Sunday, 26 February 2017

Adventures In Stitchcraft - Fashions in 1937

Welcome to another week of Adventures In Stitchcraft!

In 1937, fashions were becoming more tubular and natural in shape. Evening wear was long, jewellery was chunky and fox fur was popular.

Just like the long-line knitted suit in the February 1937 issue of Stitchcraft.

Accessories and shoes.

And how is the knitting coming along, I hear you ask? Maybe best not to ask! I am yet to cast on, although I have re-sized the whole pattern - hopefully correctly. I have located one skein of the blue yarn and I know I have a second one somewhere (it says so in my Ravelry stash!), I cannot seem to find it. One of the problems of having, dare I say, too much yarn?! I am definitely on a mission this year to NOT let myself buy any more yarn and to use up what I have. Ravelry's stash feature is very useful for this.

I will definitely locate that skein this week and have some progress to report next week - promise!

I will leave you with some images from another 1937 classic movie, Heidi starring Shirley Temple.

The grandfather is wonderful, just as I pictured him when reading the book.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Yarn Along - Time For A Baby Knit

Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along.

With granddaughter's first birthday coming up soon, I thought it was time for a baby knit.
So I have cast on Little Vintage Sunday Coat to make for her.

It is a gorgeous pattern, and very simple, from King Cole Baby Book No 5. I have Book 5, 6 and 7 and My daughter was having a hard time choosing what she would like made! I think I will be knitting quite a few patterns from these books in the near future.

At the moment, I have two books on the go. One easy fiction, War Babies by Annie Murray, and a non-fiction, Free To Learn by Peter Gray.

I always enjoy reading about World War II, so this should be a quick and fun read.

Free To Learn is about how we have let unstructured play all but disappear in our childrens' lives and how this is affecting their ability to learn from the world around them and their own experiences. I seem to keep coming back to these books that just reinforce how I feel about schooling and the current education system. Like rubbing salt in an open wound; but I can't seem to stop myself.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Adventures In Stitchcraft - Popular Culture In 1937

By early 1937, production, profits, and wages had regained their 1929 levels. Unemployment remained high, but it was slightly lower than the 25% rate seen in 1933. But the American economy took a sharp downturn in mid-1937, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. As unemployment rose again, consumer expenditure declined. This period was often called the Roosevelt Recession.

But people still wanted to have fun!

The 9th Academy Awards was held on March 4,1937, honouring films from 1936.

The winner of Best Picture was The Great Ziegfeld, a musical which still remains a standard in musical film making.

Best Actor was Paul Muni in The Story of Louis Pasteur.

Best Actress was Luise Rainier in The Great Ziegfeld.
On the evening of the Academy Award ceremonies, Rainer remained at home, not expecting to win. When Mayer learned she had won, he sent MGM publicity head Howard Strickling racing to her home to get her.

Best Song was The Way You Look Tonight from the movie Swing Time.

Still a wonderful song - and I cannot get enough of watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance.

In music, Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing was Number One on the charts. What a great Big Band song this is! Whenever I hear it, my feet start tapping and I can just see the swing dancing! Watch this video for some wonderful dancing!

And I was watching the movie Florence Foster Jenkins the other night and up popped this fabulous dance scene with Hugh Grant to Sing, Sing, Sing.
Fantastic movie, by the way - Meryl Streep is always amazing and Simon Helberg as her pianist was just perfect (and he really played all the pieces!)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves premiered at the end of 1937. It was the very first technicolor, full-length animated English language feature film to have been created and captivated audiences from the start.

And if you look in a toy or costume shop now, the Snow White costumes for sale still look like this!

Ronald Reagan made his film debut in Love Is On The Air.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was the top American fiction bestseller in 1936 and 1937. A poll conducted in 2014 found Gone With The Wind to be the second most popular book in the US, behind the Bible.

Some other books published in 1937 include:
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This 44 piece plywood farm set was a popular toy in 1937.

As was the Bottletot Baby doll.

Now, who is wondering which yarn I am using to make my rib jumper?
I think I always had my heart set on the blue yarn, especially as that is the yarn I started my last rib vintage jumper with (and then sadly lost the pattern!).

So Bendigo Woollen Mill's Athena it is!

This is a fingering weight/4 ply yarn, made of 85% wool, 10% bamboo and 5% silk. The colour is called Gunmetal.

For resizing the pattern, I am either following Tasha's wonderfully detailed tutorials, which you can find here.
And do check out the rest of her blog; there is also vintage sewing, hairstyle tutorials and much more. Tasha has even designed some knitting patterns - I just love her Victory beret!
Or, as I do not need to make it too much bigger, just going with a general % increase across the whole pattern. This is probably easier but less precise.

As I previously mentioned, I was able to find a reference to the yarn used in this pattern, Azalea crochet wool. However, sometimes you will not be able to find any information on the yarn used as it is long out of production. That is where the standard yarn weight system comes in handy. Your pattern will give you the needle size used and the tension/gauge required. You can then look them up in the chart and it will tell you the appropriate yarn weight. Also handy for modern patterns where you are unfamiliar with the yarn used.

So my vintage pattern here says UK No 10 (or 3.25mm, US 3) needles at a gauge of 8 stitches to an inch (32 to 4 inches). Using the chart, this translates to a fingering/sock yarn weight. Perfect!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Yarn Along - Finished Project, Yay!

