Tuesday, 28 February 2017

2017 knitting wish list - 1960's-1970's

Clearly this year's knitting wish list is not nearly long enough so after going through my 1930's-1950's patterns I thought that I had better round things off and pull out my wish list from the 1960's and 1970's too. These are not always my preferred eras but I do find things that I would really like to knit from them. In particular, the 1960's knits have a good range of summer appropriate tops, something that I have discussed with another 1960's knits fan Crinoline Robot.


I really like the styling on this pattern before we even get to the knitwear and look at her glorious hair. This lovely little lacy top would be perfect for a summer's day.


We might as well look at all the lacy summer tops first. I haven't narrowed down my favourites yet which is why there are quite a few in the list. I like the way the lace carries on into the hem on these two.


This is called a harebell shell which sounds fabulous and I do like the harebell stitch pattern. The neckline is good too. It has styling potential for the 1950's so that would make it a versatile wardrobe addition.


Lee Target were obviously on a lace shell top roll in this year as this is very similar to pattern number two, just a different lace pattern. I still like it though.


I love this one. Who doesn't need a knitted poodle jumper in their wardrobe?!


I'm particularly taken with the orange jumper on the right. I really like the deep rib and the interesting stitch pattern. I think with careful styling this jumper could work in a 1940's outfit too.


I must deal with my hankering for a tank top soon and just knit myself some. I like the slip stitch pattern of this one and can see it working in many colour combinations as well as this fantastic monochrome one. Check out those blouse sleeves too.


I am after making myself the perfect Aran jumper or cardigan and I have a number of patterns to choose from. The one on the left is a strong contender. I even have two bags of Millamia aran in ochre stashed away ready to knit the perfect Aran when it is found!


I don't have very many (any?) jumpers as I am usually all about the cardigans. I think there may be a jumper shaped hole in my knitwear drawer and this might be just the thing to fill it. It finishes nicely on the waist, has interest in the lace panels and has a raglan sleeve.


I could also do with a fairly plain cardigan but I never put that very high up the list when there are all the fancy stitch cardigans to be knitted. Then I found this lovely ribbed Mary Quant number and suddenly a plain cardigan is looking quite likely.


One thing I love about 1960's knitwear are these fabulous skirt and jumper outfits. I think knitting a skirt might a) try my patience and b) not be flattering but I really like the look and would like to try it out. The cables on this skirt would relieve the tedium of miles and miles of stocking stitch too. Though I'm not knocking miles and miles of stocking stitch, that is good for watching films, inducing a calm state and knitting and talking/drinking/eating cake/all three at the same time.


A variation on the set above. I like the striped skirt but am not sure it would look so flattering. I do like the fact that you can have a matching hat and scarf to go with your jumper though.

So many fabulous patterns and not enough knitting time! I wonder what I will have made by the end of the year, if any?!

Next weekend I am off to Edinburgh Yarn Festival with a lovely group of friends. It is massively exciting and there will be many yarn shopping opportunities. I have been saving up and now I have kind of narrowed down my pattern choices I will know what to look out for! I am supposed to not get sidetracked by yarn that I don't have a plan for so I will see how that goes! Wish me luck!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Top Ten his and hers knits

Last night at midnight you would have found me rummaging through my pattern collection as an idea for a post had struck at a most inconvenient moment and I had to act on it right then to find out if it was going to work out. This led me to finding the relevant patterns in my collection and then setting up a temporary photo studio in the bathroom as it had the best light I could find at night! I knew I couldn't go to sleep until I had it all sorted out so I just cracked on with it!

For some reason, the idea of matching set knits, often known as his and her knits (though they could also be his and his or hers and hers) appeared in my head as quite a vintage thing. Especially a vintage outdoor activity thing. I was sure I had quite a few his and her matching knits and it got me wondering as to why the whole matching clothes thing was a thing? How did that come about? Did people actually knit and wear the matching sets? Would you? Do you have matching outdoors wear jumpers? Is it still a thing? I would say not, except for in an ironic way, or for a specific event but what made the change? I don't know the answers to this but if anyone does do share.

Let me present the Top Ten his and her knits in my pattern collection. My choices were made purely on liking the patterns and feeling that if I were to be in a matching knit mood any one of these could make it onto my needles.


If I was knitting this I would make the one the man is wearing for me. I like the chunkiness of the knit and the shawl collar design, as well as the motifs.


I do like a yoked jumper and I am yet to make one so these have definite appeal. I like the roll neck too.


If I was going to perch a heavy old typewriter on my knee and sit on an uncomfortable stool this is the jumper I would like to do it in. A lovely look for vintage casual inspiration.


I love this one, this is what I want to look like whilst walking my dog. The matching hat is an added bonus.


My other outdoor outfit of choice would feature this lumber jacket. I like the raglan sleeve and the cable detail surrounding the zip.


