Inspired handmade crochet, unique items and gifts to buy

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Vintage 1960/70s Belinda Lyon Tea Towels For Sale Now

Back in the 1960/70s renowned illustrator Belinda Lyon was commissioned to design a range of Psychedelic animal tea towels for Oxfam. These are now very collectible indeed and rarely come up for sale. Happily, yay retro have a Dandylion, Daisy Cow and Fox design tea towel in stock to buy right now! 

These Midcentury design classics are must-have items for your modern vintage home. The perfect artwork to frame for any room from lounge to bedroom, kitchen to dining room, office to craft room. Plus they are sure to draw admiring comments.

Click on the photos to find these fantastic Belinda Lyon tea towels and more.

Belinda Lyon Fox Tea Towel Designed for Oxfam

Belinda Lyon Daisy Cow Tea Towel Designed for Oxfam

Belinda Lyon Dandylion Tea Towel Designed for Oxfam

Buy Crochet Throws & Blankets, Handmade in Devon

Handmade Crochet Throws and Blankets made by Sue of yay retro in Totnes, South Devon

Hi there, I'm Sue who runs yay retro! I make and sell handmade crocheted items.  One of my most popular items are my throws and crochet blankets.


Often I create unique crochet throws using my own designs, like the retro spot throw above.

Because I love crocheting so much, I add different designs to my website most weeks, with colour themes and designs varying regularly. I always try to use colours that are in fashion, keeping a constant check on interior design trends.  This means you are sure to find a throw that suits your home or that of a friend. 

My new offset granny square designs with asymmetric stripes.

I have been knitting and crocheting for over 30 years and also hold a Fine Art degree from The Winchester School of Art. I think that this background in the arts adds a little *something* to all of the crochet I make and sell. What do you think? Why not take a look at everything I've made, including blankets and throws I've sold to date. 

This blanket has the look and feel of the 1950s and early 60s., due to the colours chosen.

With the resurgence of Flower Power and Vintage styling, crochet is currently enjoying a massive boom in popularity. I always aim to have blankets available for those of you who love midcentury design. A well made crochet throw can add colour and texture to your home and is sure to attract lots of attention. I also make totally unique and unusual pattern and colour combinations...

Completely unique, one-off crochet blankets, which are designed as I make them....

If you like something it's worth snapping up as I probably won't ever make another the same! As I mentioned above, I create many crochet blanket designs out of my head, making pattern and colour decisions as I go along. This means that you would never find another the same anywhere. If you adore having lovingly made items in your home, which are unlike anything you can buy anywhere else, then yay retro is for you.  You can even commission me to make something just for you. Simply get in touch. Pop in to yay retro now to see the huge range of crochet blankets and throws available to buy right now. - all hand made by myself in Totnes, Devon.

Handmade Vintage Birds to Hang in your Home

Did you know that yay retro now make and sell vintage fabric birds as well as handmade crochet? Made with genuine vintage 60s/70s fabrics, these colourful birds come in two sizes and are designed to bring joy and colour to your home.

Hang on the wall, on your indoor plants, off of a shelf or on the handle of your furniture. Why not buy several and create a wall display?

Each bird is completely unique to create it's own personal character. Why not explore the birds I have for sale now?

Vintage Tea Towels now on sale at yay retro!

At yay retro we love 1960/70s vintage tea towels, do you?

Many of you will know that yay retro were originally specialist vintage sellers. Recently I have been desperate to have some vintage pieces in my shop again....So for 2022 you will be able to buy all the handmade crocheted items you've come to love, PLUS handmade vintage fabric birds and NOW collectable vintage tea towels too!  Whether you love vintage Flower Power fabric tea towels or particular designers such as Belinda Lyon or Harry Butterworth, then yay retro is the place to come and shop. 

Belinda Lyon Tea Towels are super collectable

Vintage tea towels are wonderful framed or hung from a wooden baton in any room in your home. Obviously each tea towel is a rarely found thing, so if you find one you love it's a great idea to snap it up!  Love 1960 and 70s daisy designs?  Masses of bright orange and yellow huge florals or kitsch 1950s designs?....Whatever style you love pop in to check out the vintage tea towels we have for sale right now.


