Re shipping to the UK: it is always worth asking. I've done that several times with things I have really liked, and the sellers I've approached have all been perfectly willing to find out how to do it and how much it will cost.

7:13 pm  
Blogger SteamSmith said...

Thank you Lady Bracknell for making me your most recent favorite merchant on Etsy.

I will strive to be worthy of the honor.

SteamSmith of SteamSmithWorks.Etsy

9:25 pm  

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