Sunday, 22 March 2020

Reading From 1932

As part of my Adventures In Stitchcraft, I have decided to add some reading from each year. So we will start, of course, with 1932.

I am also a member of an online reading forum in which we are reading through 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall.

I have read quite a few of the books already but I am nothing if not methodical, so I wanted to start from the beginning. I am not quite as methodical as one of the members of the group who is reading from number 1 on the list to the end. I am choosing books from all over the list.

And by now I am sure you all know my love for a list project, so we are also reading through 1001 Childrens Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up with my boys. Some they are reading themselves, some are our evening read aloud. 

I love children's books so I am really enjoying revisiting some of my favourites. 

Back to 1932! There are a few books on the list published in 1932, plus many others. I will definitely be rereading Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and would also like to read To The North by Elizabeth Bowen.

And of course, there will be an Agatha Christie to read as she published something nearly every year from 1920 to 1976. I admit that I have never read an Agatha Christie - am I the ony person in the world who has not?! So I am starting this month with her first book The Mysterious Affair At Styles which is a Hercule Poirot story.  

In children's books, the most notable book of 1932 would be Little House In The Big Woods. We have read this (my middle son said it made him hungry, with all the descriptions of food preparation!) so we will read Biggles: The Camels Are Coming. I hope the boys will enjoy Biggles. 

Have you read any of these? Maybe you would like to read along! Or comment below if you know of any other great reads published in 1932. 
One thing I really love about reading the older books is that they are generally cheaper - good for my book buying budget!

I also need to disclose that I have joined Book Depository, so I have an affiliate link on my sidebar. The book links in this post will also go to Book Depository through my affiliate link. If you choose to support me in this way, I would greatly appreciate it. 
I do not like blogs that have tons of pop up ads, I find it extremely distracting. Not that I am expecting to ever get enough readers to have that sort of advertising! But I have chosen two companies that I use often myself and have joined their affiliate programmes - you can find the links to Etsy and Book Depository in the sidebar. This will be the only advertising I will add to the blog and I may add links to certain books/products that are relevant in my posts. I will let you know when I have. 

Happy vintage reading! 

Monday, 16 March 2020

Monday's Make A List

So how did last week's list go?

Gardening and Homestead

  • Pot up lettuce, kale and pak choy seedlings
  • Dead head roses - I did half of the roses so will have to finish them this week.
  • This week's moon planting is root crops so plant out garlic and sow radishes - also planted some beetroot and swedes
  • Weeding - a never ending cycle!  I did four hours this week. I aim for three to four at the moment until I have things under control. 
Knitting, sewing and crafting

  • Finish front of Prelude jumper - free pattern available here from Subversive Femme
  • Sand back wooden dollhouse for granddaughter's birthday present

When my girls had this dollhouse, they painted it and the furniture themselves. My daughter asked me to revamp it for her daughter (as we are only doing secondhand or handmade gifts), so I thought I should update the paint job! I mixed up a blue for the lounge suite that is the colour I would love to have for my own lounge suite. I think it would fit in my 1940s themed house - one day! 
  • Choose design for knitted cardigan for granddaughter's birthday present - I nearly have this sorted out. Now to choose colours.
  • Sort out craft trunk - this may have to drop off the list if the boys' school is cancelled. Too much stuff to get out and spread everywhere!
  • Dye and add to shop two lots of sock yarn sets  actually added three sets of sock yarn

  • Plan project from Stitchcraft October 1932

  • Continue working on book inventory  I try to add at least twenty books a week to my catalogue online.
  • Sort out boys' clothes for winter
  • Tinned foods inventory

And now for this week. Who knows where we will be by the end of this week? It is still very much a matter of wait and see. 

Gardening and Homestead
  • Finish deadheading roses
  • Cut back rhubarb and mulch with compost and sheep poo
  • Weeding!
Knitting, sewing and crafting
  • Finish back of Prelude jumper
  • Continue painting of dollhouse and furniture
  • Finalise design for knitted cardigan for granddaughter's birthday present
  • Sort out craft trunk
  • Finalise and start project for Stitchcraft October 1932
  • Sort out boys' clothes for winter
  • Tinned foods inventory
I hope you are all keeping safe and well. We just need to take this one day at a time. 

