Thursday, 29 April 2010

Knitted man-magnet

She's wearing her Wendy Wisp knitted dress and those men are hovering around her like embroidered flies around a knitted jam-pot.

A very swinging knitting pattern from Wendy, circa 1960s. Dress is for a 34 - 38 inch bust and knits up in Wendywisp Quick Knitting. Tension is 5 sts to 1 inch on no 8 needles, so that's pretty chunky for the period- you'd be hanging around that wicker-work bar in no time with those nice big stitches...

Buy a copy of this vintage 1960s knitting pattern for £1.50. You'll receive a link to download a high quality PDF document of this pattern upon payment.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Another doll that will kill us all

This little girl has been stopped dead in her tracks by the sight of Larry the Layabout, an adult-sized rag doll from Elsie Burch Donald's Book of Creative Crafts (Octopus Books, 1978).

Yes, Larry is wearing your father's clothes. Yes, you're right, Mummy never was quite herself after Daddy went to live in Wimbledon with that au pair.

The Book of Creative Crafts suggests, "If a change of gender is preferred, just omit the moustache". Three cheers for the 1970s!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Pimp my hide

Now let me make this quite clear, I hate fur coats. Unless they're on an animal, obviously. I would rather eat glass than wear one myself, savvy? I'm just interested in this ad from The Portsmouth News, 1970, from a thrift point of view.

These days, I can't imagine the Co-Op, or any other major clothing retailer offering the services of an expert who can remake and remodel your items of clothing to save you having to buy new ones from the shop.

Mr Victor Segall was offering "re-styling to modern fashion requirements", "cleaning and repairing, including replacing worn parts", the re-dying of faded furs, and, "fox furs and stoles made into cape stoles."

Wouldn't it be wonderful to offer this service today, not necessarily with furs, but with any item of clothing that no longer fits, or has worn out in places, but you still love the fabric and would like to see it transformed into something else? Wouldn't it be marvellous to have a Mr Victor Segall who could scoop your old coat up in his arms, suggest a few creative ideas, and return, say, a few weeks later, with a beautiful skirt and matching handbag made out of your cast-off?

Thursday, 22 April 2010

1970s playsuits

An easy way to make your child overheat on a sunny day - the 1970s knitted acrylic playsuit.

"Shimmering on the holiday scene in their dashing seashore sets - colour glow stripes for the trouser suits, worn over classic sweaters in the contrast colour. Super shimmery looks in Patons Promise".

If you run around and get too hot in this combo, what do you do? Take the jumper off and just wear the tank top and trouser all-in-one, I suppose.

Maybe these were designed for British seaside holidays, where you were more likely to be huddled behind a windbreak in the rain. That would make more sense.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Knitted Tamagotchi

We are a three Tamagotchi household - two of them were re-homed from Freecycle, which I suppose makes them "rescue Tamagotchis". The third is a Tamagotchi Music Star, which means it can form a band. Last week we couldn't work out how it could make money to buy itself food, so it had nothing to eat for a couple of days, which I think was taking the starving musician thing a bit too far.

But I digress. These Tamagotchis all needed somewhere to live, which is why my daughter put in a request for me to make a Tamagotchi bag.

The screen is at a lower level to the rest of the padded bag which means that the Tamagotchis can lounge around on it. When they are not in use, they can be stowed away inside and zipped up safely - the red zip looks like the infra red whatnot on top of the Tamagotchi egg.

This was one of those items that was incredibly fun to make as it involved a little of many different craft disciplines: the main body is knitted out of DK yarn, the carry strap was crocheted out of a thin gold thread, the little Ichigotchi was just enough intarsia knitting to be enjoyable, and I used a twisted chain stitch from a 1930s embroidery encyclopedia as the edging for the screen. Oh yes, and I had to sew on three buttons.

I think the Tamagotchis appreciate the effort...

Monday, 19 April 2010

1950s gloves to knit and crochet

The 1950s weren't just a classic era for chic hats. Gloves were dainty and stylish as well (and best displayed on expressively slender mitts, as above).

These four glove patterns from 1952 are recommended "for every occasion - in light shades for summer, or cheerful stripes for chilly days next autumn". The spotty gloves, black gloves and yellow and white embroidered gloves are all knitted in 3 ply. The striped gloves are crocheted in fingering thread.

If I start now, I might just have a pair of these by the autumn...

Buy a copy of this vintage 1950s knitting and crochet pattern for £1.50. You'll receive a link to download a high quality PDF document of this pattern upon payment.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Loopy knitted hats from the 1970s

By the 1970s, we had lost the art of graceful, chic hats. This family of three may be very cosy in their Bellmans Double Knitting Snuggles, but elegance is not a word that springs to mind here.

Note how the boy on the left is being gently constrained to prevent him from running away.

Make a 1970s loop stitch hat for yourself - Buy a copy of this vintage 1970s knitting pattern for £1.50. You'll receive a link to download a high quality PDF document of this pattern upon payment.

Pattern is for Snuggle hats from ages 3 to adult. You'll need double knitting yarn, and a pair each of no7 and no 9 needles.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

12 different 1950s hats to knit

Oh, they knew how to wear woolly hats in the 1950s. Pert little knitted confections that perched jauntily on the back of the head, veering between chic elegance and downright dottiness. Even a simple bobble hat oozes 1950s style and elegance when knitted on the small side and popped smartly on the back of the head like a tiny cocktail cap.

A swan-like neck and Grace Kelly profile are completely optional for the modern day hat wearer. I have knitted a drawer full of these little darlings in different colours and shapes over the years and can confirm that they are still as warm, stylish and wonderful as they were over 60 years ago.

Buy this knitting pattern for twelve delicious 1950s hats for £1.50. You'll receive a link to download a high quality PDF document of this pattern upon payment. Pattern has some creasing, a little writing on top corner, otherwise good.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Slumber caps from the 1940s

Extremely glam ladies wearing crocheted slumber caps, from a 1940s copy of Needlewoman and Needlecraft magazine.

"Portraying charming slumber caps, perfect for keeping your curls or waves in order and admirably suited to wearing these days when you are never sure how often it will be necessary to get out of bed to go to your shelter. Easily laundered, they will give endless wear, and you can choose your favourite colour from large range of Coats' Mercer-Crochet".

I love the very British stiff-upper-lip expectation of still putting on a neat, well-groomed appearance, even when running in terror from Jerry.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Mr April

He's rugged. He's macho. He's wearing a silky scarf but if you make fun of it he'll rip your head off. He's climbed all the way up a mountain to show you his Lee Target Cossack Double Knitting cable pullover. He's Mr April.

Man's Pullover in five sizes - "for the MALE set".