Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Lavender's Blue

Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly,
Lavender's green;
When I am queen, dilly, dilly,
You shall be king.
This is all I remember of the old nursery rhyme, but apparently it has more verses.
Lavender is one of my favourite plants, it smells beautiful and it is also so versatile. I've used it in cooking to give a unique flavour to biscuits and ice cream and of course in lavender bags to keep away moths from vunerable clothes.
I started tatting the edging to the handkerchief whilst on holiday, taking some ancient cotton with me, I began to sew it on as I wasn't sure if I had enough cotton and sure enough I didn't and there was no more. This was a real blow as the colour matched the lavender motif. I was making it for a elderly lady who said she so liked to see lace/tatting around a handkerchief.

Enter this bag, which I found in a charity shop, not a particularly wonderful bag, a canvas bag, but not wishing to just discard all the hours and hours of work I had put into the edging I attached it to the bag.

Here is it finished, although you will have to enlarge the photograph to see the transferred edging!

In my youth I used to associate the smell of lavender with "old ladies", they would very often use lavender toilet water (popular in England from 17th century; prepared by distilling freshly picked lavender that had been immersed in alcohol). Now lavender is back in fashion, and in an age of stress and depression it is often used to calm us down. Bathing in lavender oil, using a lavender pillow are all suggested to relieve tension and anxiety. Lavender oil can also be used in a massage, or in an oil burner to fragrance the room, the possibilities are endless. I even have lavender wax polish, finding time to actually use it is the problem!

It is said that planting lavender around the house will help deter evil and protect the people within the household.

The Romans introduced lavender and its uses into England and Europe. They used the flower heads in their communal baths not only for their fragrance but probably also as an antiseptic. The ancient Greeks are also thought to have used lavender for treatment of throat infections and chest complaints. A month ago there were purple fields of lavender to be seen in England and they looked beautiful in the sunshine.

Now I have to make another edging for this handkerchief............


  1. Oh no! That was so very pretty!

    The bag is great, however. Not as beautiful as the handkerchief, but lovely all the same. You do such fine work, Sally! ♥fox

  2. Sally - this is really lovely! I like lavender too.

  3. That lavender edging is so pretty! I had to enlarge the photo to get a better look. Very nice work!

    That bag is very nice, too! ☺

  4. I love lavender! I've had several lotions and sprays with lavender in them that I use all the time. I have not been successful in growing it however. What I planted last year did not come up this year. :-( I love it in sachet bags too.

  5. The bag came out great...so who gets to have it and all the bits and pieces!!!

  6. Lovely blog. Brought sweet memories of Dad, whose handkerchiefs always smelled of lavender. Thank you.

  7. This post has to be the most beautiful yet! Such lovely pictures, and what a lucky find that bag was!
    My son in Canberra has a lovely lavender bush by his front door. One year I picked a huge bunch and brought it back in the car - a 3-day drive. I dried it and put it into a jar where it still smells every bit as wonderful, all these years later. I've thought of using it in a sachet, but I am worried that the scent will dissipate if I take it out of the glass jar.
    I didn't know that it kept away evil spirits - I have my Benedict Cross for that purpose! It's too hot up here to grow it successfully, at least in our part of the city.

  8. Thanks Fox - lovely to see your hanky worked out in the end.

    Crazy Mum - I didn't know lavender was so popular!

    Thanks Tatting Chic - it took me hours to the edging but when you are on holiday and no computer to distract, its not so bad!

    Gina - sad that you cannot grow lavender, I love it in the garden.

    Now Tatskool you got me thinking - a Chritmas present, otherwise I will stash it away somewhere!

    HJ - thanks never heard of men using lavender, but hey why not.

    Hello again Maureen, you can't grow lavender either! and I thought it didn't mind dry conditions. There must be a lot of things that are suppoosed to keep away evil spirits, especially in pre-Christian folklore ----- I wish at the moment something would stop the rain!

  9. You have put lavender into my brain, Sally!! - and today it is stuck on a couple of lines from Edward Lear, regarding the poor old Pobble Who Has No Toes: : "....his Aunt Jobiska made him drink / Lavender water mixed with ink...." - to try to keep his toes on, presumably!

  10. I feel an Edward Lear post coming on!
    Thank you Maureen - he wrote such wonderful Limericks

  11. What a pity that your pretty edging ran short, but you certainly made a "silk purse" from a "sow's edging" - LOL! Thanks for sharing your divine craftsmanship.

    Oh, and I eagerly await any/all future posts that include limericks!


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