Thursday, 26 April 2012

More wonderful wartime woollies!

Well the weather has been somewhat rotten here in Suffolk and it's certainly the right weather for woollies.  I can’t remember when I last managed to dry washing on the line. 

On the plus side, because it’s not been park weather, we’ve spent more time than normal snuggled up in the house which has given me the opportunity to sew up and finish some of the jumper pieces that have festered in a bin bag for far too long!

First up is this one from a 1941 pattern. 

It’s been knitted in Stylecraft DK pale rose.  The bakelite buckle is for decoration only and the buckle flap thingy (I’m sure you know what I mean) is secured with poppers.  The buttons are modern, tut tut, I know, but they were the best I could find.  Getting buttons to match the vintage buckle was tricky but, after weeks of carrying the buckle around in a handbag, the lovely deco style buttons were found in a local craft shop for just 10p each!  So wish I’d bought more at the time!!

Second is another variation of the waffle jumper that has proved to be very popular.  Again, from a 1940’s wartime pattern, this time it was knitted in Stylecraft 4 ply cobalt, denim, midnight and silver.

Next is this one. 

I haven’t fitted it on the dummy very well which has made the diamond design look wonky!  I promise, it isn’t :o)  It’s been knitted in Stylecraft 4 ply cascade.

The bin bag is almost empty, just 4 more to go!  It has seemed like a never ending task but the pieces get put to one side because I'm always eager to move onto the next pattern - maybe it will teach me to sew them up as and when they are finished.........or maybe not ;o)   

A final one, and my favourite, is this one.

This was a commission from the lovely Bryony and will be heading to it’s new home with this jumper.  It was knitted in a beautiful Rowan yarn called folly green, so pretty and the photograph really doesn’t seem to show the colour off properly – I blame the sunless Suffolk skies we’re having!!  It needs buttons but that, so far, has proved an impossible task so Bryony will be doing the honours when she receives it.

The original pattern didn’t have any rib so, at Bryony’s request, I made a few adaptations.  When you compare it to the first one I knitted, as per the original pattern, I think it actually looks better with the rib.  What do you think??

These jumpers will be accompanying me to the 1940’s event being held at Bassingbourn Airfield in a couple of weeks time.

Hope the weather dries up before then because we're camping – pitching a tent in the rain is not a pleasant task!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fabulous Forties Fabrics

Well, the Easter break is over and Mr Y went back to work yesterday.  We’ve had a lovely couple of weeks but I haven’t done half of what I was meant to do, and I've eaten far too much chocolate!!!  Before the holiday began, I had made plans to re-decorate the living room, catalogue my ever increasing pattern collection and actually read something other than Enid Blyton!  In reality, I didn’t manage any of those things – there’s always June I suppose :o)

One thing I did manage to achieve over the break was to have a sort through some of the books and patterns that have been mounting up over the last few months.

I love 1940’s fashion source books and a couple of years ago, was given a copy of “Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs”.  It's an American publication and contains amazing images taken from Sears Catalogs of the 1940s.  I remember how enticing I’d found the cover and the inside images are amazing!  However, I was disappointed that there were no colour images inside the book.  I love looking at the designs of the time, but without the colour, it’s not as appealing.  That is why I was ecstatic when presented with this amazing book by Mr Y.

Released in 1998, I’m not sure how I hadn’t happened upon it before!!  It is simply brilliant.  It has the most amazing photographs of actual fabric samples from leading textile manufacturers in the 1940s.  The book features floral, geometric and, my favourite, novelty prints of the era.

The book has over 100 pages full of multiple images of stunning 1940s fabric - it’s positively bursting with colour!  It isn’t possible to pick one favourite so I’ve photographed a few random shots of what can be found inside.                                      

If you’re into the 1940s and get the chance to take a look at this book, I highly recommend it.  There are others in the series including a couple about 1950s fabric, one on handbags and another on hats.  I believe there is also one about Art Deco fabric but can’t seem to track it down on Amazon at the moment. 

In other news, I’ve been doing some serious corsage making, here's a sneaky peak!! 

The pattern comes from an original 1940's magazine, there will be more to come soon :o)

Jubilee Swap!

Just wanted to share with you that I have just signed up to my first ever blog swap and I'm really excited!
It's being organised by Lakota over at Faith Hope and Charity Shopping.  The theme is the Jubilee which is being celebrated by the double bank holiday in June this year. 

Mr Y is definitely not a fan of the monarchy, (being Cornish he has a serious issue with Prince Charles and the Duchy, it's unprintable what he actually calls the man!!).  I, on the other hand have quite a fascination with the monarchy, especially those who reigned in the early part of the 20th Century!  

Bring on the bunting!! 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Happy Easter & Giveaway winner!!

Happy Easter to you!  Hope you’ve had a good weekend, wherever you may be! 

The little Y’s have had a lovely few days.  They’ve enjoyed Easter egg hunts, rice crispy cake making (well you have to at Easter, don’t you??), an English Heritage property, Mary Poppins, a vintage fair and, or course, Easter eggs!  It’s safe to say they’re pretty tired!! 

Easter Sunday was spent at home.  The little Y’s made Easter nests and I baked a chocolate Guiness cake topped with melted dark chocolate and Cadbury’s mini eggs!  It looked and tasted lovely but everyone was more interested in eating it than letting me take a photograph of it!!  I also cooked roast beef for my parents and brother.  It wasn’t until my brother was taking his last mouthful that he realised that what I’d put on the table as horseradish sauce was actually tartar sauce!!!!  Oops!  I’m a vegetarian so I was alright but I don’t think I’ll be allowed to forget that one for a long time :o)

Now, back to the interesting bit, the winner of our little competition for this little lot. 

