A few ramblings about knitting, mainly vintage stuff and other bits and bobs

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Gay Fair Isle Anyone? Weldons 205

Who doesn't like a gay Fair Isle? It's bright and cheerful and sunny and all the good things in life.

The gloves are worked on 4 dpns size 2.75mm US 2 or you could go for circulars if that's your thing (it tends to be mine).

The cap is worked on 3.25mm US 3 and again in the round.

This set will with pop with colour if you stick to the original scheme which was blue for the main with maize, yellow and red for the rest. It's a shame the original pattern is in black and white. Might have to make myself a set just to see the colour combination.

The Fair Isle makes these lovely and toasty and you'll look a treat

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Wonderful Things

A few days ago I was looking through some of my vintage knitting books (I have a few) and a slim packet slipped out from between the dust jacket and the book. I've had the book for well over 10 years and have never seen them so it was a bit of a surprise. A wonderful surprise as they were a small collection of hand written knitting patterns. They are in different hands, at least  three but since hand writing used to be far more formalised and strictly taught it's difficult to know for certain.

I started to look through them: Soldiers Mittens, Lemon Pattern, Gimlet Pattern, Stockings Eric aged 5, Easter Chick, and others. There was even a sample of wool pinned to Balaclava Helmet with flaps. It made me smile that this little relict from a previous knitter had found a new home. I think they may have been copied from different sources but I can't tell for sure.

Some of the instructions are basic, but this is common among vintage patterns, none give a tension, a few don't even give a needle size or wool weight but I have decided that I am going to make them up and re-write the patterns to see if anyone recognises the patterns.

There are 12 complete patterns and 3 which are no more than a schematic, so they might take a bit more work, so this is going to be a year long project with one a month so keep coming back and see how I'm getting on.

Monday, 15 September 2014

New In

Some of these are just amazing: my Ravelry queue is getting longer and longer.

I think the Boudoir Cape (Sirdar 1256) is my favourite along with the Fair Isle gloves (Penelope M1294)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Woman's Own Big Knitting Book - Trimmed with Spots

Trimmed with Spots
I love this jumper with it's tufted spots and puffed sleeves
Woman's Own Big Knitting Book
Date: Sept 1937
Measurements: Bust 34"; length 19.5"; sleeve seam 17"
Materials: double knit or light worsted; 4mm US 6 and 3mm US 2.5 needles; 1 small button; 3.25mm US 3 crochet hook
Original used W.B. Rosedale Fingering 4-ply
Tension: 6.5 stitches and 9 rows to 1 inch using 4mm US 6 needles over stocking stitch

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Will it never end?

Of course it will. But only when I have run out of yarn.

This week has been a busy week at work (not the nice side of work which is my patterns and archaeology but the dull office side I have to do to pay bills) so haven't really done that much in term of adding things to the shop: but there are lots of lovelies being sorted and scanned and ready to go in soon. I've also decided to get rid of most of my vintage sewing patterns so they will be making an appearance too.

Knitting wise I still seem entrenched gleefully in vintage. I have finished the back for my Making Meshy cardigan and have nearly finished one of the sides. I was going to knit them both at the same time but forgot (c'est le vie). At first I was a bit worried that I was going to run out of wool but it's loose and meshy and the pattern carries a small amount a long way so looks like I'll be fine.
 It does look a bit short but it is very stretchy and hopefully I can block another few inches into it.

The Sheffield group on Ravelry are having a K/CAL for September: kind of part of a year long set of projects where you have to (if you can) knit from stash attained before December 31st 2013. Our theme for September is Winter Warmers so I have decided to go with another vintage pattern but in a decidedly un-vintage colour.

This is the cuff of  glovey gauntlet type of thing: part of a beautiful Fair Isle Skating Outfit but for the moment I'm just concentrating on the gloves. I might do the hat if I have enough time but you know what it's like - there is never enough time to knit vintage without coming across another amazing pattern.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Making Meshy

It's late August so the weather is being to turn and although there may be a revival of that warm two weeks we had a while back, I think that it's time to start knitting for winter.

I always have problems buying cardigans - I know that I'm a plus size which doesn't help when relying on 'fashion' stores, but everything seems to be those vast flappy long line things or tiny, short things. I just want a hip length cardi that I can wear over a plain things that will tied be over that intermittent cool period between summer and winter called autumn.

