Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A plethora of patterns. Part Three.

Straight into Part Three. More fantastic patterns and the story behind the big pile of them can be found in Part One and in Part Two .

February 1955.
This 'Carefree Cardigan' is knitted in 4-ply in a rib pattern. I am not that keen on it as I prefer the fitted styles of jumpers that were often worn in the 1950s.

I really like an embroidered tablecloth and have a bit of a collection going on. I like the bright and cheery colours, the lovely patterns (especially the flowers) and I like using them knowing that someone has put their time, effort and love into this piece and I am keeping that going. However, much as I like them I can not imagine actually making one. I do not think that I have the patience. The magazine editor says 'if you start now you will finish the lovely cloth in time for your summer teas when the real flowers are in bloom. There is not too much work in the embroidery as the shapes are all quite small...' I do not think that I would get this finished in 4 months!

'Her cable sweater in white. His classic V-neck pullover. 4-ply sports casual for you and your boyfriend'. Again, not my favourite but I do like to see a his and hers jumper every so often.

'Hardanger and Weaving'. The chair back on the left is the Hardhanger and the cushion cover is the weaving. A runner, table centre and trolley cloth can also be made. I have read the instructions for both pieces of needlework and do not fully understand either but have included them as I like to see the types of pieces that people would have made for their homes.

'Cocktail wear uses beads. Charming bead knit evening sweater, in white on red for this elegant blouse'. This is a fabulous beaded jumper, it looks so glamorous and special occasion ready. The beads are knitted on in pairs, 3-ply yarn is used. I have yet to try a beaded knit but when I do it will be a 1950's cocktail top such as this that I make.

'Zoo time'. This is a fantastic jumper for 6-7 year olds. The front has a zebra, polar bear and a camel. The back has a monkey, an ostrich and an elephant. Whoever designed the charts for this has done a good job of making the animals look realistic. the original is knitted in 3-ply, the main body in Beau Blue and the animals and contrast in Coral Rust. I would have enjoyed wearing this jumper when I was small.

I love this picture of a more mature and buxom woman doing her gardening in her gloves, pearls, pencil skirt and beautiful hand knitted cardigan. With her set hair and perfect make up she looks so glamorous just to be doing household jobs. The cardigan has lovely lace panels at the front, the back and sleeves are in stocking stitch. It is made in 3-ply and is a 40-41 inch bust. Nice to find a larger size garment in Stitchcraft.

'Spider's web - attractive gingham supper apron. This attractive apron is smart enough for a hostess to slip on whilst serving supper snacks - very gay in black and white gingham with white and scarlet embroidery'. The method for making the apron and for doing the embroidery are included. I think I will have a go at making this, so that I can be the hostess with the mostess serving my supper snacks to my guests!

Please excuse the flash reflection, it is not a ball of light coming out of her stomach, no matter how super her jumper is. This is the back cover photo of a jumper for a teenage girl to wear at the weekend. It is knitted in 3-ply in Navy, White, Glamour Red and Light Steel Grey. I really like the chevron stripe, it is really flattering.

May 1958

'Dear Readers,
This issue is full of ideas to knit, sew and crochet for your holiday, whether seafaring or country bound. The gay balloon trimmed skirt with its useful carry-about cushion, is as easy as abc to do and can be made to any size.

The front cover features a 'twinset for summer walks'. This is a really pretty twinset and has cable and diamond patterned panels. It is knitted in 3-ply.

'Set sail with your holiday knitting. Star stitch quick knit huskies for Big Brother and Tommy Tucker'. The start stitch gives a tough almost double texture effect and these jumpers look just the thing to keep nice and snuggley in whilst sailing and racing your yachts on the boating lake.

This is a coffee cloth 'American Style'. I have no idea why this is so, if anyone can enlighten me about this please do. It is made in cotton, they have used mauve and white gingham, with bias binding edging and white ribbon bows. I think it is really charming and would make breakfast time extra special if you made it for your table.

I love a dressing table set despite not owning a dressing table. If I ever have space for one I would love to put a beautiful set on it like this one. These mats have a floral trellis border on white linen and are edged in crochet. The flowers are daisies, roses, and star flowers. The transfer cost 1s.

'Country Rambler to wear with slacks'. This is such a pretty double knit jumper which has a diagonal lace pattern. I am wondering why the model is eating her glasses. Perhaps they didn't feed her when she was on her country ramble.

'Daisy chain yoke. A light hearted sunny jumper in two sizes'. This is knitted in 3-ply, the original is in Rose Petal and White which must look lovely. I like the deep rib at the waist, the fitted style and the V neck.  The scattering of daisies emphasises the shaping and elevates this from a pretty jumper to a gorgeous one.

