Sunday, 31 May 2020

What I Need To Do

You know what I need to do - get moving with Adventures In Stitchcraft!

I have the yarn and have cast on for the project from the first issue. I needed to purchase some 3.75mm needles as I could not find a single set in the house. I know, this is crazy as I literally have hundreds of knitting needles of all sorts. Murphy's Law though, that you cannot find the size you need when you need it! 

The wonderfully named 'With Angora Tie' from the October 1932 issue, the very first issue published. 
I am knitting to pattern except I am going up a needle size to increase the size slightly. The pattern is for a 34" bust. 
I am using Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Sweetheart 4 ply in Rose Petals. This was a limited edition and unfortunately this colourway is no longer available. But there are lots of gorgeous colours in their regular Luxury 4 ply range
As you can tell, I have lots of Bendigo yarn in my stash! Because it is great quality and great value and they have an extensive colour range!
I will look for some angora as I get further into the project. I have some of my own handdyed that might fit the bill. 

There is a lot of rib! 5 inches and this is just over 4 inches. Lots of vintage patterns have very deep rib bands. I don't know if you can tell in the photo but in this pattern the rib comes up to her belt. Nearly on to the pattern now so looking forward to seeing what it looks like! 
I have so many issues of Stitchcraft now that it is quite difficult to find ones I do not have, particularly at a reasonable price. But I did find some recently and they are wonderful!

These issues are from 1937, 38 and 39. Totally gorgeous! 

I have spent some time organising my collection and now each issue is protected in a comic bag. These are special plastic bags for collectors of comics. They come in three sizes and these three sizes are the perfect fit for the three different sizes that Stitchcraft was published in over the years. 

I purchased these bags from Online Coins and Collectables. I had to make two purchases as I grossly underestimated how Stitchcraft magazines I actually had! Great service and quick delivery. Well worth taking a look if you have vintage patterns or magazines that need some extra care as I had found, horror of horrors, a few silverfish in my collection! 

Another vintage project that I am working on is the Prelude jumper by Patons and Baldwins, circa late 1930s/early 1940s. It is available as a free pattern from Subversive Femme, who has lots of free patterns on her site. In particular, look for her annual Curvy Month patterns as, let's face it, most of us are not the size of the models in vintage patterns! 
I have altered the pattern in that I am knitting it in one colour. And it is not vintage appropriate as I am using one of my own handdyed yarns which is not a solid colour. But I had some leftover skeins (ones that I wasn't 100% happy with the dye job) from one of last year's yarn clubs so I decided to use them up here. The yarn is based on Wuthering Heights and is called Among The Heather. It is a purple and mossy green on a tweed BFL (Bluefaced Leceister) 4 ply/fingering weight yarn. I love the way it is knitting up and this is a super simple pattern. 

Check out Subversive Femme's Etsy shop here. Bex has loads of downloadable vintage patterns, both knitting and sewing, as well as full downloadable issues of Stitchcraft magazines. I particularly like the look of this Sun-Glo pattern book for larger figures, especially the knitted dress. One day I will attempt a knitted dress! 

Another great source for downloadable Stitchcraft magazines is Carol's shop. She has complete magazines from the 1930s in PDF format. These are, of course, the hard ones to find in hard copy and if I do, they are generally expensive! 

Reading wise, I recently purchased this lovely book. I have a particular interest, as I think many vintage lovers do, of the 1940s and the homefront in England during World War II. 

I actually found it when I was Googling Stitchcraft (which I do on a fairly regular basis!) as it contains a short paragraph referencing Stitchcraft magazine. 

There is an interesting chapter called The Clothes Doctor which is all about utility fashion and make do and mend. Lots of knitting references in the chapter. 

I cannot believe it says that knitted stockings never really took off! It is one of the items I am particularly interested in knitting.

But we are not up to this era yet! Back to 1932! I will hope to have some significant progress to share in next week's Adventures In Stitchcraft. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

A Bit Of A Knitting Update

As the cooler weather approaches, my knitting mojo has come back! I must admit to not being a fan of hot weather so I am always happiest when autumn arrives and I can light the fire and get the wool out for some cosy knitting time.

And it is about time I do some stash diving and use up some of the yarn that has become part of the furniture around here. Some of the wool I used in one of these projects was purchased at the wonderful Wondoflex in Malvern when I used to live just around the corner from the shop. Now this was before I had any children and as I now have grandchildren, you can imagine that yarn has been in my stash for a short while! It is well travelled yarn too - I have lived in three states since I purchased it! 

So here, in no particular order, are some of the projects I have completed in the last few months.

