Thursday, June 24, 2010

Some 50s Elegance : Town and City Tufted Cape

So, what are you going to knit first from Vintage Gifts to Knit? There's so much to choose from. That's why I'm going to do a little series featuring some of the patterns to whet your appetite.

First up is the beautiful Town and City Tufted Cape, as modelled by Susan's lovely daughter, Charlotte.

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Town and City Tufted Cape by Susan Crawford. Image copyright Arbour House Publishing.

Using an unusual tufted stitch, this flattering garment is inspired by elegant capes from the 1950s. It is also reminiscent of the capes worn by nurses in the same period, and I can just remember my own mother wearing a longer early-sixties version with her uniform in the late seventies. It is a really easy knit and would be great to start now in time for the chilly days of autumn. (Yes, I know. Hard to imagine just now in the Great British Heatwave!*)

It really is a very versatile pattern which will fit sizes 30-52" bust and Susan says in her pattern notes that:

The finished length is measured from the top of the main body at the front neck and includes the garter stitch edging around the bottom of the cape. The cape is very generous and accommodating in size and shape and will fit a variety of sizes. As a result, I suggest you consider what fit you would like before choosing your size. The small will actually fit a 42 inch chest but it will fit higher and more open at the front.
The cape is knitted in a standard double knit yarn on 5mm needles and is very warm without being bulky. The tufted stitch pattern makes lots of surface area to keep you cosy without great weight. This pattern would be excellent TV knitting (whilst watching the World Cup or maybe Wimbledon at the moment?) and is a real stashbuster, using only 5 or 6 balls of the main colour and one other for contrast.

Town and City Tufted Cape by Susan Crawford. Image copyright Arbour House Publishing.

As well as being part of the Vintage Gifts to Knit book, it is also available as a standalone pattern from both the knitonthenet shop, and as a Ravelry download, if you are a member there.

I really love a project where I can try out a new technique or stitch pattern: it gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. I think I'm going to really enjoy knitting this and trying out the tufted stitch, and hope that you do too. Do let us know if you've made one and send us a photo to put on the blog.

Happy summer knitting

Ingrid x

*Give us a break, readers from abroad. 27 degrees centigrade is pretty hot for us!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Newsflash! Vintage Gifts to Knit now available in print.

We are all very excited to announce that Vintage Gifts to Knit by knitonthenet editor, Susan Crawford is now available to buy in print from the knitonthenet shop. Filled with sixteen gorgeous patterns, there is something for everyone (although like me, you will probably want to knit them all... for yourself).

Here's a quick glimpse of these glamorous patterns, from the sporty 'No Need to Skate' Skating Skirt to the pretty Flower-Ty Pot.

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Vintage Gifts to Knit montage, copyright, Susan Crawford.

These gorgeous patterns are all inspired and adapted from knitting patterns of the 1900s to the 1950s, and are perfect to make as gifts or for yourself. There are projects to knit for women, men, children and the home, with the garments in a wide range of sizes. The women's clothing patterns range from 30-54 inch chest.

Vintage Gifts to Knit is available in both print and e-book form, costing only £14.00 for the printed version and £10.00 for the ebook. Arbour House Publishers will ship Vintage Gifts to Knit anywhere in the world for the flat rate of £3.00. The e-book is also available as a Ravelry download.

If you'd like to hear more about Susan's glamourous vintage knitting adventures, do visit her blog Just call me Ruby.

Happy Vintage Knitting

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Friday, June 18, 2010

The Big Noise, the King Pippin, the Cat's Whiskers!


Yes, they're talking about bunnies.

Do click through and watch this great British Pathe video clip from 1940 all about how angora is harvested and made into yarn. The rabbits are very placid compared to the one that I saw at a yarn festival a couple of years ago!


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Sunday, June 13, 2010

How You Made It: Tropicana

Tropicana, from knitonthenet Issue 6 is a gorgeous summer top, designed to be dressed up or down with a 1970s hippy vibe to it. Made with a merino and silk blend, sport weight yarn, Tropicana features a delightful lace pattern called Pear and Trellis. By inserting a ribbon the lace of the bottom part of the top is delineated from the ribbing at the top. Designer, Just call me Ruby's original sunshine-yellow Tropicana is pictured above.

There have been some great interpretations of Tropicana such as the one below by Marial from Rockford, Illinois who knitted most of hers on the bus using a lovely lavender shade of yarn.