The next few patterns come from a four page spread called 'Holidays Ahead - 4 pages of ideas for sea & sand'. This 'gay cotton beach skirt' tickled my fancy, it has really captured the holiday spirit. Those hot air balloons just make you smile. It would be really cheerful to wear, this one is bright blue poplin with applique balloons in cherry, pale pink, lime and a blue and white stripe. The baskets are embroidered, these are in white, black, pink, lime and jade. There are 6 balloons around the bottom edge and 3 set slightly higher up. It would be gorgeous! I am going to put it on my list of things to make (it is growing ever longer)!

'Swimwear for water babies. A sun suit for a sturdy toddler. Trunks for a would-be Channel swimmer'. Poor sturdy toddler. I hope that didn't give her a complex in later life. The sun suit is knitted in 3-ply in White, Catkin Green, Crimson Rose and Royal Blue. It is really sweet. The trunks are double knit and 4-ply in Breton Red and White. They are knitted in a firm non stretch twisted stitch to avoid accidental exposure!

This crochet top is a blouse for summer. It has a neckline decorated with sequins and beads which is very attractive.  It looks lovely and cool and very versatile as it could be dressed up for evening or left as it is for daytime.

These matching boyfriend and girlfriend sports shirts make me giggle. Was wearing matching outfits really such a thing? These are 4-ply in White with stripes of Gold, Spun Gold and Shannon Green. I don't like them much but thought they were interesting enough to include.

This 'Rug for a boy's room - introduce his school crest', fascinates me. Did young boys want their school crest and colours all over everything? Would they have liked it? If you were going to take the time to make a rug wouldn't you make something that is, frankly, nicer?

I love the colours in this picture, muted but still striking. The tapestry chair seat and back is worked in cross and tent stitch and is a Victorian ribbon design featuring the flower 'Convolvulus'. The colours used are Purple, Dark Green, Light Green, Light Blue, Light Magenta, Pale Pink, Dark Blue, Mid Blue, Dark Magenta, Yellow and White. Lovely.

Well, I have come to the end of the Plethora of Patterns. They have given me hours of enjoyment so thanks again to my lovely friend who shared them with me and the nice woman who donated them in the first place.

Monday, 22 July 2013

A plethora of patterns. Part Two.

My friend's pattern pile that I talked about here also contained several Stitchcraft magazines from the 1940s and 1950s. Because she is very lovely she let me keep the ones that I did not have in my collection which I was overjoyed about. I have been building up my collection over the past couple of years but am not near to completion yet! I love Stitchcraft for its interesting mixture of knitting patterns for the whole family and for all the other craft projects that it contains. As with any vintage magazine it gives a real flavour of the times and a peek into other lives.

I thought it would be nice to have a look through these magazines here. I am going from earliest to latest in date and from the front of the magazine to the back so that it is as near as possible to flicking through it yourself.

December 1943.

 Fancy fur bonnets on the front cover; patterns for adults and child's sizes are inside.

As this is the Christmas issue there are some ideas for gifts for young and old. At the top is a necklace of a butterfly and flowers made from wood or cardboard that has been enamelled and then tied with a shoe lace. This gives a great insight into the inventiveness needed for wartime gift giving.

The cigarette stand is made from painted cardboard or wood. It is interesting that this was a really acceptable gift, showing clearly that it is from the time when the health risks of smoking were not widely known about and were not publicised.

The part photographed item is a belt made from a length of binding with buttons, wool and stitching for decoration.

This is a boy's pullover which has socks to match. It is knitted in a lovely cable stitch in 3-ply.

Titled 'This little jumper is Teddy Bear's parade ground', this is a lovely jumper for a small child knitted in 3-ply. I love the marching teddies.

These three patterns are featured on a double page spread entitled 'Ready for the cold spell'. The first is 'Bobbles and Rib for the slim'! It is knitted in 3-ply and suggests using a dark shade for the ribbing and a lighter shade for the body and sleeves. In another nod to wartime austerity they suggest knitting the body and sleeves with pulled back wool if you have any available.

The second is the 'Brick patterned cardigan-jumper', again in 3-ply and with a lovely collar. I like this stitch pattern.

The third is called 'With pockets in the welt' made in 3-ply. You can just see the pocket on the left hand side of the picture.

I think it is amazing that all these patterns and more are found in a magazine that is A5 in size due to wartime paper shortages and is only 19 pages long.

The back cover

This lovely rabbit and duck require transfers that readers could send away for. The rabbit design cost 11d and the duck design 6d. Within the same series there is also a fox-terrier, a squirrel and a teddy bear.

April 1948.
 The front cover features a 'pretty jumper' knitted in 3-ply. It uses a main shade and two contrast shades and involves slipping and dropping then knitting stitches to create the pattern.

