Wednesday, 10 July 2019

What is this thing called Bunting?

Every so often I am blessed to learn something new about the world and my recent crochet-a-long has highlighted a wonderful example of how people outside of the UK may use different words for different things or perhaps have not even heard of something that we in the UK may take for granted because it so ingrained in our society. 

And that something is Bunting! 

Almost a fundamental British iconic image when we think about celebrating something, whether it's a Queen's birthday or something as personal as a wedding, we always crack out the bunting to decorate homes, streets, even cars. Some people love it, some people hate it. I'll never forget the time a new friend I had made was complaining about bunting so much and how much she hated it, but upon visiting my house for the first time discovered rather a lot of the stuff hanging around my kitchen because I felt it was too pretty to put it away after whatever occasion it celebrated. That was awkward. Her disgust was written all over her face and she never visited me again! I never realised how topical a subject bunting could be until that moment lol

So as a lover of bunting, my recent bunting triangle crochet-a-long has brought along some comments from quite a few people outside of the UK asking what on earth it is, so I thought I would write a little back history of how bunting came about and the differences between various words that describe this decoration so that others can enjoy (or hate) it as much as we do here in old Blighty!

Bunting
In the UK we use the word bunting and in modern times it is primarily used as a form of decoration. It can be made from anything, but is traditionally made from fabric and made up of lots of triangles that are strung together and then hung up. Cheaper version tend to be plastic (and make an awful noise in the wind when hung up in the streets), but they can also be made from crochet or knitting, anything you like! Lots of people design different shapes now too such as hearts or squares. On royal occasions you will tend to see lots of Union Jack flags lining the streets as bunting.

The term 'bunting' originates from the Royal Navy around the 1600's when ships used flags to communicate between boats. The man who raised the flag was called a 'bunt' and the fabric used was a light-weight wool fabric called 'buntine', a type of thin, pliable material that was hard wearing, but not particularly fancy. It would have been woven in strips and then sewn together to make up a particular flag design. 

Pennants
In the US this type of decoration is referred to as 'pennants', which comes from a different type of flag that dates back to as early as the middle ages (5th to the 15th century) and was used by knights to signal their heraldic achievements. These type of flags, also known as a 'pennon', were a more elongated triangle shape and usually had a forked end. They were a more personal ensign carried by a knight on his lance. 

Towards the 13th century they came to be used by war ships and displayed at the masthead as a way to send a message to enemies to intimidate or simply state that they were ships of war. You will still find them on ships today!

In America they have come to be associated more with sport, as a flag to show support for a particular team. Traditionally they are made from felt and made into the colours of a team. In American professional baseball there is also a race known as a 'pennant race'.

Other examples
Even though both words originated from Europe, the use of the two distinct words to describe the same decoration in modern terms is unknown. Also 'bunting' as a form of message is not unique to the West and could date back even further in countries like Nepal or China. 

In Tibet you will find prayer flags, often found strung along trails and peaks high in the Himalayas to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. It is believed, rather than carrying prayers to gods, that the messages will be carried on the wind to all beings, purified by the air and sanctified by the mantras, and must never touch the ground. Each colour represents a different element, the blue is for water, white is for air, red is for fire, green is for earth and yellow is for the consciousness.

Either way, they all carry a message, whether that is one of peace, one of war or simply to celebrate a special occasion. I hope this article has been interesting and will inspire you to create something beautiful. If you would like to join me on my bunting crochet-a-long then go take a peek at all the tutorials and patterns at www.happyberry.co.uk/cal and make sure to share your creations on Instagram with the hashtag #happyberrycrochet 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Crochet Subscription Kits - HappyBerry Mystery Crochet Boxes

Last year's HappyBerry hampers were so much fun to design and put together with all my crochet patterns, videos tutorials and yarn goodies! They were a real hit! I was blown away with how much you loved receiving them and crocheting the exclusive projects.

This year we have said goodbye to the hampers, but fear not, it was only so I could launch an even better crochet kit.

A lot of you didn't like the subscription based model, mainly because so many people had the subscriptions for the whole year it meant many of you missed out getting a spot! So this year I launched a pre-order system instead where you can buy one off kits as and when you feel like one. This also works well if you would like to send one as a gift to someone special. (I even pop in a gift card at no extra charge if you type in a gift message). So there are no more scary and confusing tie-you-in contracts. It is first-come, first-served now though so if you have any concerns about missing out on a kit, you can simply join my dedicated mailing list where you will be the first to hear about when they go live before I advertise them on social media.

My crochet kits are also smaller so that I can design and produce more, so more of you have a chance to receive these already limited crochet kits, and if you miss out, about a month after the mystery kit has been dispatched many of them do become available in the marketplace as previous kits, but this is not guaranteed and you will lose out on the FREE UK postage (and of course the fun surprise!) so do bare this in mind.

www.happyberry.co.uk/kits

So what's in my new crochet kits!

Each kit has a theme and comes with an exclusive HappyBerry crochet pattern in US and UK terminology, both as a written printed pattern in the kit, an online downloadable PDF as well as any accompanying video tutorials in case you get stuck.

You will have access to these digital versions in the HappyBerry online club, where you also have the option to pop me a direct message for support if you need to.

All of my crochet kits are designed by me, Laura Eccleston, so you can be assured of 100% HappyBerry goodness.

You will also receive lots of yummy scrummy squishy yarn to enjoy! Plenty to complete your project and have lots left over. This will usually be 2 to 3 balls of yarn, or a single yarn cake. You will also receive a hand-picked crochet hook that compliments your project as well as an extra themed treat! All this crochet goodness is then wrapped up in a silky organza bag so you can keep your project all together in one safe place.

All of my crochet kits are available internationally too! You can check the cost in your local currency on the mystery kit crochet page and I offer FREE UK delivery for all pre-orders and reduced tracked international shipping as standard.


I also realise that fibre content is important to some of you, especially if you are allergic to wool or are vegan conscious so all of my mystery crochet kits, although a mystery, now display the fibre content on the listing so you can be rest assured in knowing what fibre content you are receiving in your kit.

Also my crochet kits are never sent wrapped in horrible plastic wrap. Instead they are delivered in my HappyBerry fully recyclable boxes, with a fun stitch pattern on the side that you can even crochet!

If this all sounds super exciting then you can find out more today at www.happyberry.co.uk/kits and I look forward to welcoming you into the exclusive HappyBerry crochet club!



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