Wednesday 5 November 2014

We're Gonna Hang Out The Washing On The Knitted Line - Part 2

Bored of the knits yet? I'm not. In fact these posts have made me realise I haven't got nearly enough! And these aren't even all of them, but the others are either duller colours, or cardigans (which are tricky to hang on a line).

I've been longing for some colder weather, and at last I can start wearing my woolens again.

I'll start with 'Embroidered With Tiny Flowers', from, you guessed it - A Stitch In Time. I knitted this before the new edition was even photographed. In fact, I finished it just before the first shoot in February 2008, and took it with me. It was a hit with Susan Crawford, and it ended up in the book. I knit it in the first (and only) size from the original pattern.

Unfortunately, you can't always rely on vintage patterns being free of errors, which is one of the reasons I now prefer to knit patterns from updated versions of vintage knitwear. To put in excess of 40 hours into a jumper, then for it to turn out the wrong size is a little infuriating. That's not to say you can't ever work from an original pattern, and even size it up or down, you just need to know what you're doing. I still have a recent example of this on the needles (When Jumpers Go Bad, from June 8th).

The tiny flowers were the first embroidery I had attempted, and they were sweet and fun to do at first. However, after a few hours I realised I wasn't even halfway through. Still, it got done, and I was thrilled with the result. I used Drops Alpaca which is super cheap, and made it for less than £20! Alpaca gets bloody hot though; I've worn it dancing, and I bake.

Here is 'Such Flattering Puff Sleeves', in Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper yarn.

This strong mustard shade for 'Such Flattering Puff Sleeves' is long discontinued by Rowan now (Scottish Tweed 4 ply - I was lucky to get it in the sale). One of the simplest knits you could ever undertake, which makes it a really satisfying beginner project. I would strongly suggest knitting shoulder pads in the same yarn, or all that knitting will be wasted without the puff. Also, unlike so many vintage patterns from the 1930s which require 3 ply wool, this calls for a 4 ply. A plethora of yarn choices!

The beret in the middle is the pattern I mentioned being photographed in my last post. It's now almost ready to go, if I can stop stressing about any mistakes and the layout of the pattern. It's not like it's a new design - it's from 2006! It will probably take a bit longer. Grr.

Onto the 'Eleanor Sweater' from 'The Corticelli Sweaters for Spring' booklet. It is one of Iva Rose's copies. I made this with some coned pale grey cashmere. The pink is angora, from Orkney Angora.

I have to eat my words about not trusting original patterns, but then I had no choice, this was made pre-Stitch In Time. I had to hunt around for button moulds, but they really set off the jumper. Such a simple design but so pretty. I haven't worn it that much, as again the heat factor is off-putting. It is the first and last time I have knitted with cashmere. Give me breathable wool please. Cotton's good too...and silk...

Next is my leafy green 'It Cannot Fail to Please'. I've talked about this in a previous post, so I won't go on about it. The pale green beret next to it is rather a good shade to tone with it, though. Knitted in an aran weight alpaca and silk mix, it has such a wonderful sheen and drape, even after years of wear.

Let's look at the Copley's wartime jumper again. The pattern calls for 3 ply 'Excelsior' or 'Climax' wool. I'd certainly get excited if I could get my hands on that wool now! I knitted it in 'supersoft' lambswool from the Handweaver's Studio. It's not actually soft - it's quite scratchy, in fact, but I don't mind. It holds its shape better than softer yarns. The colour I used is no longer available, and I recently bought some to try out the tension for a skirt. It's not strictly a 4 ply, but nearer a 3 ply. I wouldn't recommend it without stringent tension swatching. You have been warned.

It comes on cones - what is it about me and cones? I couldn't get enough of them back then. I took along my 1940s floral dress to the shop to match the colour so I could pair them up.

(Sorry, but this is one of the only pics I have of me wearing it!)

I knitted some shoulder pads for it, even though the original doesn't have them. I think
it suits the short-sleeved version. The velvet ribbon finishes it off (along with some badges).

To finish: 'The Rose Jumper', a very special knit for me, which features on the cover of A Stitch In Time.

The silk and big sleeves make it quite heavy on the washing line, but it is a beauty.

I'm a bit knitted-out now, so I need to rest before Saturday when I am going to a Joan Crawford dinner party - a virtual one! - to mark the launch of the Joan Crawford cookbook by Silver Screen Suppers. I'm particularly looking forward to making the Joan Crawford cocktail. And taking some funny pictures of the cooking and drinking while wearing my own Joan Crawford.

I hope you liked my knitted washing line. I've enjoyed doing it, and writing about it.



  1. Reading of your completed projects I only wish I could get through my own quicker to knit more loveliness! I'm working on the Golden eagle (?) from a stitch in time 2. I am using Drops Alpaca as the contrast stripes and am loving the effect. Aren't we lucky using our washing lines in November?! A simple pleasure...

    1. Hi Rachel, I bet you're still quicker than me now. Quite a few of them were done years ago. I've done the Golden Eagle jumper too, now it just needs sewing up, (and has done for about a year!)

  2. Love them all Theo!!! Craft Guerrilla X

  3. I do love seeing all your woollies, it's really inspiring me to knit more.

    I hadn't heard of Silver Screen Suppers - I've bookmarked it now. What an ace site.

  4. Bored? inspired more like! Thanks for the tip on shoulder pads for the puff sleeves, mine keeps slipping off my shoulders so perhaps that will help with structure.

  5. I have loved this peek into your collection of knits and it has made me want to knit faster! Must have more lovely things from all those fabulous patterns out there!


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