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

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lots of vintage goodies

I went to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show at the weekend. There weren't as many yarn stalls there as I would have liked, Rowan weren't there at all which was very disappointing, and I missed the one stall selling the latest Rebecca mag and they had shut by the time I found them, BUT...

I got some fantastic vintage patterns. The first one is this Simplicity pattern, which is just a wonderfully wearable simple dress.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proportions are lovely, you could add sleeves, you could reverse the neckline and have a v neck front. So versatile.

The next on is this fantastic 'Slenderette' dress suit. The green dress in the centre is just perfect. Think will make this one exactly as is.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The third pattern is a skirt suit with amazing shaping on the jacket and is a Vogue Couturier design original. For just a skirt and jacket there are 16 pieces to the pattern. I love the hat in the illustration as well, but don't think I'll be wearing one.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And my favorite is this beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful, lovely Simplicity dress pattern

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The scoop neck front is the one for me. The description on the pattern reads: Misses' one-piece dress with detachable cummerbund. Bodice styled with a box pleat at center front, small tucks on each side of pleat and sleeves cut in one with bodice. Full skirt is gathered, with version having a low neckline trimmed with a band that ties at center front. It requires 5 and a half yards of fabric.

I also bought three lots of fabric which I will TRY and photograph. I am still failing miserably to even get colours looking anything like reality. I would really like to invest in some lighting but not got the money right now.

I also found this Stitchcraft from November 1950 and fell in love with this jacket on the back cover.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The original was made using Patons Beehive DK yarn and 4mm needles with a standard double knit tension. Have a large stock of Jo Sharp DK wool that could come in very handy.

My other pattern purchase was the Crochet me book by Kim Werker published by Interweave press

There are quite a few designs in it that I really like including 'mesmerize' sweater, 'Victorian Wrap' and this one 'i'm a convert' sweater. Love this one.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Have my Sloppy Joe making up instructions written up but still waiting for good enough photos I'm afraid, but will be on their way soon.

The next issue of knitonthenet is out next week. Looking forward to showing my designs. I've done my first sock pattern using Natural Dye Studio yarn. It was a joy to knit with. It runs through your fingers like a dream and is soft yet strong (like the loo paper).

Will be back soon with more,

but for now
Ruby xx

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sick of the weather

Have tried unsuccessfully to get some good useable photos of Sloppy Joe but the lack of light is causing me a lot of problems. Have noticed when blog reading that everyone's having the same problem. It really is just so dark and dismal. I am going to have another go again today. I also have finished projects from members of TLC to show aswell. Trying to photograph them last night was a complete disaster. Their first finished garments and they look great. Can't wait to show them. In the meantime have you seen this incredible fashion shoot of Giles Deacon's work in Wonderland magazine.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It has become a fabulous art installation. Love/hate?

Hope to see you tomorrow with some photos of my own.

for now
Ruby xxx

Monday, November 19, 2007

Internet problems

I've been trying to fix my blog according to internet explorer 6. I didn't realise there was a problem as I use Firefox so found out unexpectedly that my blog looks wrong on explorer 6. All my links to free patterns, online groups etc were all at the bottom of the page - next to the first post of each month. Which means most people probably never see them if they are just reading the latest post.

This all came about whilst discussing the forthcoming NEW website with the website designer (my beloved). Some techy stuff which I don't profess to understand was being explained and lo and behold the blog was viewed on explorer and the problem revealed itself. The complexities and differences between systems leaves me baffled.

Anyway the blog is fixed now and here is a little sneaky preview of my new homepage

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And this is the navigator bar. Don't you just love the cutting line and scissors.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Its just so lovely. Its been great to be able to say, I'ld like this and I'ld like that and everything I designed on paper or asked for is there. Extra links and pages are already being built in so I can add my dresses to it when I'm ready, ready made knitwear and 'sewing patterns'. These are going to take a bit of working on but I will get there.

