Thursday 2 July 2009

Lessons From The Past & Knitting in the Present

Recently, on the Leicestershire Knitters Group on Ravelry there has been much giggling over vintage or retro books and patterns. I haven't really seen many of this type of thing but decided to take the recommendation to look into charity shops for a good laugh. Yesterday I found myself wandering in an area called Queen's Road in Leicester. I used to live very close to there and always relish a chance to rifle through the very high incidence of charity shops. I have found some great bargains there over the years.

To my delight I found a book that held just the right amount of retro to give me the giggles. I couldn't resist buying it at the bargain price of £3.10. It was the 1981 edition of the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework.

Some of the images made me how,l especially this delightful patchwork waistcoat modelled by a man with very very bad hair.

Or how about this beautiful dress....

Gorgeous pieces of craft aren't they. Then I got home and started to have a proper look through the book and to my amazement it is stuffed full of very useful information. I should have known better, because my OH has a Reader's Digest book on DIY and is it our main source of information, when the house falls apart. Also when I looked more deeply into the book I found some very beautiful ideas, that I never would have considered, such as this fringing.

Now I have stopped my giggling, I am very pleased with my purchase because it has mountains of information, that I know I will use in many projects to come.

When I wasn't browsing in charity shops this week I have been melting on the sofa. It has been stupendously hot and I have been unable to continue with my felted bag project, mainly because it was starting to felt before I got the yarn round the needles. As I couldn't knit, I surfed the internet and I heard a whisper there was a sale on at John Lewis. As I considered the possibility of an air conditioned store, combined with cheap yarn, I decided to go shopping.

There wasn't much in the sale, but I was very pleased to see that Patons Linen Touch was on sale for half price. I have wanted to knit something in a summer weight yarn and this is ideal. It is a combination of cotton and linen and the colour I got is very pretty indeed.

I had been longing to knit something in Rowan Lenpur but the price had been putting me off. The Linen Touch is a much cheaper yarn, it doesn't have the drape or sheen of the Lenpur, but it is still a nice yarn. One of the reasons I wanted to knit the Rowan Lenpur was the lovely pattern book that accompanied the launch of the yarn. I bought the book and cast on the Jada pattern.

The stitch pattern in lovely to do and keeps you interested without driving me to distraction, yes Ishbel I am talking about you. I have already done two repeats of the pattern today and I think it is looking lovely.

I am hoping to get this finished before the end of the summer as it is something that I believe will come in very useful in the evenings. It is a cross between a shrug and a shawl. I have to admit, the idea of a shawl that doesn't fall off all the time, is a winner in my opinion. I better get knitting if I am to get it finished before the hot weather breaks.


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