Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Knitted With Love - 1930's Jumper

Another woolly post today!  Not a garment that I've completed this year, I'm not that speedy, but one I managed to squeeze in just before Christmas.

The jumper in question is the one I knitted for my mum.  In 2013, as well as giving shop bought gifts, I made my family and close friends a handmade Christmas present.  Some edible, some felty things, others woolly.

I hadn't really planned anything similar for 2014, we'd had such a busy run up to the festive season that making gifts for family hadn't even crossed my mind.  However, come mind November, I realised I'd be disappointed in myself if I didn't make something for my much loved parents (why do we put such pressure on ourselves??) so I sorted out the patterns and wool and cracked on!

My mum's pattern was an easy choice, it was one she'd long admired, a stylish long sleeved jumper from a pattern originally printed in "My Home" in May 1936.  

The pattern was found in "The 30s Family Knitting Book", edited by Jane Waller, and printed in 1981; proves that loving vintage isn't a "new" thing! 

I think the male model has a look of Dracula about him!
opted for Adriafil Azzurra in Azio Blue as she, unlike me, loves the pretty colour.  

I did struggle a bit with my tension on the sleeves.  They are worked from the top down, and the heavy size 8's with such few stitches on we're hard to handle, so I switched so short double ended needles, and that helped a bit.  I use metal needles, but am going to try some bamboo needles to see if they are easier to handle.

I'm really pleased with how the jumper turned out, and more importantly, so was Mum!  It's not my best work, I can see a couple of wrong stitches, but as I put on the gift tag, every stitch was done with love, and that counts for a lot in my book.

No chance to show you a picture of her wearing it yet, so you'll have to make so with some shots of it on the dummy :)  Please excuse the rubbish shots, they were taken on my phone one evening, and the light was appalling.

I'm currently working in a bolero in a scrumptious shade of mustard, and will soon be picking up the needles on my next commission piece xx

Friday, 2 January 2015

Bestway 2024 - 1940's Green Cardigan

There's certainly no denying that 2014 was a busy year on the jumper front.  Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post; I'm glad you enjoyed looking at all the pictures as much as I did :o)

Over a year ago, I decided I wouldn't take commission orders anymore.  Problems with non-paying customers, issues with customers changing their mind once I'd started, or even worse, customers not liking the design of the piece, despite it having been their choice, put me off the process.  I kept knitting, but I knitted the patterns that I wanted, in the wool I wanted and in the colours I wanted! 

After a much needed break of doing as I pleased, and after countless emails asking whether I would knit to order, I decided to change the way I took commissions.  I now take payment for the wool upfront, am more particular about the type of wool I will use, and most important of all, I've learnt to say no when someone asks me to knit something that I really don't want to knit.

I had the pleasure of knitting for some truly fantastic people last year.  My final commission piece for 2014 was no exception, and was probably one of my favourite to work on.  It was knitted in a glorious shade of green and was, in the most part, all stocking stitch, so a nice quick knit.  

It was knitted in Adriafil Azzurra and the pattern was a Bestway pattern from the late 1940's.

I've knitted a few cardigans in the past, but I've never done one that required so many buttons.  Nine matching vintage buttons proved quite tricky, most of my sets had either four or eight, but I raided my own personal stash and found the perfect vintage set, heavy carved ones from the 1930's. Pretty, don't you think??

The pattern was nice and easy to follow, no little quirks or tricky bits.  It knitted up quite quickly (I was running it alongside another woolly), and everything fitted together nicely when it came to making it up.  The thing that took me the longest was the placket, it seemed to go on forever!!!

The cardigan has a new home with the very talented Kitty Lou who is an incredible seamstress who has an Etsy shop, Kitty Lou Vintage, which you can find here.

Mr Y is back to work on the 5th, so normal routine will resume.  I can't wait to start my next commission!


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Farewell 2014; You Kept Us Busy!

Teetering on the dawning of another new year; a time to look back at what the last 365 days brought us. 

