Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Stamp Collecting February 26, 2016

Filed under: Postage stamps,Postal history,Postcards,Stamp collecting — Janet @ 5:11 pm



Norwegian Stamps   Have you ever collected stamps?  So beautiful – each one a work of art, a lesson in history and/or geography, science, etc.



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An Antique Postcard February 27, 2011

Filed under: Denmark,Postage stamps,Postcards,Scandinavia — Janet @ 2:19 am

  In the sorting of my belongings today I found this postcard.  I thought it looked quite antique, but when I turned it over I found the message was dated June 27, 1956.  Well, I guess that is antique – then so am I.  It’s from  the Fish Market in Copenhagen where according to the writer, the women wear newspaper hats.  Look left.  And also note the bicycle.  And the outfits worn by the customers.

  note the Danish stamp


A Bit of History – Postal, Textile, Economic, Personal February 20, 2011

In sorting through my various papers, I’ve come across a bit of correspondence that I had back in June-August 1976.  We were in Fiji at that time.  I was just getting into serious weaving.  Wool was not readily available so far as I knew.  So I must have thought of writing off to Norway to get some samples.

  the envelope which contained the reply – note the stamps

  the samples of the different types of yarns which the company stocked

  tne price list in Norwegian kronor

  and the accompanying letter describing the different types of yarns and their uses and the postal rates by weight and destination.  I don’t know what the exchange rates were at that time nor how the prices would compare with prices and exchange rates today

Searching for the firm on the internet today I find that their main business is fabrics for technical use, they employ 1-10 people, and they are still in Grimstad Norway.  A nice photo of their yarn is on Flickr.  Now I must check my old labels and see if I’ve used any of their knitting yarn recently.  I do like Norwegian knitting yarns.

And looking at the Google map, I find that Grimstad is located in a very southern part of Norway, south of Bergen, south of Stavenger, and near to Denmark.


Thinking of Things Irish February 14, 2011


In sorting through some of my postcards this morning, I came across this one of the Zetland Hotel, overlooking Cashel Bay in Connemara, Ireland.  The Zetland Hotel is where relatively new husband Ian and I spent a lovely weekend in December 1968, only a few months   after we had moved there from Kenya.  It was such a treat to find this hotel.  We had a very spacious room, reminiscent of the rooms in the old hotels in Kenya, particularly the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri, where we spent part of our honeymoon.   Since our honeymoon incorporated Valentine’s Day 1968, in a convoluted way that makes this a good card to post on Valentine’s Day – yes it’s still Valentine’s Day here in Seattle, even though it’s almost over in Ireland, 8 hours ahead of us.

The Zetland Hotel is still there in Cashel Connemara.  A very popular spot.  What struck me then in 1968 when I was a newcomer to Ireland, were the lovely peat fires and the friendliness and casualness of the hospitality.  And I particularly remember the open door to the office and the huge pile of money just sitting there on the desk.  I could hardly believe it, particularly coming from Kenya, or anywhere, where such a trusting situation would not have occurred.

The other memory from that hotel was the bright full moon, a clear crisp night, and daylight not until about 10 a.m.  This was December and  my birthday weekend so I have a few anchors there to pinpoint the Zetland in my memory.

A few years later French President De Gaulle came to Ireland and he too stayed at the Zetland.  I wonder if he had that nice front room that we had occupied.

A bit of postal history also from that card.  I like the address to which it was sent.  Roger Casement Street in Cavan.  I can’t make out the postmark.  Maybe my friend Maire can help me here. It looks like CONAGA…..I can’t make out the rest.  The website showing the Irish names for places in that part of Connemara doesn’t have anything resembling that.   But the stamp – the green 2 penny stamp – the first stamp issued by the new independent country the Irish Free State, 1922.  Note that the stamp shows the entire island of Ireland.  The North of Ireland was not officially recognized as being a separate entity.    A lot of history lies behind the design of that stamp!  A history I might add that is very complicated and I still have much to learn in trying to understand it.


A London Postcard February 13, 2011

Filed under: History,Ireland,Postage stamps,Postal history,Postcards — Janet @ 5:49 am

A postcard from 1957.  Rather nice images of London.  A House of Commons postmark and a 3 penny purple stamp with a very young queen.  And addressed to a Dr. John Mackey or MacKay on Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock County Dublin.  No relation that I know of.

