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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What do Cath Kidston, Ysolda, Selvedge & buttons

... have in common?

Answer: They are all in this post.

I have been waiting to tell you about a visitor to my stand at IKnit but was waiting for the photos to be available. Well now they are. Ysolda Teague came and spent some time with me and we had a great time dressing her in garments from A Stitch in Time and discovered that the first garment she knitted was from the original Stitch in Time and was Such Flattering Puff Sleeves.

Such flattering puff sleeves

This is also shown on Ysolda's blog. Funnily enough I finished sewing yet another of these sweaters at the IKnit show to wear for an evening out whilst I was in London. This is the end result.

lemon flattering puff sleeves

I knitted the second size, but again played with the fit to suit my excessively narrow shoulders and much preferred the fit as a result. I kept the length short and have added some pleated interfacing to the 'puff' to provide some structure and shape. It was a technique used a lot in the 40s in both knitted and woven garments to add structure. I'll show how its done in another post. I used RYC Cashsoft which is much softer than the recommended Jamieson & Smith so doesn't have as much natural support from the fabric itself so needs that little bit of help.

I haven't as yet got the full details, but I am hosting a very exciting evening in Liverpool on October 20th. I have been asked by the Cath Kidston store in Liverpool to present an evening of vintage knitwear alongside their Autumn/Winter 2009 clothing range. We are having a fashion show, presentation, enormous quantities of tea and cup cakes, followed by a chance to mingle and knit. It is a ticket only event but I should have full details of that side of things by the end of the week. The knitted garments will all be from A Stitch in Time and I am styling them for the fashion show with the lovely vintage inspired pieces from Cath Kidston. I'm so excited about this event as I am a big fan of everything Cath Kidston does and it is hopefully only the first in a number of collaborative events that we will be doing.

If this wasn't enough for me to cope with, I have a small article in the latest issue of Selvedge (Issue 30).


It is their 'Guiding Hands' piece and explains what to look out for when buying vintage knitting patterns. I am so proud to be included in this magazine and plan to order the free rosette you can get as a contributor. (Is that very sad? I don't think so?) I think its a little late coming out so is only beginning to appear in shops this week.

So what can top all of this? Well, after yarn there's only one thing for me and that's buttons - vintage buttons. On Sunday I went to the Vintage Textile Fair at the Armitage Centre in Manchester. It only takes place twice a year but it is a great fair.
I bought A LOT of buttons. Many of them are destined for pieces in A Stitch in Time Vol 2, but some are also for personal projects.


This first group are plastics from the 1930s to the 1950s.


This more varied group are predominantly plastics from 1930s to 1950s with one set of horn buttons. The red, white and blue buttons are coronation ware and I would really like a way to fit these into Stitch in Time 2.


The black buttons in this group are glass - the larger ones from the 1950s, the tiny ones from between 1890 and 1920. The third button is hand painted mother of pearl from around 1900


This last bunch are a mixture from 1940s to 1970s in plastic.

art deco buckle

This beautiful art deco buckle was a gift off the lovely Maureen who I buy most of my buttons from. This needs something very special but I amundecided whether it will be a sewn or knitted garment.

And finally, I've been playing with a beret/tam to complement my flattering puff sleeves. I'm using leftovers from the sweater itself, a spare ball of Jaeger Matchmaker 4 ply in charcoal, and the lovely lighter grey from Jamieson & Smith.


I'm designing this organically - making it up as I go along! Its knitted in the round from the brim up in traditional manner, however I have tinkered with the increasing but I'm really pleased with it up to now. The increases are usually done on one row shortly after completing the ribbing, but I've increased more gradually to alter the shape slightly. We shall see! I've got to start working the crown next which might need a little forward planning. I haven't completely decided yet what is going to be the centre but I have a few ideas to choose from.


Phew, so for now,

Ruby xx

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Behind The Times

Impressively, I managed to prepare a blog post about a fortnight ago and then didn't get it quite finished. It remained unposted and is now unfortunately obsolete.

Since I last posted we have managed to get back to work to some degree and were able to have our stall at the I Knit Weekender. I had a great time, meeting lots of lovely knitting folks and signing books. I also gave a talk on why I love vintage knitting which people seemed to enjoy and also ran my Make Do and Mend workshop for the first time. This is a workshop I would really like to do a lot more of. I'm certainly hoping to do a lot more workshops in the future so watch this space! I even managed to say hello to the lovely Alice Starmore, who was very sweet.

I've managed to do a fair bit of knitting but I've only one to share today. When travelling down to Fibrefest in Devon a few weeks ago I started work on a gauntlet design that would be easy to knit whilst travelling. The gauntlets are knitted side to side in garter stitch with short row shaping for the wrist, cuff and thumb. A provisional cast on is worked, so that grafting together of two garter stitch rows can be worked giving a completely seamless glove.


I used Jamieson & Smith Shetland Aran which is really, really lovely to work with, and used two balls in total plus a small amount of a contrast colour for the edging which is worked with a simple double crochet row. The buttons are vintage and I used three different pairs, one on each gauntlet.

lady's gauntlet2

And the model is my lovely Charlie - of course!

lady's gauntlet3

I've managed to set up my Ravelry shop (which believe me is quite an achievement for me) and the pattern can be purchased as a pdf download for £2.75 by following the link above.

I've also made up some kits all using different vintage buttons and the Jamieson & Smith yarn but I haven't got those online yet. I'm determined to make this working from home/full time self employment work!

Mum is making slow but steady progress. Her sight hasn't as yet improved unfortunately but she is beginning to pick up words that we say here and there and seems a lot brighter in herself. I'm so grateful for all the support I have received from so many people and I hope one day she will be well enough for me to explain to her just how wonderful everyone has been. Thank you once again.

I have a lot more to show but will leave it at that for today as I have to drive Charlie to a concert in Manchester shortly and hope to see "Julie & Julia" while we wait. So much more to share but

for now
Ruby xxx