Friday, January 7, 2011

Vintage Knits

Did not get a chance today to slip downtown to the fashion district for interfacing and other goodies, trapped in the home office with a proposal.


Just as well I guess. It's pretty chilly out and my house is nice and warm. I did get a chance, while waiting for email responses, to scan a vintage knitting booklet I found at Value Village, just the loveliest thing really. I *think* it's from the 1940's, based on the hairstyles and clothing styles. Warning, this post is image heavy! But worth it if you love vintage, vintage knitting, vintage clothing, vintage get the idea!

The front cover. Note the original cost of this booklet (which is a 30 page booklet). Fifteen cents! As you can see, I paid $1.99. I saw a similar booklet by the same yarn company online today on sale for $11. Love that Victory Curl!

This is a lovely ad for the yarn this booklet calls for. Fluffydown, it's a bulky yarn that knits up to 3 sts per inch (according to some research I did).

First pattern is the Sports Jacket, containing many, many buttons. Lots of buttons down the front of that. If I knit this (and let's be honest, I'm gonna eventually), I think I'll reduce the number of buttons, since they put the buttonholes in the single crochet edge. Not sure right now how many buttons, how big and placement I'd use, but yeah, not as many buttons. The yoke, sleeves and bands are an interesting looking pattern of two rows k1 p1 rib and 2 rows garter stitch.

Afternoon Pullover. Not sure about this model's hairstyle, but she looks a little Jean Harlowish, don't you think? The pattern on the sweater is neat. From the instructions:

"Smocking - Using brown wool and starting from the lower edge of front sew together the first three K ribs. Oversew three times and fasten off. Skip next three K ribs and sew together the next three K ribs. Continue to sew the K ribs together as illustrated"

Sports Pullover, modeled by the lady from the front cover and a puppers. I like this one.

Ski Cardigan. Apparently a Lady skied in a skirt. Not in pants. A skirt.

She also plays Badminton in a skirt. 11 little buttons.

This sweater is just plain pretty. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

A sports sweater. Nothing fancy, plain rib, but with a bit of embroidery at the front neck.

The Sailing Cardigan.

The Sport Jacket. Note the lovely hairdo. This is not a sports hairdo. If I ever manage to coax my long and thick hair into those lovely little curls, sports is not what I will be doing.

The Bed Jacket. My maternal grandmother had some of these (no, she did not knit them sadly. She had MS and couldn't. But she was always 'done' and ladylike.)

The Evening Jacket. Another pretty sweater.

And two sweet little sweaters for girls.

And a picture of the yarn itself.

Hope you enjoyed that! I know I do everytime I open that booklet! I've got one from the same era for men (full of giggles) from Beehive which I'll share in a future post.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

work overdrive!

After about 3 weeks off, work kicked my behind this week! I should have figured it was coming.

For reference, I hold 3 jobs, office manager at my cousin's rocking dance studio over in Oshawa, which involves regular travel between there and home in Toronto (evenings, and not counting dance competitions, which are coming up bloody fast!), Virtual Assistant for the Management Consulting firm I once was full time Executive Assistant for (went home office, this rocks) and bookkeeper for our friend's used bookstore over on Queen West here in Parkdale. Which means, sometimes everything falls on my lap at the same time and makes things a little....hectic.

Example, we are currently prepping for the dance competitions this spring, filling out entry forms, finalizing routines and costumes, that sort of thing. On top of the start of year end recital preparation (ordering the recital costumes, a pretty involved process, and we haven't even done the hip hop costumes yet!) and the regular scheduled stuff. Then, a massive proposal for a municipality came down the pike from the consulting firm, plus I have to make a quick run down to the bookstore to pick up the accounting to get that done!

I did manage to get the pieces cut out for my new dress using Simplicity 5914 from 1973, however I have not yet had the opportunity to run down to the Fashion District to pick up interfacing and I can't find the damned zipper I bought the same day I bought the fabric. I'm hoping to get both those tomorrow, cross your fingers! I really can't wait to get this dress done and on!

(Also, using Christmas money, I picked up Amy Butler's Style Stitches and am DYING to make two of the bags in this book.

Take Flight Handbag and Blossom Handbag

Aren't they amazing? So, I guess when I run downtown tomorrow, I'll be picking up materials for those two (and rooting in my stash in the morning).

I also have a whole upcoming list of sewing projects to share with you, probably this weekend.