So how was 2014 for you?  I hope it treated you kindly!  Will you be celebrating at the stroke of twelve?  Me? Well I’ll be in my PJs, having consumed a takeaway, watching Foyle’s War and eating chocolates; such a rock and roll lifestyle!! :o)

There is something about the New Year that I adore.  The blankness of the pages in my diary and a crisp new calendar hanging on the kitchen wall; a whole 365 days worth of potential just waiting for us!

In the most part, with the exception of the blip in the summer with my Mr’s work life, this year has been joyous, filled with family fun, friends and much laughter, and when I compare the ride we’ve had to others close to us, we’ve had it easy, and for that I am thankful, and feel incredibly blessed.

The girls have grown another year older, their little personalities beginning to shine through just a little more each time they grow.  C, a book loving, soft hearted, fun loving child, she has been my little rock this year; great company, and such a great conversationalist! 

M, my forever baby, cheeky, a giggler, wears her heart on her sleeve and often lives in her own little world.

We’ve been on our adventures with them, had fun, and learnt more than any school could have taught them.  Home educating them is a gift and pleasure.

From a productive point of view, it was another bumper jumper year; over 20 woollies knitted and sold to fabulous customers both here and overseas. 

Lots of my little felt posies also crossed the miles as far and wide as Australia and the USA.

I also added more than a few knitting patterns to my collection, so there will be lots more woollies coming in 2015!!  Oh to have the time to knit them all :o)

2015 is already shaping up to be another good year.  I’ve given up making resolutions, after all, I’ll only end up breaking them.  Instead I’ll be making a list of things I hope to do, and places I hope to take those girls of mine.

To each and every one of, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and for your wonderful comments and kind emails, especially those of you who got in contact over the summer.  I genuinely hope that 2015 is kind to you, and that it is everything you hope it will be.


Monday, 29 December 2014

We've Been Making Memories

To all of you who celebrated the festive season, I hope you had the Christmas you wished for.

We were very fortunate and had a very relaxing time, making lots of memories with our little pickles, and the rest of the family. 

Mr Y has been on holiday for over a week now, how is it that holidays fly by so quickly?!  To be fair, it seems like he has been on holiday a lot longer as we have kept ourselves very busy.

As soon as my Mr had finished for Christmas, we popped out of the county and over the boarder into Norfolk to make a rather special visit to the man of season; a ride on the Santa Special on the North Norfolk Railway.

Although we’ve taken countless rides on the NNR, it was the first time we’d taken the girls on the festive special steam train.  The Black Prince did the pulling, and it was such a crisp, clear winter’s day, with stunning views, it was truly magical for them and us!! 

After sherry, a mince pie and a little bit of carol singing, we had a warming lunch in Whelks Copper and a brisk, blustery (freeeeeeeezing cold) walk along the prom before heading back into Sheringham for some last minute Christmas shopping and a trip to the fudge shop!!  The coffee fudge from there is divine!

A quick journey in the car to Norwich, where we were resting our heads for the night, an overindulgent dinner picnic and the final of Strictly Come Dancing, our weekend couldn’t have been better!

On the 22nd, we made our yearly pre-Christmas trip to the local pantomime; this years offering was Cinderella.  It really was a great night, highly entertaining and engaging.  The evening’s entertainment was only slightly marred by the beastly man to my Mr’s left who felt it necessary to belch loudly after every sip of his seemingly never ending supply of Pepsi!!!  He looked like such a sweet little old man - proves you can never judge a book by it's cover!!! ;-)

Anyway, I finally managed to track down that illusive golden marzipan, so was able to finish my booze laden Christmas cakes!  We’ve made a start on the one for us; the others were for gifts and seemed to be well received.  I don’t eat Christmas cake, can’t stand dried fruit, so ours should last well into January.

For the first time since we’ve been married, we had Christmas Eve as just the four of us, and it was perfect.  Of course, there were some last minute preparations to be done, a mountain of vegetables to peel and chop, those last few presents to wrap, but we crammed the rest of the day full of family games, and festive baking to ensure that the little monkeys were tired right out! 

Watching Santa fly through the night sky at about 5.20, flying from West to East, added an extra special touch of magic to the day, before they tucked into a meal of roast gammon, jacket potatoes and pickles, then we all snuggled on the sofa to watch Arthur Christmas.  

