Vintage Knitting, Retro Dressmaking, Make do and Mend, Original and Vintage Inspired Knitting Patterns, Vintage Inspired books

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lost in Music

I'm not able to show you the final photos of the design I've just completed for knitonthenet as its gone to be photographed as the next mag is live in the next fortnight.

I've renamed it 'Lost in Music' in tribute to my inspiration Sister Sledge. This is my original drawing

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She's my 70's disco chick.

I also took delivery today of this

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I've established a few words and there are quite a few charted designs. Only downside is there's no schematics but I think with a bit of work I might be able to work out the patterns.

I've spent the last couple of days fighting with my computer to stay online long enough to do anything. Apparently our 'hub' isn't working properly. Don't even know what a hub is! Actually managed to get my images transferred to flickr and uploaded onto Ravelry so my profile doesn't look quite as sad now.

for now

Ruby x

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A little update on dad

I'm very happy to say things could be a lot worse than it has turned out. There is a long road ahead but no where near as bad as I had been expecting. First step is sorting out the deterioration in his heart. An artery is furred up so he requires a by pass. Once that is done his general condition should improve a lot. The cancer is only slight (if that's an appropriate phrase) and as prostate cancer is extremely slow moving nothing is going to happen for the next three months to enable the heart to be dealt with and made stronger. I am hoping this means that there will be treatments available to him then that are not now due to the weakness of his heart.

So he went and bought my mum a car as she hasn't driven for way too long and has got her behind the wheel again. He's being very sensible and facing reality. Lets hope its just the first positive step of many.

for now
Ruby xx

Friday, July 27, 2007

Debbie Stoller in the UK

I Knit London is proud to present the First Official UK Stitch ‘n Bitch Day, sponsored by Knit on the Net.
Saturday 10th November 2007 at the Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury, London
9.30am to 4.30pm
A unique day for knitters, and the first official UK public appearance of Stitch ‘n Bitch founder, designer, author and knitting guru Debbie Stoller.
The event will host the official UK launch of the latest title in the phenomenal SnB series, “Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch” – with a book signing and personal appearance by Debbie Stoller, who will also hold both a workshop and talk on the day.
An eclectic line-up of other speakers, vendors and workshops are also being planned – more details coming soon!
  • vendors from the UK and overseas offering a vast range of yarn, needles, accessories and books
  • Jean Moss workshop
  • Brandon Mably will be knitting in colour
  • exhibitions – textile artists and charity projects on display
  • Knitting Lounge – an area for winding down, licenced bar and music from DJs The Shellac Sisters
  • Amy Lamé’s Pom-Pom International
  • The official UK launch of “Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch” with a booksigning by Debbie Stoller
  • fashion shows
  • workshops – designers and artists share their skills

I for one am really excited. And to top it all some of my designs are going to be displayed on the knitonthenet stand and there's going to be a 'Stitch in Time' fashion show where some of my knitting will also be showing.
My big disappointment though is, Debbie Stoller is here to launch her new book 'Son of a Stitch 'n Bitch' and I had intended to submit a design for it and DIDNT. Wouldn't it have been cool. If it teaches me anything its to try and make the most of any potential opportunity rather than find a reason (an excuse) why you can't manage it.

Piccys to follow tomorrow of 'Disco' (see previous blog). I feel this design is quite a departure from my 'normal' style which I'm quite pleased about. I think its good to explore different directions sometimes.

I'm having a bit of a photo crisis tonight as I can't get on to my photobucket account and I'm still trying to transfer photos onto flickr for my Ravelry profile. There's so much to do. Recording my stash could be a lifetimes work to be honest.

See you all tomorrow

for now
Ruby xx

Monday, July 23, 2007

Well, there's some good news and there's some bad news...

I'll start with the bad news and get it over with. My textured jacket has hit major problems and I'm going to have to have a real rethink about using the 'cross' stitch I chose. The problems really started when I started the raglan shaping on the centre back panel and realised, rather belatedly, that the two raglans did not have the same slope, in fact they were hideously different to each other. Obviously, (now its obvious!) it is because the stitch leans one way. I think I just didn't want to recognise there could be a problem earlier. So its back to the drawing board for a little while on that one.

