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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Who she was and a new design

Well, the time has come to reveal who my mystery visitor was. Was it Ysolda? No. Was it Lucy Neatby? Again, no. Was it even Kate Nash (who on Jools Holland last week had gone very retro)? Yet again, no. It was in fact, as several of you guessed, my lovely friend Woolly Wormhead. When Woolly came to visit at the end of March we thought it would be fun to do the full on retro glam treatment to see just how different she might look. I think she enjoyed the change for a short while but was keen to get back to being herself.

I shall pick at random from the names of people who identified Woolly as the mystery visitor and I shall send one person some 'woolly' goodies.

I have released a new design today, from the Vintage Gifts to Knit collection, called Town and City Tufted Cape.

Tufted cape 5

It was photographed in Edinburgh when I went with Charlie to sort out her university lodgings. It is knitted in Biggan Design First Cross Merino 8 ply, which is a standard DK yarn, in a soft sage shade of green with a black edging. It has a very 1950s feel to the design, however the construction is more modern. Knitted from the neck down in three pieces using 5mm needles, the tufted pattern makes the increases for you rather than extra shaping having to be worked. Once the three pieces have been worked the edging is picked up across all three pieces together and worked in one piece. Because of the shape of the cape it is very accommodating to different sizes and although slightly shorter and more open on me than Charlie I could wear the same cape if I wanted to. The pattern explains how to make a longer length cape too if you prefer.

tufted cape 2

The pattern covers sizes 30-52 inches and is available as a PDF download for £3.00 from here or from ravelry or comes as part of the Vintage Gifts to Knit book which is currently available to pre order from the knitonthenet shop for £14.00 with free packaging and postage or as an ebook for £10 from the shop or again from ravelry.

tufted cape 1

The gloves are from a vintage shop in Camden. I got them about four years ago and they are one of the best things I ever bought, I wear them so often and the little hat is from Hope House Costume Museum in Derbyshire, run by the wonderful Nottie and supported by her equally lovely friend Pat.

I do hope you like this simple little cape. I get so involved with each design that they become so important to me and the releasing of a design is quite a scary feeling as a result. Just like your children, you want everyone to like them!

Anyway, for now
Ruby xxx

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guess Who?

Whoops, did it again. Hit return from the title and it publishes the post! My apologies if you came to the blog to find an empty post.

With lots of secret knitting and lots of pattern checking on the go, I thought I would have a little competition. There will be a little knitting related prize to the first name out of the hat on Friday to have guessed the name of this 'mystery' knitting person.

mystery woman

Enter by leaving your guess in the comments please - and please sign in to blogger so I can send you an email back if you've won.

ETA. I think some clues may be needed:

This person is in disguise!
She is a fellow knitwear designer
And although this hair do is striking, its not the one she's known for!

Good luck

for now
Ruby xxx

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stitch in Time Vol 2 mini preview

As I mentioned in my last post, we held a little fashion show at the Make, Do and Knit event. The models all volunteered their time and did a wonderful job, getting changed in little more than a cupboard and doing it very quickly.

The first preview garment is this quite formal and very elegant jumper. The body sections are knitted in different directions in rib and then dramatic pleats are added at the wrist and around the neck creating almost victorian ruffles. This jumper is from the early 1930s and I have used Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper yarn for this one.

susan Crawford,A Stitch in Time Vol 2,vintage knitting

Image courtesy Sam Sloan Photography

The whole garment is very dramatic and severe but very flattering.

This next jumper is also predominantly knitted in a rib stitch - as so many were in the 1930s - but has a really interesting bobble stitch worked at the sides of the garment. The sleeves are ribbed and the neck is a boat or slash neck. Other than mastering the bobbles this is a very simple knit with very little shaping, relying on negative ease and the ribbing to create the fit. I have used a 4ply cashmere and merino mix for this one with a slight marl in the yarn to add textural interest.