Once offerings had been left for Father Christmas and his Reindeers, (yes, I burnt their cookies!), it was time for bed, and time for Mr Y and I to put our feet up with Foyle’s War and a box of Roses for company!

Christmas Day went smoothly, and all the days and weeks of preparation really paid off.  We spent it at home, cooking a roast dinner for my parents and brother, and the crackers that I made only a few days before went down really well. 

With the exception of my mum, everyone else spent the afternoon constructing some of the Lego that the girls had received for Christmas.  You’re never to old for Lego!   

I was lucky and was gifted some truly lovely things, including some scrumptious vintage goodies.  There were more knitting patterns from Mr Y (he knows me so well!), 6 brooches to add to my ever expanding 1940’s brooch collection (he had apparently been collecting these for months, sneaky thing!) and two new wool holders, one in a bright lemon yellow, the other grass green!

But my all time favourite gift was a Womens Land Army brooch, just like my Nan would have worn during WW2, given to me by my parents.

The tree is looking a little worse for wear, a few bald spots on its bauble heavy branches, and I’m itching to take it down, but it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I’ve never had a birthday without the tree being up, so I’m resisting the urge to de-needle everywhere; that can wait until New Year’s Eve!!!


Friday, 19 December 2014

Exciting Times!!

Woohoo!!  Today marks the end of the school term, a glorious 2 weeks stretching before us.  As I sit here typing this, when I should really be wrapping the last of the presents, my girls are off on a jolly jaunt with their grandma for a trip into the town and a hot lunch somewhere.  C has dressed up for the occasion, with dress, petticoat, and cardigan; oh how I love her dress sense.

Can’t quite believe it’s the 19th already?!  I promised myself last year that this year would be different, that there would be no mad last minute rushing and that I would have every card written and parcel wrapped before the middle of the month.  I haven’t!!  There are cakes to marzipan and ice, presents to wrap, a couple still to buy (hoping for divine inspiration!!) and a few handmade gifts to finish making. 

It’s not that I’ve been lazy; we’ve actually had a pretty busy month so far, with lots of festive fun, indulging in the magic of Christmas and making things special for my growing girls.  I've done a lot of shopping, most is for other people, but I couldn't resist a couple of knitting patterns for myself :o)
One of my favourite knitting models in colour!
There was a trip to a chocolate shop where tasty treats were bought, (the snowman is no more!!) and a visit to family for festive fun.

The girls and I made a gingerbread house where little fingers got a little trigger happy with the piping bag!

Each year we let the girls choose a new decoration for the tree.  This year C went for a sparkly glass polar bear, and M picked a mahoosive Santa! 

They have joined our ever increasing collection of decorations, some more special to the girls than others.

We bought the tree, a scrumptious smelling 7 foot pine.  It took me a while to choose “the” tree, it always does.

The girls thought their luck was in this year, as we got to decorate it twice!  Yes, twice!  Three days after the tree had been decorated, both sets of blasted lights burned out!  I was so disappointed and more than a little cross.  The air was blue!  So,  decorations off, lights off, new lights on and then decorations back on, and the tree was restored to full twinkling glory!

This lovely man of mine turned another year older; 43 this year.  Such a cute picture of him at a family wedding the in 1970’s with his velvet shorts and white shirt!

Yours truly baked two dozen cupcakes for him to take into school for the other science teachers to enjoy. 

The very next day this lovely little lady turned 7!

I can’t quite believe she’s 7.  Every girl deserves to look the best for their birthday, so I finally cut into this gorgeous Poppy and Fred fabric, and with the help of my mum, made dresses for both girls.

And as you can’t have a birthday without a cake, I made her a baby Toothless dragon cake.

The girls’ came down with a rotten cough and cold last week, which was rubbish for them but quite fortuitous for me!  It was a week of Calpol and Christmas films, their fuzzy little heads being up for little else, and lots of knitting time, and now I just have the one sleeve to finish on my mum’s jumper.  Will it be done in time for the big day?  I hope so! 

I better crack on with the wrapping before my pair of little peepers come home!!