This 'Design from the East' was inspired by an oriental panel and is for the 'critical needle-woman'. To make the tea cosy and accompanying tray cloth you would need to send off for a transfer for the pattern. It is worked in a delicate colour scheme of pinks, peach, blues, gold and greens.

This sun-suit, knitted in 3-ply, is for  a little boy or girl. It has a pretty two colour pattern and comes with a matching cardigan.

 'A smart jacket' knitted in 3-ply. This is such a bright and cheerful colourway and uses moss stitch and stripes to create texture. I think it is very elegant but I am not sure that I actually like it.

 Another two page spread containing three patterns 'For sunny days'. 'Woollies for warm spring and early summer days. Stitchcraft selects these three lovely designs for your new knitteds.'

The first is a square neck jumper knitted in 2-ply. The lovely stitch pattern is a twisted rib.

The second is a two colour short sleeved cardigan, knitted in 3-ply. It has crochet scrolls across the yoke.

The last is a tuck in sports shirt, knitted in 2-ply to give warmth without weight. The main part is worked sideways.

Back cover.

'If you are going to the sea this year start early and knit yourself this attractive two-piece beach-suit - for sunning or swimming. The suit will behave itself in water as the main fabric is a close twisted stitch and the two colour cable panels are very firm and help keep the shape'. Would you wear it?

April 1951
 Look at this totally fantastic set! I love it! A matching cardigan and gloves  worn by a quite severe but stunning woman, accessorised with a puppy. What is not to like?! This is a 'Set for the Summer'. It can be knitted in 4-ply with long or short sleeves and with or without the necktie. The finished items are embroidered with satin stitch hearts and lazy daisies with stems and leaves.

'White is right for the sun, and what could be prettier than this attractive holiday twosome, with a Tyrolean air, for those days when the sun is shining but a chilly breeze makes it not quite as warm as it might be. Wear this light-hearted set and you will look cool and fresh and be comfortably warm. Quick to knit in inexpensive and hard wearing wool you can make the complete outfit very cheaply'.

This 'Summer Roses' cross stitch chart could have been obtained for 7d and is suggested as a picture or a cushion. I really like the colours they have chosen.

'Cables or stripes add colourful touches and use up those precious half ounces'. Of the first pattern it says 'this cheerful outdoor sweater for a girl in her teens, in the best-loved-of-all classic shape, with diamond patterns adding a gay, youthful note. If you want to use up really small scraps don't stick to one colour for the diamonds and cables'.

For the second pattern you are advised to 'go as gay as you like with this jazzy cardigan, specially designed to introduce three or more shades. Stick to one colour for the foundation - white would be pretty for summer - but use as many colours as you like for the stripes'.

These three pictures show garments which have been decorated using the transfer 'Nursery friends to embroider' which cost 11d. The instructions to make the heart shaped pinny and the dungarees are also included in the magazine. I really like the blue tits and the ducks, they are so cute.

Following on with the cute animal theme are these 'Nursery friends to knit for boys and girls of 3 and 6'. The animals are a duck, dog, puppy, lamb, rabbit and a cockerel. I would have adored this cardigan when I was a little girl. My Grandma knitted me one with Scottie dogs around the edge and I loved it.

At first glance it is a little difficult to decide what this is but it is a candlewick knitting bag. 'Candlewick is very popular at the moment, chiefly, I think, because it is cheap and quick to do, and gives cheerful, striking effects that go well in the average living room of today.' To do it doubled cotton is sewn in running stitch in the desired pattern. The stitches are not pulled down flat to the material, a little loop is left. The loops are then cut and rubbed over by hand to fluff them up and remove any loose bits'. My Grandma had several candlewick bedspreads and I used to enjoy playing with the patches of different textures on them. It is funny how something that was once as common as a bedspread is now so out of fashion.

'For the men at home'! Some lovely patterns for men and boys - a school pullover, a weekend waistcoat and diamond socks. I think the socks, in particular, are a lovely interesting pattern.

Back cover.

This image is just so pretty and I do love an ensemble! I am sure I would be better dressed if I thought about ensembles more often. Perhaps that can be something to aspire to! This ensemble consists of an angora twin set, the jumper is cabled and the cardigan is in stocking stitch. These look lovely either worn separately or together. I have several twinsets on my to knit list as they are so versatile and really increase your possible outfit combinations. The skirt is knitted in 4-ply. I really like the thought of a knitted skirt but I don't know how flattering they would be to all figures. Also, I can not imagine how long they must take to do!

This is already a giant post so I have decided that A Plethora of Patterns will continue into a Part Three.

To finish here are Stitchcraft's three golden rules for the good knitter:

Follow the instructions carefully, paying particular attention to materials and tension.

Take great pains with the making up and don't rush this.

Wash often and wisely.