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

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vintage Day with Wool and Willow

On an extremely cold and snowy day last week, Gavin and I set off for Oxfordshire to spend the day with some lovely ladies who were all very interested in hearing me talk about Vintage knitting and Vintage clothes. The event was arranged by the wonderful Julia who owns Wool and Willow which is located in the lovely market town of Wallingford. Julia has created a fabulous display in the shop window featuring Excelana which looks so lovely.

However the talk and mini-workshop were held in the 'Friends Meeting House' which was a beautiful venue set back from the street in its own little courtyard. The building was built in 1724 and still contains all the original benches etc from that period.

This photo was taken when the weather was rather warmer than it was when we visited! The snow came down heavily the whole time we were there so I was very grateful to be tucked away in the snug meeting room with lots and lots of knitwear.

 So here we are all set up at the meeting house with a selection of garments from A Stitch in Time Volumes 1 and 2, Vintage Gifts to Knit and Coronation Knits aswell as single patterns such as Frances, which you can see behind me on the right hand side of the photo. I'm holding up The Rose Jumper from A Stitch in Time Volume 1 and explaining in detail its very clever construction.

The ladies present asked lots of questions and also provided some very interesting facts about wartime knitting too. You can just about see that I'm wearing the Fair Isle Cardigan, part of the Fair Isle Twinset from Volume 2. The jumper part of the twinset is also on display on the mannequin on the far left of the photo. I find I wear this cardigan all the time and desperately want the jumper to match but alas don't have the time to knit it!

 We also discussed the amazing attributes of many of the garments which feature negative ease. This is Such Flattering Puff Sleeves - again from Volume 1 which employs it to great effect.  I also used negative ease when designing Frances so that the cables are stretched by the wearer and create a fabulous figure hugging shape.

You can see how it works on our lovely model who looks completely fabulous in both the cardigan and the colour - which is of course, Excelana Nile Green.

Once we got started everyone was trying on the garments. Here is Concentrate on the Sleeves from Volume 1 looking stunning as it always does. You can also knit this one using Excelana DK.

and Designed in Paris from Volume 2 proving that vintage garments can also be relaxed as well as formal. This design also uses Excelana 4 ply in Cornflower Blue and Alabaster.

The snow has finally cleared away but to finish here's a little snap of me at the start of our journey south at the top of Parbold Hill in Lancashire.

Keep warm!
for now,

Ruby xx

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Edinburgh Yarn Festival

Although there is a blue sky as I look out of my studio window, the weather is perishingly cold with temperatures several degrees below zero overnight. However I'm quite sure spring must really just be hiding around the corner, waiting to pop up and make us all feel so much better!

To further encourage the arrival of spring I am involved in a whole host of workshops and events over the next two months the first of which is this Saturday and is the inaugural Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

It is being held at Out of the Blue, a former drill hall and a rather lovely looking venue. I will be there with a little stand selling Excelana in both 4 ply and DK, a wide selection of Jamieson & Smith yarns, plus my books and patterns. I will also be taking pre-orders for A Stitch in Time, Volume 1 and ebook formats of all the books will also be available to purchase too.

I will also have some very special kits available at the show. First of all there will be both Excelana and Jamieson & Smith kit options for the Wartime Farm Sleeveless Pullover along with for the first time, a 12 page printed pattern  booklet containing all the sizes available. Please note, the Excelana kits for this pattern are now in very short supply, so if you would like me to reserve a kit for you, you can email, tweet or rav message me and I'll put one to one side for you to collect on the day.

There will also be two very special kits featuring Juno Fibre Art yarns. The first kit is for the Diamond Stole using Juno Belle. Belle is 70% Bluefaced Leicester and 30% UK Alpaca and is a beautifully soft yarn with fabulous definition. Just perfect for lace!

There are a very limited number of kits available for this one, in either Bright Red Thread, Oyster or Touch Wood. You can see these colours on the Juno website.

The second limited edition kit is for the Lady's Evening Jumper from A Stitch in Time Volume 2 and as also featured in Call the Midwife!

Here she is as seen in A stitch in Time Vol 2 and here she is as seen on TV!

Please excuse the poor photos as they were taken of the TV screen. The version used in the show has only the cuff and sleeve head worked on the sleeve to create the short sleeve version.

I have a small selection of kits available using Juno fibres Alice Lace, which is 70% baby alpaca/20% silk and 10% cashmere and is available in either Golden Peach, Black Lilac (as shown in the photo above), Canopy or if you would like to reproduce the garment as seen in Call the Midwife, in Canary. All the colours are again on the Juno website.

All the kits come with a print copy of the pattern, all the yarn you need to make the project and are contained in a Susan Crawford project bag.

If you are unable to attend the show and are keen to get your hands on one of these limited edition kits, you can also let me know via twitter, rav or email and I can reserve any remaining after the show for you before putting them up for sale on the website.

If you are coming to the show please do come along and say hello.

but for now,
Ruby xx