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Published December 13th 2018
Treasures you won't find in the shops
I hold treasured memories of visiting the CWA shop, on O'Connell Street, North Adelaide, with Nana years ago. The air of achievement inside gave me a good feeling. Everything was handmade and full of love and I remember touching the handknits and crocheted doilies while eyeing off the plump fruit cakes and colourful meringues.
There's a place in Middleton that reminds me of those days with Nana. It's called Middleton Arts and Crafts and it's in an old stone building on the main road.
The Old Hall, Middleton. Home of Middleton Arts and Crafts.
When I had my first baby I turned all 'homespun' and started knitting coat hanger covers. Nana said they prevented your frocks from hanging too close together and getting creased. For me, it was about putting the baby to bed and indulging in a relaxing therapy. Everyone I knew got hand-knitted coat hangers for Christmas that year.
I don't recall seeing teddies in footy colours at the CWA. Maybe the footy colours were different or perhaps it wasn't 'done' to have footy paraphernalia in CWA circles back then. However, there's quite a selection of teddy footy knits at Middleton Arts and Crafts.
Knitted teddies and teddy-clothes in footy colours
I found it a treasure trove of handmade gift ideas, certainly quite different from what you find in shops these days. Not a 'made in China' sticker or label to be seen. Prices were very reasonable, especially given the time taken by the artists and craftspersons involved. I love it that cottage industries and handmade products are still around in these times of mass-produced, disposable clothing, toys, household items and you-name-it. I plan to take my granddaughters to Middleton Arts and Crafts in the school holidays. I'll hopefully raise their awareness of the handmade philosophy. Maybe they'd like to learn to knit.