Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Cable stitch jumper-coat (1936)

Ladies and gentlemen, 
I'm very proud to show you the first knit of 2017 - or, that should be, 1937!

 As announced this lovely design comes from "The Needlewoman" No.171, November 1936.

In the pictures above you can quite see the real shade of the yarn. I'm sorry for the poor quality of the other snaps - I had to take them indoors and using flash because it was actually snowing outside :)

At first I didn't like the fit very much, so I decided to add a pair of small knitted shoulder pads.

This was a fairly economical project: it took less than 300 grams of 4ply wool - and oh well, don't forget the ten buttons ;)

Pattern details:
Width all round before armholes: 34 inches
 Length from top of the shoulder: 20 inches
Sleeve seam: 20, 5 inches
 Original yarn: Carter and Parker's 3ply "Wendy" Wool
 Tension: 7 stitches to 1 inch in width and 15 rows to 2 ins. in depth over pattern
 Needles: No.11 (3 mm) for the ribs and No.9 (3,75 mm) for the cable stitch and the garter stitch collar

Free pattern here

Lots of love,
Alida xx

Monday, 2 January 2017

In progress: The Blackberry cardigan (1947)

Welcome to the first post of 2017!
I am currently working on one of the cutest and funniest knits ever (in my opinion obviously!) ...guess what it might be!

Uh? o.O ... A bunch of pretty bobbles? Oh yes please!

Here it is:

^The original cardigan from "Woman's Weekly", 1947.

I already wrote about it a couple of months ago even if it was still just an idea back then, but I was terribly impatient to start it and couldn't wait anymore so... :D

^The yarn and buttons. Oh, I know I'm a lucky girl: this project didn't cost me anything at all because the yarn is a gift from a dear friend (who definitely knows me and my tastes very well!) while the old buttons come from grandma's treasure box (what would I do without her?! ^.^) - with light wool I always prefer darker buttons and I think these are the perfect finishing touch.

The back is over at last and I have to say the only annoying part is ribbing 124 stitches (124!) for 39 rows. Not that I don't like ribbed welts, they're just a bore to knit and take so much time...! On the other hand, I'm incredibly enjoying the blackberries:

Here's basically how they're made:

ROW 1 (right side facing): knit 5 stitches in the next stitch (=k1, p1, k1, p1, k1) twice.
ROW 2 (wrong side): knit.
ROW 3 (right side): purl veeery loosely.
ROW 4 (right side): knit 5 stitches together twice.

The 8 plain stitches between each couple of blackberries are simply in reversed stocking stitch (purl on right side rows, knit on wrong side rows).

While swatching my previous bobbly knits I tried and tested a lot of different techniques for bobbles in general, some written in the original patterns and others found here and there, and believe me this is maybe one of the easiest and most effective. I know that knitting five stitches at the same time might be frightening at first (it definitely was to me!!!) but it becomes really simple if just those five stitches are loose enough.  

^That maniac look...! Joey seemed to get seriously interested... XD

I hope I'll be back soon with the finished cardigan, which will be the first project of the new year.
Oh no no wait a minute, I almost forgot...

^See? Those are some of my favourite knits of 2016 and amog them... find the intruder!
I'll give you some clues: it is cabled, neck-tied and...


Yes yes the Cable stitch jumper-coat is sewn up, buttoned and coming soon!
As soon as I'll get some decent pictures, so watch this space :)


Alida xx

Friday, 16 December 2016

The "Fine wool in palest yellow" jumper (1949)

Hello everybody!!

Gosh, I should have sewn up and photographed this some three or four months ago, not now for sure...standing outdoors in a summer jersey right in December is nor such a great idea, at least not in the northern emisphere!

Nice pattern, isn't it? I soon fell in love with the pretty stitch and the boat neckline and it also looked fairly easy...oh, how wrong I was! Anyway if you want to give it a go, it comes from the June 1949 issue of Stitchcraft and you can download it here.

The jumper took almost five months to be completed - well, I knitted a couple of other woollies in the meanwhile since this one went on soooo slowly... I know, No.12 (2,5 mm) needles can never be the top of speed BUT...but, I promised to myself this is the first and last time I knit an entire jumper with them!

I used a high-quality superwash pure wool, Lana Gatto "Mignon" in shade tender yellow -  knits like 2 or 3ply even if it's actually a 4ply yarn, while the buttons come from a 1950's silk blouse that was beyond repair. The yarn is sold in 25 grams balls and it took about six in all (150 grams of wool).

The "Bramble" stitch is quite intricated but not impossible, even if for some reasons I found it incredibly boring and stressful. The back and front of the jumper are identical, both in T shape with extra stitches for the cap sleeves at each side.

Pattern details:

Bust: 34-36 inches (I would say 32-34)
Length: 21 inches from top of the shoulders
Original yarn: Patons Beehive Fingering 2ply
Tension: 9 stitches to an inch over reversed stocking-stitch


^^I know, Joey's tail can be incredibly eye-catching...^^

I made that cotton skirt back in April and have worn it several times during Summer. 
And by the way, the hair is the result of my very first "not so terrible" attempt at pin curls, although there's still a lot to be improved...

A snap with Joey ^.^

And that's all for now!! My other woolly, the lavender cardigan, is growing so I hope I'll be back very soon :)



Monday, 5 December 2016

****A lavender witchery...***

Hello everybody and happy December!! 
Wish you're all enjoying this merry month as much as I am! Well, I can't tell wether I'm more satisfied or tired right now, anyway I'm trying to squeeze out some extra time for the knitting front.

At the moment I am working on this utterly gorgeous design from "The Needlewoman" No.171, November 1936.
Quite differently from my usual huge bows and scarf-collars and so on, this one has just a small neck-tie... but such a cute, sophisticated neck-tie!!