Joining today with Ginny for Yarn Along.

We all know that hygge is the latest trend. This definition comes from Hygge House:

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. Whether it’s making coffee a verb by creating a ritual of making it then lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to the simple act of lighting a candle with every meal. Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special.

So being the book addict that I am, I searched my library catalogue for all books hygge. Most of them are already out and/or reserved for the next hundred years, but this one, The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering The Secrets of the World's Happiest Country, came up.
This book also fed my strange fascination with all books with 'The Year of Living ...' in the title. I just love reading them, maybe because they always offer a snapshot of another life and always seem to have lots of facts and information of which I was unaware.

The author's husband is offered a job with Lego (what a dream job!) so they leave London to head for rural Denmark. So there are lots of random Lego facts, such as there are 86 pieces of Lego for each person on the planet (and I step on them all on a regular basis!), there is a huge community of adult Lego lovers called AFOLs (Adult Fans of Lego) including David Beckham and Brad Pitt; seven Lego sets are sold every second; Lego is officially the world's largest tyre manufacturer.

The author, being a journalist, decided to spend the year discovering why the Danes are consistently found in polls to be the world's happiest people, studying such topics as education, health, family/work balance, house design, leisure and many more. I found this book extremely interesting. I am almost finished, just November and December to go, where apparently Denmark practically closes down for winter as everyone locks themselves away to hibernate.

I must be on a Scandi theme currently, as my knitting comes from Arne and Carlos, who hail from rural Norway!

I am very happy that I have finally finished my knitted heat/table mat. And it is gorgeous! Such a simple but effective technique that I want to make many more. Although the knitting did take longer than I was expecting. It also finished at a larger size and thicker than I was expecting, but that is a good thing!


I am loving having a pretty mat for my teapot, especially with autumn/winter approaching. Picturing lots of winter knitting days with my trusty teapot at the ready.

Now I am moving on to a knit from February 1937's issue of Stitchcraft magazine. I was so excited to receive this issue. It is in amazing condition, considering it is 80 years old, and the embroidery transfer was intact and perfect.
Lots of gorgeous knits, as always, in this issue, but all would need to be re-sized for my figure!

I have chosen this one as my knit from this issue - rib being so stretchy and forgiving!

Hoping to show some progress on this project next week!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Adventures In Stitchcraft - February 1937 Issue

Thank you for joining me for another post in Adventures In Stitchcraft!

This week, I would love to show you inside the February 1937 issue of Stitchcraft.

We have already seen the lovely jumper on the front cover.


The pattern is, of course, sized for a much smaller figure than mine, but that is part of the challenging fun of this adventure!

This is the transfer that is also featured on the front cover. Could you believe, that both the February and March issues that I purchased on etsy still had the transfers and in perfect condition?! Those tissue-thin transfers are 80 years old and perfect. Amazing!
On a side note, until I did this maths it never fully occurred to me that these issues are so old. Not sure why! Just shows things never really go out of style!

Speaking of which, I read this fascinating post while researching the 1930s from Vintage Gal - How To Get A 1930s Look Without Spending A Fortune. The answer is the 1970s! Many of the fashions in the 70s were based on the 30s. So clever - this post is well worth a read, as is Vintage Gal's whole blog.

Imagine having the figure to wear this suit! And the time to knit it!

Love the women's knits for this issue. I think I like the short sleeved rib one best - rib is a very forgiving stitch.

Cooking this issue is scones and biscuits. I agree with Mary Blake when she says:

'In cold, grey February weather, the nicest time of the day is that which finds everyone gathered round the fire for afternoon tea.'

Except of course, for me that would be more like cold July weather!
We still love a delicious Devonshire (or Cornish) tea when the boys get home from school.

Until recently, I did not know that the order of jam and cream made the difference between whether you were eating a Devonshire tea or a Cornish tea. I am a jam first, cream on top person, which makes this a Cornish tea. Vice versa for Devonshire tea.
Who knew?!

And now some of the advertising from this issue.

For my project from this issue, I am thinking the short sleeved rib jumper, possibly with smaller buttons. Not sure on colour choice yet. What do you think?

The magazine states:

'Here is a jumper that will add a snap to your Spring suit! Choose a neutral beige or grey and pick up the colour of the suit in the scalloped edgings and covered buttons. The charming original uses grey and green.'

The yellow is just some discolouration on the paper. It is pretty old!

This is designed for a 32-34 inch bust (umm, not me, in other words!) So this will involve some re-sizing.
The yarn used in 1937 was called Azalea crochet wool and was knitted using UK size 10 needles (which is 3.25mm or US size 3).
Azalea crochet wool is the equivalent of a modern 3ply. Phew, that knitting will take a while!

And take note - when looking for information on vintage yarns, you cannot go past this post at Louisa Amelia Jane. SO many yarns listed here! This is always so helpful when I am hoping to knit a vintage pattern where I have never heard of the yarn used.

Looking through my Ravelry stash, I have a few 4ply yarns that I may be able to use.

I can go conservative, true to vintage, and use some of my solid coloured Bendigo Woollen Mill yarns.

Or I could go colourful and totally off vintage with some variegated Opal yarns.

What do you think? No variegated yarns in 1937, but they are fun! I do love the blue or green as well though. Or maybe another suggestion.

Hope you enjoyed the February 1937 issue of Stitchcraft. See you next week!