Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Simple Shift

After a rousing game of Running-from-Mommy-while-she-tries-to-take-my-picture-is-hilarious, my dress model finally settled down enough for me to get a few shots of this FO.

I mentioned this project only once before. It's actually been finished for over a month now, and Sophie's already worn it a couple of times.

The Details:
  • Started: May 12, 2008
  • Completed: June 10?ish?, 2008
  • Pattern: I modified Butterick pattern #B4118 (which you can see in the link above) from a top to dress.
  • Size: 3 (Which any of you who sew know, pattern sizes don't coincide with ready to wear sizes). Sophie has a narrow chest, but is also tall for her age. So whenever I sew for her, I usually have to blend the width of a smaller size with the length of a bigger size.
  • Fabric: A blue and white pin striped cotton that's been in my stash for so long I don't remember where or when I got it. It feels good to use up the stash. =)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

From The Archives

Today's post is from an idea that's been floating around my head for some time now. Anyone who's even remotely active in the online knitting community knows that like most areas of human culture, knitting has it's fads, it's "it" projects. Things that everyone and their sister are knitting/have knit, projects that are showing up on blogs world-wide. A perfect example of this is Clapotis, which on Ravelry alone, has 6,662 projects, with another 3,625 people who intend to make it in the future. And how about Jaywalker, Fetching, Odessa, Endpaper Mitts, or the Central Park Hoodie? I'm sure you could add at least twenty more names to that list. And while many of these patterns are on my To-Knit list, the point of "From The Archives" is to highlight some very cool knitting patterns that for whatever reason, never rose to knitting fame. I use the term "Archive" loosely. These could be patterns that were published 4 months ago, or 65 years ago. As for some of the vintage ones, who knows? They may have been a cult classic in their own time, but I wasn't alive to know it. =) Occasionally you may have to look past big hair or tacky accessories in order to see what a purl in the rough an old pattern is. And I may even throw in a sewing or crochet pattern here and there.

My first is example is a sweater from the Fall-Winter 1968 issue of Good Housekeeping Needlecraft.

The "Belted Cardigan" is knit at a worsted weight gauge. I'm considering making this one myself.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ravelry Stash

I've started adding my stash to my Ravelry page. I'm doing a little at a time, as I find the time. At this point it appears I only knit with cotton yarn. That's because I keep my stash organized in baskets by weight and in some cases, fiber. I grabbed the basket of cotton yarn and started photographing it first. Other fibers to come as I get to them.

I'm also working on a project that I've yet to mention here.

Most of you will recognize it as the much loved Rusted Root from the talented ladies at Zephyr Style. I'm about 60% finished, and the knitting has flowed without any problems. I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in the Perry's Primrose colorway, which I purchased at Little Knits.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Buttons The Second

Early in the summer, the small town I live in held it's annual town-wide yard sale. I've always enjoyed such events. You truly never know what you'll find, and a large part of the fun is in the looking. Imagine my excitement when the first house we stop at is displaying vintage buttons for sale. The owner must have quickly picked up on my enthusiasm, as she came over and asked where my interest in the buttons stemmed from. I told here I love to knit and sew, and have been actively trying to expand my collection. She then became animated in her own excitement of having found a like-minded soul, telling me she's an avid collector and frequents shows in various states to buy and sell vintage buttons. We talked for awhile, she showing me some of her favorites, and even going into her house to retrieve a tin of her personal stash. She said she had a particular fondness for the old fabric covered ones, holding out a tiny set that were fashioned by the previous owner from a bygone era to match the dress they'd adorned - a muted cream and pink small scale floral. In the end, I chose my favorites and continued on down the street. No other house we stopped at that day had anything like the first, but it had made the whole adventure worthwhile.

On the bottom right, pink and cream celluloid buttons. Celluloid was first invented in 1868, and is considered by some to be the first plastic ever invented, although bakelite, celluloid's successor, actually holds that title. According to, "Celluloid is not a true plastic because it is formed of a mixture of both synthetic and organic materials, whereas bakelite is completely synthetic. Antique celluloid buttons from apparel and home d├ęcor pieces can be quite fragile precisely because celluloid does contain organic materials, which degrade over time. The celluloid can “crystallize”, which causes the antique celluloid buttons to harden and finally crumble. It is best to store your antique celluloid buttons in a cool, dry place, away from all metals, heat and humidity. However, do not store them in airtight containers, as the celluloid needs to breathe."

The two sets on the left are made of bakelite, which was most popular from the 1920's to the 1940's. The brown ones are known as 'Carved Platters'. These were typically found on coats, which is why they are almost always black or brown. In the center are two wooden buttons with beveled edges. I'm not sure how I'll ever use these ones on my hand knits. The metal shanks on the backside are showing signs of rust. Considering I allow most of the items I knit to air dry, it'd only be a matter of time before some damage was done. Maybe I could coat the shanks in some type of sealant??

And lastly, here are some more modern editions I picked up at the fabric store on my last trip. I must have vintage on the brain, though. Don't the girls remind you of 1920's Flappers?