Sunday, 6 January 2013

First Post of 2013

So, that’s it for another year then.  The decorations have been neatly packed away and a rather large pile of pine needles sucked up the hoover! 

I have to admit that I was a little sad to take down the tree and trimmings this year.  Putting them up is always such a happy occasion, fuelled with anticipation as to what lies ahead, but I find the removal of the glittery delights such an anticlimax, a definitive “that’s that then”.  I'm sure I'm not alone in that :o)

On a positive note, normal service will resume tomorrow.  Mr Y heads back to work which means my mornings will be spent with the little Y’s, my afternoons and evenings consumed by knitting and the like – a familiarity that I relish!

As a final hurrah, as it were, before the normality that will hit like a brick tomorrow, Mr Y and I took a trip out of the county yesterday, leaving our little helpers safely with their grandparents. 

We were on a vintage quest with plans to spend some of the Christmas/birthday money that had been burning a hole in my pocket :o)

My first purchase was a job lot of over 20 vintage sewing patterns.  There are a few from the 1930's and 1940's, but the majority of them are from the early 1950's and so aren’t really in keeping with what I normally collect but at as they are mostly unused, old shop stock I think, and dated, I simply couldn’t walk away without them.

Because they are mostly outside of the era that I normally favour, I’m not sure where they’ll all end up.  I’ve already parted company with 5 of them, having given them to my mum, and I've put a couple aside for eBay but the rest, for now, are in my pattern drawer.  As we’re on the subject of pattern storing, how do any of you fellow pattern obsessed people go about keeping your vintage patterns safe?  Any tips or suggestions would be welcome because I’m struggling.

Next up are a couple of tins featuring our current Queen.  Yes, I know that Jubilee is over but I have a thing for tins, and these were vintage tins at that, so I had to have them.  They did also come with the 1935 Jubilee mug for King George V but I donated that to my parents for their coronation china collection (but I should have photographed it first!)

A rather random addition to my magazine collection is a 1939 copy of The Farmers Home.  Fear not, I'm not suddenly going to ramble on about the various makes of tractors etc, far from it.  This magazine caught my eye because of the beauties featured on the back page, all of whom were entrants in the "milkmaid charm competition".  Can't help wondering how many of these lovely ladies went on to become land girls just months later.

I also did a spot of clothes shopping!!  I'm so excited by this.  I managed to pick up an absolutely amazing 1940's wool jacket in the brightest colours I've ever seen on such a garment.  As if that weren't good enough, the jacket bears the II0II utility mark. 

Is this for me?  Sadly not.  This jacket is of petite proportions that I can't hope to get anywhere near.  It's gone for a clean as it has a certain "vintage whiff" about it, but then it'll be ready for someone else to love when the 1940's season kicks off!

My favourite purchase of the day has to be the rather snugly eiderdown that I picked up for M.  As a young child, I had sheets and then a lovely paisley eiderdown on top – no duvets – and I remember how warm it kept me.  C has one already, much coveted by her little sister, but now she has one too.  Just need to get the building work finished off in her room so she can enjoy it :o)  By the way, does anyone know if you can wash eiderdowns? 

On the knitting front, although I’d planned to take the entire 2 weeks off, I have to confess that I did pick up the needles last week while journeying home from Cornwall.  I got withdrawal symptoms you see (sad, but true) and just had to have something to occupy my idle hands!

As we were travelling, I opted for a very simple knit, all stocking stitch with just a little moss stitch, and went for my tried and tested stripes and bows jumper.

Originally the pattern was featured in a Needlewoman and Needlecraft magazine but I’m working from the post war copy, issued by Penelope, because I can’t find the photocopy of the original!

I’ve opted for Stylecraft mint and cream, both 4 ply, and have already finished the first sleeve.  Having worked with mint and silver grey in my 1937 jumper, I wanted to use the mint again but went for the softer shade of cream and am really happy with how the two colours look together and am hoping that, once finished, it’ll make someone a rather lovely spring jumper. 

Have you started any New Year projects or are you being strong minded and finishing off your

P.S. If you are the fellow blogger who asked for a copy of my wavy jumper pattern, please send me another comment.  I saw your comment while I was away but small phone + stubby fingers = deleted message and I can't get in contact with you! :o)


  1. Love your purchases!!

    I had to wash my eiderdown, I did it on a wool wash (in the machine). The important thing then is to tumble dry it (yes really!!) otherwise the feathers won't dry properly and become fusty. Mine took several hours to dry thoroughly on its own in the dryer.

    S x

    1. Thank you Sarah. I knew there must be a way but didn't want to ruin it :-)

  2. Great pattern haul! I discovered a little while ago that sewing patterns almost always fit the cellophane bags that comic collectors use to store comics in. I picked up a pack of 100 from a shop in London for about £3. Thoroughly recommend them.

  3. Thank you Nicole, They sound perfect, I shall see what I can find :-)

  4. What lucky finds! I love my eiderdown, I've heard you can wash them but I haven't risked it yet as it's so old. I use it over a thin duvet & air it in the garden after giving it a good old shake!! Not sure that's really good enough but I'd hate it to fall apart :( x

  5. Hi Lucy

    You really must share your secret about how you find such wonderful patterns, etc. I am green with envy.

    I'd second Nicole's comment about storing them in the bags used by comic collectors and would recommend that you contact Calamity Comics in Harrow (my husband is a long-time customer of theirs). They also stock suitably sized heavy cardboard storage boxes, which come flatpacked for you to build yourself and are strong enough to support the load of multiple boxes stacked on top. You can guess how I know...(DH collects comics; I collect yarn. Enough said.)

    As Sarah B said, you can wash your eiderdown in the washing machine on a wool wash using as suitable detergent (pure soap flakes or a wool wash). However, the tough part is drying it. It will probably be too big/heavy to dry in a regular dryer so I'd recommend taking it to the laundrette to wash and dry in their largest machines. (One near where I used to live actually advertised a drop-in-and-collect washing service for duvets and quilts.)

    - Pam

  6. People who restore antique quilts use ORVUS for washing. It can be purchased at a hay and grain store (for horses and sheep, etc.) and the 7 lbs container is about $25. It lasted me from Nov 2006 to the end of Nov 2013. It can be purchased online, too.

    Quilt shops sell this, too - in smaller jars - and for a LOT more $$.