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Adventures In Stitchcraft - Fashions of 1932

And now let's have fun with the fashions of 1932.

One of the big fashion events of 1932 was the controversy sparked by Marlene Dietrich's appearance at a film premiere wearing trousers! 

Congress had to decide whether the new styles violated the law forbidding women to 'masquerade as men'. Ultimately Congress declared that the wearing of trousers by women was not done so as to deceive anyone as to their sex. 

Wide legged, high waisted trousers came into fashion, but they were still worn mainly for sportswear or casual wear. In keeping with the casual theme, nautical motifs were popular and some trousers were designed with very exaggerated wide legs, called beach pyjamas.

1932 also saw the beginning of the ready made fashion industry. This made clothing much more affordable in a time of economic hardship. Artificial silk and the introduction of zippers also helped to reduce the cost. 

Slim lines were favoured and hats were small. A more minimalist approach to clothing was taken due to the Depression.

Women wanted to emulate the Hollywood movie stars in their makeup and hair. This is a how-to guide from 1932 to help you achieve that Hollywood look.

I recently purchased these books from Book Depository. I purchased the Thirties, Forties and Fifties as these are my favourite eras. 

The books are a collection of pages from Sears catalogues of the era and make a fantastic resource, particularly as they include mens' and childrens' clothing as well. It is also useful that they have the year on each page.

Here are some pages from 1932. 

Very stylish! 

And now for a look at the very first issue of Stitchcraft - Issue 1 from October 1932. Many thanks again to Barbara and the Knitting and Crochet Guild UK for making these available for members. All of the following images come from the downloadable copy from KCG. 

As I mentioned above, zippers were a new item, as seen in this ad.

 And the description for this golf coat that you can knit from the issue, says: "Zipp" fasteners live up to the modern ideal of combining the decorative and the sternly practical, and all the nicest sports woollies are using them now that they can be had in a specially light weight."

Knits on and off the big screen.

I always love the ads - if only I looked like the lady below when I needed maternity clothing! 

Knitted underwear set, anyone?

There are two items that I am particularly interested in from this issue. One is this lovely knitted jumper. I agree with the description of this as being an "altogether charming affair."

Or I am quite in love with this canvas covered wooden pouffe. It is "designed for double duty" as part of "the vogue of two-in-one furniture." They suggest it can be used to hold "the piles of socks and stockings awaiting mending", which appeals to me as mine are all over the place. 
It will also contribute to my plan of refurbishing my home in a more vintage style. 
I will have to make the wooden box first - surely I can do that! 

What do you think? Which project appeals to you?

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Keep Calm

I am sure you have seen this iconic poster and the myriad spin offs that have been produced. 
The original was a 1939 motivational poster produced by the British government to encourage the British public to maintain its morale as the effects of World War II were starting to be felt. It perfectly encapsulates the British 'stiff upper lip' and their ability to keep calm no matter what is thrown at them.
What is most interesting though is that this poster was rarely displayed and was little known until a copy was rediscovered in a bookshop in 2000. Since there have been many spin offs and merchandise relating to its message. 

With my love of the 1940s and the history of the British home front, this message is perfect for conveying how I feel about the current crisis. The only response is to try and keep calm rather than reacting with panic. Understandably, it is natural to feel panic and fright at the events around the world, particularly as they are unfolding so quickly. We feel out of control of the whole situation. 

In Australia, we have been relatively unaffected, compared to the Northern Hemisphere, but undoubtably we will also see increases in the numbers infected and more government measures brought in to attempt to slow the spread.

So during this crisis and as we wait to see what else unfolds, this is what I will be doing:

I am trying to see it as an opportunity to quietly go about some jobs at home and make this a time of achieving some projects I have not been able to get to previously. And if the schools are closed, it will be the perfect opportunity for some family time. I hope that you will all be able to do the same. I realise it is easier for me to say this than some people, who were unable to access all the supplies they need at the supermarket and are facing shortages in their homes. I really hope this situation will be resolved and that everyone is able to purchase what they need. All the people affected by this virus, in whatever way, are in our thoughts and prayers. 