I was so excited to see my designs all displayed at the Stitch 'n Bitch day. Here's a photo of a section of the knitonthenet stand with Lost in Music, Angora hearts cardigan, retro cloche and Unshaped shrug all in shot.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And as this little beauty has now been on public display I can show you the Frilly Jumper from 'A Stitch in Time' in all her glory.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The garment is made in Habu natural dyed 'Kusaki Zome' Silk and the frills are edged in Habu A-20 Stainless Steel. I just love the idea of using the natural silk with the man made steel and I've finally got something to show on the Habu KAL

I'm going to start posting tomorrow on finishing off Sloppy Joe from Rowan Studio 6.
I'll be starting with the short row shaping for the shoulders and picking up the stitches for the deep V neck.

but for now
Ruby xxx

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where does the time go?

Yet another week (and a bit) have passed without the chance to write up my blog. There really has been so much to do I'm meeting myself coming back. In addition, my daughter has started her mock GCSE's and needs someone to help with revision. My french and spanish accents are dramatically improving even though I don't really understand what I'm saying. I'm sure she'll do well despite her constant worrying.

I received two early christmas pressies from my beloved this week. The first is the book of the exhibition at the V&A (Victoria & Albert) 'The Golden Age of Couture' Paris and London 1947-1957

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It is a beautiful book with a very detailed history of the era with particular reference (obviously) to Christian Dior and Balenciaga. Every garment in it is as contemporary today as it was then.

Then to follow on with my couture experience an equally wonderful book

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

which is a fabulous techniques book aimed at the home dressmaker. For example there are eight different buttonhole techniques:

two colour

It really is fantastic.

At the weekend I met my lovely ex-secret pal, Emma, and had a lovely if far too brief conversation. I look forward to seeing you again Emma.

It was lovely to see my designs for knitonthenet displayed at the Stitch 'n Bitch Day and it reminded me that first and foremost I am a fashion designer. There was a definate cohesion amongst the designs and it was great to get feedback on people's opinions of them. It was also very complimentary but VERY scary, to be told there was a fashion designer asking if they could take photographs of my work. They were politely declined. There is no such thing as a truly original design anymore but I can't think of any reason why a fellow designer would want photographs of my work unless they were thinking of copying it. It has happened before and its a horrible feeling. Maybe I'm being too suspicious but...

I am absolutely, 100% definately, going to post within the week this time, I'm determined.

but, for now,

Ruby xxx

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

knitonthenet group on ravelry

I have set up a ravelry group for knitonthenet fans. There seems to be a group for everyone else so knitonthenet have got one now. If you're on ravelry do come along and join me there!
I've never hosted a group before. Does it make me important? Don't think so somehow.

Two things got me thinking about Kim Hargreaves' influence on my knitting over the last few days. I received a copy of Heartfelt, Kim's new book of patterns.

And I took Rowan book 26 off my bookshelf on Sunday night, looking for something, and went through the book page by page. Before reading any information I knew the name of the designer of each and every pattern! We're on book 42 now so that's EIGHT years ago and I still knew who had designed what. And of course, the majority of the designs were Kim's. And it dawned on me that I have knitted more designs by Kim Hargreaves than by anyone else other than myself. In fact, I've knitted so many I've lost track. I've knitted Core three times. I noticed that Jane over at Yarnstorm had also listed Kim as a major influence and I'm sure she's influenced many more people.

So back to her new book. I just love it. Its everything I love about Kim's work. Design pared down, with beautifully thought out detail. The colour palette and design of the book itself are lovely too. Thank you Kim.

My eight year old niece has also taken up knitting. Her school has actually started an after school knitting club. Fantastic. Here she is working very hard.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

She couldn't put her knitting down when she came to visit and went out with grandma who bought her some more needles and yarn.

On a personal knitting front I've been helping getting everything ready for the Stitch 'n Bitch day on Saturday, so haven't got a lot to show right now, but if you are going to the show there are going to be some beautiful garments on display and a preview of the next issue. There are also going to be hard copies of the patterns available if any one wants a 'proper' version, and I've just got my lovely new business cards back from the printers which will be available to take away!

but for now,

Ruby xx