1950s kitsch tea towels are fun to frame or use in your kitchen! Go shopping for vintage tea towels at yay retro now!

Summer Crochet Throws (they're not just for winter ya know!)

After a long old winter, today was the perfect day here in Devon, to take some breezy photos of the crocheted throws and blankets I have for sale. All of these super soft blankets or throws are ideal for year round loveliness in your home, camper van or caravan. Use them to add colour and texture to any room in your home, or mobile home! From the lounge to the bedroom and everywhere in between. 

I know that many of my customers like to use my smaller crochet blankets as pretty additions to their lounge or bedroom decor. Draped over a chair back or popped on a bed or cabinet. These soften a space and add visual texture and brightness to any interior, whilst being a sweet lap warmer for an adult or a fun cuddle blanket for children. My grandchildren always make a bee-line for the blankets in my lounge all year round!

Ideal as lightweight, compact picnic blankets. These beauties add that bit of cheery pzazz to any trip out, and being super easy to wash and incredibly fast to dry what better item to have handy for day trips. We keep a crocheted blanket handy in our family beach hut, and they always travel with us to the beach and on walks too.

In fact with many of us eating and drinking outside now, my crochet blankets have also been known to take a trip or two to the pub to snuggle with when the sun goes down of an evening!  Why not snap one of these lovely crocheted blankets up in the yay retro shop today? If you would like a bigger blanket, simply get in touch for a quotation and to discuss your requirements.  I make blankets from baby size through to super king size. 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 26/05/2021

Notes on a Paul Mc Cartney-esque Crochet Waistcoat made by yay retro!

A few years ago I wrote a blog article about a waistcoat I had crocheted using slightly floral granny squares. This was a feminine version of Paul McCartney's infamous garment worn in the 1960/70s. Now I have made a unisex version using traditional granny squares, which makes it pretty much the same design as Paul McCartney's, and more suited to both men and women. 

Although Paul's was edged in pale grey, and made with a regular woollen yarn,  I have invested in a superior cotton based yarn so that it hangs better and is more hardwearing. I have chosen a charcoal edging, of Drops Cotton Light yarn, which is 100% cotton. This makes the colours stand out and be much more zingy. The centres of the squares are made using Scheepjes Stone and Riverwashed yarns which are 80% Cotton and 20% Acrylic and you can purchase these in a mixed colour pack of 52 x 50gram balls.  

Crochet Waistcoat facts:

  • You can pretty much follow my original pattern found here, though make the squares using a traditional granny square design instead.

  • I made 102 squares for this particular waistcoat, and a slightly different layout.
  • Each square took approx 10.5 minutes to make. So 18 hours of solid crocheting.
  • Sewing the waistcoat together and completing the edging took approx 8 hours.
  • [So a total of 26 hours non stop work.]
  • Made for approx 38-42" Chest, the waistcoat weighs 550 grams
  • I used approx 250gm of Drops Cotton Light yarn and approx 400 grams of Scheepjes River & Stonewashed Cotton/Acrylic yarn in an array of colours from a colour pack of 50gm balls (nb. the excess is natural waste from the crocheting process)

  • Note this design layout is very slightly different to my original pattern

A Crochet Waistcoat is 'the' distinctive fashion statement, and really easy to wear, just throw it over a long or short sleeved t shirt!  They are also really warm and ideal as a summer cover up on cooler days. If you would like to commission me to make you a waistcoat please get in touch. Prices will range depending on size and yarn used.... from £95 for a smaller adult with regular acrylic yarn to £160+ for cotton rich yarn like this.


Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 24/05/2021

yay retro officially loves Gousto - 2021 Discount Code here!

Want to get excited in your kitchen and a Discount Code for Gousto?

Are you looking to brighten up your life? Fed up of cooking the same old thing? Looking to reduce food waste? Look no further than Gousto, the food delivery service! Find below the reasons why I love Gousto, along with a Gousto discount code you can use. 