In the meantime, however, a good friend and selfless knitter, has completed a different pattern I have been working on. It is worked in Rowan 4ply cotton in Aegean. It isn't completely finished yet but this is what we have up to now

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I'll show you sketches and the finished article later in the week. It really is lovely. Thank goodness, a Success.

To calm me down after intense frogging and fretting I did a little sock knitting, using some Regia (I think) sock yarn that I've had for a while

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nothing fancy on this one, just thoughtless stocking stitch rounds that I could do whilst watching Rutger Haur in the 1986 original of The Hitcher. Please don't watch the remake, watch this one. It stands the test of time so well and in a film about a serial killer you don't see a single murder except for one and no gratuitous blood and gore but it chills you.

And talking about Danish things, Iris G, led me to this wonderful book

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you can see a whole load more images on
Fleegle's blog It all looks just gorgeous. I am investigating purchasing possibilities as I type!

So I'm off now to brush up on my danish

for now
Ruby x

Friday, July 20, 2007

Slow progress all round

The rain hasn't stopped all day today. For those of you in the really badly affected areas I hope everyone is ok. I've also just heard there has been an earthquake in San Francisco. I hope everyone is alright there too.

As a result of the rain no building was done today. The extension was just beginning to look like a room yesterday but looks no different at all today.

My shoulder is SLOWLY improving but knitting time is still severely limited. For some reason any pattern that involves twisting stitches seems to cause me a lot more pain. I don't know whether I exert more tension on the needle when working these stitches or its the change of position that causes the problem but I certainly have to rest far sooner than normally. However, I have started working the raglan on the back of the Textured Jacket. Its quite deceiving as the raglan starts on the ribbed side panels knitted separately, making the back seem very long prior to commencing shaping.

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I have put a marker at the point where the armhole level is. I have decided the back neck width should be 6.5 inches which is 34 stitches. There are 78 stitches at armhole level so I have to lose 44 stitches, divided equally on either side of the raglan so 22 stitches on each side.

The remaining length of the back gives me 34 rows to do the decreases. I minused 22 from 34 which leaves 12 rows remaining. I therefore need to work a decrease on every other row 12 times and then on every row 10 times. (i.e. every other row 12 times = 24 rows, and every row 10 times = 10 so number of rows worked =34) I will then leave the remaining 34 stitches on a holder.

I was looking for something at the back of the wardrobe yesterday and out fell a very early sweater I designed many years ago in college.

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It is made in double knit pure wool and uses both cable and fairisle techniques. The shaping in the body is hidden in the diamond cables. The garment is also hemmed.

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The garment was based on an image I found of medieval tiling that had all faded from bright colours to sand & stone shades and had been worked into a mosaic. I used the fairisle panel to reflect this.

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I still think it is really lovely. However ... It no longer fits and I have lost the original pattern. Gone without a trace. What are people's opinions on this garment? Do you think it worth me trying to work out the pattern again? Does it fit with today's fashions? Is there anything I should change? I'm not 100% on the neck but not clear at this point what I would work in its place.

I'm off now to run my daughter to a Harry Potter launch party at our local library which goes on till midnight when the book arrives and is SOLD at the library. An interesting concept.

Hoping everyone is safe and dry

for now
Ruby x

Monday, July 16, 2007

Unexpected knitting

No 1

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This is the work of the amazing Giles Deacon featured again in Vogue. The knitting looks so organic and the model looks like awoodland elf. Again what size needles and what type of yarn has been used baffles and intrigues me.

Tonight has been frustrating. My shoulder is still bad and I just have to rest it when its likes this and it will pass. If I push it, it will be bad for ages. I've been doing some maths for the textured jacket and have altered the shaping slightly on the front shaping and should have the finished charts ready tomorrow night, but alas no knitting.