If dance competitions and proposals and bookkeeping doesn't drive me insane first.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let's Try This Again

Ok, seriously. I set up a blog and then ignore it? What kind of person am I?

So here's to a new year and hopefully a resolution I will stick to. To regularly update and actually USE this blog! Since I have so many projects on the go at all times, this just might help me keep track of it all.

Ok. First up. Ultra Long Stockings!

I found this knitting book from 1973 (the year I was born) in Value Village and I had to have it.

Full of early 1970's looks, some good, some, well.....not so good. I instantly fell madly in love with a pattern called "Striped Stockings"

I love long stockings. Store bought, hand knit, even hand sewn (yes, I do have a vintage sewing pattern for stockings. Will show that off in another post). So I knew I had to knit these....just not how the pattern originally is! A gal has to modernize ya know!

During a last minute, pre-Christmas run to Romni Wools , a favourite yarn shop of mine, I stumbled across Supersocke 100 Wellness III Color (stumbled across....HA! I gravitate towards the sock yarn section at Romni. It's the honest truth. I knit alot on transit! Socks are easy and portable and don't take up any room beyond my personal space). I chose colourway #1318, a lovely mix of pink, grey, red and black. And used this yarn to knit Diana Biggs' Striped Stocking Pattern.

The original pattern calls for 4 different solid colours, original yarn in the 1973 pattern is Sirdar Top Line Nylon DK. This yarn is unfindable in an online search, and given that the pattern is 37 years old, it's safe to say it's long been discontinued. The pattern is simple, a 1 x 1 rib all the way through, switching colors every 27 rounds and decreasing every 12th round after the first 45 rounds down from the original CO of 86 sts to 58 sts at the ankle. Basic heel, basic toe. I maintained the rib, the decrease, did a slip stitch heel flap (I admit to being rather partial to a slip stitch heel flap on a simple sock) instead of the basic St st flap in the original pattern.

Here is the first stocking, finished! (second is on the needles)

The striping on the second stocking isn't going to match up to the first (it could, but I can be lazy that way), so I think I'll call these Pippi Longstockings!

Next on the agenda is a sewing project, pattern from 1973 found at Value Village. (I think I may have a soft spot for that year!)

Simplicity 5914 (note the original price on the pattern? $1.00! Canadian! I paid about $0.69 at Value Village, most patterns at my store run that price, a handful for one reason or another are $0.99.)

Went to The Workroom down on Queen West in my 'hood (Parkdale) and picked up some fantastic cotton fabric!

Will be doing View 2 with the contrast collar & cuffs shown in View 1. The purple print is the main body of the dress and the peach will be the collar & cuffs. Might make a matchy matchy bag if there is enough fabric left over. Still have to pick up some interfacing, then I can get started!

So that's what's on tap at this exact moment. Well....not really. Have a pile of other projects sitting around. Need to sort through them to tell you all about them! And show the finished Pippi Longstockings once stocking #2 is done and they're on my legs. And show off the dress during construction and after!

See you soon!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lazy, Lazy

I am so terribly lazy with regards to this blog, and I've no idea why. I always have the bestest of intentions with it, and then I utterly forget about it! I promise, from now on I'll try my best to be less negligent of this space of mine.

Since April? Well, let's see...I started a new job, my cousin owns a dance school out in Oshawa, ON and I now am her Office Manager. It's pretty fun, not high stress, the kids are great and I now can say with confidence that I know what a ball change is. Not so sure yet about Kitchycoo.....if that's how it's spelt.

Anyway, since said job is in Oshawa and I live in Toronto, I now commute like mad, resulting in most of my creating being small knitting or crochet projects that I can toss into my bag and pull out on the GO Train. Consequently, I have now become an official Sock Knitter (since socks are small and portable!). In honour of this, I joined the group Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry. Fun group of folks! And some seriously good knitters in there as well. They also have something called a SockDown each month, and I am participating in my second one.

For the first month (you have two months to actually finish any given project you pick up under each month's rules) I decided to knit something I have been wanting to knit since I first picked up the needles to make yards and yards of garter stitch scarves. Severina's Skull Stockings I've got one stocking done, the second is on the needles and I had some difficulty with it. Ok, I had difficulty with the math. She based the stockings on a combination of a 1942 stocking pattern (the top of the stocking) and an Elizabethian stocking in terms of the increases and decreases for the shaping. The numbers she gives are way to big for my legs (which really, made me feel pretty good, since when I cast on initially I was having a Fat Day, you know how those are....). So, I frogged and measured and calculated and cast on again and halfway through found fresh new proof of an accepted fact.