The answer is clear - make one. Find a pattern from the collection and get cracking. So I did. And I found loads that I liked but . . . I have also tried not to buy any more yarn until October when it's Bakewell Wool Gathering . It's been nearly 10 months since I placed myself on the yarn diet and it's gone really well but a quick hunt through my stash brought to light some grey double knit that a friend gave me last year.

There is just over 300 grams and coupled with a open mesh knit cardigan I think I have found the right mix. It certainly rocks along but that would be the 6mm needles I suppose. A this rate I should have it finished by the end of next week.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Make Do and Mend Vintage Sock Pattern - Bestway 741

I was sorting through yet more patterns and came across this great pattern on how to re-foot socks. I'm not sure how old it is: the style looks like its from the late 1930s. We’re probably most used to the idea of Make Do and Mend from WWII and this pattern perfectly sums up that spirit. The technique can be used for any hand knit sock so now you don’t have the throw away those socks that have gone too far to darn.

Just clink on the image and get the pattern for yourself and see for yourself just how easy it is to repair a sock with manky toes or heels. 

There’s also a pattern for a complete pair of men’s socks (which let’s face it, anyone can wear) on the back. And a handy photo tutorial to help you along the way.

I've made the socks and they are great, although I did half the amount of leg ribbing as I only had 100g of wool but they fit brilliantly.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Wolsey 159 - Sea Pride Cardigan

Sea Pride Cardigan
This is a great sexy and sleek blouse or cardigan bringing together the best of the mid 1930s. This looks so modern I thought it was 1950s but the pictures on the back cover place this well and truly in the 1930s
The sleeves can be either long or short
Measurements: Bust 34"; length 17.5"
Date: estimated mid 1930s
Materials: 4-ply or fingering; 3.25mm US3 and 2.75mm US 2 needles; 8 buttons
Original used 10 or 8 ozs of Wolsey Sea Pride Wool
Tension: None given on the pattern

Friday, 17 January 2014

Bestway 1297 - Button-Up Jumper in Moss Stitch and Ribbing

Button-up Jumper
This is a fabulous blouse or button up jumper. I love the puffed sleeves, the moss stitch and that super neat ribbing.
The pattern also includes instruction to make long sleeve if you'd prefer it to be a cardigan
Date: estimated early 1940s

Measurements: bust 34", length 20.5", sleeve seam 5.5"
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering; 3.75mm US 5 and 3mm US 2.5 needles; 2.75mm US 2 crochet hook; 10 button moulds or old buttons to be covered
Original used 8 ozs or 10 ozs Patons Beehive Fingering 3-ply
Tension: 9 stitches to 1 inch using 3.75mm US 5 needles over the ribbing


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Weldons B1282 - Leopard Beret and Mitts

Beret and Mitts
Love leopard skin but don't want to endanger a beautiful creature? Then knit some! This pattern is for a beret and mittens but you could easily use it in a jumper pattern.
I love it. The pattern is written out with no chart and the items are worked back and forth so no working in the round.
Mittens - all round hand above thumb 7"
Beret - to fit average head
Date: estimated mid 1950s
Materials: 4-ply or fingering; 3.mm US 2.5 needles; 0.75 yard f petersham ribbon; 0.5 yard millinery wire
Original used 2 0.5 oz balls in fawn and brown Fuzzy Wuzzy Angora in and 1 oz Patons Beehive Fingering 4-ply
Tension: 16 stitches and 21 rows to 1 inch using 3.mm US 2.5 needles in stocking stitch

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Munrospun 63 - Jubilee Jumper

I think this is simply gorgeous, love the buttons and that fabulous yoke, and those cables and everything that makes this fabulous
You could even make it with long sleeves
Measurements: bust 34"; length 18"; sleeve seam 6" or 18"
Date: estimated early 1930s
Materials: 4-ply or fingering; 3.75mm US 5 and 3.mm US 2.5 needles; 3.25mm US 3 and 3mm US 2.5 dpns for the yoke; 6 buttons
Original used Munrospun Jubilee Wool
Tension: 8.5 stitches to 1 inch

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Good Housekeeping Second Knitting Supplement - 5 Jumpers

