Thursday, 23 July 2015

Spring suit from 1938 - free pattern

As I said in my previous post, at the local junk market I picked up a couple of magazines from 1938. They are typical women's magazines from the period: fashion, recipes, short stories, advice, beauty, sewing and knitting. Both copies have lovely knitting patterns in so I thought that it would be good to share them. This is the second pattern from March 1938. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Spring cardigan from 1938 - free pattern

I did not mean to be absent for so long but I have had such computer problems! Hopefully it will all be fixed soon! I had a wander around the local junk market a few days ago. It is often a good source of random vintage bits and pieces and I mostly come away with some sort of tempting goodies. On this day I picked up a few brooches and a couple of 1930's magazines.
Two copies of Weldon's Ladies' Journal, from February and March 1938. This one offers two free patterns inside. I wish that they had still been there because just look at them!
I like the double collar detail on the green dress and the plaid one has interesting triangular breast pockets. I love all the little details on 1930's clothing. Luckily, they were not the only patterns to be featured in this issue of the magazine.
There is a knitting pattern for a fairly simple but very lovely cardigan. It is ribbed, with a deep v neck closing with four buttons, and has long sleeves. It looks very cosy, easy to throw on, and if you were wearing a dress with amazing collar or neckline details it would let them shine. I thought I would share the pattern.
Sirdar Majestic was a 4ply yarn, handily there is an advert for it at the start of the magazine. I imagine that as this is knitted in rib it will have a fair amount of stretch so it should fit an inch or two around the stated size, depending on your tension.
I can't sort out the sizing or spacing of the photos so well at the moment, one of the computer problems! Hopefully it is all readable! Do let me see if you knit it!

Monday, 1 June 2015

From sheep to cloth

In West Yorkshire there is a beautiful village called Saltaire which is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was built by Sir Titus Salt to house the workers for his mill. In the 1830's Titus Salt was one of the first people in England to work out an industrial process for turning alpaca fleece into a soft and usable cloth. Titus had over 3000 workers and once the mill was open in 1853 he kept building the village, with houses, a church, a school, almshouses, library, shops and a park. The village was completed in 1876. Titus Salt was recognised as a progressive employer who tried to make life better for his workers at a time when working conditions in textile mills were very poor and there was much danger and poverty. 


I could talk for ages about Saltaire but that isn't really what this post is about. Suffice to say it is a beautiful place to visit and it gives an interesting insight into industrial history. Salt's Mill is now part museum, part shops and part gallery with a large collection of David Hockney pictures. It is one of my favourite places to spend a few hours. It is absolutely huge and it is possible to imagine what it must have been like as a working mill.   In one gallery space there are a series of murals which tell the story of the making of cloth. They were painted by Henry Marvell Carr in the 1950's. They show the process from sheep to cloth which as a knitter, sewer and lover of textiles I found really interesting.
The sheep, looking very proud. Excuse the reflection, the first two paintings are behind glass.
Shearing time and a big pile of fleece.
Grading and sorting the fleece. Different breeds of sheep produce different quality wool.
Cleaning and scouring the fleece. It gets washed, rinsed and dried.
The wool is carded to produce clean, fluffy wool called roving which is ready for spinning.
The roving is spun to produce a strong wooden thread and wound onto bobbins.
The loom has to be correctly threaded so that it will weave the correct type of cloth.
The cloth begins to be woven.
Checking the thread quality. Obviously quality checking happens in tandem with the other processes.
The cloth being woven on the looms. 
The finished cloth coming off the looms. 
Quality control of the finished cloth. 
The cloth being folded and ready to go. These pictures really helped me to understand what used to happen in the mill. The area where I live would have been full of textile mills years ago so when I see them, standing empty or converted to other uses now, it helps me imagine how they used to be!

Monday, 18 May 2015

A tale from a travelling hat

Last month I had a very special weekend away at The Petwood Hotel in Lincolnshire. I went with my family and our family friends. It was special as a baby was born in each family in 2013 and this was the first time all of the three generations would get to meet up. It was fabulous to see everyone and have the babies meet each other. We enjoyed ourselves so much!
The Petwood was planned in 1905 as a bungalow which is hard to imagine when you see the first photo. These extensions were added from 1908 and Petwood was the home of a Baroness Von Eckhardstein. It is located in Woodhall Spa which was a very popular place for spa treatments in Edwardian times.
During the Second World War the Petwood was requisitioned by the RAF and was the Officer's Mess for the 617 'Dambusters' squadron, who I talked about in this post. The hotel has lots of related memorabilia and aside from being a beautiful place to stay it is also an interesting place to poke around.
The weekend was special for another reason - I had a treasure in my possession which I thought would look particularly at home in the hotel and I was hoping to get some good photographs of it there. My visit had luckily coincided with my turn to have Tanith's fabulous travelling hat. If you have not seen this before get over to Tanith's fantastic blog and catch up on the people and places that the hat has travelled to so far. Having watched it make it's way through blog land to me I was so excited to unpack it and try this gorgeous little hat on for myself. Do you want to see it?
Let us go in the front door.
We better study the map to get our bearings.
I think I know where I am going. 
Always important to locate the dining room!
Getting my order in at the Squadron bar.
Looking at the memorabilia.
Going to investigate the rest of the hotel.
A most comfortable window seat with a good view of guests arriving.
Having a chat.
Admiring the wood panelling.
Catching a glimpse in a handy mirror.
Heading downstairs.
Catching the sunshine.
Resting in the lounge.
Warming up by the fire.
Considering a turn around the grounds.
Back inside.
I enjoyed my time with the travelling hat very much, I loved wearing it. I paired it with a modern but vintage appropriate dress, a vintage brooch in matching colours and my felt leaf belt which I hand sewed from a 1940's pattern. Thank you so much to Tanith for creating this hat and sending it out on it's travels around the world. I look forward to seeing where it goes next!