"A splendid new design 
with a collar pointed at the back, tying in front.

This delightful cable stitch pattern is not difficult to knit and forms a most attractive jumper-jacket with a novel collar pointed at the back in garter stitch.

Glass buttons are a good finish."

^The yarn.
My favourite pure merino 4ply in a sweet lavender shade. Don't know about you, but I'm desperately crazy about this colour: any shade of lilac and violet especially dark is simply enchanting to me. I always think of when I was a little girl and pretended I was a witch (only pretended? I wouldn't be that sure!! ;), I had a thing for anything violet believing it an appropriately "witchy" colour... silly, isn't it?!

The original yarn is Carter and Parker's 3ply "Wendy "Wool; mine could turn out slightly thicker although the tension is the same: 7 stitches to one inch in width and 15 rows to 2 inches in depth over pattern.

^The buttons.
I chose darker, contrasting buttons with a touch of what looks very much like glitter, not sure if it actually is. Great for a party after all, don't ya think? ;) I was also terribly glad to hear they were unexpectedly cheap since sometimes ten buttons might cost even more than the wool itself! Anyway, I'm not looking forward to sewing them all up... uff!

^The back in progress.
Gorgeous stitch pattern, isn't it? Of great effect and really easy to remember, a simple regular cable with some lacy bits in between. It's growing fairly quickly too; I'm using No.8 (4 mm) needles instead of the recommended No.9 and it is heavenly, especially after my latest project and its No.12 needles!...Have I not told you that I just finished a new yellow jumper knitted with 2ply wool and teeny tiny needles?
Well, I have now! You're going to see it very soon so stay tuned! :)

Bye for now and lots of love,

Alida xx

Monday, 28 November 2016

The Chocolate jumper (1938)

  Hello lovely people!
Oh my, it's been quite a while since I last blogged about a finished project. You must know that I've actually kept myself quite busy and productive on that front, so in case you don't believe me just scroll down the page to see the proof! ;)


"This exceedingly attractive jumper is primarly designed 
for the woman who is just a trifle above the average in bust measurement 
(those scarf ends are a clever camouflage for this type of figure-difficulty).

Supplementary instructions are given, however, for bust 34-36 inches. 

The original model is dark brown with biscuit and brown striped scarf collar." 



I have to say that it knitted up really well and quietly. I made the "slightly over" version for 38-40 inches bust because I wanted a bit more ease than the usual 1930's snug-fitting jumpers (I normally knit the 34" bust size, hence the relaxed fit).
I used a 4ply pure merino wool instead of the original 2ply (maybe that's the reason why my holes look quite smaller than in the b/w pic?) and it took about 300 grams of chocolate and less than 50 grams in biscuit.
The jumper has a k1,p1 rib welt while the main body is knitted in a very simple "holes" stitch on a stockinette background; the scarf collar is in garter stitch with little contrasting stripes.



Pattern details:

Bust: 34-36 or 38-40 inches
Length: 19 inches
Sleeve seam: 20 inches
Original yarn: Paton's Super Scotch Fingering 2ply
Tension: 7 sts to the inch in pattern
Needles: No.10 for the rib and 8 for main stitch (I used 3mm and 3,5)

Free pattern here.


^The back of the jumper and - oh, look at my new shoesies! 
Bought them on sale and they also match the shade of the wool - incredible, eh?!

And about the skirt, it's handmade too. 
That fabric made me think of Chanel tweed suits from the 1950's, so I couldn't help stashing a couple of yards...



That's all for the moment but I have a brand new woolly on the go, so watch this space!

Alida xx 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Chocolate and biscuits!

Hello everybody!! Remember me????

Please forgive the lack of blogging, in the last weeks I've had so many things to do that my head was a complete mess and it still quite is, therefore I can't assure what I'm about to write will actually make a lot of sense...

On October 11th I turned 20 and first of all I'd like to show off some of the birthday gifts I was given on that merry day!!!!

***Present No.1***

^Some more magazines for my ever-growing collection!^
They're all from 1936 and 1937. Beautiful covers, don't you think?

***Present No.2***

^A couple of 78 records.^
Italian wartime swing songs... such lovely stuff! One is dated 1942, the other 1944.

***Present No.3***

And the favourite one!! 
Of course not a real telephone, just an old little wooden box... I really needed that, didn't I?!?!


Now, let's talk about the knitting front...

No-no-no please! Not another bow neckline!! Oh yes, my obsession wins again. 
This jumper from a 1938 Stitchcraft leaflet is what I'm currently working on - well, the front is almost over and I'm right at the end of the ribbed welt on the back so there's still quite a lot to be done ^.^ ...

The original is knitted in brown wool with a "biscuit" scarf - I was going for cherry and cream instead for a more "Miss Lemon" look, but when I saw all those pretty yarn balls staring at me in the shop I definitely changed my mind... I'd never thought a shade of brown could be so charming and elegant. So I decided for a chocolate and biscuit jumper, hence the post title... clever, eh?!?! ;)


Oh, and by the way, about the biscuit - I mean the light yarn... I really love that creamy shade, so much that you're gonna see it again in another woolly.
Remember my summer dress? I thought it would be nice paired with a matching cardigan for cooler days, and here's the one I've chosen:

"In blackberry stitch" was originally published in 1947 by Woman's Weekly and it also features in Susan Crawford's "A Stitch in Time" vol.1. 
Gorgeous, isn't it?! Especially if you're anything like me, addicted to knitted bobbles/blackberries/etc... ^.^ 
I've already made a gauge swatch and it seems quite fine, so it's just a matter of time!

Hope I'll be back sooner or later with a finished item! 
Wish me good luck ;)

Lots of love,

Ali xx