My hope is that you and your families are all well and that you are safe and secure. 

Monday, 9 March 2020

What Will I Do This Week?

Gardening and Homestead

  • Pot up lettuce, kale and pak choy seedlings
  • Dead head roses
  • This week's moon planting is root crops so plant out garlic and sow beetroot
  • Weeding - a never ending cycle!
Knitting, sewing and crafting

  • Sand back wooden dollhouse for granddaughter's birthday present
  • Choose design for knitted cardigan for granddaughter's birthday present - it will be based on this design from Vintage Gifts To Knit by Susan Crawford, but the colours will be more forest based and I may look through my colourwork charts to find something other than the bunnies. The pattern is also on Ravelry here.

  • Sort out craft trunk - which projects to keep working on
  • Dye and add to shop two lots of sock yarn sets
  • Plan project from Stitchcraft October 1932
  • Continue working on book inventory
  • Sort out boys' clothes for winter
  • Tinned foods inventory

Hope you have some happy plans for this week and that they all work out! 

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Adventures In Stitchcraft - 1932

In my previous Adventures In Stitchcraft series, I noticed that I jumped straight to 1933. Stitchcraft did have three issues published in 1932 - October, November and December.

So, to remedy this, let's talk about 1932! 

The Depression was still in force and unemployment was high, around 20% or more for most countries. 

Historical events for 1932 include: 

 * A massive famine in Russia relating in an estimated 5 million deaths. 

 * The tragic Lindbergh kidnapping.

 * Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to make a solo air crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. 

 * The Tenth Summer Olympic Games Opens in Los Angeles. 

* The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

 * The Sydney Harbour Bridge opens, taking 10 years to complete.

In popular culture: 

* Radio City Music Hall opened on 27th December. 

* One of the most iconic photos in the world was taken in 1932, 'Lunch Atop A Skyscraper'. It was taken fom around the 69th floor. Gives me goosebumps just looking at it! 

* At the movies, people were watching Grand Hotel, Shanghai Express, Trouble In Paradise, Pack Up Your Troubles and Scarface.

* White Zombie is considered to be the first feature length zombie movie.

* They were listening to Louis Armstrong, Guy Lombardo, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

* The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Novels. I remember loving this when I read it in high school and it will be on my re-read list soon as I am reading through all the Pulitzer Prize winners from 1918. (Can you tell I love a good list to work through?!)

* Other books published in 1932 include Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder and The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie.

* What things cost (these are US price comparisons):

  • Average cost of a new house $6,510 ($122,583 today)
  • Average wages per year $1,650 ($31,070 today)
  • Average price of a new car $610 ($11,486 today)
  • A loaf of bread 7c ($1.32 today)
  • A pound of hamburger meat 10c ($1.88 today)

New car advertisment from 1932
Next week, we will take a look at my favourite thing to research, fashions from 1932!

And with many thanks to Barbara from Knitting Now and Then, I have joined the Knitting and Crochet Guild UK with an international online membership. This enables me to access any vintage patterns they have online. They have nearly all the issues of Stitchcraft! Although not many are online currently - maybe they will add more over time. But I was able to get the very first issue, October 1932. I will share from this issue soon. But now to decide what to make! 

Friday, 6 March 2020

Independence Days Challenge

When I was maintaining my blog more regularly, it was a great motivation to actual achieve my plans. It acted as a to do list and a place to check in and see how I was going. So I am hoping to bring back some of that motivation by reviving another of my old challenges, the Independence Days Challenge.

This is from the book by Sharyn Astyk, Independence Days: A Guide To Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation which I noticed is unfortunately out of print.

In the book, there are eight Independence Day challenges to follow, which will aid you in your journey towards food security and self-sufficiency, as far as you want to go. 

You can read about them in my original post on this challenge here.

I am hoping this will really kickstart me again. I have been doing some food gardening, but nowhere near as much as I would like. 