For your consideration are these 5 fabulous 1930s jumpers. I think these date from the 1933 or 1934 judging from the style of the fashion and haircuts.
I want to make them all, although I'll have to work on my crochet skills if I want to make the short sleeve sports jumper. 
1) Sports Jumper with Raglan Sleeves - knitted with a fancy stitch in novelty wool
Measurements: bust 36"; length 22.5"; sleeve seam 17"
Materials: chunky or bulky wool; 4-ply or fingering; 3.25mm US 3 and 10mm US 15 needles
Original used 10ozs Copley's Frenchlaine and 3ozs Copely's Super Shetland 2-ply

2) A Parti-Coloured Jumper - a stocking stitch jumper with tight, bagged sleeves
Measurements: bust 34"; length 20"; sleeve seam 18"
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering; 3mm US 2.5 needles; 3 buttons
Original used 5ozs dark and 3 ozs light of Viyella 3-ply Knitting Yarn

3) A Checked Crochet Jumper - an open work of checks in contrasting colours
Measurements: bust 33"; length 20.5"; sleeve seam 4"
Materials: 4-ply or fingering; 3mm US 3 crochet hook; 2.75mm US 2 needles; 6 small buttons
Original used 5 ozs dark and 3 ozs light of Ramada 4-ply Wool

4) A Two Colour Jumper Striped Diagonally - striped in 2 colours with bands of moss and stocking stitch
Measurements: bust 36"; length 21"; sleeve seam 18"
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering; 3.75mm US 5 and 3.25mm US 3 needles
Original used 6 ozs grey and 3ozs blue Greenock 3-ply Super Fingering

5) Cross Over Jumper for a Large Figure - novelty wool provides the details for the great cross over jumper
Measurements: bust 40"; length 20"; sleeve seam 18"
Materials: 4-ply or fingering (I think); 2.75mm US 2 and 3.75mm US 5 needles
Original used 8ozs plain and 2ozs fancy Patons and Baldwin's Leonora Wool

Tension: No tension or gauge is given for any of the jumpers

Monday, 13 January 2014

Munrospun 3554 - Shirred Jacket

Shirred Jacket
I have never seen something as wonderful as this pattern. It's almost beyond words. This amazing blouse or cardigan has a simple yet effective design with an all-over shirred design and short puffed sleeves for that classic 1940s evening wear look
Date: estimated early 1940s
Measurements: Bust 34" to 36"; length 16"; sleeve seam 3.5"
Materials: 4-ply or fingering; 4.5mm US 7 and 2.75mm US 2 needles; 11 buttons
Original used 5 ozs of Munrospun 2-ply Morning Haze Wool
Tension: 11 stitches and 16 rows to 2 inches

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Jaeger 3211 - Round Necked Jumper

Round Necked Jumper
This sweater is so unusual: made using large and small knitting needles it produces a light and airy stitch pattern that would be perfect for summer.
The jumper fastens at the back or an be made with it closed and can be made with either long or short sleeves
Date: estimated mid 1950s
Measurements: bust 34" or 36"; length from shoulder 19" or 19.5"; short sleeve seam 5" or 5.5"; long sleeve seam 18.5"
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering; a pair of 3.25mm US 3 needles, 1 12mm US 17 needles; medium crochet hook; 6 small buttons for back fastening if required
Original used 3 or 4 ozs of Jaeger Feather Fleck 3-ply
Tension: approx 9 stitches and 11 rows to 2 inches (not sure is this is in the pattern)

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Bestway B2101 - Twin Set in Tufted Trefoil Pattern

Twin Set in Tufted Trefoil Pattern
This is one for the smaller ladies who want some of that wartime glamour. This is amazing - so many cables and so many bobbles clustered is a sweet trefoil pattern. Both can be made with either long or short sleeves, but there's no measurements given for the long ones.
I don't know how much ease they have so the measurements given have been taken from the schematic and might well stretch to a larger bust size
All of the pattern is written - no charts
Date: estimated early 1940s
Jumper - bust 30"; length 20"; sleeve seam 6"
Cardigan - bust 31"; length 21"; sleeve seam 5.5"
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering; 3.75mm US 5 and 3mm US 2.5 needles, 2 cable needles; 8 buttons
Original used 16ozs for the short sleeves or 20ozs for the long sleeves of Sirdar Majestic Wool 3-ply for the set
Tension: 2 pattern repeats to 2.25 inches using 3.75mm US 5 needles