A link regarding the stamp explains that this stamp was known as one of the Wilding issues – they were based on photographs by a Dorothy Wilding.


Postcards from 1957 – Ogunquit Maine February 8, 2011

Filed under: Ogunquit Maine,Postage stamps,Postcards,Travel — Janet @ 5:46 am

n.b.   It’s now getting late and I have corrected this entry any number of times and WordPress seems to keep over-riding my alterations.  I’ll try again in the morning to fix things again.

Remember when a postcard could be sent for 2 cents.  Amazing isn’t it.  Well, that was quite a few years ago.  I seem to have sent quite a few cards during the summer of 1957 when I was working in Ogunquit Maine.  I was the chief cook and bottle washer for 2 vegetarian ladies who owned the Brush and Needle Studio there in Perkins Cove.  The premises are now greatly expanded and are well known as Barnacle Billy’s.  These ladies were like grandmothers to me and they were in fact of that generation.  My Aunt Alice (my mother’s younger sister) and her husband Russ(ell) Ireland owned the Sachem Hotel (since torn down) and also the hotel next door.  Mimi and Auntie Alma were Uncle Russ’s mother and aunt.  I lived over the shop and was the cook, and also a shop assistant in the afternoons.  A wonderful summer job.

In my mother’s archive I have found a number of postcards which I sent to her that summer, but first a card sent from Middlebury Vermont just near the end of the spring semester in May 1957.

  postmark May 23 1957  Middlebury Vermont

Now for the postcards from Maine:

  postmark July 9 1957  Ogunquit Maine

  postmark June 26, 1957 Ogunquit Maine

  postmark June 24, 1957  Ogunquit Maine


  postmark July 11 1957  Ogunquit Maine

  postmark July 26 1957  Ogunquit Maine

  postmark August 3 1957  Ogunquit Maine


Old Postcards Relating to Spinning January 25, 2011

Filed under: Postage stamps,Postcards,Spinning,Spinning wheels — Janet @ 11:56 pm

What could be better than finding my collection of old postcards relating to spinning.  This just fits right in with the theme of what were my grandparents doing when.  Not that there is any mention of spinning wheels or weaving looms in my family history but my grandmothers certainly were needleworkers and knitters – like most women of their time.

My first postcard is not old at all.  But it is reproduced from an old photograph.  I purchased the card in Edinburgh at the National Museum.  The caption on the card reads Carding and spinning in Sutherlandshire, late nineteenth century, Scottish Ethnological Archive.

This card is somewhat old judging by the stains on the back, but it is the subject that is really old.  This card is of one of the Unicorn Tapestries, The Lady and the Unicorn, in the Musee de Cluny in Paris.  The Lady is not spinning on a spindle, as I first thought when I stumbled upon this card in my collection.  Rather she is making a floral wreath and the maidservant is holding a tray of flowers.  I’ll still include the card here because this is such a famous piece of weaving – and before weaving comes spinning.

  This isn’t a postcard – it’s a photo of a girl doing spindle spinning.  The photo was taken in Bhutan by my husband Ian when he was there for four months in 1984.

       a postcard printed in Kobenhavn but with 10 different languages to say A Small Chat.  Note the spinning wheel.


a postcard of a painting by Millet.  Am Spinnrocken     published by a firm in Liverpool England


A postcard from 1906.  Postmark Rathdrum.  (Note the British stamp)  The message is to a Miss Webster in Tullow County Carlow.  Rathdrum is in County Wicklow.


This card is of a Welsh woman at her spinning wheel.  The postmark is 1906 Menai Bridge.  It is addressed to County Wexford Ireland

     a card with the caption Irish Life, Children Spinning and Reeling Wool.  Sent from Johnstown in County Kildare to a Miss Maxwell in Belgium.  Note the Irish stamps.

  this card is of An Irish Spinning Wheel but it is postmarked Jersey and addressed to someone in Jersey.  The date is 1909

  Irish Spinning Wheel, 1905, Kingstown (presumably present day Dun Laoghaire), addressed to someone in Queensland Australia.  Note the Dublin postmark and the stamp.    

        a simple card, really  just a modern photograph.  But it was done for Cleo Ltd., a famous old firm in Dublin where wonderful handwoven and handknitted items are to be found.  The caption for the photo reads Donegal Spinner, Glencolumbcille, Co. Donegal