Today just a quick one. Here another vintage knitting pattern, for a simple crossover ballet cardigan. Am just back from holidays and will post lots of photos of latest projects in the next few days. Click on the picture to download the pattern or go to the free vintage pattern pages.
I have no new pictures because my sewing machine broke last week. I was so unhappy about it I cried when it happened. The pedal was suddenly not working anymore. Actually the machine is running without me moving the pedal which I've learned is a serious problem that needs repair by experts. Now there are a few problems here: I don't have a car and the machine is so dead heavy that I can't transport it by bike to a repair shop. The machine was getting on my nerves anyway because it doesn't have a reverse stitch, for example, and there are other things that I don't like. So I thought a bit about it and am now resolved to buy a new one. Which also means that I'm a much happier bunny.
I strengthened the trouser fabric parts with iron-on interfacing. It doesn't make the fabric as stiff as the jumper felt of the first bag but I think it will still work. I put a zipped pleated pocket into the back part. To make the pocket look more interesting I only made the lower pleat rather than two pleats meeting in the middle and also used the other trouser fabric for the pleat. Next up it's putting the front and the back together... I don't know how to do that yet, so wish me luck! My brain already hurts thinking about options.
My son favours the grey colour scheme. So I made a start with this one.
For the flap I lined a piece of narrow pinstripe with the glittery jumper. I had to sew the lining together from two parts because it wasn't a very big jumper in the first place and after the felting even smaller, of course. The front I put together from the backs of the wide pinstripe trousers so that I could include the little back pocket of the original trousers (top right). The side panels and back are one piece with the stripes rotated by 90 degrees. The piece that determined the size was the flap lining. I didn't use a pattern. I just cut as I went along trying to fit things together. It's a bit frightening but also weirdly liberating. Now I need to find some material to stiffen the trouser fabric. Although originally labelled as needing dry cleaning, the trousers repeatedly resisted being felted in the washing machine. I don't want to make a floppy messenger bag.
Funky is not going well. I'm doing the back in plain green and somewhere I must have dropped a stitch or not increased one, one stitch is missing and I can't make out where and it's driving me bananas, because I'm such an idiotic pedantic when it comes to knitting. I wanted to do the back in just one colour but it's hard for me to do the increases without the hounds tooth pattern, which turns out to be a great help figuring out where I am and how many stitches there should be. And I don't seem to be able to knit much else other than the jumper I made for my mum's birthday which I forgot to photograph her in so that I can't even show you that and I now got all distracted by making bags. I got completely hooked by the multitudes of possibilities making a recycled bag that I can't think of much else. So, finally, I have given in and although this blog is supposed to be about knitting I will explore the bag making a bit more (erm, I don't like knitted bags). After all it's also about recycling and you have to follow your heart, don't you?
So here three sets of possible combinations of materials for more bags. From left to right an old green woolen skirt, a shrunk turquoise angora jumper, some lining fabric and a pair of old linen trousers garnished with a collection of zips I could use.
Here a purple combination consisting of two woolen jumpers that I felted in the washing machine for a different project that never took off and parts of a sari with a flowery pattern and two zips.
And the last one a muted colour scheme of old pin stripe trousers, a glitter angora jumper (trust me it's glittery) that I once tried to unravel but that doesn't lend itself to unraveling (such jumpers exist), a leather belt and a zip.
Not sure which one I will do first. It depends a bit on the interfacing I will need and I don't have a lot of choice. Which colour combination do you like best?
Just as a little update here my son with his new recycled messenger bag.
But I also like to talk about a very sad creature that was given to me for repair. It's my friend's qiviut cowl that she got quite some time ago from her dad. Now, you will see at first sight that this is a creature close to death. On this one side there are 13 wholes (marked with blue circles). It's not as bad on the other side but still bad enough with wholes not only in the stocking stitch sections, but also in the lace bits. One wonders if it makes sense to do anything other than open it up and use it again, but, as it is in life, it's not always about practicalities or perfect beauty. So I will do my best and mend the patient. Let's start with opening up the top a couple of rounds to get some yarn for darning... I will let you know how it goes in my next post.
