Sunday, 30 August 2020

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend!


How many more sayings can I find with diamonds in them?! As this jumper is going to take a while to knit!

I am over halfway through the repeats I need to do before reaching the armhole shaping. The more of it I knit, the more I like it. I think blocking will make all the difference to the appearance.

Not much else to say about it - just keep knitting! 

Here is an interesting magazine for you! I am really enjoying finding these free to read online vintage magazines.

This week, we have the November 1932 issue of Amazing Stories. Amazing Stories is an American science fiction magazine which is still being published in some form today.

It was the first science fiction magazine ever published when it began in 1926. Many sci fi fans started to correspond through the letters column and started their own fanzines. Amazing Stories directly influenced writers such as Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.

The cover illustration comes from a story called Captain Brink of the Space Marines, showing the two main characters being attacked by a giant amoeba. You can read the story in this issue!


I will be back next week with more diamonds.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Unraveled Wednesday

 Joining in for Unraveled Wednesday today with As Kat Knits.

I have been working on my Victory jumper and am really enjoying it. It is a very simple pattern to remember so makes great TV knitting. 

It is worth taking a look at the Ravelry project page for the pattern as there are some wonderful colour combinations that have been knitted.

I worked on it last night while watching this movie, Another Mother's Son.  I must admit to not knowing much about the history of German occupation of English territory during World War II. I feel it really was not mentioned much and is just coming to light in more recent times. 

The movie is based on the true story of Louisa Gould, a shopkeeper in a small rural Jersey village. Her own two sons are fighting in the war and Louisa takes in an escaped Russian POW, as she would like another woman to do for her sons.

As you can imagine, this heartbreaking movie ends in tragedy. 

The screenplay was written by Louisa's great-niece. 

Louisa's brother, seen on the left of the picture played by Ronan Keating, was one of only two English men to survive Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

In 1995, a plaque was unveiled in Saint Ouen, Jersey, dedicated to Louisa. Burriy (the Russian POW) and Louisa's surviving son, Ralph, met for the first time at the unveiling.

In 2010, she was named a British Hero of the Holocaust. 

The German occupation of the Channel Islands first came to my attention when I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. I adore this book. I must have read it five times and cry every time. 

For non-fiction accounts, there is The German Occupation of the Channel Islands by Charles Cruickshank. 

And Model Occupation by Madeleine Bunting. 

For a child's account, A Child's War: The Occupation of the Channel Islands Through A Child's Eyes.

Have you read any of these, or any books about the occupation of the Channel Islands? I would love to hear about them. 

Now I suppose I should talk about what I have actually been reading rather than books related to a movie I watched!

My current read is Promise by Minrose Gwin. Another interest of mine is books set in the US South, particularly historical fiction. This book is about the aftermath of a true event, the Palm Sunday (5th April 1936) tornado in Tupelo, Mississipi. This book is a fictional account of those events. 

The Tupelo tornado is the fourth most deadly tornado in US history, with the death toll between 216 and 233. The author grew up in Tupelo and she says in her Author's Note, that she thought she knew everything about the tornado. But she was wrong. She recently discovered that African-American casualties were not included in the numbers. They made up a third of the town's population and were simply not counted. 

This book is about much more than the tornado. It is about black/white relationships in the town leading up to the event and how the tornado changed these. It is about destruction and salvation, good and evil, our innate humanity, racial divides, set against the terror and force of the tornado.

I literally wanted to rip through the pages without putting this book down. It was totally compelling. Well, well worth picking up this book.

And one interesting fact about the tornado. Amongst the survivors were a one-year-old boy and his parents, who lived in this house.

That little boy's name? Elvis Aaron Presley. 


Sunday, 23 August 2020

The Diamonds Are Coming Along Nicely


I have started knitting the Diamonds Are Trumps jumper from Stitchcraft November 1932.

I am up to the second time through the pattern repeat and it is very easy to keep track of, despite the written out instructions.

As I mentioned last week, I am using Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 3ply which is a tighter twist than the Luxury 4ply I usually use. 
It is looking a bit 'stringy', if that makes sense. I have seen vintage jumpers knitted in this yarn on Instagram and they look great. So I am assuming the blocking will make all the difference. 

This will also be due to the fact that the pieces are knitted flat, which involves purling back in colourwork. 
But I want to keep to the patterns in my Adventures In Stitchcraft project, to get the true vintage feel of the garments. 
I'm sure it will all come out in the wash, as we say!

And here is something to read from November 1932.

Here you can read most of the articles from the November 1932 issue of Vanity Fair. 

Adolf Hitler made the cover as there was a general election held in Germany on 6th November. The Nazi party saw its vote share fall by 4%, with the loss of 34 seats. 
Unfortunately, these were the last free and fair all-German elections held before the Nazis seized power in January 1933. The next free elections were not held until 1946 in East Germany and 1949 in West Germany. The next free all-German elections were not until December 1990 after reunification.

The lead up to World War II had definitely begun.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Diamonds Are Trumps for November 1932


I have chosen my next project for Adventures In Stitchcraft, from the second issue of the magazine, published November 1932.

It is the 'Scarlet and White' jumper and I have been waiting patiently (impatiently!) for the yarn to arrive.

