Monday, 31 March 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - thirteen

I did not manage to get seven snaps this week, for some reason nothing caught my interest or my eye on a couple of days. This is the first time it has happened and I said when I started these posts that I would just go with what came up over each week. So I feel a little unhappy to have not got seven snaps this week but I would feel very unhappy to make it up just to reach a self imposed target. So here they are:

A happy time playing with pipe cleaners with my friend and her toddler. This is my creative effort!

Lots of fun with my niece and my sister. Loving her stripey legs!

A successful pattern hunt in a charity shop.

Trying to get our very old family cat to pose for the camera when visiting my parents.

Coastal walk with my parents on a lovely sunny spring morning. Admiring the jolly chalets along the sea front.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - twelve

Learning how to make balloon model dogs at the 3rd birthday party of my Women's Institute.

Getting honked at by hungry geese whilst walking my dog.

Glorious Spring day, branches making beautiful shapes against the blue sky.

One cheerful daffodil and a shaft of sunlight brightening up a very dull patch of ground.

Vintage china and a hand knitted tea cosy making for the perfect restorative cuppa in my friend's lovely shop after Boxercise.

The beautiful ceiling at the venue for my friend's 40th. Great music, company, cake, dancing and curry.

Fun afternoon at patchwork group. My little pile of hexagons has grown a bit larger!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - eleven

Beautiful sunny spring day for a long walk. This monument is 1300 feet above sea level, 120 feet high and was built in the 1856 to commemorate one of Napoleon's defeats.

Cream and jam scones and lemon cake and tea. Yummy. Lovely evening with friends knitting and watching The Great British Sewing Bee.

Fun trip out to The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester to see a great production of Orlando.

A very friendly robin greeting my sister, my niece and I.

Still enjoying the scent and colours of my hyacinths.

Really lovely family get together. Fabulous present - a tile with my niece's prints on.

Lots of knitting happening.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Maybe one day - knitted dresses

If you have read some of my posts before it probably won't come as a surprise to know that I have a thing for vintage knitting patterns. I collect them; some I wish to knit, some I really don't, I just want them as they are a piece of fashion history, or they have comedy value, or I like the picture on the front or I like the props that were used. I catalogue my patterns into women's, men's, children, accessories etc but also into groups like men smoking, scary doll's clothes, bed jackets, 1940's models with great eyebrows, kitsch household items and so on. It is one of these categories that I want to have a look at today - women's knitted dresses.

Marvellous dress with a shirt bodice and lace stitch panels
I really enjoy a great knitted dress pattern like the one above and I am partial to knitted suits too so will also feature them here. As is so often the case with dresses they look elegant, glamorous and well put together whilst being quick and easy to pull on and style. Really, you can look very well dressed for minimum effort if need be which has got to be a winner. But, whilst I adore a knitted dress and have many patterns that I love I have never actually made one and I don't even have one lined up in the 'must make this next I NEED IT pile'. I have questioned myself about this and it seems it is down to two main issues. The first is whether I have the patience and stamina to complete a knitted dress. After all, it would be an enormous amount of knitting. The second is whether, having made it, would it be flattering on my shape? I am not convinced that even with all the greatest underwear in the world, a knitted dress wouldn't highlight any surplus lumps and bumps that one might not wish to draw attention to. It is hard to judge from pattern covers, after all, models are models for a reason.

What a beauty, a belted cardigan and A line skirt, with a
marvellous hat.
A teal V neck dress with a pencil skirt and pockets.
Gorgeous patterned jumper and flared skirt. It looks
like it could be very flattering.
'A slender, elegant dress in a new tweed texture'.
From a Vogue pattern book.
So, at the moment the knitted dresses and suits remain on the 'maybe one day' pile whilst I keep on picking up the patterns when I see them. No reason why we can't take a look at a few though! These patterns from the 1940s-1960s are all for hand knitted garments. Obviously many commercially available knitted dresses would have been made on knitting machines, making the process much quicker. Throughout the period home knitting machines also became more popular.

Great cable detail on the skirt and a blouson jumper to
Scoop neck dress with pencil skirt and moss stitch
Dress with a pencil skirt and a crossover
V neck top in rib.
Pink dress - ' a deep tuck outlined bib with tiny
round collar and mock gored skirt'.
Blue dress - 'trim blouse with shawl collar and
skirt with can't come out pleats'.
From a Vogue pattern book.
I was inspired to hurry up and write this post after reading a recent post by the wonderful Joanna from Dividing Vintage Moments. It was an Ode to Vintage Knitwear and it features Joanna wearing a fabulous piece of 1950's knitwear. She also features some fantastic knitwear available on Etsy and Ebay. Take a look! It made me go through my patterns and admire all the dresses again!

