Friday, 28 August 2015

Free Pattern Friday - a prize winning jumper

This pattern is from The Needlewoman magazine from July 1934. Worked in 'Viyella' laceweight wool in red, white and blue. To fit a 34 inch bust. (The pattern is at the end of the post).

I chose this design because it took first place in The Needlewoman competition, but also because they name the designer. ' original design by Miss E. W. Fisher...'

The 'house' designers working for magazines had no such fame, they anonymously toiled away, churning out designs week after week, unaware that their work would be so highly regarded 80 years later, (by me at least). I would absolutely love to know who they were, what they thought of their job, and how much they were paid in comparison to clothes designers. The couturier Schiaparelli occasionally designed for The Needlewoman in the 1930s, to great acclaim.

Schiaparelli - The Needlewoman

It is a very structured jacket, but I personally don't think it is as attractive or imaginative as the jumpers being designed by people who worked for the big knitting magazines like Stitchcraft, Good Needlework & Knitting, and Woman's Weekly. It is just a tailored jacket in knitted form. It was popular for that very reason; it successfully resembles a jacket sewn in fabric. A jacket smart enough for a lady to go riding in.

I have also included the page on which the runners up and their designs are featured. It is fascinating reading (for vintage knit geeks). First prize was three guineas, and the 'consolation' prize one guinea. This competition was so close for runner up that a third place was awarded for the 'Harlequin' jumper, also an original design. It was let down only by the neck shaping and fit. I would have awarded it first place! It is by far the most fun.

What I also find interesting is the design that took second place (below), designed by a 'mere male!' This is actually the jumper I would be most likely to knit, but the 'Harlequin' jumper is still the most fetching, with it's contrasting bow neckline and belt.

Here is the pattern for the prize-winning jumper.

I hope you like it.


Friday, 21 August 2015

Summer knitting and crochet

We're back from our holiday in the US, and I'm being kept busy with the children on school holidays. My boy starts Year 1 in September. I am quite sad for him that his Reception year is over. It was just a whole year of pure play, with a bit of fun learning thrown in. Now it's down to the real thing.

I didn't get much knitting done on holiday, surprise, surprise. I did start a crochet hat from a 1930s Leach's Sixpenny Series booklet though. I found it on Ebay, but it was a booklet from the USA so it was much cheaper to post it there than here. It is a reproduction, but I am so pleased with it. It has a glossy cover, and the magazine is reproduced in its entirety. I shouldn't have taken it to the beach though, as it is full of sand now.

I made a start on the hat below, originally intended for raffia, I'm using crochet cotton in a teal shade.

The brim is worked back and forth, and turned up. The only thing I don't know about the booklet is the year it was published, but it looks like early 1930s to me.

I also picked up six balls of Copley's 'Excelsior' 3 ply wool in navy, that I found from a seller in the US. Which is odd, as Copley's was a British company. I have a few Copley's patterns which used Excelsior wool, so I shall have to go and find them to see if any take my fancy. 

We stayed in Kennebunkport, a pretty seaside town, so here I am outside the Clam Shack! My husband and I had a couple of evenings out, so we did the sensible thing and went thrift shopping. We bagged some bargains, including several pairs of sunglasses, a 1980s trouser suit, and a huge full-length faux fur coat! It was a challenge getting that on the aeroplane. I think I will do an outfit post on some of the things I bought. It will be fun, and ridiculous.

Dig for Victory

The kiddies had fun on the beach. My son particularly liked exploring in tide pools where he found a small lobster, a sea urchin and lots of hermit crabs.

I am on the sleeves of my Stitchcraft cardigan now. I am knitting them at the same time, as so often I get second sleeve syndrome, and this will hopefully rectify that.

I am off to Rainham Marshes with the children next week, to do some pond dipping and bug hunting!

Are you having a good summer?

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