Friday, 10 January 2014

Robin 94 - Sunny Days

 Sunny Days
Such a amazing jumper - lovely lace and the turn ups on the cuffs are fabulous
Bust size seems to be 36" judging from the stitch count and gauge given.
Date: estimates mid 1930s
Measurements: Across back 16"; across front 17.5"; length 19"; sleeve length from shoulder 9"
Materials: 4-ply or fingering; 4mm US 6 and 3mm US 2.5 needles; yard of cord for neck
Original used 3 hanks of Robin Perle Art Silk
Tension: 5 stitches to 1 inch using 4mm US 6 needles over pattern

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Bairnswear La Laine 2166 - Celeste

This is a wonderful, easy to knit lace blouse with a ribbed yoke and can be made with either long or short sleeves.
It's one of those that could be resized simply by adding a few more pattern repeats
Measurements: Bust 32" to 33"; length 19"; sleeve seam 18" or 5"
Date: estimated early 1940s
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering ; 3.75mm US 5, 3mm US 2.5 needles
Original used 8 or 6ozs of Bairnswear La Laine Super Fingering 3-ply
Tension: 2 patterns to 3.5 inches

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Munrospun 62 - Fairytex Jumper

I think this is simply gorgeous and the perfect winter jumper. The diagonal rib is gives it an interesting twist and that jabot is marvellous
Measurements: Bust 36"; length 18"; sleeve seam 18.5"
Date: estimated early 1930s
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering ; 2.75mm US 2, 3.25mm US 3, and 3.75mm US 5 needles
Original used 6 ozs of Munrospun Fairytex Wool
Tension: 8.5 stitches to 1 inch

Time to start

I have this astonishing collection of knitting patterns that show that we can be glamorous and stylish and fabulous and unique.

I started collecting them when I wasn't knitting and thought how cool they were but now I realise they tell another story too, not just of the fashion of the ages but the social history too. They tell of technological developments in textiles and knitting wool. They tell of the way that we have become larger in the past 70 years. They tell of how and what a woman was expected to be but also how we consider that today. They show that some things truly never go out of fashion.

It is an amazing collection but I am a bad curator. I just let it sit unexplored in boxes occasionally I'll dip into them and have a look through but the actual amount of knitting that I have done with them is practically zero.

Because of this I have decided that opening an Etsy shop would be a great way to share them among other collectors and knitting aficionados.

This is my first box (there’s over 250 patterns there) either Patons or Bestway and under my bed is another 7 boxes of similar size and boxes of 1950s and 1960s Pins and Needles magazines, and a couple of decades of Stitchcrafts from the 1940s to the late 1960s. So it’s a work in progress and it might take me some time to get through them all.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Copley's 1492 - Lady's Jumper

Lady's Jumper
I think that stripes are such fun. You can go as mad as you like with the colours and, in most cases, it will still look fabulous.
This is a great wartime pattern that used small amounts of colours to produce this wonderful jumper with puffed and gathered sleeves
Measurements: Bust 34", length 18" sleeve from underarm 5"
Materials: 3-ply or light fingering, 4mm US 6 and 3mm US 2.5 needles, 2.75mm US C crochet hook, 4 buttons
Original used 3ozs Copley's Excelsior 3-ply in Clerical Grey and 1oz each of Copley's Excelsior 3-ply in Limipid Blue, Riff Red, and Shadow Rose
Tension: 6.5 stitches and 8.5 rows to 1 inch using 4mm needles over stocking stitch

Monday, 6 January 2014

Patons 3248 - Frances (Lady's Jumper)

This is such a beautiful and classic mid 1930s design and easy to knit too with every row being written out so there's none of the 'reverse all shapings' talk.
Measurements: Bust 34", length 19" sleeve from underarm 5.5"
Materials: 4-ply or fingering (I think), 4mm US 6, a belt, and 2 pearl buttons
Original used 4 ozs Patons Halycon Non-Shrink Knitting Yarn 2-ply
Tension: One repeat of the pattern (18 stitches) to 2.75 inches on 4mmmm US 6 needles