You can't beat a traditional Aran cardigan. I like the fit of this one, the longer length for casual cosiness and of course, the pockets.


I prefer his button up version to her zip up one and I like the contrast of the plain body with the ribbed sleeves. Please take a minute to notice that massive saw. This one ticks both the his and hers and the worrying props categories of my pattern collection.


This 1940's knit is very similar in style to the 1950's one above except for the shawl collar and the tighter, shorter fit. This one is a double pattern category entry (men smoking) too as the man has a pipe.


Not only do they have matching jumpers they have matching hats. Fabulous yokes and the pattern continue round above the cuffs and the bottom of the jumper. All good.


Karaoke and motif knitwear? Go on then. I like both designs.

Which would you choose?

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

2017 knitting wish list - 1930's-1950's

I have recently been looking through my knitting pattern collection, (one of my favourite pastimes!), and I have come up with a wish list of makes for this year.

It is very much a wish list, not a plan or a schedule, for several reasons. Given that it is already the end of January it is highly unlikely that I could make all 12 garments this year, even if I knitted like the wind and didn't knit anything for anyone else, commissions, presents etc. Secondly, whilst my neck and shoulder have improved and keep on doing so I still can't knit as much as I would like to do. Sadly. I want to do all the knitting!! All the time! Finally, I know a plan would make me feel under pressure, which my head wouldn't deal with at all well and I would feel like a failure if I didn't do everything. So for me, that is best avoided and instead I will go to these patterns first when I want to start a new project and hopefully complete at least a couple of them this year.

Let's look at the patterns!


I love this twinset. Love her make up too. In fact I'm hoping that her look will transfer itself to me if I knit the garments. It is hard to see but the heart panels cover the front of the jumper too. I don't know if I would make both items to wear together as I'm not sure it is ever really cold enough here for that but I can see both working well in my wardrobe and a twinset has been a long held wish of mine.


The pattern states 'Collar - NEW; Buttoning - New; Back - NEW' making it very clear that this was a really up to the minute make. I do indeed like the collar and the button positioning and the back has a kind of vent in it which looks good and would be interesting to knit. I do have the yarn lined up for this one, it was a Christmas present and is two shades of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply in a rich deep purple and dark grey. This is quite near the top of the making list.


This is such a lovely image and I'm impressed that she looks so glamorous when she is poorly enough to be in bed and need a house call from the doctor. I do like a bed jacket pattern and I would really like to make one. Whilst I am not adverse to wearing a bed jacket to lounge about at home and for reading in bed I would also be totally happy to wear this one out and about over a summer frock. It seems a shame to restrict the wear of good knitwear!


Apparently this jumper can be knitted in 12 hours. I'm not sure I believe that. I knit at a reasonable speed but I think you would have to be properly speedy to achieve that. However, I am intrigued to know how long it would take me and it is a neat little jumper so maybe I will give it a go.


I really want a sleeveless pullover and have many pullover patterns that I really like. I'm not sure why I want one so much as I never wear blouses but I'm sure other tops would work just as well. Hopefully. I have the yarn for this one too, it is Fyberspates again, in gold and slate (hello grellow!)  and I bought it at Yarndale last September.


This 1930's pattern was a surprise find, it was tucked inside some other patterns I bought and I didn't know it was there until I got it home. Many knitters seem to dislike knitting rib but I actually really, really like it, I find it ever so soothing to my head to do so a whole jumper in rib is very much a 'good thing' in my book. Plus, I like the collar and the fit so this is definitely a winner.


It is a bit wrinkled and folded but I really like this pattern cover, as well as really liking the jacket. I like the interesting buckled fastening and waist detail and the shawl collar patterning which is repeated on the cuffs. I think it is super stylish and it looks great over a full skirt as we can see.


I have been hankering after a Tyrolean style cardigan for some time and this is one of the loveliest patterns in that style that I have found. There are plenty to choose from as this style was very popular for a period. This cardigan has the pattern panel repeated up the centre back too which is a really pretty touch. It would take a lot of knitting and embroidering but it would definitely be worth it.


This just amazes me and ticks so many boxes - the v shaped deep rib, the stripes, the v neck, the dolman sleeves. It is gorgeous. It is also knitted in 2 ply which is super fine so in knitting maths fine wool plus thin needles equals a long time until your jumper is ready to wear. But, I love it. So it is a definitely maybe project.


Here is another speed knit. Again I'm not convinced. But I am intrigued and I like it lots and it would work well in my wardrobe and if it did only take 5 hours I could have one in every colour so, actually, yep, better give it a go.


