Tuesday 24 March 2015

Out and about in my London

Last week I was feeling more myself again, and the relief that came with it made me get off my butt and go out dancing on Monday, and to Spitalfields market on Thursday. (Let's not talk about this week).

Monday is Balboa night here in London, at least in my London. Swing at the Blueberry is run by amazing Balboa teachers - Natasha Hall and Paul Crook. I, and many others long to emulate their smooth, cool, understated style. On Monday Natasha was alone, as Paul was taken ill at the last minute, (probably that dreaded lurgy)! Natasha switched between male leading and female follower steps effortlessly, and taught us some sweet variations on the basic moves, which I have been practising a bit since. It felt so good to be out and dancing, (and having a couple of beers didn't hurt my mood either).

On Thursday I ventured to Spitalfields market, as it was antique day. I say ventured, it is only a short train ride away, I'm just quite lazy. I got there around 10am, and saw lots of stall holders still setting up, then realized they were the traders selling new goods, so I toodled over to the other side, where the seasoned antique dealers were already sipping coffee and chatting to each other amiably, having already set up their wares. It is thanks to the Sunny Stitcher that I remembered about the antiques on a Thursday, and I'm pleased to report that it was quite a fruitful trip. I needed some buttons for a couple of jumpers, and found some 1930s ones.

Spurred on by my find, I even managed to finish this jumper, that had been languishing patiently in a drawer. I'm glad I didn't just use any old buttons.

It is from volume 2 of A Stitch in Time, Quick Work In Thick Wool. I have to say it was pretty quick, even though I cast on about 3 years ago!

I used Drops Nepal, a wool and alpaca blend.

When I think of the knitting designs of the 1930s, I immediately think of 3 ply wool, not aran, which is used in the above design, and never chunky weight. That is until I found this design from a 1936 edition of Home Notes magazine.

Knit on No.1 needles, (old English), 7.5mm metric. I used 7mm which gave me the reqiured 3 sts to the inch. Called 'Jumper in Thick Wool', it was indeed a very quick knit. I started it the middle of last week, and I'm sewing it up now. I don't think I will knit the belt, but use a leather one instead, to cut down on the bulkiness. I will follow up with the finished garment in my next post.

Here are the rest of the goodies I found. The buttons are for the jumper above, with the magazine it is from beneath it. (That wasn't found at Spitalfields). A couple of patterns for tea cozies, and two late 40s jumper patterns.

You can just see In Retrospect magazine poking out underneath them all, the new vintage magazine by Matt Keller. It's the second issue, and I was happy to see an article on vintage knitting in it. Let's hope there will be more of those in the future!

I had a bit of a splurge in Collectif, while I was in Spitalfields, but I felt I deserved it after being ill for so long. And they are for dancing. I've been wanting to try on some Miss L-Fire shoes for a while, as friends had been raving about them. They were in the sale, otherwise I wouldn't have entertained them. I have some very similar, from Topshop years ago, but they have a stiletto heel, so completely different.

I have at last photographed my Starring Stripes jumper. I wore it when I to Spitalfields, with my cream knitted turban, but failed to get a photo of me wearing either.

The colours aren't quite as they are in real life, but I couldn't seem to get the right setting on my camera. They are an almost perfect match to the original colours of the model in the pattern though, which I am very pleased about.

Thanks again to Liz from zilredloh for sharing this wonderful pattern with us.

Back to my sewing up!



  1. 3 stitches to the inch, oh my that would be an amazingly quick knit. I absolutely adore vintage knitting patterns but I must admit, knitting whole sweaters with 3-ply and size 2 needles is NOT my favorite thing. Vintage knitting patterns are all but impossible to find in Alaska, not to mention finding any what are on worsted or aran weight. You are so lucky to have so many amazing places and events to go treasure hunting. Can't wait to see the finished sweater, I'm sure it will be lovely.

    She Knits in Pearls

  2. Your knits look wonderful, the striped one is so cool :)
    Also, love the shoes. Being ill has its upsides ;)

    1. Thanks Siri, being ill does have some advantages if you're not too ill. And the shoes are comfortable! Very unusual for heels.

  3. Lovely knits :) Those shoes are fab x

  4. Great knits, the striped one is very pretty and the new (old) buttons look great on the other. Sounds like a very successful and fun day out!

    1. Thanks Kate-Em, it was fun, and good to find some buttons after lots of browsing on ebay. It's just not the same as seeing things in real life.

  5. I love the Starring Stripes jumper! It took me ages to find the exact shade of green I needed. The colours of mine are pretty close to the original, although I think my red is a shade too bright. Hopefully mine will turn out as nicely as yours has.

    1. I look forward to seeing your Starring Stripes Bridget.


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