Sunday, 29 March 2015

Adventures In Stitchcraft - 1933

The first issue of Stitchcraft that I have is Issue No 5 from February 1933.

Before we begin though, let's take a look at the year 1933.

In 1933, England was considered to be over the worst of The Great Depression, whereas in the US and Australia, the effects were felt right up until the declaration of war. Thus it does not seem strange that a new magazine was launched in England in 1933, whereas it probably would not have succeeded if launched in the US at this time.

Historical events for 1933 include:

  • Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany and soon bans all other political parties, turning Germany into a one-party state.
  • The first concentration camp was opened at Dachau.
  • Prohibition was repealed in the US.
  • Unemployment in the US reached its highest level in the winter of 1932/33, with 1 in 3 being unemployed.
  • Overall, Americans have about half the income they had in 1929.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the US and institutes the 'New Deal' to address the Great Depression.
  • Albert Einstein emigrates to the US from Germany.
  • Neville Chamberlain visits Germany and returns to announce there will be 'peace in our time.'
  • Mass starvation in China due to crop failure caused by flooding of the Yellow River.
  • Japan invades Jehol Province in China.
  • The Loch Ness Monster is sighted for the first time in modern times.
This photo is now known to be a hoax.

In popular culture:
  • Shirley Temple signs a contract with Fox at five years old.
  • King Kong is released at the cinema.
  • The first drive-in theatre is established in New Jersey, US.
  • Lone Ranger begins a 21 year run on radio.
  • Advertisement for board games from 1933
  • The board game Monopoly is invented.
The first 5000 games of Monopoly were made by hand by a family who could not find employment during the Depression.

  • The chocolate chip cookie is invented.
  • Bing Crosby and Duke Ellington topped the Billboard charts.

What things cost (US price comparisons):
  • Average cost of a new house: $5,750 (this converts to approx $103,000 in today's dollars)
  • Average yearly wages: $1,550
  • Plymouth 6 car $445
  • Loaf of bread: 7 cents
  • Pound of hamburger meat: 11 cents
This is a Dodge, not a Plymouth 6, but it has Shirley Temple in the ad!
This doll, at $3.45, was quite an expensive purchase.
The 6th Academy Awards were held, with winners including:

Best Picture: Cavalcade
I'd never heard of this movie, but it sounds like one I would like. It follows an English family during the years 1899 to 1933, so covers the Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic and WWI. Sounds a bit Downton Abbey to me!

Best Actor: Charles Laughton in The Private Life of Henry VIII

Not surprisingly, nearly all the images I found from this movie had Charles Laughton eating huge legs of poultry!
Best Actress: Katharine Hepburn in Morning Glory

My favourite though: Little Women won Best Adapted Screenplay. 

The Store by Thomas S. Stribling won the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for novels. It is the second book in a trilogy about the American Civil War and its aftermath.

Books published in 1933 included:(for a complete list, see here)
  • Lost Horizon by James Hilton
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Down And Out In Paris And London by George Orwell
  • The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack
  • Doctor Dolittle's Return by Hugh Lofting
And in Australia:
The first Australian Women's Weekly from June 1933.
Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall first appeared in 1933 and has remained in print to this day.

The Ashes cricket series between Australia and England was played over the summer of 1932/33, which became the infamous Bodyline series.

Bert Oldfield ended up with a fractured skull
Fashions from 1933: Lines were long, sleek and angular. Muted, deeper colours were popular. Wool, silk, cotton and rayon were the most common materials used.

Some wonderful clothing advertisements from 1933.

I would love to own any one of these pairs of shoes.

Maybe it is just me, but I love looking at all this information from prior years. I am a methodical, list making kind of person, I guess! Hopefully it wasn't too much!
In future I will spread the years' facts over a few posts as I will have more issues from future years (plus I was having so much fun and finding so much interesting stuff, I just couldn't seem to stop!)

Now on to the magazine itself!
As I have spent so long on 1933, I will share some of the magazine this week and some next week.

I bought this issue as a PDF from Subversive Femme's wonderful Etsy shop. Bex has lots of Stitchcrafts available in PDF format. And do check out her wonderful blog here. There are heaps of free vintage knitting patterns, so if you want to find something to knit along, have a look! I found a pattern for the Swagger Coat which is from 1933.

Some baby related advertisements from this issue:

The very first project I have embarked on for Adventures In Stitchcraft is a baby one. Very simple pattern, very quick to knit. Anyone who has visited me in the last week has already seen it in part, as I must admit to getting ahead and starting it last week.
It is a 2x2 rib baby vest, with the front and back being knitted in one piece and the sleeves picked up afterwards.

The pattern calls for 3 ozs of White Heather Vest Wool 3ply, made by J &J Baldwins. I could not find anything about this yarn, although I did find an advertisment for it from a 1933 Australian newspaper.

1/- means one Australian shilling, presumably per ounce but I'm not sure on that. 

As I have mentioned previously, I am not intending to be 100% historically accurate in my choice of yarns or fabrics. In 1933, this vest would have been knitted in pure wool in off white or cream colour. But my vest is being knitted in a 4 ply sock yarn that I had in my stash, unfortunately with no label, but more than likely contains nylon/polyamide. And it is variegated. 