This time I have a men's jumper vintage pattern for you presented by a very young Roger Moore. Click on the image to download the pdf. For those of you who didn't know, though I'm sure hardcore vintage pattern fans know, he modeled knit wear quite often. This pattern must be from the early 1950s.
I've never been a fan of these types of collars. Very often the models look very uncomfortable in them. But this one I like because of the button detail. And Sir Roger doesn't seem to look too uncomfortable.
Have fun knitting ...
Now to what I have been up to in the last couple of weeks. I needed a birthday present for my son and I had this dark grey jumper made from boiled wool that I accidentally felted in the washing machine. It was a bit old and had a little hole in the front so no harm done by overzealous washing. I wasn’t particularly fazed. I thought a messenger bag would find favour with my son. I didn’t work to a particular pattern. It had to fit at least A4 so I set about figuring out with a tape measure how to get all necessary parts cut from the jumper, front and back, side and bottom panel, strap and the flap. I didn’t want to buy anything new so more things from the house were repurposed.
The bag lining is an old black linen skirt; the lining for the flap and the strap an old red cashmere mini-skirt; all reinforcements I made with an old roll of waist shaper iron-on that my mother once wanted to give away because she said she would not make waist bands anymore, I protested and kept it; the main zip is from an old black boot of mine; ...
... the small side pocket zip from said linen skirt; the cat charm on the main zip my son once found in a wooden box from a skip; and the strap sliders are from an old, tatty bag I bought from the Salvation Army shop. Charity shop acquisitions were allowed because they are second hand stuff.
I also needed electricity for the sewing machine and the iron (yeah, don’t forget you use energy while recycling, nothing much comes zero carbon) and of course some fabric glue, thread and the usual sewing tools. In short, I didn’t buy anything on the high street, I'm very pleased about that, though the day will come when new fabric glue and thread etc. need to be bought, of course.
My son was pretty chuffed, though perfectionist as he is, he allowed me to do some small corrections to do with the main zip. Don't look, you can't see it on the photos.
I thought today I offer a vintage knitting pattern for the summer, a Paton's and Beehive children's sun suit for 2 to 4 year-olds. The recommended colours are turquoise and white. A very beachy colour combination. I'm never so sure about woollen swim suits but given the weather we had so far it might not be the worst option this year.
Compelled by the recent weather I was in search for a bike seat cover. Plastic bags I absolutely hate. They don't look good on bikes. And given that they now cost money people should do better things with them than to use them as cover against the rain. But I had this broken umbrella and thought the cover will also look good on my bike seat. You don't need to do much. Just take the fabric off the spokes, put it on the seat and wind the velcro fastener once around under the seat and fasten. Okay, there is a whole in the middle, which you can sew together or leave for airing. In my case it's not very big so I left it. There are people who make skirts out of umbrella covers. My cover is a bit too small for that purpose ...
I use the little rings from bras as stitch markers. Saves money and you are sometimes in for interesting colours. Though, of course, they don't come along very often. You have to use the bra first and if you are a thrifty person like me you don't throw away your bras that quickly. I have accumulated quite a collection of different colours and sizes in plastic and metal. I'm a bit shocked how many bras I must have had over the years, also given that these rings have a tendency to disappear like safety pins.
Here another vintage jumper pattern with an unusual construction. It's from Needlewoman and Needlecraft No. 30 but was also published by Jane Waller in Knitting Fashions of the 1940s. The front is knitted in one piece with a straight centre panel and the two side panels being increased in the middle and decreased on the sides. I have not knitted this myself so can't say how difficult a pattern it is. If you fancy the pattern click on the picture above or go to the Free Vintage Patterns gallery. There are a few more pdfs.
I think I need to give updates on a few things.
I didn't sew in the sleeves of the Chevron jumper. I tried, I really did, but after about three hours trying I gave up due to mental exhaustion. I will try again but need to give this a bit of a rest.
So I picked another jumper from my pile of unfinished projects, and finished the Enchanted Mesa yesterday. I had put it away because I wasn't happy with how I had knitted the lower part of the body. Any which way I did it it didn't look nice. So, I opened the lower part up again on Saturday and did it exactly as described in the instructions. I'm happy now. I don't understand why I didn't like the instructed version in the first place. I apologise for the overexposed picture. Below my original schematic with my choice of colours.
