Sunday, 27 September 2020

Diamonds Are Forever


And they really do seem to be forever! 

After taking ten days off to rest my elbows, last night I jumped back into knitting and finished the back of the Diamonds jumper. I love it! 

I certainly will not be knitting as much as I am used to for the next little while but it was wonderful to be knitting at all.

I finished reading a delicious satire, Gone With The Windors by Laurie Graham,  that begins in 1932. The fictional Maybell Brumby is a Baltimore widow who went to school with a young girl called Wally Warfield. After her bereavement, Maybell moves to London as her sister Violet has married a Lord and is now living the boring and uncomfortable life of the aristocracy, rushing from one committee to the next. Maybell finds that Wally also lives in London now. Although married, Wally is 'on the make' and has her cap set at Wales. 

This, of course, describes Wallis Simpson and the Prince of Wales. Maybell's wonderful diary describes their relationship from their first meeting through the abdication of the throne. 

Maybell is the perfect chronicler as she is so delightfully dim, utterly self-absorbed and completely oblivious to others' feelings. She tells us all about the happenings, while half of it is going straight over her head. Maybell's chief concerns are fashions and where to go for dinner and weekends away and more importantly with whom. Her diary is like a laundry list of the best (and often, very boring and stuffy!) of London's elite. 

See you next week for more Diamonds! 

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

The Sunshine Blogger Award

 I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I feel so famous - ha ha!!

Thank you Carissa The Regency Woman for the nomination! 

So how does this work? 

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog. 

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

The Sunshine Blogger Award Questions Assigned To Me

1. What is your favourite hobby?

Have to say knitting - don't think there are any surprises there! I am blessed that I have been able to combine my favourite hobby with my Etsy shops to, hopefully one day, make some sort of living from it.

And I guess to be more specific, I will have to add vintage knitting. 

2. What is the best book you have read so far this year?

Luckily I am in a reading group on LibraryThing where I keep track of all my reading and star ratings.

So far I have read 103 books and have awarded these books a 5 star rating. 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

So let's just say these are all my favourites! I am also currently rereading Great Expectations as I reread a Dickens every year. Obviously this will receive 5 stars as, well, it is Dickens!

3. What is the worst book you have read so far this year?

The Shanghai Wife by Emma Harcourt.

I gave this book 2.5 stars, not because it was particularly bad, just because it was meh. One of those books that you can take or leave and have no real impact on you. A book that doesn't keep you thinking about it after you have finished. 

4. What is your favourite colour and how do you use it in your life?

Being a yarn dyer, colour is very important to me and I love playing with colour. Yellow is my absolute favourite though. If I could, I would have a sunshine yellow kitchen with a deep blue AGA (not that I have thought about this at all!). One day! 

I love the kitchen in the movie Paddington - these are the things I notice in movies, the homes and the knitwear! 

I love daffodils and sunflowers and I grow lots of both, so I can bring my yellow flowers inside to brighten rooms. 

And I knit in yellow.

5. Do you drink tea, and if so, what brand is your favourite?

Do I drink tea?! Oh yes indeed!

I have a mystery yarn club every month (this year it based on fairy tales) and each month there are two themed teas sent out with the club. I have SO much fun looking for teas to match the theme.

Last month was Cinderella and my new favourite tea is the Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai that I found to send out with the yarn. It is delicious!

6. Since we're slowly coming up on the holidays, what is your favourite treat in December? 

As I live in Australia and it is disgustingly hot at Christmas time, I will have to say air conditioning! I hate the heat and it is very hard to make myself care about Christmas when we have a week of over 40 degrees C!
I am very envious of my Northern Hemisphere friends with their snow and cream topped hot chocolates at Christmas.
I would LOVE to see a white Christmas one day.

7. Do you play board games and if so, what is your favourite?

We do play board games - I would say Monopoly is the family favourite, although it can get heated at times!

My own favourite would be Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble but noone else will play with me - so sad! 

8. What is your favourite movie that was made during the Hays Code, 1934 to 1968? 

Great question, but seriously, only one favourite?! 
I have been watching some pre Hays Code movies - it is amazing how risque some of them were. 

For this, I will have to choose It Happened One Night, a 1934 movie that is classified as pre-code in some arenas as although the Hays Code came in in 1930 it was not really enforced until 1934. This movie, however, embraced the code in most respects and was richy rewarded for it, sweeping the Academy Awards. Claudette Colbert was convinced she had acted in the worst film of her career and was not planning on attending the Awards. She had to appear in a two-piece travelling suit to accept her Best Actress Award, when she was hurried off a train and rushed to the ceremony.

This movie became the template for rom coms, where the two main characters are thrown together and do not like each other at first. It also introduced the hilarious road trip genre.
For a low budget movie that noone expected to amount to much, this movie still packs a punch!

9. Who is your favourite singer/group?

You all know it will be old, right?! 

The Glenn Miller Band

Ella Fitzgerald

and, just to drive my husband crazy, any score from a musical ever!

10. Do you prefer digital music, CDs or (GASP) vinyl?

Come on, you know the answer to this one! I was so excited when record players came back in as I was able to buy a few cheap ones to have around the house. Up until then, I had to use an original one. 
All my local op shops sell their vinyl for $1 each so I have quite a collection now, alhough it is a matter of sifting through all the 1970s albums to find the older ones.