Nylon/polyamide was not manufactured commercially until 1938 when DuPont launched nylon toothbrushes. In 1940, nylon stockings went on sale, with approx. 5 million pairs being sold on the first day!
Nylon is added to yarn, especially sock yarn, to improve durability and prevent pilling as it is the strongest synthetic fibre. It is, however, water resistant and so doesn't breathe as well. 
I cannot find any reference to when it was first added to knitting/sock yarn. If anyone does know this, I would love to hear from you.
Similarly, I cannot find any information as to when variegated yarn came onto the scene, but I am thinking 70s or 80s. I don't really remember seeing it during my childhood and my mum was a test knitter for Jenny Kee in the 80s, so we had a lot of yarn in our house!

Next week, I will be sharing the women's fashions and homewares from this issue.

I would love any comments, especially suggestions and your vintage knitting projects.
I hope you enjoyed Adventures In Stitchcraft!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Yarn Along

Linking today with Small Things for Yarn Along.

Knitting has been a 2x2 rib baby vest that is the first knitting project of my new journey. I blogged about it here. So please join me every Sunday as I knit, sew, embroider and otherwise immerse myself in all things Stitchcraft.

Reading is Home Grown by Ben Hewitt.
I know lots of people have already read and blogged about this book on Yarn Along - in fact, that is where I first heard about it.
But what an amazing, fantastic, wonderful book! If I sat down and wrote out my whole philosophy on child rearing, education and life in general, it would have been pretty much word for word this exact book!
To be honest though, I do not know why I torture myself in this way. Since hubby decided the boys were to go to school, I still cannot stop myself reading homeschooling books as I am so totally committed to that education model. This book just reinforced everything I value and believe about how children should be raised and how families should live.
It is taking me a long time and is extraordinarily difficult to let go of what I thought my life would be. I know I have to, but boy, it is hard. I am finding other projects to fill my time and thoughts and try to cover up the pain of not having the boys here, but it is still only a Band-Aid solution. Especially when Whirlwind asks me every single night when I put him in bed, if he can be homeschooled again. It breaks my heart.

Anyway, I guess what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger and we have to just get on with life and all the other cliches you can think of!

Back to the knitting! I have actually got this far with the vest.

Cuddlepie wanted to know why there was a window in my knitting! That is the neck opening as the front and back are knitted in one piece, then folded in half and sewn on the side seams.

I am off now,heading up to the boys' school. Legoman's teacher is getting married over the Easter holidays, so the mums have arranged a wedding high tea as a send off for her. Love an excuse to decorate some cupcakes!

Legoman said I could make some 'girly' ones with hearts, only because it was a wedding theme. Normally I would never get away with cupcakes like that!

Have a lovely week - and hope to see you Sunday for Adventures In Stitchcraft!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Bit More Knitting

I can feel it in the air - today is the first day I have felt that real nip of autumn. The chilly weather is coming. And I must admit I, for one, will enjoy it - some real knitting weather!

We've already got plenty of autumn leaves from our two oak trees.

I have been knitting away at Cuddlepie's birthday present. Peppa Pig's dress is finished so far.

Very simple TV knitting. 

I have also been working on my new adventure, which I started on Sunday and blogged about here.
I simply love my collection of Stitchcraft magazines and will really enjoy knitting, sewing, embroidering my way through them, as well as researching the history of the different eras and maybe even basing some of my weekly meal plans on recipes from the era.
I have cheated a little and started the first project already (I will blog about it next Sunday, officially!)

It is a 2X2 rib baby vest, with front and back knitted in one piece from a 1933 edition.
Cuddlepie wanted to know why there was a window in my knitting!

If you love vintage patterns, history and crafting, I'd love to see you each Sunday! You can even grab the button from my sidebar (I am still so excited saying that! I sound like a 'real' blogger now!)

And to finish, some drawings from my littlies.

Cuddlepie drew a garden with lots of flowers.

Whirlwind drew himself, me and our cow on the farm. And then wrote this about it:

Sometimes I wonder, especially living in a house full of boys, whether anyone even notices the cleaning that is done. Then I read this! How cute is that!
I always like to have little vases of flowers dotted around the place and now I know at least one of the boys notices.

Linking with Frontier Dreams today for KCCO. Have a lovely week all!

Make A List Colour Monday

Joining in at Porch Swing Quilts for Make A List Colour Monday today.

So how did last week's list go?
  • Make apron for swap - not yet!
  • Finish Scarf In A Scarf - here it is.

  • Start knitting Cuddlepie's birthday gift - started. It is a knitted character toy, who he loves, so should be a hit.

  • Unpack four more boxes. 
  • Do three hours of hand quilting on Miss Ballerina's quilt - nope! But I did manage half an hour.
  • Clean out and organise freezer - half heartedly began this.
  • I know this sounds fun - pick up cow poo from paddock for compost - lots more to go though!

This week's list:
  • Make apron for swap.
  • Finish Peppa Pig toy.
  • Unpack four more boxes.
  • Do three hours of hand quilting on Miss Ballerina's quilt.
  • Clean out and organise freezer.
  • Begin drawing/planning the new vegie/fruit tree garden area.
  • Research and knit/sew for my new project.
I am super, super excited about the fun new project I am undertaking. You can read all about it in this blog post.

I would love to have you visit!

For Colour Monday, the theme this week is spring! Of course, it is autumn here, but who doesn't love spring?! 

My very favourite image of spring would have to be daffodils, but I can't keep showing daffodils all the time just because I love them. So I will go with my second best spring image, apple blossom. Especially as we have boxes and boxes of apples from our tree to remind me what that beautiful blossom will become.

Have a lovely week - hope all your plans work out!