Simply click this link which gives you 60% off your first box, and then 30% off every single box you decide to order in your first month!

Why Did I Sign Up to Gousto?

Being a person who always cook from scratch, and someone who feels really comfortable making up recipes, I never thought I would want to sign up for a food delivery service which delivered all the ingredients pre- measured out to complete a meal. However, when my son showed me some of the recipes he and his wife had cooked up using Gousto, I got really excited. I realised that over lockdown I had got into the habit of cooking the same things. We were missing going out for lunch and dinner, and we needed to liven things up a bit in our kitchen. Looking at the incredible recipes and meals such as Korean Prawn Jjam Pong Noodle Soup and the Mediterranean Fish Gyros with Tangy Caper Mayo [below], available via Gousto, I was inspired to give it a go.

Each Gousto Box comes with everything you need pre-measured. There is an ice pack to keep everything cool, and it can be left in a safe place if you are out. The ingredients are often really exciting and we have found we are eating things we have previously not tried or even heard of, alongside our favourite kinds of foods. Note you can start and stop Gousto at any time using the app on your phone or the Gousto website which is very easy to use. 

Gousto Meals are they worth the money? 

With the Gousto Introductory Discount ( , the first month is really affordable, making it a no-brainer to try. You get to choose 4 meals per week from a very extensive ever changing menu on the Gousto website. This includes meat, fish, vegetarian or plant based foods. The recipes range from every day favourites such as Feel Good fish and chips & Lasagne to quick and easy makes from the likes of Joe Wicks' Lean in 15 range. Or why not try some of the really exciting meals like Curried Fish Tray Bake with Turmeric Yoghurt [below] or a scrummy Meat-free Burger with Minty Mayo and Wedges? (Note we are vegetarian, so I'm not mentioning meat recipes on this post, however there are heaps to choose from on the Gousto website.)

Cost Effective and Less Waste 

We have found Gousto is really cost effective, since if a recipe needs fresh or dried herbs, special spices or say a rice wine vinegar we don't have to buy a whole pack or bottle, of which we may only use a tablespoon - we get just the right amount. We don't throw food away because if the recipe needs two ciabatta rolls, then 2 come in the delivery. Previously we have might have had to buy a pack of 4 rolls, two of which get forgotten about in the bread bin, or we eat even if we are not hungry so as not to waste them. This leads me on to....

Gousto Portion Sizes are Great!

We love our food, and we have found every single meal fills us up and is really well balanced and thought out. We have started eating a much wider range of foods each week, with a more interesting range of carbs from Tagliatelle to Tacos, Rice to Sweet Potatoes cooked in a variety of ways. We are really impressed with quality of the fish, and have upped our intake which has to be a healthy thing. See the One-Pot Haddock, Leek & Cheddar Chowder below! The meat free range from Gousto includes mince, burgers and sausages and all of these are amazing, among the very best we've tasted in fact!

With Gousto we've learned to cook more things!

As I mentioned before, I thought I was a great cook....However we have found that we have learned whole new ways of cooking! Each box comes with detailed recipe cards leading you through the steps you'll need to follow to make your meals. They can be stored in a free attractive clip folder, available on Gousto marketplace and you can obviously keep and use these recipes yourself in the future if you ever decide to stop using Gousto. Did I mention you can stop and start Gousto as easy as pie?

Give Gousto a go using this Discount Code Link 

Click this link ( to get your fantastic introductory discount offer which lasts for the whole of your first month - yay!

[Please note, Gousto have not asked yay retro as a business to promote them. As a personal Gousto customer I can offer the code to people to give it a try. Once you join Gousto, you will be able to do the same. Anyone who refers Gousto receives £15 against their next food box each time a person signs up.] 

Discount Code:

Where can I buy funky Retro Styled Crocheted Cardigans and Jackets

Where can you buy funky Retro Styled Crocheted Cardigans and Jackets - yay retro of course! I love to crochet fun clothes using bright colours and soft yarns, making them very easy to wear. Here's the Join The Dots Cardy designed by Katie Jones, which is bright, breezy and warm and sure to gain lots of cheery comments!

