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

Friday, November 15, 2013

Just in Time for Christmas - The Junior Christmas Cardigan

So after the Perfect Christmas Jumper and the Junior Christmas Jumper what else can you need? You need the Junior Christmas Cardigan! Designed for ages from one year to eight years this delightful little cardigan is worked in one piece, backwards and forwards, from the bottom up to the under arm. The sleeves are then knitted and then the body and sleeves are joined together to knit the yoke. This is where the fun starts and You get to knit six prancing reindeer around the yoke using stranded knitting. The moss stitch edges add a simple but effective decorative trim with neat set-in pockets finished off with the same finishing touch. The cardigan is fastened simply with press studs with ornamental buttons sewn over the top.

The cardigan is knitted in Excelana 4 ply making it both cozy and very soft for little ones to wear.
It being machine washable on a wool cycle is also an added bonus for toddlers clothes!

You could knit one in the very feminine colour palette as in the photos or you could go full on traditional and knit the cardigan in Ruby Red with reindeers and edgings in Alabaster. Alternatively a more contemporary combination of Cornflower Blue with Alabaster or Saharan Sand reindeer would make a fabulously casual version. Its up to you of course!

Here's the information you need to make the cardigan:


Excelana 4 ply Luxury Wool, 100% pure new British wool (159m/174yds per 50g ball)
3 (3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7) balls for main colour (MC) - I've used French Rose in the sample
1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2) balls for contrast colour (CC) - I used Ruby Red
1 2.75mm (US 2) circular needle (60 to 80cm long)
1 3mm (US 3) circular needle (60 to 80cm long)
A set of 2.75mm (US 2) double pointed needles
A set of 3mm (US 3) double pointed needles
Stitch markers
Stitch holders
Safety pins
2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4) plastic press studs
2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4) buttons
Sewing needle and thread

The pattern provides eight sizes as follows:

To fit ages: 1 yr (2 yrs; 3 yrs; 4 yrs; 5 yrs; 6 yrs; 7 yrs;  8 yrs)
Actual chest size in cm: 57.5 (57.5, 61.5, 64, 68, 70.5, 74.5, 74.5)
Actual chest size in inches: 22.5 (22.5, 24.5, 25.25, 26.75, 29.5, 29.5)

The sample in the photos is for an age 2 years.

You can buy the PDF pattern for £3.50 from my ravelry store
You can purchase the yarn in your choice of colours from my website

I do hope you enjoy knitting the Junior Christmas Cardigan

for now,
Ruby xx

Photographs Courtesy of the wonderful Verity Britton 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Victory Pattern & Yarn Discounts with bygumbygolly

Many of you may be familiar with the lovely Tasha Moss who writes the vintage blog bygumbygolly. Tasha both knits and sews the most amazing vintage garments and I'm honoured that she often chooses to knit from my patterns and is a great champion of my work. What you might not know is that Tasha has just released her first knitting pattern called Victory - a very stylish, vintage shaped beret, featuring the V for Victory symbol, and using 5 colours of Excelana 4 ply.

 Tasha's version uses Cornflower Blue, Ruby Red, Nile Green, Powdered Egg and Alabaster.

This couldn't have been a better timed release now that Excelana is now back in stock and Tasha and I have teamed up to offer all our readers a very special offer:

Readers can now purchase the Victory beret pattern from Tasha with 10% off by using the code VICTORY10 at the check out. This offer only runs until the 12th of December so don't wait too long.

And also, so that you can knit your Victory beret I am offering 10% off the purchase price of the Victory beret kit - which is 5 balls one of each of 5 different colours. If you want to change any of the colours all you need to do is type in the order comment box which colours you wish to swap. With the yarns comes a Susan Crawford Vintage project bag to keep your knitting in. Again to get your discount enter the code VICTORY10 when placing your order on my shop.

If you've not knitted a fair isle project before I have an introduction to stranded knitting video on my website and Tasha also has a great tutorial on her blog. And if you want to share the process of knitting the beret with others, why not join in the Knit for Victory knit a long hosted by Tasha?

 So, to purchase the Victory beret click here


to purchase your Victory beret kit click here

for now
Ruby xx

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Airlyne Rug Maker and the competition winners

Thank you everyone for taking the time to enter the mystery object competition. It is indeed a rug maker. In fact it is the "Airlyne" home rug maker.

