Friday, 26 June 2015

Free Pattern Friday - Cable-And-Tuft pattern jumper

I think I have been a bit slack in my free pattern shares recently. Sorry about that.

This one comes from a 1949 edition of Woman and Home.


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Oops, I did it again

I've been weak again - I started another jumper. It has been on my list since I saw it on the cover of a wartime Stitchcraft magazine.

I've mentioned before about my slight obsession with knitting magazines, and I acquired this one a little while ago. I have to report that I have been a good knitter recently and have not been on Ebay.

It is described as a honeycomb pattern, and is more challenging than anything I have done recently, and I have to say I am really enjoying it. A bit of cable, a twist, all interspersed with ribbing. I haven't got far yet, but I only started on Monday. I had two reasons for starting it: I have had this wool in my collection for a long time, saving it for a very special knitted. It is a very close colour match. I found the buttons at Spitalfields market, but I still haven't found a buckle, which is quite crucial. I've really got to hunt one down to match the buttons. The original uses buttons to tone with the bag, I think, but I don't think I'll make the bag.

The second reason for starting this was her pose and the turban she is wearing. It's just so chic. If I try to recreate that pose I might need to invest in some more blusher! Woah, that is all the rouge.

This is my new project bag. The moment I saw it at the E17 Art Trail, I knew I had to have it. I have one of the old row counters that is printed on it. It is from Dotty Designs, and can accommodate quite a hefty amount of wool! It lives next to my sofa now, in full view, not stuffed in the corner with all the lost souls of half-finished knits.

This week I went to an L7 gig in Camden town at The Electric Ballroom. It had been quite a long time since I went to a gig, and - wait for it - more than 20 years since I last saw L7! (I may as well come clean, it's not like I'm pretending to be a young flibbertigibbet.) It was at the now (in)famous 1992 Reading festival. L7 were wonderfully wild and already notorious, riding on the (short-lived) 3rd wave of feminist optimism, as was I. I wore a t-shirt by Silverfish emblazoned with the slogan 'Hips, Tits, Lips, Power'.

They did not disappoint. My friends and I got in just as L7 went on, deciding on one last quick drink in one of our old haunts The Good Mixer.

Err, I don't know what I'm doing here. Too many Snakebites.

I went with my two Riot Grrrl buds, Shanthi and Nese. We used to roam the streets of Camden Town on a regular basis, but Nese and I both have children, so now we mostly roam playgrounds and parks.

We shoved our way down near the front, and the crowd just boiled when they played 'Andres'. After a few songs, we looked guiltily at each other, and decided we needed a drink. Not that the pit was too much for us or anything!

Ah, it was fun being 'young' and carefree again. Glad I got the last Tube home, though.


Thursday, 11 June 2015

E17 Art Trail fun

The E17 Art Trail is still on, but my little stint is over. For 'A Life of Skein', my friend Helen opened up her garden for two days of woolly goodness. Helen has only been dyeing for just over six months, and in that short space of time she has built a very solid base and already sells at shops and designers fairs. As you can probably tell from the photos, she LOVES colour.

She displayed all her yarns, in skeins and cakes.

I displayed my beret patterns, and actually sold some! The box here has the chunky weight yarn I used for the cowl below.

There were spinning demonstrations.

I used a gorgeous cake stand to show my knitted brooches. (This reminds me, I need to get one).

The table in all it's glory.

I cast on a cowl on Friday in a chunky wool, and it was finished and sewn up by Sunday.

I'm wearing my nautical version of A Draped Beret, in white cotton. Helen is wearing the Moss Stitch Beret, which uses her Blue-faced Leicester.

Spinning in the sunshine.

We knitted, chatted, and laughed a lot. We indulged in cakes made by friends, and made new friends. There are now further knitting collaborations on the horizon, which is incredibly exciting!

I was so chuffed at selling some patterns, I had to take a picture of this lovely lady!

Back to the knitting now. I am making knitted brooches to sell on Etsy.

This is a new design, 'Bows & Bells'. Like another design, the Envelope Clutch, this was made for a friend's birthday. I had the foresight to write the pattern down as I did it, and to take photos of it before I gave it away.

I have been spurred on immensely by Helen, whose focus and sheer hard work has made me realize how much you can achieve if you just put your mind to it. And get off your butt.

I'm going back to sit on my butt and knit furiously.


Monday, 1 June 2015

Getting ready for the E17 Art Trail, and a trip to Minsmere

I've been knitting furiously over the past week, in preparation for the E17 Art Trail. Testing my hat patterns (again), even taking them away on a little holiday to finish. This sounds like it was an effort. It most certainly was not. I always take knitting away with me, (in fact I take it almost everywhere with me). I aim to always be knitting furiously, when life permits.

We were kindly offered a cottage in Suffolk for a few days over half-term by friends, so we jumped at the chance. It was right near Minsmere RSPB reserve, where Springwatch is based this year. My boy has a true love of nature, nurtured by us, and it was a joy to be with him as he experienced all the beauty of Minsmere. We saw an adder, bearded tits, avocets, and sand martins swooping low just past our faces. We even heard the boom of a bittern. We were lucky enough to have two sitings of bitterns. Miss B was more interested in the ladybird backpack the reserve gave her than the bittern flying directly over her head!

We had a day out in Aldeburgh, where we found the loveliest diner I've ever seen, and I've been to America and everything! Delphine's (it has no website), was a little slice of 50s kitsch, but so beautifully done, right down to the condiment jars. It was a tiny place but we grabbed a booth by the window.

Formica table tops, mint green walls, and a mirrored ceiling!

The most crucial thing for me, and the American hubby, was the food. It was up to the standard of the decor, and that is high praise indeed.

We ordered apple juice for the children, and it came in cute little bottles with straws.

I found a vintage fair in Snape Maltings, so I went a bit embroidery crazy! A cushion cover,

an enormous tea cozy, and a couple of table cloths. I also picked up an entire box of 1930s embroidery transfers. I didn't really want the whole box, but it was the end of the day, it was raining, and the woman selling them said she didn't want to take them home. I'm not complaining, there are some crinoline ladies in there! I could seriously get into embroidery, if I didn't need to sleep at night.

I also saw some 'china' I had never come across before called Melmex. It is a type of plastic from the 1960s (I think). I confined myself to just one, in this pastel pink. I rather fancied a lime green one too, and now I regret not buying it.

Fun was had on the beach collecting rocks, and them throwing them into the sea.

I went to the International Club again last Saturday night with my knitting buddy Simone. We met in Zedel's for dinner first and were pleasantly surprised when the staff gave us a complimentary glass of bubbly. It was because we were wearing hats!

Simone had been to Fashion on the Ration earlier that day, so was wearing a 1940s ensemble, consisting of a CC41 dress and maroon hat.

Photo by Wozza

I wore a cotton jumper I made from a Beehive Wool String pattern book, named 'Interlude'.

The hat I wore is a beret I designed because I just couldn't find the right 1930s pattern for one. It is crocheted, in navy cotton to match the jumper, and because I love navy. Unimaginatively named 'A Draped Beret', I designed it in two sizes, (21 inches and 22 - 23 inches). It also comes in three 'depths', to be worn with more or less drape depending on your personal preference. The beret above is the middle depth.

This version in white has the least depth, which gives it a more nautical look. I will be releasing this pattern at the E17 Art Trail on Friday if I can get a half decent photo of it by then.

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