11. What got you started in the blogging realm?

I would say it was just to have a voice and join in the conversation about things I am interested in. Living in a small country town and enjoying things that are, let's say, not the norm, it is hard to find actual people to chat with. But then I found a whole knitting, vintage, homeschooling community online and wow, I was hooked!

Another reason would be to have a diary or journal of our days. I really enjoy looking back at older posts, both to see how the kids have grown and as inspiration for things I have done in the past that I should be keeping up with!

And now it is time to tag 11 other bloggers. I am not always keen to do this as I know some people don't like to join in with these types of posts. So feel free to take it or leave it and I hope noone will be unhappy or annoyed that I have mentioned your blog here. 

Sarah Lizzies
Rainbow Hare

Play along if you would like to! 

Here are my 11 questions for you, if you would like to play.

1. If you could go back in time, which era would you choose to live in?
2. Could you give us a recommendation of your favourite series to watch?
3. Do you have a special childhood memory you would like to share with us?
4. What is your favourite room in the house and why?
5. Are you a minimalist or a collector or somewhere in between?
6. As we are all armchair travellers at the moment, where in the world would you most like to visit and in which season?
7. What is your favourite animal, either wild or domestic, and have you ever seen one in real life?
8. Could you share your favourite holiday baking recipe with us?
9. Brussels sprouts, yes or no?
10. What are you most looking forward to doing in the next month?
11. And I need to know, what is your favourite book, the one you tell everyone they should read?


Not Much Knitting - But A New Shop!

Joining in today with As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday and all the knitting (see below!) and reading. 

 Unfortunately there has been next to no knitting happening in my life at the moment due to a bad case of tennis elbow. I remember Andrea at Fruity Knitting podcast had this problem a while ago and had to take a complete break from knitting. Reluctant as I was to undertake such drastic action (no knitting, what?!), I decided to just do it. I have not knitted for a week and believe me, that is unheard of, but it seems to be doing the trick. Hopefully I will be able to pick the needles up again in a few days. 

So what to do while I cannot click those needles? Why, open a new Etsy shop, of course!!

This has been on my plans list for a long time as I wanted to offer some of my vintage hand knitted items for sale. Then I had a brainwave. I have been creating PDF downloadable files for a friend of mine to use in her business and I often purchase PDFs of vintage knitting patterns. Why not combine the two? So I have been happily scanning away, making some of the patterns in my extensive collection available.

I have tried to scan ones that are not currently available, so hopefully vintage knitters will find some hidden treasures in my collection.

I have opened my shop with three patterns, which I have for sale for the princely sum of about 10c each. This is as a special offer as I am asking any lovely knitters out there (or just lovely people in general!) who would like to purchase a pattern and give me some feedback. I have never sold digital downloads before and would love to hear if people are happy with the patterns. The PDFs all look fine on my computer and print fine on my printer so I have my fingers crossed that the same will be true for any purchasers. 

These are the three patterns I have up for sale, so if any of them catch your fancy, I would greatly appreciated any feedback. And you will have a lovely pattern to knit! 

I have always wanted to attempt a knitted dress and I have many gorgeous vintage patterns for them. A huge time investment though! 

Oh, and here is the link to my new shop! You can find me on Etsy at Dorothy Jayne Vintage. Any help greatly appreciated! 

I will be adding new patterns at the weekend, when my self-imposed trial is over. I am also planning on selling some of my paper patterns as I have some double ups. And hand knitted items made to vintage patterns, so the non-knitters can still enjoy some vintage knitting. 

Reading has gone the same way as my knitting for the moment! I have been reading Planetfall by Emma Newman for over a week, which is a long time for me to get through a book.

I am really enjoying it - a very different approach to space colonisation. I wasn't expecting what has happened so far. It certainly makes me want to continue with the series.

Hopefully you have been knitting more than me - I will be back next week with some actual progress! 

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Diamond In The Rough

 Need to knit faster! Otherwise I will be showing you this jumper for the next few months - and I will run out of sayings about diamonds!

I have reached the armhole shaping on the front.

As you can see from this close up, it would definitely be neater to knit in the round. The purling back makes the stitches messier, I think. Or maybe it is the yarn? 

I have worked colourwork in the flat before with a plumper yarn and it looked neater than this. 

We will have to wait and see!

While there is not much movement in the jumper, let's take another look at some fashions from the early 1930s.

These are from this wonderful book that I borrowed from the library, Fashion Sketchbook 1920-1960 by John Peacock. 

I love the sketches and particularly that he has added the detail of the fabrics used for the garments.

All so very stylish!

John Peacock has published many fashion books, including a series organised by decades. If my library had it available, I would have borrowed the 1930s Fashion Sourcebook as there would be more detail.

There is a Fashion Sourcebook for each decade from the 1920s to the 1980s. The 80s one is super fun as that is when I was a teenager!

But I am saving my pennies to buy the gorgeous hardback edition, The Complete Fashion Sourcebook, which has all the books in one volume. It also includes a reference section that charts garment shapes through the decades and has biographies of the outstanding designers of each era.

John Peacock also has written The Chronicle of Western Costume, if you would like to travel further back in time. This book has full-colour illustrations and covers chronologically from the ancient world to the late twentieth century. 

I just love browsing through these books.

I will be back next week with more diamonds!