Susan Crawford,Stitch in Time Vol 2,vintage knitting

Image courtesy Sam Sloan Photography

Moving forward, is this delightful little jumper from the 1940s. Incredibly easy to knit with decorative ruched stripes of 'ribbon' effect colours across the body. Little bows are added afterwards. There is an opening at the back neck with contrasting buttons. The pretty puffed sleeves are helped with small sleeve pads knitted and sewn in place. I have used a 4 ply merino yarn from Biggan Design for this one, which is due for release shortly I believe.

Susan Crawford,Stitch in Time Vol 2,vintage knitting

Image courtesy Sam Sloan Photography

I have used the yarn for this next one before. This is Posh Yarns, cashmere and silk mix which was used for the 1930s cami bockers in Volume 1 - there was still enough left to knit this absolute wisp of a jumper. I really wanted to try a jumper in a very fine weight yarn. The original pattern is actually for a one ply yarn and although this yarn is more of a 2 ply it is still the lightest, most delicate thing you have ever seen. It also knits up surprisingly quickly. It has dainty picot edges on the sleeves and neckband and a pretty bow knitted separately and then sewn in place. It also has a back neck opening. The little knot stitch worked on the main body and sleeves stops the knitting process being boring. I just love this one, I really do. The whole thing weighs practically nothing!

Susan Crawford,Stitch in Time Vol 2,vintage knitting

Image courtesy Sam Sloan Photography
Moving on to the 1950s, no collection from this period would be complete without a simple crew neck cardigan. This cardigan is knitted in Jamieson and Smith lace weight yarn and is the perfect spring cardigan. The front panels provide interest whilst knitting and is a very simple knit.

Susan Crawford,Stitch in Time Vol 2,vintage knitting

Image courtesy Sam Sloan Photography

Unfortunately, I've only really got this one photo of the cardi but hopefully you can see enough of it. Its one of those that you'll need in 6 different colours!

So finally, on to full on 1950s glamour. This top is knitted in Knitshop mulberry silk which is a thick 4 ply and the garment still came out tiny, really tiny. The waistband is knitted separately and sewn to the body and then a zip is sewn into the side where the waistband ties. If you knit this one, don't try and do it without the zip - you won't get into it! The flattering neckline compliments the wearer and the decorative cuff adds glamorous detail to the wrist. The black edging and bows are crocheted - the bows are sewn on at the end. The knitting is actually quite straight forward again but cleverly constructed to create that real 50s shape. Time to get out the waspie!

Susan Crawford,Stitch in Time Vol 2,vintage knitting

Image courtesy Sam Sloan Photography

I hope you have enjoyed this little taster of what is to come. I love every single one of them, and have been delighted how amazingly well they suit and flatter everyone who tries them on. But for now, back to the knitting.

Ruby xxx

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Just a quickie to say Hello!

It has been a chaotic few weeks leading up to and then running the Make, Do and Knit event in Liverpool. Despite a few secret, last minute hiccups the event itself went extremely smoothly and everyone seemed to have a great time. Since then, catching up has been SO time consuming. There are so many things you don't realise you are leaving till 'later' when you have something of this scale to organise. And then when its all over they all come back to haunt you!

I will have photos of the event to post and most importantly some of the first designs to go public from A Stitch in Time, Volume II. Vintage Gifts to Knit is almost ready for despatch too, so things are beginning to happen. The images and patterns from the booklet will be ready for a reveal shortly too.

I am off to Edinburgh tomorrow with my daughter. She has been accepted by Edinburgh College of Art to study a BA in Film, so we are off to look at accommodation. She (and I) are so excited. Edinburgh is the college she has been hoping for and its fabulous it has come to be. Look out for lots of photoshoots suddenly coming from Scotland as I follow my model and muse across the border!

In the meantime I will leave you with a little tease from one of the garments from A Stitch in Time, Vol II!

for now
Ruby xxx

vintage knitting,susancrawford,a stitch in time vol 2