Sunday, 1 May 2022

It's A New (Vintage) Year - 1933, Here We Come!

 


After finally, finally, finishing my red and white diamonds jumper from the November 1932 issue, let's hop over to 1933!
(I still hold out hopes of, one day, getting my hands on a copy of December 1932 - it is my holy grail of Stitchcraft magazines now!)
But until then, 1933 it is! 



Once again, thank you to Barbara at the UK Knitting and Crochet Guild for scanning this magazine from their archives. Without the access that a very reasonably priced international membership gives me to this archive, I would never be able to afford (or find) all these early issues of Stitchcraft. 
Do head over to see Barbara on Instagram and check out all the amazing pattern photos - believe me, you will want a membership as well! 

Well, let's take a look at the knits in the January 1933 issue. 



OK, the first one is not knitting, but Irish crochet. But this jumper certainly makes me want to learn how to crochet. It is just stunning. It says a novice can tackle it with confidence - I'm not sure but I guess like most crafts, it looks very complicated until you know how to do it. 

Engineering Knits has a video on making an Edwardian Irish crochet lace collar. All her videos are fabulous, if you like vintage knitting and sewing. A particularly fun one was where she taught herself tatting from a Victorian book. Youtube tutorials just make it so much easier for us now! 

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These next-to-the-skin undies were apparently a much requested item, with the original being knitted in a pale green. 


"This engaging little affair is in royal blue and white and the vest goes right up to the neck with a gleaming silver "Lightning" fastener finished with a tassel of blue wool."

Of course, we know these fasteners now as zips or zippers, the Lightning Fastener being a term used from the Lightning Fastener Co in Ontario, Canada. 



The cover jumper is very tempting. But I have already made a leg-o'-mutton sleeve jumper with a tie from the first issue. Hmmm, decisions!


Woollies for the school children, including regulation-shape cardigans and gym knickers.


Another reason for me to learn to crochet! The cherry and grey colour scheme sounds very appealing.


A knitted plaid set which consists of bag, scarf and glove gauntlets. 


This jumper is called 'A Jumper That Is Kind To Extra Inches'. It measures 42". I really like the simple look of this design, the square neckline and the off-centre button band. 


I really love the look of this coat. The original is knitted in navy, red and saxe grey, with navy being the main colour. 




And the last project from the magazine is this simple beret and scarf. Maybe I should give myself a quickie project as I took so long on the last one! And it is knitted in DK rather than fingering like the jumpers are!

Well, this issue certainly has a wealth of projects and there are quite a few I would love to tackle. But I feel that the front runners are the 'extra inches' jumper and the coat with the striped collar. The benefit of the extra inches jumper is that I would not really need to do any resizing of the pattern, maybe I may need to go down a needle size, as I am definitely closer to 42" than the 36" of the coat. 


We will see, we will see!

Do any of these projects catch your eye? Which would you choose and what colours? 

I will let you know which one I think I will make next week! 


Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Well, It's Been A Whole Year (and a bit more)!

 Can you believe I have let a whole year (plus!) pass by without a single post?! 

Admittedly, the last two years have been an up and down experience for us all and many routines have been disrupted and replaced with new habits and routines. 

My knitting definitely suffered during the rounds of lockdown - with everyone at home all the time, it just seemed to be more difficult to carve out those pockets of quiet time for crafting.

Looking at my knitting journal, I managed to do a little bit of knitting until July 2021 - and then, nothing! No knitting at all until I finally picked my needles back up in February 2022.


Do you ever find that you stop doing something that you love and you end up forgetting for a while just how much you love and rely on it? Until you pick it up again and are astounded as to why you stopped in the first place! 

So during the second week of February, I suddenly picked up my needles again (I cannot even remember why) and quickly knitted up four dishcloths to get me back in the zone. 

Dishcloths are the perfect project for when you need to feel accomplished, as you get the feeling of accomplishment that comes with casting off, sewing in the ends and finishing. I tend to knit at least half a dozen a year to add to my drawer so I will always have new dishcloths at the ready. 

My go to pattern is the Waffle Knit Dishcloth by Debbie Andriulli. I have been knitting this pattern for years! It has the perfect texture for cleaning. Much as I love the picture dishcloths, they just are not as practical for actual use as the Waffle Knit Dishcloth.


I will also be continuing (oh so slowly!) with Adventures In Stitchcraft.

The diamond jumper from the November 1932 issue of Stitchcraft is finally finished. Again, why do I get SO CLOSE to finishing projects and then leave them languishing for months? I had finished the neckband and sewn up half the seams and then put it aside. I can only think it is a psychological blockage whereby I am worried that the finished object will not work out as expected or fit properly. So I would rather leave them unfinished than face issues such as these! 

Anyway, here it is! My Diamonds Are Trumps jumper (the scarlet and white jumper from the second ever issue of Stitchcraft - November 1932).