So each Friday will now become Independence Days once again! And we will see how much I can achieve with a bit more motivation to have something to show on the blog!

This is a great article summing up the basics of food self-sufficiency and what you should grow for maximum results. 

A Working Pantry is a great blog all about, you guessed it, setting up and maintaining a pantry. Plus there are other great tips as well. 

I will see you next Friday for the first 'proper' post in the new Independence Days Challenge! 

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Crafting Goals for 2020

I know, it is a bit late in the year to be setting goals, but better late than never!
I have had some unformed goals in my head, but as I am now commiting to blogging more, I should put them in writing and make myself accountable.

My motivation came from reading this post at Snapdragon Crafts
So let's give this a go!

1. Stash busting must be number 1 on the list as this is getting slightly out of control! It doesn't help that I now have lots of shop stock that I need to store as well.  I agree with Snapdragon Crafts that it is pretty much unachievable to say you will not purchase ANY yarn or fabric, but it must be seriously curtailed. Definitely I will not allow myself to make any of those impulse purchases. You know, the ones where you say to yourself that you don't know what you will make but it will come in handy for something. This is my go-to story to myself when purchasing at sales! I am going to borrow Snapdragon Craft's 3:1 ratio - 3 times as much yarn/fabric must go out as finished objects as comes in as new purchases.

2. Now that I have rebooted Adventures In Stitchcraft, I must make sure that I keep going! 

3. I must, must, must gather together all my UFOs, knitting, quilting and sewing, and make some hard decisions. Either finish them or move them on. 

Oh well, if Jamie says so then it must be OK! 

4. I was watching a podcast the other day and she said that her son will only accept gifts that are secondhand or handmade. I will want to move towards all my gifts fitting this criteria. 

5. I will also try not to buy any new patterns/books as believe me, I have enough already! There are also so many free patterns online and in borrowed library books that this should not be that difficult (except for the willpower part!) Much as I would like to own all the Stitchcrafts, it is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to find the ones I need to fill in my collection. After joining the KCG and knowing that they have nearly every issue, this need has been tamed somewhat! 

So these are my craft goals. Let's see if I can keep them in 2020! Do you have any crafting goals/resolutions? Maybe, like me, you have some languishing projects that need to see the light of day? Or maybe, also like me, your stash is slowly taking over your home? 

P.S. You may or may not have noticed that I have added an Etsy affiliate link to my sidebar. If you click through this link and purchase something from Etsy, I may earn a little something. Thank you if you choose to support me in this way. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Time For A Knitting Update

As I haven't posted for so long, there has been lots of knitting going on!

I won't bore you with too many details - I will just include a few photos of some of my finished projects from the last year.

This cardigan isn't finished but oh, I love it! It is a free pattern on Ravelry, called Miyazaki Playlist Cardigan and the motifs are based on six Studio Ghibli movies by the Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki.

You may recognise some of them.

Soot sprites
It is a very fun knit. The colourwork is worked flat which I was attracted to as I am yet to try steeking. I really should not be scared of it! I have found a small project (a colourwork tea cosy with steeks for the handle and spout) so that it will not be so daunting and worrying if I mess it up.

And the project that is currently occupying my time is the Prelude jumper. This is a free vintage pattern, shared here by Subversive Femme during her Curvy Month. It is from about late 1930s to early 1940s. I am hoping that the rib will be very forgiving as I am not too sure on the sizing. I have a terrible tendency to make anything for me too big 'just to be sure'. We will see!

The yarn I am using is from one of my Banned Books Yarn Clubs from last year. It is based on Wuthering Heights. Someone requested I do a yarn for Wuthering Heights and I had to really dig to find an example of it being banned. But I did! 
The yarn is a BFL (Bluefaced Leicester) and Donegal nep sock yarn. I had a few skeins that I wasn't 100% happy with so I kept them for myself. And here they are - hopefully making a lovely jumper for me. I am doing the jumper all in one colour and of course the yarn isn't period correct. But I think it will look lovely.

Are you working on anything special at the moment?

Linking today with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On.