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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Off to Yarndale!

The first stage of an exciting few weeks of travelling hither and thither begins today with the short trip to Skipton to run my stand at the new Yarndale event that's taking place this weekend.

I've got lots of new and different things on sale on the stand including gorgeous yarns from Juno FibreArts who I'm also working very closely with on a top secret yarn for the Vintage Shetland Project (at this point, I can't say any more than that!) and a big stash of Jamieson & Smith Shetland wools to choose from too.

If you've been thinking of  Blouse with a Gathered Neckline or Dark Red Pretties do come and take a look at the beautiful Lace Weight yarn I have had specially dyed in my own colourway by Juno to match these two iconic garments.

Or would you love that top that Jennie wore on the Call the Midwife series - otherwise known as Ladys Evening Jumper?

Well Juno has also recreated the colour so that now you can.

I also have small amounts of lots and lots of Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight yarn which as you all know can be used for so so many of the projects in all my books so why not make yourself that Such Flattering Puff Sleeves or a Bubble Stitch Yoke?

I've now also finally got exactly the right bright red yarn to knit Sun Ray Ribbing in a gorgeous Alpaca blend.

I've also got a small selection of Jamieson & Smith 2 ply lace which is perfect for vintage knitting. And of course, I have the Wartime Farm kits in Jamieson & Smith too. The Excelana kits are currently sold out I'm afraid (although they will be back in stock in a few weeks) but we do still have some of the original Jamieson & Smith colourway left.

In addition to all that, I will be launching a new design at Yarndale in advance of anywhere else. The pattern uses only 2 balls of Excelana DK (1 ball each in two colours) and features a colour work pattern inspired by Faroese patterns published in the late 1920s. Here's a little peek!

If you can't make Yarndale the pattern will be available from the website and ravelry on Monday. A small selection of patterns from Volumes one and two will also be available at the show and will then be launched as PDFs single patterns very soon!

So in the meantime, I look forward to seeing some of you at stand 144 this weekend and I'll be back next week with a lot more news about pattern releases, yarns etc, etc!

for now,
Ruby xx

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Competition Winner!

And the winner is Mariela! Congratulations you have won a copy of Jean's fabulous new book. I'll be in touch for your details, or if you see this post please email me with your address and I'll forward it the publishers who will send out your copy directly.

Best wishes
Ruby xx

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Knitting's Golden Age

Some of you may remember that last October I headed off to Boscombe with a very brave, Miss Fleur McGuerr to take part in some filming for a BBC documentary. You can read all about the day's filming on my blog here

At the time the documentary didn't have a name and we didn't know when it would be scheduled to air. Well I'm delighted to say that the day has come and at 9pm this evening on BBC 4 the first in the series of documentaries entitled Fabric of Britain will hit our screens. This first episode is titled "Knitting's Golden Age" and Fleur, myself and The Call of the Sea swimsuit all appear along with such luminaries as Sandy Black and Kaffe Fassett - although neither of these appear in a knitted swimsuit!

If you are able to please do watch. The documentary's produced, Georgina, will hopefully letting me know how viewers from the US and other countries will also be able to view in the near future.

To celebrate the Knitted Swimsuit Project page on the website will be 'properly' open a little later today and a number of swimsuit patterns including The Call of the Sea, A Dashing Little Swimsuit and more are now available as single PDF patterns for the first time. I haven't been able to merge three patterns into one as I had originally hoped and mentioned in an earlier blog post as they are basically just too big but hopefully the thoroughness of the patterns will make up for that! In the hope that someone may like the outfit I wore for the shoot, The Princess Twinset and Crowning Glory beret patterns will also be available as single pattern downloads for the first time too. Yarn kits for The Call of the Sea featuring Coquette will also be available.