Finally, it arrived and as you can see, I have not been very adventurous! 

I guess the colours are not exactly scarlet and white. The red is more a deep red and the white is more cream. 
The yarns are from Bendigo Woollen Mills in their Classic 3 ply and the colours are Cranberry and Pussy Willow. This yarn comes on 500g/2000m cones and are fantastic value.

I have not cast on yet, but will this week. 

No charts for this colourwork! It will take a bit of concentration to keep these stitches in order! I'm sure once the pattern is established, I will be off and running.

Tune in next week to see how I am progressing! 

Saturday, 15 August 2020

VP Day - We Will Remember Them


Whether you call it VP (Victory in the Pacific) or VJ (Victory over Japan) Day, today marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, with the surrender of the Japanese.

Here in Victoria, we cannot commerate the day with any official ceremonies due to COVID lockdown.

The Victorian government posted some activities to do from home, including some paper bunting.

I have been working on my Victory Jumper and am really pleased with the progress so far.  

It really needs to be stretched out to see the pattern properly, but you get the idea! 
It is a very easy pattern to memorise as it is only a two row repeat and one of the rows is just purl. I am looking forward to it being finished and to wear it for the 76th anniversary when hopefully these crazy times have settled down. 

From a population of just 7 million, almost 1 million Australians served in World War II. Nearly 40,000 Australians lost their lives fighting for their country.

We will remember them.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Unraveled Wednesday

 Joining in for the knitting and reading with As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday.

I missed a week or two there due to lots of happenings so you think I would have more knitting progress to show. Sadly that is not the case!

Due to an increase in coronavirus in my state, I had to pull my sewing machine from the cupboard and get to sewing some masks.

My son had his 12th birthday last week and in our state it is now mandatory to wear a mask if you are 12 or over.

So happy birthday to my Eddy Bear - here is your mask! 

Many lost celebrations this year. Hopefully his 13th will be an improvement!

Knitting wise, most of my projects have had little movement. Sewing took up some time and my own tendency to jump from project to project also contributed. 

So what did I do? I started a new project, of course! 

It is VP (Victory in the Pacific) or VJ (Victory Over Japan) Day on 15th August and I have wanted to knit the Victory Jumper for sooooo long. I purchased the yarn a month or so ago and have finally cast it on.

I am using the traditional colours, but am using cream instead of white. I am neary finished the rib and am excited to start the pattern.

The Victory Jumper is a free pattern, available here in the Victoria and Albert Museum's 1940s knitting pattern collection. 

I will also be casting on the next pattern for my Adventures In Stitchcraft project. This jumper is from Issue 2 of the magazine, from November 1932. 

I am thinking this pattern will be fiddly but relatively easy. 

And then I will keep adding slowly to my other projects (which I didn't bother to photograph yet again - I will when there is some progress to show!)

My current reading is Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. 

There are lots of books at the moment, retelling or reinterpreting Greek mythology. So I was happy to come across this one based on Mayan mythology and folklore. It is set in the 1920s in Mexico and the main character has to undertake a journey with the Mayan god of death and help him recover his throne from his treacherous brother. I am really enjoying it so far (I am about halfway into the book). I particularly love mythology about the interaction between mortals and gods/goddesses. And the descriptions of Art Deco Mexico City are splendid! 

I had to look up some photos of Art Deco architecture in Mexico City.

The attention to detail was just fabulous in that era. 

I also finished reading Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster aloud to the boys.

This is a delight of a book. It paints a vivid picture of Victorian London and the children who worked as climbers, cleaning the chimneys of the well-to-do. A wonderful book for children to learn more about childrens' lives in the past without it being too much like a lecture. 

The relationship between Nan, the climber, and her golem, Charlie, is so beautiful. The pathos of the ending is reminiscent of Charlotte's Web (we know we all cried at that!). I found my voice catching as I was reading the last chapter - the boys always ask me if I am crying when we read aloud! 

Truly a lovely book.

What are you knitting and reading? I hope you are keeping well, whatever you are currently doing. 

Monday, 10 August 2020

Who Was Born In 1932?

I have been neglecting my blog for a week or two as we have had a few things happening.

I have decided that I will be knitting the 'Diamonds Are Trumps' jumper but have not been able to commence knitting yet. I am still waiting for the yarn I ordered - the mail is definitely taking longer due to that which shall not be named as well as many online companies being inundated with orders.

So while we are waiting for the knitting to begin, let's take another look at 1932 with who was born in 1932.

From the movies (just for fun, I'll add my favourite movie for each one):

Elizabeth Taylor - National Velvet

Omar Sharif - Doctor Zhivago

Anthony Perkins - On The Beach

Peter O'Toole - How To Steal A Million - he also holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations for acting without a win - eight! 

Ellen Burstyn - How To Make An American Quilt

Now on to singers - and favourite song!

Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue

Patsy Cline - Crazy

Loretta Lynn - Coal Miner's Daughter

Petula Clark - Don't Sleep In The Subway

Little Richard - Tutti Frutti

And some others:

John Williams - surely the most prolific movie composer 

Sylvia Plath - poet

Quentin Blake - cartoonist/illustrator

Dian Fossey - zoologist

I hope to be back next week with some 1932 knitting!