This is the Waiting For Winter beanie designed by the lovely Astrid. This is currently being knitted as a KAL in her Ravelry group, Wattle and Wool. And it is a free pattern on Ravelry - you can download it here
As I knit a lot from vintage patterns, I had never done a tubular cast on before. So this pattern also gave me a chance to learn a new skill. 

And I will get to practice again as my daughter has asked for one as well! She has chosen the same yarn but it is cream with a black fleck. These are both Cleakheaton Country Naturals 8 ply which is a lovely soft yarn but is now discontinued (and these balls have been in my stash for 25 years!)

Another free pattern that I have knitted is the Prairie House Shawl. This is knitted in my own yarn from my Banned Books Mystery Yarn Club from last year. This one was based on Lady Chatterley's Lover. I haven't blocked it yet so do not have a finished photo.

And then of course some woollies for the granddaughters!

My daughter accidentally washed the last Milo I knitted on hot! It was knitted in Bendigo Woollen Mills Bloom which I can tell you felts really well as I have made some felted items from it. Now it is a vest for her doll! 

So another Milo was on the cards! I must say, if you want a fantastic pattern for knitting baby/toddler/child gifts, this is it. It is a paid pattern but totally worth every cent. The pattern is sized from newborn to 16 years and you can customise it in so many ways. 

My daughter chose Bloom again, in the colour Sunrise. I just love watching the colours appear as you are knitting.

The Pixie Scarf Hat was also requested for the four year old. Another super easy knit, available as a free pattern on Ravelry. 

Then for the little one - she has just turned one. Sadly, we couldn't be with either of the girls for their birthdays this year. 

The Easy Baby Cardigan is another free pattern on Ravery. Can you tell I have been browsing Ravelry a bit?! 

And it really is easy! You can knit it with either a hood or a collar, in sizes newborn, 6, 12 and 18 months. 
The photo is terrible - it really doesn't show the lovely gold colour of the yarn. It is Bendigo Woollen Mills Bendigo Tweed in the colour Wild Honey. 

And I even squeezed in a little sewing. It was great to get the sewing machine out. As I have to sew on the dining table, it is always an effort to get everything out and put it away at the end of the day, even if I have not finished. But this was a quick little birthday gift project.

This is the Red Riding Hood Cape, a free pattern online from FleeceFun. I made it in quilting cotton and homespun rather than fleece, which meant I had to add in a few steps such as hemming and top sewing around the hood. Still super quick and it looks so cute on her. I was thinking a fleece version in pale blue fleece lined with white fake fur would be a good Frozen version. We will see! 

As part of my plans/hopes/desires to clear out, I have been taking a look at my languishing WIPs. Ravelry is good at keeping me accountable for this as I see them sitting in my Projects tab whenever I add a new cast on. I cannot just hide them away in the house and completely forget them! 

A WIP I really want to finish is my Studio Ghilbi cardigan. And yes, it is a free pattern on Ravelry - surprise, surprise! 
I cannot explain why I have completed so much of this and then left it as I absolutely adore it. I have a total love of Studio Ghibli films - they are totally whacky and gorgeous. And this cardigan has all the motifs from my favourite films.

This is where I am up to. As you can see, almost completed. 

And I have fourteen other WIPs on my Ravelry page! I have some decisions to make!

And let's end with some cute granddaughter photos. We are now allowed to make day trips, as long as social distancing is maintained. So when the first snow fell, the girls had a chance to see snow!

Yes, she is the girl who will wear a tutu anywhere, even to the snow! 

And our little pixie! 
Aren't they adorable?! Not that I am biased or anything! Looking forward to cuddles again soon.

I hope you are all keeping well. What have you been doing during isolation? I would love to hear about your projects.

Linking with Frontier Dreams  for Crafting On.  

Saturday, 16 May 2020

These Crazy Times

You would think that with us all spending all our time at home, I would have more time to keep up with things like my blog. It would appear not! 

I have found that I have been doing less knitting, less reading, less of most of my pastimes. As I used to homeschool previously, I have been so enjoying having the boys at home. I will miss them heaps when they have to return to school. 

I hope you have all been keeping well in these crazy times. As an introvert, it really hasn't bothered me too much! I prefer to keep close to home anyway. 

I am busy dying for my yarn club and to keep my Etsy shop stocked as it has been much busier than I have ever been. It is so exciting to me that people are buying from me. Such a self-esteem boost to see people sharing my yarn oInstagram and even Youtube videos! 

I am planning/hoping to set aside some dedicated time each week to blog. I think if I actually schedule it, maybe, just maybe, it will actually happen! 

Keep well, keep safe and I will see you soon!