I’m not particularly good with technology so this has been done in the easiest possible way.  The names of all 81 entrants were put into a hat, well, an Easter bonnet to be exact!!!!  Just before bed, oldest little Y proudly did the honours......

and the winner is.......

Congratulations Joe, please email me your address and I’ll get this little lot to you ASAP. 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Peace and patterns!!

About once a year, if that, the little Y’s go and stay with their grandparents.  It’s not a long way away, about 10 miles, but at 6 and 4, it’s a big adventure.  The overnight stop usually coincides with Christmas shopping so we can head off without 2 pairs of little peepers but this time, we’re off to see a show, a rare occasion. 

The house is so quiet and I had thought I’d be rejoicing that I wasn’t standing on Lego mini figures or hearing the clatter of beads hitting the floor.  However, I am not.  It’s very strange and I’m actually missing them! 

I know they’re in safe hands though so, sitting here with heated rollers in and my head feeling way too top heavy, I thought I show you some (well quite a few) of the patterns that I’ve recently purchased! 

Much to Mr Y’s dismay, I’m always on the lookout.  I trawl eBay, charity shops and vintage fairs, with limited success.  EBay is full of copies but, don’t get me wrong, I like to knit from copies, I want (I’m always trying to get the girls not to say “want”) originals.  So, imagine my delight a couple of weeks ago when I found a lady selling no less than 60, individually listed 1940’s patterns!  I actually let out a little scream!  They were in good condition and I could have taken them all home but for the prices they ended up going for, that would have cost over £360!!!!!  The  listings began to finish at 4am, yes seriously!!, I couldn’t justify setting my alarm for such an hour.  Instead, I entrusted the bidding to Mr Y, who’s always up until midnight, and headed to bed. 

I awoke the next morning to confirmation that I’d bought 23!!!  I not so patiently awaited their arrival but I was out when the postman tired to deliver them.  The sight of the little red card on the doormat brought about much moaning from me as to why you have to wait 24 hours before collecting, why the sorting office isn’t open Sundays, why did we have to go and do the shopping when the postman would be calling etc, etc, etc….

When I did get to collect said patterns, I was on the way to take the little Y’s to play with friends in the park.  I can honestly tell you that I didn’t let go of that envelope for the entire time I was there!  Even in the play area I abandoned my handbag on a nearby bench to push littlest Y on the swing, but still had, firmly clutched in my paw, said patterns.  I can tell you, pushing a swing while holding patterns is a skill I have not yet mastered!! 

When I finally got round to opening the envelope some 6 hours later, I was not disappointed.  Look what I bought…..

There are some beautiful ones and I can’t wait to give some a go! 

In addition to the above, I also found a few more patterns, again, on eBay. 

Some, like the Fair Isle with flowers on, I’ll never attempt.  Other’s like the one with the sunray yoke, are high up on my “to do” list – which is for ever getting longer!! 

Not one to miss the men out, I also bought these.

The one on the left, I hope to knit up for my Dad.  I have knitted this one for him before, but he’s now keen on having one in different shades.

I hope you like the patterns or am I the only one who can’t resist a vintage pattern – or two?? ;o)

Oh, don’t forget that the competition for 200+ Facebook followers ends tomorrow, check it out here.  Winner to be announced over the Easter weekend!! 

Monday, 2 April 2012

It's all about the flowers!

Well what lovely weather we’ve been having.  I love spring and the flowers it brings, especially daffodils.  A vase brightens up any room and, as odd as it might sound, they make me smile! 

I also have a thing for hyacinths and have found a new, temporary, use for my Cath Kidston mugs.

The sun is shinning and the little Y’s are currently playing outside on their new swing set, courtesy of grandparents.  Mr Y has finished work for the next 2 weeks but is back in school this morning doing some revision, so with the house at peace, I have a time for a waffle!

Home schooling the little Y’s is wonderful.  They’re a funny little pair, chalk and cheese, and I’m blessed that I get to have so much time with them but it’s full time and it means that craft time is limited.  However, with Mr Y being a teacher, holiday’s I can step away from the teaching and crack on with the crafting! 

My blog space is a happy one; it’s an outlet for my waffling because Mr Y can only take so much!!  However, life sometimes gets you down and over the past 2 weeks, my time has been required elsewhere and fun things like knitting and all that jazz have ceased.  However, a new month, bright blue skies and spring flowers, it’s time to look forward, not back, and there is crafting to be done!!!!

I picked up my needles again yesterday for the first time in 16 days!  I also got the chance to have a go at a new corsage.  This time it’s a rose, taken from this original 1941 pattern. 

I finished my version of it yesterday, what do you think??

It’s not too big, just less than 4” long, and it looks lovely on a lapel.  I hope to make some more for the next event we’re doing this Saturday in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

We’ve been to Deben events before as buyers, but this will be the first time we’ve hired a stall – exciting stuff!!  Hoping for bright skies, but as it’s the Easter weekend, who knows what weather will come our way!! 

If you haven’t entered, the competition we’re doing for the 200+ followers on Facebook is still open.  Check out my post about it here.

I’m now off out into the garden to make a start on sewing up a jumper – or maybe I’ll just have a look at the new knitting booklet the postie has just delivered! ;o)

Viyella Family Knitting Book of Utility Garments!!  :o)