No 2

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I have finally got myself a copy of Debbie New's book Unexpected Knitting. It is quit amazing. She recommends covering a chapter a week familiarising yourself with the techniques she shows which include scribble lace, swirl knitting, virtual knitting, CELLULAR AUTOMATION knitting and OUROBORUS knitting. The last two are at the end of the book so please don't ask me what they are yet. I don't know if I'll manage a chapter a week but I shall show my progress on my blog.

And finally, I've got my page on Ravelry. Haven't got a lot on there yet as it requires a lot of time and organisation but I'll get there.

Getting pins and needles in my hand so am going to have to leave it there.

for now

night night, sleep tight,
mind the bud begs dont bite.

Ruby xx

Saturday, July 14, 2007

All kinds of everything...

I've made quite good progress on my Textured Jacket, despite ripping at least three times due to silly mistakes - slipping the stitch off the needle instead of knitting into it being the main offender. I am still having some issues with the facing but its beginning to come clearer. I'll share some of my ideas tomorrow hopefully.

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I've got the two side panels done to just below the armhole and the back to the same point. Its quite slow to knit but I'm really pleased with the result. However my shoulder and wrist have started to ache so I thought I'd have a bit of a break and during this break came across my oldest UFO which I'd forgotten all about

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This is Flora from Rowan book 35.

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As you can probably see I've already made some changes doing a deep ribbed three quarter sleeve instead of the original. Since first starting to knit this I've gone off it a bit but have no intention of ripping all that 4 ply knitting. The main reason I've gone off it, is that its too short in the body for a sweater for me. I also don't like the original neckline. So the plan is

I'm going to cut it open down the front and pick up in the yellow colour and turn it into a cardigan. I'm also going to do a little picot edge round the neckline to go with the hem. I've also still got both sleeves to finish but I think its about time its done, don't you? I've got nothing to lose as I'm not going to finish it as it is.

As I sat and knitted today I was also on tea making duty as the floor of our extension began to appear

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We're doing a lot of the work ourselves (the equivalent of the Royal 'we') to keep the costs down. Its really looking good. The bricklayer comes back next week and the walls really start rising then.

Last night I watched Le Hussard sur le toit (or Horseman on the Roof) starring Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez.

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Ms Binoche looked so beautiful

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as she always does. The film ends quite abruptly but I enjoyed it none the less. Juliette Binoche in Chocolat is one of my constant inspirations. It also turned my mind to Amelie which I watched yet again this afternoon and marvelled at both Audrey's beauty and also how well and how frequently frenchwomen wear knitwear. There are a life time of ideas in just one french film.

The sky is blue, there is a delicious gnocci just about ready to eat and my house is growing.

for now
Au Revoir
Ruby xx

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dad, House Martins, and SP10

Went a bit sluggish yesterday thinking about the prospect of today. I was taking dad to the hospital for biopsies and ultrasound. We had to be out of the house at 6am and got home about 5pm. It was a long day and we don't really know alot yet. It will be Friday of next week before we find out what decisions have been made and what action is to be taken. He's continuing to take it all in his stride.

Didn't get any knitting done as decided to take my mum to the Dee Estuary to watch the herons, swifts, swallows, & house martins all at play. It was fantastic watching them all. I've never seen so many house martins. I, of course, hadn't thought to take my camera with me as it hadn't seemed the most necessary thing to pack and to be honest I doubt if I would have caught the house martins on camera but I could have got the heron.

I have managed to take a photo of the wonderful things that Emma my secret pal sent me in her last parcel

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They are as follows:

A skein of Ocean Wind Knits 100% merino wool, hand dyed in Canada, a skein of Koigu KPM in a beautiful Teal Green sock weight, a skein of Malabrigo Kettle Dyed pure merino in a delicious plum/aubergine shade all from yarn shops across Toronto where Emma went on holiday.

Also THREE sets of DPNS - glorious, a set of colour coordinating stitch markers, colour coordinating embroidery threads AND a colour coordinating copy of Adorn magazine which I have wanted to get my hands on for ages but is not available in the UK. The pot at the back of the photo is a hatpin holder which could be used to hold needles, but the piece de resistance is a beautiful hatpin reflecting all the colours in the yarns. Just wonderful, all of it. Thank you so much Emma.