From a Vogue pattern book. 'A three piece set worked in
boucle wool in broad ribbing for a slender effect'. 
A lace pattern mini dress with matching cardigan.
 A cream suit consisting of a hip length cardigan and
a straight skirt.
From a Vogue pattern book. A ribbed button
through blouse and a straight skirt.
A suit with trim on the shoulders and pockets.
A straight ribbed dress with a matching cardigan.
I think my favourites are the lace panel dress, the belted cardigan suit and the skirt and top with cable details. How about you?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - ten

Beautiful sunny day for a dog walk. Stopped to admire the colour of the sky, the clouds and the colours of the trees.

Crafty Tuesday. Fabulous evening with friends making padded hangers out of vintage hankies.

Getting ready for Zumba!

Clear and still - perfect for seeing tree reflections in the canal.

View on a walk with my sister, having tried every other trick to get my desperately tired niece to go to sleep.

Such colour! Freshly squeezed blood orange juice for brunch.

My indoor hyacinths are beginning to bloom. Hit by their wonderful scent every time I enter the kitchen.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - nine

Just one of the many piles of books waiting to be swapped at book group. Fabulous evening hearing all about potential new reads.

Lovely time at my friends - knitting, nattering and watching The Great British Sewing Bee. This is my friend's fantastic knitwear, both from patterns from Susan Crawford's A Stitch in Time books.

Sun shining through the gills of a mushroom growing at a strange angle out of a moss covered dry stone wall.

A beautiful sunny walk with my sister, my niece and my dog. Watching the river roaring, full of the morning's rain.

My finished Lego creation, built to the exacting specifications of my friend's toddler. Every time I thought I had finished she said 'more' in a very definite manner. It was great fun.

Just beautiful. My Valentine's flowers blooming.

Not just knitting happening at knitting group this afternoon. My friend's wonderful colourful cross stitch based on the Tokyo underground system map.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Manly Pursuits (as depicted in vintage knitting patterns)

I am often entertained by the front covers of old knitting patterns and have been known to buy patterns that I have no intention of ever knitting just because I find the picture funny. Sometimes it is down to the garment, or the model, or the colour, or the staging, or the props or the scenery. Some moments of comedy gold are down to all of the above. I like to look at them with my mum and my friends, adding captions etc. Sometimes I do wonder what the yarn company were thinking and how they thought that particular image would help to sell their pattern.

I was sorting through some patterns to put some new ones away and was struck, yet again, by this. I realised I had a lovely pile of men's patterns which showed men 'doing something' in their knitwear. Almost like it might be embarrassing to model knitwear unless you were also doing something stereotypically manly such as posing against your car or map reading. In a manly manner of course. Maybe with some facial hair, a stern expression, or a pipe. Or all three.These are my favourite manly pursuits as seen in knitting patterns.

This is photo heavy, I liked so many I included them all!

Sporting activities are acceptable, of which golf is the most popular:




Golf - lovely band of Fair Isle


Golf  - nice cravat

Golf - explaining the finer points

Map reading  - as long as you are on an adventure, leading the way, or are an explorer:


Map reading

Map reading

Map reading - in a smug manner

Map reading

Arctic explorer - in your string vest
Posing alongside your vehicle:

Teaching your son to pose with the wheels

Car maintenance


Leisure activities:

Drinking beer

Having a pint

Frowning at your girlfriend as she plays the drums

Hanging with your grandad

Yachting in your chunky jumper and your tighty whities


Sailing yachts with my boy

Sailing yachts with my son

Gardening - chopping logs with a very large axe

Gardening - let loose with the shears

Being outdoors  - manly holding of benches


Author - of boy's adventure stories

Author - travel and adventure books

Lighting director for films, especially Westerns

Executive - reading the finance news
Studying is also an option:

On the way to the library - so smart

Using the library as a place to meet girls

Maybe you are in charge of the family pet?:

A big knit for a big dog.

You may go to the local camera club:

Explaining your latest gadget. Lovely Fair Isle

Checking through your photos

Working out the technical bits
Maybe you belong to your local shooting club?:

Down the range
I love this one, it makes me laugh. Green jumper and red jumper clearly have no idea how to shoot a gun and are likely to shoot someone else instead. Yellow jumper is about to fire and put them both to shame. Pink jumper is too busy posing to get his stance straight and is about to miss the target.

The other activity that men do in knitting patterns is smoke. Pipes or cigarettes or both (not at once). This will be the subject of another post as I have a whole collection of men smoking patterns!