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

Friday, 30 January 2015

A Hat for A Head - Patons 814

Turbans are part of our shared memory from the box of 'things that make the 1940s' but they have a longer history in the UK. The well-to-do of Britain first got turban fever in the late 1700s along with the fascination in all things oriental but it was a relatively short lived fad soon to be replaced by other exotic items. Working class women hung on to it as a practical head covering that kept their hair away from their face and out of their work although it's likely that a simple remnant of cloth wrapped about the head had been used for centuries. Perhaps because of this, the turban suffered from an image problem and it was not until the 1920s that it rose again.

The fashion for shorter hair styles and less frou-frou paved the way with film stars and socialites needed something to keep their locks sleek. Mass media gave everyone a chance to copy the trend and the place of the turban in British fashion history was set. By the 1940s they were everywhere: in films, fashion, newspapers, adverts.

When rationing slowed and then stopped the availability of millinery supplies, women got creative with their headwear and took the turban to new heights (quite literally) as there was still a need for a good, warm, and practical hat that was easy to wear, required no pins to hold it, and could be made with the supplies at hand. And knitting stepped up. Some patterns were no more than wide strip of loose knitting wrapped and tied but others became a little more elaborate. The pattern here has 3 versions: a plain wrap, a twisted wrap and then one with a crown which makes a more formal hat.

The crown one uses 2 strands of 4-ply worked together, or you could use an aran weight yarn as I have done here. It takes less than 100g, this one took 79g of an acrylic and wool mix and works up very quickly, in fact you may spend longer arranging the knot that actually knitting it.

To download the pattern please click on the link below
3 Turbans in Carin Rimple Wool


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Knitting shops now gone

I've long been intrigued by the number of knitting shops that used to populated the UK. Talking to older people has made me realise that just about every town had somewhere to buy wool no matter how small so last year made a start on logging them on Google Maps.

The locations come from the stamps that shops put on the patterns, usually on the front cover, but sometimes on the inside. There are a few that I can't find, the red dots, but hope that by the time I've gone through my entire collection I might have worked out where they are.

This is a work in progress so hopefully the map with gather more pink dots and show just how widespread wool and craft shops were. My dream is to find a shop that is pre 1969 and still open.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year, New Project

 In the Sheffield group on Ravelry we're having a 12 in 2015 Challenge. It's simple, just knit 12 things over the next year using your stash as much as possible. Some of the projects are themed but most are a do what you like. It can be any size project but the crux is to use as much of your stash as you can whilst making marvellous things. For January we are having a deep stash sub-challenge so you have to use the oldest yarn in your stash. It can be oldest as in years, or oldest in terms of one of the things you recorded on Ravelry. I've gone with a ball of 320g or 11 ozs of roughish wool that I bought in 2004 in the Yorkshire Dales and a pattern from my vintage collection.

It's always tricky marrying up unknown quantities of yarn to unknown patterns and this one seems to be going very well. It starts on 3mm needles then jumps up to 3.25mm, then just before the bust jumps again onto 3.75mm. But I realised after I had knitted about 20cm that I wasn't going to make it to a full jumper as the 3mm section ate so much of the wool that I knew that I wouldn't have enough to finish and with no chance of getting more I had to find something else

So I am now working on this lace cardigan worked on 3.75mm needles so it's nice and open without being loose. I'm still a bit worried about running out of wool but figure if I can get the back, fronts, and button band sorted, I'll work the sleeves together from the top down so will stop when I run out. What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Birthday Sharing

Happy New Year Lovelies and thank for your support since I opened the shop in February. To celebrate my birthday on the 13th I am giving everyone a discount of 25% on anything for the whole of January. You can use the coupon as many times as you like and I plan on adding lots more patterns, both downloads and originals so there is bound to be something that you like. I might even get round to adding some sewing patterns.

Just use the discount code
BIRTHDAYSALE25 at the checkout and please pass this offer on to anyone you think might be interested.

Pretty Old Patterns