This is a 'Lady's Lumberjacket' and it is a beauty. The fit is great, those sleeves and that big ribbed welt. I like the colour work and the collar. I have yet to knit anything that needs a zip sewing into it so that would be a new skill to learn. Plus who doesn't want to be a lumberjack when they look this glamorous? Perfect red nail varnish and tree chopping?! No problem. In the interests of full disclosure I have helped to chop down some trees and have swung an axe before. I did not do it in wonderful knitwear, with coiffured hair or in nail varnish. I feel I maybe need to up my game.


It is hard to see the details of this 'smart sweater' from 1954. The bottom black half is all knitted in rib (yay) with this fabulous colour work top half. The original is done in monochrome which I like and I also think it could look very pretty in other colour combinations. Choices!

So, will I make any of them this year? All of them? None of them? Who knows? I will report back and in the meantime I will be leaving the patterns, needles and yarn lying about in case any Elves and the Shoemaker type situations should occur.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2016 in knitting

Happy New Year. Wishing you a wonderful year full of many more ups than downs, health and happiness and plenty of time for crafting!

I have to admit to feeling rather disappointed about my knitting output this year. I have so many, many things that I want to knit and looking at this year's rather paltry output makes me feel like I will never get to knit all the things like I really want to do. But then I have to remember two important things. Firstly, I am proud of what I have made and have really enjoyed making it. Secondly, and significantly, my neck and shoulder problems which I discussed in last year's round up are still having a large impact on my ability to knit as much as I want to. I have seen big improvements in the problems this year; I have been having regular physio and it is really helping. I have moved on from hardly being able to knit at all and being in constant discomfort to much more regular knitting and much less pain which is a definite win. So I need to be a bit more patient and a bit less unrealistic and a bit more satisfied with what I can do rather than thinking about what I can't. But that is hard. And all the things need knitting!

I have only made one garment for myself this year and it isn't a vintage knit which is unusual for me.



It is a boxy raglan cardigan, reminiscent of a 1950's jacket which is why is appealed. It is knitted in Debbie Bliss Roma Weave which is a super chunky yarn with lovely colours in it. I mostly knit 4 ply and double knitting so it was quite a change and I did feel like I was knitting on sticks. Whilst I wish that I had knitted a size smaller I am very pleased with it as it is lovely and warm. I don't have a photo of the whole thing yet though.


This is a first size baby cardigan for my friend's little girl who was born in October. It is a dolman jacket from a 1950's pattern and is knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It has mother of pearl buttons. It was great fun to knit and I like the shape and the little lace panels.



These bootees are for the same baby and are knitted from a vintage pattern which I think is an early 1950's one. They were a lovely little knit, interesting and reasonably quick. They are knitted in Cygnet Superwash DK.

I did some pattern testing for Ribbon Circus. Helen designed two fabulous new hat patterns, both of which are lovely and snuggly.


This is the Love Hat, knitted in Debbie Bliss Roma Weave and it would make a great first hat project. It also has a massive pompom which is always good. I don't have a photo of me in mine yet.



This is the Stoodley Beanie and I loved choosing the colours and knitting the cables. Though I did mess some of mine up as I was knitting it when I was ill and I later found out that my brain had been too hazy to manage it! It is knitted in Sublime Extra Fine Merino Worsted which I just love, both for colours and softness.




This 1940's jumper was a commission knit for the lovely Bianca who blogs at The Closet Historian. If, by some chance, you don't know Bianca's blog I suggest you go and visit straight away. She is a fabulously talented seamstress and makes some very gorgeous outfits. You can see her in this jumper here. The jumper is knitted in Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply which is very nice to work with.




This 1930's tennis jumper was also a commission knit and was for the wonderful Cate who blogs at Vintage Gal. Again, if by some chance you don't know her blog you should head right over. Cate is another super talented seamstress who makes the most amazing, period accurate outfits.

It was a joy working with these two fabulous vintage wearers.


I knitted a lot of autumn leaves, way more than are seen here. I loved making them, they were so satisfying. I had hoped to make them into an autumn garland and also into a hat. I ran out of time for these as other, more urgent, projects needed attention. So I'm going to finish them off during this year so that come autumn I am all ready in my leafy splendour.



I'm sneaking these two in as they are so nearly done that most of their knitting counts as 2016! They are both scarves. The top is for my niece, she requested, repeatedly, a pink scarf with yellow spots so I am doing my best to oblige. It is knitted in Sublime Extra Fine Merino Worsted. The bottom scarf is for my husband, actually it is part of his Christmas present but it isn't quite ready. I just had to wrap a ball of wool for him to open and apologise for the delay! It is knitted in the Sublime Worsted too.

These are my completed (mostly) projects of 2016. I have knitted a few other things but they are languishing in various works in progress piles. They are mostly incomplete as they needed to be put aside for other things that had completion deadlines. However, my incomplete works pile is quite large, and a little shameful, so one aim for the start of this year is to finish some stuff before starting all the other stuff. I love a shiny new project though so this is going to be tough. I might put them together into a blog pot to spur me into action!