I knitted this with Bendigo Classic 3 ply in colours Cranberry and Pussy Willow, which come on 500 gram cones.
The yarn cost $15.88 (209 grams) of Cranberry and $13.15 (173 grams) of Pussy Willow, for a total of $29.03 (382 grams). No buttons or other notions were required, so quite a good value knit. 


This was a LOT of colourwork knitted flat, so I think it will be a while before I want to do that again. But I love the look of this jumper and the two colours are great together.

Roxanne Richardson on Youtube featured Finish It February, and I did try to get some of my WIPS out the door. Technically I only finished the one WIP, but better than nothing!  Finishing WIPs also serves the purpose of helping to increase my grams/metres knitted total as I am refocusing on my project of earning dollars to spend on yarn based on how much I have knitted. I have not purchased any yarn for a long time, so it will be exciting to make some new purchases. 
And just because I have not met a spreadsheet / tracking planner that I do not love, I will also be keeping track of stitches knit per day. I wonder what would be a good number of stitches per day to aim for?!

18th February was cast on day for The Woolly Thistle's Colorwork KAL 2022. This year you need to knit an allover colourwork accessory - so socks, hats, cowls, scarves, mittens, gloves, leg warmers, whatever else you can think of as an accessory. The only real requirement is that it must contain an allover colourwork pattern, not just a colourwork band or small amount of colourwork.

I decided to knit a mitten pattern in worsted weight for quick knitting.


These are the Maine Woods and River Mittens by Pat Higgins, a free pattern on Ravelry. I used non-superwash Wool of the Andes, so felted them a little, as they were definitely too big. The pattern is for men, so I have gone down to 3.25mm needles. Even after going down a needle size and felting, they are still slightly roomy. I also did not make the inner cuff; it just does not get cold enough here! 


My current WIP (well, one of!) is the Pray for Ukraine mittens by knitting lotta, also a free pattern on Ravelry. I love her designs but even when I go down to 2mm needles, I still find them too sloppy a fit. I do have tiny hands! 


Hopefully blocking will improve the fit somewhat. 

More knitting and vintage content will be coming as I plan for my next Stitchcraft project from the January 1933 issue (I have had no luck at all finding a copy or any patterns from the December 1932 issue - if anyone has one, I'd love to see it, please!)

See you soon! 


Monday, 1 March 2021

February Wrap Up

 Well, it is the second month of my limited buy, stash busting year and I am pleased to say that I made only one craft purchase this month. 

It was not even yarn! A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I used to do cross stitch. I am not even sure why I put it away for years. I think maybe I found knitting to be easier when the kids were little. Anyway, Flosstube has encouraged me to renew my love of cross stitch. 

On 1st March, the #itsbeenonehellofayearsal is starting. This is a SAL for the Pandemic Sampler, a gorgeous free pattern by @sarcygurl. You can find the link to the pattern on her Instagram profile. 



Long story short, I had no fabric big enough in my stash so I purchased some. 

And that is my only craft purchase for the month! And I feel great about it! I don’t feel at all like I am missing out (only a few times watching YouTube). But then I remember this is much more fun and creative than just buying new stuff! 

Anyway, what did I make in February? 

I completed six projects from stash yarn, including one long-standing WIP. I want to focus on clearing at least one long standing WIP per month. 

The Valentine Socks used 336m / 80g of yarn, from yarn purchased in 2020. This was our February socks project for the Hand Me My Knitting group. 



The Valentine Hearts dishcloth used 72.1m / 46g of Peaches & Creme that has been in my stash since 2006! I bought tons of this cotton on eBay long ago (I have enough to keep the whole world in dishcloths!) 



I love the Blue Barley Hat! Our February stash down theme in the Hand Me My Knitting group was ‘head’. My daughter claimed this hat as soon as I posted a photo on Instagram! 

This used a total of 285.9m / 70g of yarn. The blues were three minis from the KnitCrate minis in 2015. The pattern is from the book Knitting From The North by Hilary Grant which I borrowed from the library. 



And another gold Christmas tinsel! These are the perfect car knitting project and we had to go to Bendigo for my son’s basketball state championships. It used 72m / 50g from yarn purchased last year.



Another dishcloth - the Oak Tree Dishcloth. More of that cotton from eBay! It used 70.5m / 45g.



And my long standing WIP was the Pool Party Leg Warmers. They used 341.3m / 91g of yarn which I received in a Woolswap in 2018.



So for those that have been keeping track, that is a total leaving my stash of 1177.8m / 382g. 

Per my rules, I have allowed myself an earning rate of 35c per 10g. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but I wanted it to be a quarter or so of the yarn being knitted. Otherwise the stash won’t be diminishing! 