Another Katie Jones pattern I've made a few times is the Blooming Bomber Jacket, this particular colour way is available in my sale.


I've made it in other colours too, and also with different pockets. These designs are really exciting and unlike anything you would find in a high street shop!  I can make these in a range of colours and sizes for you.

If you love this kind of outfit, why not get in touch to discuss your ideas and sizing to get a quotation? 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 03/04/2021

How I Made a Crocheted Wedding Bouquet

I've just completed a crocheted wedding bouquet. An exciting first for me and I have to say it was fabulous creating it for one of my most supportive customers! I had been working closely with the bride-to-be deciding upon a pattern for a wedding shawl, when it came to me that perhaps a wedding bouquet might be a lovely idea as it can be kept afterwards.

First of all I needed to work out how the flowers would be supported and mounted, and finding some youtube videos on bouquets made of brooches, decided upon using a polystyrene sphere mounted on a wooden handle. The most difficult part of this exercise was covering the handle in ribbon!  

I then created an array of flowers and leaves trialling the use of pearl headed and sparkly pins to both be a feature of the flower, and also a means by which to firmly attach them to the sphere. (Obviously, having used pins this means this style of bouquet would be for an adult only). Crochet flower and leaf patterns can be found in books and online, although  if you are like me you will find that you can very quickly design your own once you understand the principles. I used Scheepjes River and Stonewashed cotton rich yarns for their artistic top quality finish and also Drops Muskat which has a matte look and Drops Paris which has a mercerised sheen as a contrast. 

Once I had created an array, these were carefully pinned on to the sphere in the manner of a floral bouquet. Plenty of different leaves, including a long trailing fern style leaf I designed to fill spaces added to the overall effect.  I made sure to include teeny forget me nots, pansy shapes, daisies and asters, and found that different hook sizes, and thickness of yarns enabled me to make different sizes for more visual impact.  My customer has kindly written to say it's "The most magical and beautiful wedding bouquet I have ever seen", and I'm thrilled to say that her intention is to keep it forever as a reminder of her happy day.

Like me you may find this instructables page on a crochet bouquet helpful too 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/01/2021

Painterly Crocheted Blankets & Throws - Art in Yarn!

Painterly Crochet

Having been a fine art painter for a considerable part of my career, I've recently been exploring the idea of making crocheted blankets and throws with a more painterly artistic feel. Rather than follow a pattern, I am using a simple granny square and then the yarns as if they were paints, and letting my feelings and sense of colour inform the work.

My painted artworks were always based on abstraction, with the idea of conveying a deep emotion or mood, and I must confess they were rather sombre and serious pieces!  Now, however with the wonder of crochet I find I want to convey happy, joyous feelings, so use bright colours and colour changing yarns.

 I am still drawn to the idea of a division of space, as you find in American Abstraction by painters such as Robert Ryman and Mark Rothko (two of my favourites). You can see how I've used a division of space on this throw which has an offset square of a different colour entirely to the main blanket.

Careful use of colour changing yarns can bring to mind large artworks,  and this can really enhance a room. I named this throw 'Monet's Garden' and allowed the randomness of the yarn and the simple granny floral motif to completely take over.

Using Yarn to create a Watercolour effect

On these customer ordered blankets made big enough to use on a sofa or a single bed, I used an array of stitches to give the impression of swirling washes of paint. By randomly altering the stitch heights and carefully selecting the colours that appeared side by side for the most visual impact, this gives the feel of a large abstract paintings, rather than crocheted blankets.

By dividing up the space, and a mix of two strands of yarn a textural Colour Field painting effect can be created - as seen in the Super King Size Crochet Blanket below.  I will be exploring more painterly blankets and throws throughout the year. DO get in touch if you would be interested in pre-ordering. In the meantime, here is a link to all of the blankets I have previously made.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/01/2021

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