I was a bit naughty and as some of you pointed out I photographed it turned upside down. When it is the right way up it is attached to a table and the strap is put around your foot and the rug maker is operated by pulling down with your foot. The needle comes up through the plate on which your canvas or other backing sits, drawing the tuft through. I rather unsuccessfully tried to take some photos of this but it didn't go too well I'm afraid. Trying to operate the rug maker and hold a camera steady at the same time isn't an easy task!

Here's a really bad photo of the needle coming through the plate. The tufts would be threaded through it.

The rug maker specifies that it is for use only with 'Airlyne' Axminster wool and I'm very fortunate to also have a skein of this yarn. Obviously I'll never be able to use the yarn but it is wonderful to have the full set of equipment and materials.

 The artwork on the skein band is simply beautiful 

There are further instructions on the reverse of the band explaining further the pile or tuft length required depending on whether you plan to make a rug or a full carpet and how much wool it takes.

What makes this a particularly neat and tidy story is that Axminster rugs and carpets are produced in the town of Axminster, which is situated in Devon, just like the John Arbon mill. Production was started back in 1755 by a gentleman called Thomas Whitty. Unfortunately a fire destroyed the factory and it was only 102 years later in 1857 that a carpet manufacturer happened to hear the story and finally in 1937, carpet manufacturing began again in Axminster. And whilst not all their carpets are 100% wool anymore, 90% of the wool that is used is sourced from British farms. So quite an appropriate story for this month of Wovember!

So back to the business at hand, will the following lucky winners please contact me as soon as possible on susan (at) susancrawfordvintage (dot) com with your name and mailing address:

Helen McIntosh
and as I mis-counted the number of tickets I had available, also Carol.

Well done everyone.

for now
Ruby xx

Thursday, November 07, 2013

New limited edition colour in Excelana 4 ply

I've been working for some time on four new colours to add to the Excelana range and I'm delighted to reveal that the first of these new colours has now arrived and is absolutely beautiful.

This new shade is called 'Dark Mandarin' and is a gorgeous, rich burnt orange. I literally ooh'd out load when I opened the box and saw the packs of yarns. I had a very very specific shade of orange in my head when I sent the samples off to the dyers but there is always a certain amount of hope involved as water, temperature, even the batch of wool being dyed itself can impact on the final product. We have recently started using new dyers as well so there were very many variables which meant I was feeling nervous as I opened up the box. Fortunately my nerves were completely unnecessary and the finished yarn is exactly what I had in mind.

It was very important to me that the new colours both worked together and also worked well with the existing range and as you can see from this photo Cornflower Blue and Alabaster put with the Dark Mandarin make a beautiful combination - a design idea is already almost fully formed in my head.

I couldn't resist working a couple of samples this morning. Here it is in simple stocking stitch

and again using the stitch pattern for The Rose Jumper which was my original inspiration to find the perfect orange.

At the moment Dark Mandarin has limited availability and can only be purchased from mine and the John Arbon website as will the other new colours. It will also only initially be available in 4 ply. If the colours sell well they will then become part of the permanent palette.

To purchase this stunning colour simply go to the online shop here.

If you would like to know the full specification, here's the details:

Excelana 4 ply luxury wool 
100% pure new British wool
159m (174yds) per 50g ball
Standard tension: 28 sts + 36 rows = 10cm
 using 3mm needles over stocking stitch
Colour name: Dark Mandarin 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Knitting and Stitching Show Ticket Giveaway

October has been a somewhat strange month which I will hopefully be able to tell you more about sometime soon, and now November is already with us and in only a couple of weeks time I will be setting up my stand at The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. The show runs from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th November. I've exhibited here several times before but for the first time my stand will be in the modern part of the complex in the Textile Gallery. If you're coming to the show you can find me on stand number TG103.

I've got lots and lots of yarn and patterns and books and kits, with quite a few new products launching at the show and I've also got 6 tickets to give away to 6 lucky readers of the blog. The tickets are valid for any one of the four days of the show but can only be used once and gives you free entry to the show. Because of the nature of the giveaway this one is only open to UK readers and will close this Sunday the 10th November at midnight BST. You must include an email address in your entry and you must reply to me on Monday 11th November with your postal address as I will be sending the tickets out on Tuesday 12th November by first class post.

(No cash alternative is available. The tickets are non-refundable and the prize does not include cost of travel to or from Harrogate or any other associated expenses)

So to win a ticket what do you have to do? Simply tell me what you think this piece of equipment is for. If no one gets it right don't worry, I'll just pick the six most inventive answers! And I'll reveal just what it is next week. Need a clue? It uses wool!


And good luck! I look forward to reading your entries.

for now,
Ruby xxx