I suck at math.

Frogged again, measured again, including the portion of my leg that I forgot the first time I measured...the very important knee....and calculated again and this time, got it right!

4 (2)

Lovely, yes? I'll get the second one finished as soon as I finish my March SockDown....lacy little ankle socks

2 (7)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My obession with ModPodge

Please excuse me, I'm slightly high on the fumes.

I made a trip to Michael's Arts and Crafts last week (and since the closest one to me is at the Dixie Value Mall in Etobicoke, that's an hour trip between the Queen West Streetcar and the Mississauga transit system, ah well, at least Queen West is interesting from end to end!). I picked up a few things I needed/wanted, some fabric paints in dark colours, some interesting stencils, some varnish, ribbon, paper and ModPodge.

See, a few weeks ago during a trip to Value Village (I lurve the Value Village), I grabbed a serving tray for $2.99. Just a plain ol serving tray, white laminate with wood. Boring really. And I've been wanting a nice, slightly funky serving tray for my afternoon tea (I have an obession with the English ritual of tea. Something about cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, I don't know). So my idea was to create what was in my head.

Lovely, isn't it? :) Here's what I used:

1 bottle Folk Art craft paint in Lavender
1 sheet of purple and white scrapbook paper with scalloped edges
2 lengths of purple ribbon with white flowers
1 bottle ModPodge and 1 bottle varnish.

I painted the entire surface in the Lavender, three coats total since I'm lazy and didn't prime the dang thing. Then a layer of ModPodge over the serving surface and stick down the scrapbook paper and two lengths of ribbon. Three layers of varnish over the entire tray. One handy, lovely serving tray!

And thus was born my obession with ModPodge. This stuff rocks! What took me so long to figure that out? For years I've been using substandard craft glue. In fact, my first effort with regular glue didn't even adhere the paper to the surface, I could lift the paper right off, which is what sent me off to Michael's.

It's not perfect, I folded the ends of the ribbon but didn't properly press them down so they kinda stick up at the ends, but oh's just for me.

Now fascinated with ModPodge I took a laminate serving tray I've had for years and glued down more scrapbook paper and ribbon. It's not as nice as the one above, but it's still nice enough for my personal use.

I also fancied up a camel coloured cord jacket I picked up at Value Village. It's a really nice jacket, fits great and I love it, but it was kinda....boring. Just plain ol camel coloured cord.

Break out the stencils and fabric paint!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Never enough!

Why do I do this to myself? I pop into ye olde yarn shope (Romni Wools on Queen Street West here in Toronto, I highly recommend the place!), and purchase yarn for this project and that project and I never....ever....EVER purchase enough! Right now sitting on my ironing board is a pile of projects in which I must purchase more yarn to complete.

One shrug
Two crochet shawls
One purse
One sweater
One scarf

Being unable to finish these right now, since I've no cash for the yarns, I then go puttering through my many magazines and books, pick a pattern I like and dig through my stash and check gauge. And all the while knowing that in the end I'll have to add the new projects to the awaiting yarn pile because I've only purchased a small amount of the yarn I chose or I'm using the remnants of yarn from a finished project.

Then when I do get the yarn I need, I'll also purchase two or three skeins of another yarn and the cycle begins again.

Will I ever learn? Probably not.

And my downstairs neighbours are screaming again. I can hear them loud and clear. I've this terrible fear that one day I'll have to call the police and have a real life CSI investigation in the apartment below mine.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My bad

Well, looks like it's been, what, over a year since I bothered to get up off my lazy arse and update this place. My bad. I meant this blog to be something better than I let it be, and now I mean to actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

So I have been busy, just not with blogging. Let's see, I finally managed to get something similar to organizing in my sewing/computer room, the only issue left is to actually maintain that organization, yes? I've stocked up my fabric stash, my yarn stash, my vintage pattern stash, my old clothing stash and my library, I'm really good to go further here.

So let me make a bit of a pledge, yes? I solomly swear to update this blog once a day, even if it's just to say Meh.

Thrift Shop Sewing

Things I find at the Thrift Shop, and what I do with them.