I hope everyone enjoys the show and that everyone is inspired to knit their own knitted swimsuit!

for now,
Ruby xx

Monday, September 16, 2013

Great Little Gifts to Knit Giveaway

The lovely and as I have mentioned before, greatly influential, Jean Moss, has once again very kindly offered a copy of her latest book to readers of this blog. “Great Little Gifts to Knit” is in Jean’s own words ‘totally new ground’ for her and akin to ‘an unknown voyage of discovery’. 
 This may be, but the book is quintessential Jean, with clever, witty, well designed knitted gifts to make for every occasion. Here are a few which just say Jean to me in big bold colourful letters:

The Jubilee Jacket and Hat is very reminiscent of World Knits

 Fiesta Shrug - vintage Jean at her best with clever colour and stitch combining worked over a simple shape


Wensleydale Tea Cosy - a great excuse for Jean to let loose her incredible knack for putting together a fabulous array of colours


and finally the Odalisque Turban and Hat - much more vintage in style and ‘inspired by the louche and lanquid odalisques in the paintings of Matisse’.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book, take a  look through all the projects in the book in the photo gallery on Jean’s website then come back to my blog and leave a comment telling me which pattern you like the most. I’ll choose the winner this time next week but in the meantime if you would rather purchase the book and get casting on right away you can buy it from amazon as well as other book and yarn shops.

If you would like more chances of winning why not call on some of these other marvellous people who will be taking part in Jean’s book tour over the next couple of weeks:

Tues 17 Sep    Zeneedle Margene Smith
Wed 18 Sep    Redshirt Knitting Erika Barcott
Thur 19 Sep   A Friend to Knit With Leslie Friend
Fri 20 Sep      Craft Sanity Jennifer Ackerman Haywood
Mon 23 Sep   Connieleneknits Connie Lene
Tues 24 Sep   Knitsofacto Annie Cholewa
Wed 25 Sep   Ulla Bella Anita Tormoen
Thur 26 Sep  A Really Good Yarn Julie Schilthuis
Fri 27 Sep     Urban Yarns Alexa Ludeman
Sat 28 Sep     Linda Marveng  Linda Marveng
Mon 30 Sep  Yarnings Jen

Good Luck!
for now,
Ruby xx

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blanche Too

I have wanted to revisit and improve my Blanche design from several years ago, for some considerable time. Time constraints being what they are however,  I didn't get the chance for over four years to come back to one of favourite ever designs and improve and expand the pattern. The original design was also in an aran weight yarn but now it is knitted in Excelana DK making it a perfect every day jumper. Knitted in stocking stitch it is the shaping and details that make this garment really special. The instructions now include 9 sizes from 30 inch to 52 inch chest and has full instructions to knit Blanche either in flat pieces or in the round.

And so here she is -

I have used Excelana DK in Persian Grey for the sample. Charlie is modelling the size 34 inch (86cm) - her correct size. It is designed to be worn with between 1 and 3 inches of negative ease at the bust to give it a perfectly sculpted 1950s feel to the garment. The ear-rings, necklace and bracelet are all 1950s originals and the gorgeous checked pencil skirt is hand made.

The square neckline is extremely flattering for all body shapes as are the short-but-not-too-short sleeves.

The body is shaped with subtle decreases and increases to create waist shaping again reminiscent of the 1950s.

This example is knitted in the round and is a real pleasure to knit particularly when taking a break from more challenging projects. You can easily knit Blanche up within a couple of weeks and be wearing her before the end of September.

It looks great on both a slim or more full silhouette as you can see here with me modelling my own version in Nile Green Excelana. This version is knitted flat and then sewn together. It is the size 42-44 inch which comes out at 41 inches.

If you would like to purchase the PDF pattern you can buy the pattern either directly from ravelry
via my website

The pattern containing 9 sizes and instructions for both knitting in the round or flat construction is £4 (please note this is for a downloadable PDF pattern only) and here are all the bits you need to know:


To fit bust size: 
76, 81, 86, 91-96, 101, 107-112, 117, 122, 127-132 cm
30, 32, 34, 36-38, 40, 42-44, 46, 48, 50-52 inches

Excelana Luxury DK, 100% pure new British wool, 119m (130yd) per 50g ball
4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9) balls in shade Persian Grey
Stitch Holders
Stitch Markers


If knitted flat:
1 pair 3.25mm (US 3) needles
1 pair 4mm (US 6) needles, plus an additional spare 4mm needle
1 4mm 60cm circular needle

If knitted in the round:
1 3.25mm 60cm long circular needle
1 4mm 60cm long circular needle plus an additional spare 4mm needle
Set of 3.25mm double pointed needles
Set of 4mm double pointed needles

(PDF download)

I do hope you like her.

for now,
Ruby xxx