Its all getting technical tomorrow. I am working on the 'mitred facings' of the textured jacket

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so I'll show you the progress on this before moving up to the raglan shaping.

for now
Ruby xx

Monday, July 09, 2007

Talk about Big Wool

I have been working further on my Textured Jacket pattern but my notes and charts aren't yet in a fit state to put on the blog so I'll be working on those over the next couple of days to show you my design progress, raglan shaping and pattern writing.

In the meantime the August issue of British Vogue is out and I was intrigued by this sweater for Daks by Giles Deacon

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According to Vogue we should 'wrap up in giant stitches, waffle patterns and outsized scarves and ski jumpers: these extravagant knits are winter's way forward'.

Personally I can't decide. I think these oversized styles look great on tiny people but I'm not sure they work on a fuller figure. But I would love to see what needles were used to knit this one.

I received my final parcel off my wonderful SP, Emma. She has spoilt me quite spectacularly. I have been very, very lucky. I will photograph my beautiful gifts tomorrow evening . Its 10.30 pm already and I haven't got very far this evening at all. I Am going to go to bed with my Autumn/winter catwalk report and pretend I'm Vivienne Westwood.

for now

Ruby xx

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Can you dig it?

We have spent all day today digging out the 'floor' for our extension. We had to get through 18 inches of concrete and rubble which has been there since 1931 when the house was built. We finished about 5 minutes ago and in an hour there will be 8 people here for dinner! We have decided to opt for take away and have just counted our pennies and can just manage it!

I also have a blister on the inside of my right thumb so don't think will be able to do any knitting tonight, but where there's a will...

I will post properly tomorrow, but

for now
Ruby xx

p.s. the sky has actually been blue today. Fantastic.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Further developments on 50's jacket

I've been trying to blog for a couple of days but we've been having electrical problems which have messed up the availability of my internet connection. I tried blogging from my mobile phone today which I can apparently do, but when I read the blogger instructions - via my tiny screen on my phone it doesn't post directly to an existing blog - blogger creates a new blog and then you have to transfer from that blog to your own blog - FAR FAR too much trouble.

Enough of all that anyway, I had a great time at Woolfest, its a great show, just not enough time or enough money. The weather though was awful. We stayed in our caravan on the Friday and Saturday nights and I thought we were going to get washed down the hill. We had a number of leaks - one right on top of the cooker. It was a great excuse for sitting in and knitting all day Sunday though.

Have got some many different things to blog about but have been working hard on my 50's textured jacket. I have decided on a different stitch which I spotted in an old 1940's pattern book I have. It gives a lovely slanted cross-over.

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It is a 4 row pattern repeat over only 2 sts as follows:

Begin pattern with 1 row knit then:

Row 1(WS): purl
Row 2 (RS): K1, *Sl1, K1, pass slipped stitch back onto left hand needle and knit into the back of it (referred to as cross); rep from * to last st., K1.
Row 3: purl
Row 4: K2, *Sl1, K1, cross, rep from * to last st., K2.

This is what the jacket is going to look like.

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There are ribbed side panels and at the waist I have reduced the needle size down again to create a shaped waist without working decreases. The rib carries through onto the underside of the raglan sleeves. The sleeves are three quarter length with a ribbed cuff.

The jacket is hemmed and faced at centre fronts. I am putting a little fake breast pocket in as this was often a feature in 50's jackets.

I have sized it for the sample for a 40-42 inch chest - see the illustration below for my working schematic for the body pieces.

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Click on the sketch to take you to a larger image.

I haven't finished the sleeve yet but I'll show you that tomorrow.
I always take photocopies of my schematic before I start writing measurements on it and use it to start writing out the stitches on a seperate sheet. I'll show my dead, dead simple way of matching the raglans tomorrow when I have the diagrams ready. I've got to work my rib swatch tonight then I can calculate my pattern.

to be continued...

for now,
Ruby xxx