CottonCandy404's Tropicana. Image copyright CottonCandy404.

Ameri from Japan knitted her Tropicana entirely from yarn she had spun herself on a drop spindle. No mean feat!

Tropicana Vest by Ameri. Image copyright Ameri.

Italian knitter, Eleonora made some adjustments to the original pattern for her own take on Tropicana. You can read her pattern notes on her Ravelry page.

Greenie Vest. Image Copyright June-.

Arianwen knitted a super-sunshiney Tropicana for herself, adding an extra pattern repeat to make it a little longer, and will be knitting one each for her daughters too.

Tropicana NaKniSweMoDo 4 by Arianwen. Image copyright Arianwen.

I hope that these great versions have inspired you to knit one of your own, and if you have already knitted Tropicana, we would love to see how it turned out too.

Happy knitting

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Get Knitting!

Image copyright Ingrid Murnane.

Happy World Wide Knit In Public Day

(or weekend? It seems to be expanding year on year...)

Hope you have a really great time knitting in the wild!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Itty Bitty Knitting

Did you see the animated film version of Neil Gaiman's Coraline last year? If you didn't, I would highly recommend it and if you did, you might remember the lovely little knitted jumper that Coraline wears. But did you know how it was made?

Althea Crome (also known as Althea Merback) knits miniature conceptual clothing using specially made needles in the finest yarn or thread. In the tradition of miniature artists and artisans, she spends months designing and knitting a single garment. She tries to create more and more detail in each piece with her 'micro-sweaters' containing up to eighty stitches per inch. You can see more of her work here.

I don't think I'll be complaining about knitting with laceweight again anytime soon...



Thursday, June 03, 2010

World Cup Knitting

You really can't have failed to notice that the World Cup is coming up soon. It seems to be on every other billboard, on each advertisement break on the telly and football merchandise has pervaded the shops in every concievable way. Myself, I'm not really that into football and will probably give the whole thing a wide berth, but I know that there are lots of you out there for whom this is the biggest thing since sliced bread.

I was perusing Ravelry today and found that there was a World Cup Knitting group. I know. This shouldn't be surprising given that there has previously been the Ravelympics and there is soon to be the Tour de Fleece for spinning. What was great about this was that you could sign up whether you were a football fan or a football widow, keeping track of what you knitted for the duration of the competition and scoring points for your chosen country.

So, what could you make from the knitonthenet pattern archive?

There are the obvious, traditional adaptations of scarves and hats in appropriate national colours.

Denise, Denise Scarf by Gavin Crawford. Image copyright knitonthenet.

Gavin Crawford's Denise, Denise Scarf would be a fun one to make whilst watching the action, as it wouldn't matter if you were paying too much attention whilst changing needle sizes. Maybe you could change one interchangable needle each time your team scores or the ref gives a corner.

Under Two Hour Scarf by knitonthenet. Image copyright knitonthenet.

If you were really going for speed, you could get the Under Two Hour Scarf done during the build up and completion of a match.

Evangeline by Just call me Ruby. Image copyright knitonthenet.

Evangeline could lend an air of class to the usual football woolly hat, with a lovely toning button to complete your team colours, whereas I'd love to see a version of the gorgeous summer hat, Mia. Perfect for listening to the football on the radio in the garden (or maybe for getting away from the football in the garden, who knows?)

Mia by Chrissy Day. Copyright knitonthenet.

I think that Flag could be really amazing. It would be easy to adapt for any of the British national flags with a big of brainwork, and by using the chart maker, perhaps you could adapt the pattern for other flags too, such as the French one on the cardigan's arms.

Flag by Helene Magnusson. Image copyright knitonthenet.

...but beware: in her introduction and design story for Flag, designer Helene Magnusson warns of the status and use of flags:
According to Icelandic law, using the national flag is a privilege and not a right. The owner must follow instructions on its usage and make sure that his or her flag is in mint condition regarding colouring, wear and tear. It also states that no-one shall disrespect the flag in act or word, subject to a fine or imprisonment of up to one year.
Let us know what you'll be knitting from knitonthenet and I'll put it up on the blog during the World Cup. Email me at ingrid(at)knitonthenet(dot)com or put a photo up on the knitonthenet Facebook or Ravelry group pages or Tweet us @knitonthenet.

Happy knitting