Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January Monthly Make!

I’ve signed up to take part in the monthly make being run on The Felt Fairy’s blog. 

Although I’m always knitting and making things, I rarely find time to actually do any making for me or my girls so I am hoping that this will give me a much needed kick up the backside!

I left it later than I had planned and can’t believe that tomorrow is February – where does the time go?  February is going to be a busy month because we’re going home to Cornwall to see family and I have my little girl’s 6th Birthday to plan for as well as my Dad’s! 

Getting back to the point though, my youngest, just turned 4, is quite a restless sleeper and due to various coughs and colds caught at pre-school, she’s been even worse lately.  I find lavender a relaxing scent and I’m hoping that it has the same effect on her, which is why my January monthly make is a lavender bag!

To match the cinder rose, a Farrow & Ball shade, coloured walls in her bedroom, I picked some pretty, soft corduroy for the backing with a darker pink felt for the front and then some other felt off cuts. 

Add some odd buttons, the flower templates that I use for my corsages and a heart template that I snipped out, I set to work!

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  Sure, I can see a few wobbly edges and uneven stitches, but I know a 4 year old who is very happy with it. 

So, that’s 1 down, 11 to go :o)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

1943 Needlewoman and Needlecraft jumper

This evening, I’ve spent a happy couple of hours sewing up my most recent order while half watching “Call the Midwife”, which I’m really enjoying watching, and then “Birdsong” which I’m not too sure about yet.  I have to confess that a copy of the book has been on my bookshelf for over a year now - I'm sure I will get to read it - one day!  However, back to the knitting.

Knitted from an original 1943 Needlewoman and Needlecraft magazine, I think the colours on the original pattern are just fantastic!

I knitted it in Stylecraft DK using khaki for the main and meadow for the sleeves and yoke.  Being DK, the detail on the lace work isn’t as fine as if it had been done in 4 ply, which is a bit of a shame, but being DK, it’s nice and warm and the fact that it’s 100% acrylic means that there won’t be the itchiness you (well, me anyway) can get from wool.  Also, being a thicker wool means that it’s less see through :o)

I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.  I have knitted it before using copper and walnut, see it here, but I made a mistake on the copper one when I got the rib the wrong way out - oops! 

I’m about to make a start on two more jumpers.  First up is this one from a Stitchcraft magazine from 1943.

I wonder what she's looking at......

Knitted before in Stylecraft 4 ply melon, you can see it here, this time I'm using little 25g balls of pink merino wool that the customer has sent me.  They are exquisitely soft and I think they’re going to make and very pretty jumper.  On the super duper plus side, they fit into my pink bakelite wool holder so it can have its first outing (with me anyway).

Second is this jumper, again, taken from a 1943 Stitchcraft magazine. 

It's being knitted in this navy and plum wool (although the plum looks far more like pink in my rubbish photograph which was taken with a flash.  I promise it’s a much darker colour than it looks)

It’s another one that I’ve knitted it before in grey and grape (see it here) and once completed, it will be heading to Australia! 

As well as the aforementioned, I also have a bin liner (how glamorous!!) full of jumper pieces that I need to get round to sewing up.  I’ll let you know how I get on :o)!  

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Make Do and Mend American style!

Yesterday I spent a happy few hours sorting through my pattern drawer looking for a pattern that I know I have, because I’ve knitted a jumper from it, but can I find it??  Can I heck!  However, although frustrated at being unable to find said pattern, I did find, stashed at the bottom of the drawer, this long forgotten publication.

I remember entering a bidding war on eBay for this booklet quite a few years ago.  It wasn’t cheap, but I’ve never seen another original one (you can get a PDF version on Etsy) so I comfort myself with the thought that it must be rare and it was money well spent, right?  Well, that’s what I tell my husband anyway!! 

Produced in America during the war, the booklet tried to deal with the clothing shortages faced in to deal with the clothing shortages faced in America at that time.  It encouraged American women to “….show their patriotism and do their part in a national emergency.” quoting ”….conserve what you have for your country….”. It gave sewing tips to encourage the reader to make the most of her wardrobe by adapting what she already had to make something new.  

With the exception of the cover, which has a brilliant “Victory Needles Keep 'Em Flying" advertisement, it’s all in black and white, which is a little disappointing, but the sketches in the booklet are iconic, none the less.

The booklet is broken down into sections such as: A is for Accessories – make 5 Costumes from 1, B is for Basic Suit – Build 5 changes on 1 and C is for Conservation of Clothes for Your Country and Your Budget.  It goes on to give directions for handbag and hat making, sewing tricks and new clothes from old. 

When I buy things like this, I always wonder who the original owner was and whether they successfully completed any of the projects inside.  Although I’ll never know, it’s a brilliant publication, and I’m really pleased I re-discovered it yesterday.  However, with the sideboard stacked with old patterns, I’m not sure my husband has the some opinion!!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Pretty, vintage and green!

I had planned to show you the lovely vintage bits that I received for Christmas and my December birthday before we headed into 2012 but the last week of the holidays has just flown past so I’m more than a little late – my apologies :o)

My favourite colour is green, (not the neon shade that I wore as an 80’s child), the 1930’s shade of green that is found on enamel kitchen wear.  That is why I was more than a little happy to receive this lovely item…...

Of course it won’t be used for its original purpose.  Relegating it the kitchen would be awful so it’s currently on the top of my bookcase full of wool!!  I actually knew this was on it’s way having been with my parents when they bought it at the Deben Events vintage fair on Ipswich Waterfront.  On Christmas Day, it was presented to me wrapped in a beautiful golden ribbon and contained not only this lovely green bakelite pot……..

Think I may have photographed this upside down......oops!!

but this much hoped for bakelite wool holder………

They also didn’t disappoint on my birthday and had managed to track down this red bakelite wool holder……

Now for some smaller vintage bits.

My husband is very good at finding the brooches that I collect and this year was no exception.  My favourite is the one in the final picture – it makes me think of Victory!! 

In relation to the history of these brooches, my 87 year old neighbour was kind enough to take one of my brooches to her pensioners lunch group and the consensus there was that they were made by the Italian Prisoners of War held in Britain during WW2.  Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know but it’s a very lovely idea.

With Christmas over and the decorations down (I’ll no doubt still be finding pine needles in August!!) normal routine begins again tomorrow and this means mornings spent home schooling my girls and evenings spent knitting!  I have lots more orders to complete over the coming months as well as lots of knitting patterns that I want to share with you :o)