So I have ‘earnt’ $13.37 for my knitting in February. And I’m not even slightly tempted to spend it! 

I am finding that I am not even that interested in browsing the internet or looking for things to buy.  And this is giving me back heaps more time to spend actually crafting! 

Hopefully this wasn’t too much number crunching for you! Does anyone else do something like this? Or keep track in some other way? I’d love to hear about it  

I am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in March - and I’ll have some cross stitch to show as well (that is a whole other earning process! 😀)

Happy crafting! 


Sunday, 28 February 2021

I'm All About The Numbers!


 2021 is time for a reset. It seems as though lots of people changed their habits in 2020 - and why wouldn’t we?! It was the craziest year I’ve ever experienced! And now is the time for some changes.


With us all at home so much, I think we may have reacquainted ourselves with our home spaces and what is in our home. And for many, this had led to some reevaluating. 

I certainly already knew I had a lot of craft stash but still I kept adding to it. Why was that? Some of it was the ‘I deserve a treat’ mentality; some of it was me not being able to resist a sale/bargain; some of it was watching YouTube and seeing all the things other people buy - yes, a bit of the ugly green monster of envy was definitely there! 

So I had already been thinking about this a lot when I came across Hand Me My Knitting’s YouTube video about her no-buy year and new Patreon group. I know it seems counterintuitive to pay to join a no-buy group 😬, but it has been a fabulous support and well worth it.

Anyway enough of that! Let’s get down to business! 

I do love a spreadsheet and some number crunching, so have borrowed a few ideas to help me quantify my no-buy, knit and stitch from stash year.


Let's clar
ify this from the start - a complete no-buy was not going to work! Total denial was just going to make me want to rebel!  

So I have set up a tracking system (told you I love number crunching!) which will keep track of how much yarn I knit and fabric I use, etc.

I also love having notebooks rather than it all being on the computer. I think it is a lovely visual reminder of the year as well as a valuable resource to look back at. I will not abandon Ravelry, of course, even though it is quite daunting to see just how much yarn is in my stash (and it isn’t all on there yet!)


So basically my idea is that I will ‘earn’ spending money depending on what I use up. 
For knitting, I have just set the rate of 35c per 10g knitted. I know this sounds like next to nothing but I wanted to make it about a quarter or less of the equivalent cost of yarn. Otherwise the stash would not decrease! 
For cross stitch, I have borrowed a costing idea from a Facebook group called Stitch From Stash. I won’t outline it here as it is not my idea to share but you earn different amounts based on the stitch count of the finished design. 
I have yet to work out a calculation for quilting. 

So I will do a monthly wrap up at the end of each month, detailing my ‘earnings’ and spending. 

Is anyone else doing a no or less buy year? Maybe you are drowning in stash, like I am, and it is time to fall back in love with what you already have? I’d love to hear your plans, goals and experiences! 


Monday, 1 February 2021

January Wrap Up

 About halfway through January, I discovered Hand Me My Knitting's Youtube channel and her no-buy year for 2021. 

Her decision to knionly from stash particularly resonated with me, as believe me, I have enough stash to last many lifetimes! 

It has already really helped me to be more mindful with my purchasing - just because something ion sale doesn't mean I need to rush to grab it! Sales come around fairly often! 

So I have completed five projects from stash yarn in January.

The Bee Hive Cowl used 328m / 82g of yarn, from stash purchased in June 2020.


 
I made two tinsel garlands, per Arne and Carlos. These are so much fun and I cannot wait to add them to my tree in 2021. They are just knitted i-cords, using King Cole Tinsel yarn. These used 72m / 50g of yarn each, from stash purchased in December 2020.



I also finished my first Icelandic jumper. I made a child's size so I could practice the technique and I loved it! 

Kambur used 462.8m / 230g of Knit Picks Wooof the Andes Worsted, purchased in April/May 2019. 


And lastly, I made the Mercury Socks. These used 360.8m / 88g of Garnstudio Drops Fabel, purchased in February 2017.


They have been added to my very first boof socks, which true to the no-buy year, is a shoebox from my son's new school shoes! 


Thus, in January, I
 knitted 1295.6m / 500g of stash yarn. 

Yay!

But, I did slip off the wagon and purchase some yarn. I have been thinking about shopping triggers and what makes me feel that I need to purchase something. And this purchase was made because the shop sent me an email to say my rewards points were due to expire. SI had to use them, right?! I could have let them expire but sales and discounts are definitely my shopping triggers and I couldn't let those points go to waste. So I actually purchased 2080m / 500g yarn - more meterage as iis all sock yarn. Thiis less than I wanted to buy - definitely less than I would probably have purchased previously. 

 I did not purchase any patterns. All of the patterns I used were either free on Ravelry or already in my pattern stash. 

Do you have any particular goals or plans for 2021? 

I'm looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in February!