I also got out the Jan Sweater (from Susan Crawford's A Stitch in Time 2) and sewed the shoulders. Just needs setting in the sleeves now. My pile of unfinished projects is gradually becoming smaller! Fantastic!
And...keeping Lent went well. I didn't feel it was particularly difficult not to eat sweet stuff during the week. I had some cravings, usually and very oddly at work in the mornings. And I have to admit I did do quite some binge eating on some Sundays. At first binging felt good and when I had stuffed myself I didn't feel that good anymore, which actually helped me to survive the upcoming week. I lost 4 kg and felt fantastic. I decided to continue after Easter which went well for the first week but then I got a surprise parcel with German sweets from my brother... Oh!?! I'm back on track now and I also go running again in the mornings. I really didn't like not being able to go running. I missed the exercise so much that I got a pair of support socks out with which I was able to run.
I love knitting vintage jumpers but my problem is that I rarely finish them. I have a love-hate relationship with finishing projects. I would love to have the finished item, but I, well almost hate finishing, well no, I just don't like it very much. And therefore a lot of unfinished projects have piled up. This Chevron jumper is a case in point. It's knitted but I haven't manage to sew the sleeves on. So, to force myself to get it done I will declare now to sew the sleeves on THIS Saturday.
The Chevron jumper is one of my favourite vintage jumper patterns because of it's construction. The body is knitted from the bottom up, the sleeves from the top down. I chose 4 ply alpaca yarn and knitted as closely according to pattern as possible. The main colour is Drops Alpaca in tomato (3900), the complimentary colour is Artesano 4 ply Alpaca in violet.
Click on the pattern picture at the top if you'd like a copy of the pattern, or see the pattern listed on the vintage pattern gallery. Viel Spass!
Here a little update on Funky. I finished the front. When my son first saw the front finished he said it looks like frogs flying in the air together. I love that. I don't know whether he would have said the same if the colour combination had not been greens and blues.
It's not blocked yet. Just laid it out to make a photo. It was a bit windy and sunny that day.
I've been working on the houndstooth pattern all week. I decided to use greens and blues from my stash of charity shop jumpers. Most I had already opened up, one more is now missing the collar, and then there is the light green vintage yarn on the right that I got in a charity shop. A friend of mine said the pattern looked funky. So now it's already got a name. At first I had chosen light blue as the main colour which made it look too funky. The light olive as main colour makes it a bit calmer. Although the yarn is lace weight the knitting is quite quick because it's all garter stitch. One the worst bits with seven live threads is coming up soon. Wish me luck!
I absolutely love houndstooth patterns. Well, when they are not black and white. I always find those bad on the eyes. Above the pattern of a skirt that I bought some time ago. It has a lot of different colours. I like this fabric so much that I got the skirt although it is too small. It's a maxi skirt, so enough fabric to make a skirt in a bigger size for myself. Erm, when I can bring myself to sew. Anyway, I love houndstooth patterns so much that I came up with a stitch pattern for a jumper this weekend. I made a little swatch today with some yarn from a stripy lambswool jumper that I unravelled years ago.
It's quite a thin yarn, but because it's knitted in garter stitch the resulting fabric is relatively thick and squishy. The lower border is about 20cm long. Off washing the swatch... and then thinking about colour combinations...
So, finally a new pattern from Recycle Knits. Knitted entirely in garter stitch with a three row repeat, which means both sides look the same. You don't need to stop and think, just put it on and you will look fabulous. Uurgh, I talk like a bad fashion magazine.
The instructions are written for two types of yarn: a merino yarn from Sparkleduck called Solo and a silk mohair, Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripes. The shade I used is called California Sunrise.
I hope you like it. I had great fun creating and knitting it.
I promised something knitted in green today. Unfortunately it's not happening due to a technical problem. Instead some tranquil pictures I took during the Christmas holidays in the Schillerwiesen (a park) in Göttingen. I had the most amazing time walking around in the snow. It was almost as if time had stood still.