Dress + Cardigan

dress+cardigan

Oh, the spring weather is here (or at least its teasing us) and I’ve got cotton dresses and cardigans on the mind. I pulled out some of my light cotton dresses from my off-season closet this morning and had nothing but plain store-bought cardis to pair them with. So sad! Then I stumbled across Ellen Mason’s Pinterest board, Dress + Cardigan and I was off! Handknit cardigans are the perfect accompaniment to summery cotton dresses to get you through the cooler days of spring and fight the chill of overly-enthusiastic air conditioning.

 

It all started with Andi Satterlund and all her wonderful handknit sweater patterns that she models with cute vintage-inspired dresses. I’ve already picked out some yarn from my stash to knit up the Myrna cardigan. Then Ellen Mason’s Mary Rebecca cardigan came to my attention. The Mary Rebecca pattern comes with a matching hand warmer pattern since it has short bracelet sleeves as well so what a lovely bonus! So that’s two sweaters in my Ravelry queue that I want to cast-on today!

Then there’s those gems I added to my queue a couple days ago: the Easy shrug by Xandy Peters, the Summer Carnival cardigan by Georgie Hallam, and Andi Satterlund’s new Mary Mead pattern. By the end of summer I should have a rainbow of cardigans!

Am I the only person who queues more patterns than she can possibly knit in a lifetime?

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What to Watch: Bomb Girls

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I was recently talking to a new knitting friend Julie Turjoman about the wonderful Canadian TV series Bomb Girls and I realized I hadn’t mentioned it here on Yarn Forward, Knit Past yet.

The show is about women who work in a bomb factory in Canada during World War II. Its fascinating to see how the war affected Canada. Sadly, the same struggles existed for women in Canada that women in the UK and the US faced. The characters are diverse is age, lifestyle and reasons for being at the bomb factory and every character has their own struggles and secrets, making the stories riveting. AND…the costumes are fabulous.

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The first two seasons of Bomb Girls are now available on Netflix along with the tie-up-loose-ends movie Bomb Girls: Facing The Enemy.

There’s lots of enthusiasm around pushing to have the show continued on the Save Bomb Girls web site. So, if you watch it and fall in love with this too, you might want to pop over and leave an email or comment to keep the show going.

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Book Review: Sweater Girls

Sweater Girls Book

I was so excited to finally be able to purchase Sweater Girls by Madeline Weston and Rita Taylor. The book had previously only been available in the UK (under a different title) so I had to wait about a year since seeing initial photos to be able to purchase it domestically.

Sweater Girls updates vintage patterns with modern yarns and needle sizing and features over a dozen sweater, cardigan and twin-set patterns. The last chapter of the book includes a few accessories like a shawl pattern, knit stockings and a hat.

Sweater Girls Book

I have to admit that the feature photos for a lot of the patterns are the sweaters hung on a hanger which never shows anything in the best light. I’d much preferred if the front and back photo of each sweater had been on a model to get a better understanding of the proper fit. Many vintage patterns feature a nipped-in ribbed waist and then a blousier fit through the bodice. That sort of detail is difficult to glean from a sweater on a hanger. While most patterns included a photo of the sweater on a model, it seems a waste to have the other photo be the shapeless hanger image. Not that the photos are pretty to look at and beautifully styled, but as a pattern book, I’d prefer that they include schematic drawings with measurements instead.

Sweater Girls Book

The Hedy Tyrolean-Pattern Cardigan is one of my absolute favorite patterns in the book especially after I saw the version that Tasha from By Gum By Golly made. What a fabulous vintage design! She made hers from Knit Picks Palette so I think I’ll try to use the same yarn, just in a different colorway.

Sweater Girls Book

The sweater pictured above, The Wallis Pleated Caridgan, has very interesting shaping but appears to be too big for the model. I’ve seen similarly mis-sized sweaters in other modern conversions of vintage knitting patterns that are a result of upsizing for modern proportions or misinterpreting the yarn requirement for the pattern. This pattern in particular makes me wish that small images from the original patterns had been included to give a different perspective on fit. Maybe the original yarn use for the Wallis Pleated Cardigan was a much lighter weight? Wouldn’t that alter the overall fit and drape?

All in all, this is a very pretty book and I appreciate efforts to modernize vintage patterns to fit a wider variety of sizes and someone taking the time to convert needle sizes and yarn weights to modern standards. I know that it must be an epic undertaking. And for that, I am grateful for the effort.

I look forward to trying several of the patterns included in it despite my misgivings about how some of th photo styling was handled.

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What your favorite flavor of ice cream says about you

  • Vanilla: you’re more likely to be impulsive, easily suggestible and an idealist.
  • Chocolate: you’re more likely to be dramatic, lively, charming, flirtatious, seductive and gullible.
  • Strawberry: you’re more likely to be a tolerant, devoted and an introvert.
  • Mint chocolate chip: you’re more likely to be argumentative, frugal and cautious.
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough: you’re more likely to be ambitious, competitive and a visionary.
  • Pralines ‘n’ cream: you’re more likely to be loving, supportive and prefer to avoid the spotlight.
  • Jamoca, or coffee: you’re more likely to be scrupulous, conscientious and a moral perfectionist.
  • Chocolate chip: you’re more likely to be generous, competent and a go-getter.
  • Rainbow sherbet: you’re more likely to be analytic, decisive and a pessimistic.
  • Rocky road: you’re more likely to be aggressive, engaging and a good listener.

So, what if you like all the flavors?

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What’s Making Me Happy This Week: Bletchley Circle

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A PBS series about codebreaking ladies? What’s not to love about The Bletchley Circle? Its a 3-part mystery series that ran on PBS in May but I DVRed it and didn’t get around to watching it until recently. If you missed it, episodes can be downloaded on Amazon for $1.99 each ($4.99 for all three) or a DVD of The Bletchley Circle for $14.96! The story is great and the sets and costumes are worth the watch!

I hope there is another Bletchley Circle mystery soon!

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Hatmania

I got two hats done in my quest for cloche domination. I finished the Fresco Simply Slouchy and the Side Slip Cloche.

shades and side slip cliche spotted in the wild

I love the color of the yarn I used for the Side Slip Cloche, Elsbeth Lavold Angora, but I think I only needed two skeins, not three. Note that I finally got my sunglasses back, and by back, I mean I bought a new pair of the same frames that were stolen back in November and had new prescription lenses in them. Still annoyed about that.

Fresco slouchy hat FO

The Fresco Simply Slouchy was a quick easy knit and I used the gray Sugarbunny angora blend from KnitPicks. I added the vintage button/buckle pin to give it a little something extra.

That’s two down, four to go. I think the next I’ll tackle is the Meret.

(All pattern links lead to Ravelry. If you’re not a member, join today)

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Little Pieces of Me

I haven’t done a fashion-y post in awhile, mostly because its been cold and grey and I’ve had to wear layers upon layers of clothes which leads to very un-vintagey outfits. I have managed to keep a few vintage-y details though. My tweed skirt gets lots of wearing along with an endless supply of black tights and since it has not been slushy or snowy, I’ve been able to wear my cute retro shoes. And I’ve embellished my Louisa Harding knit beret with a vintage button-and-buckle brooch.

This is what I look like most mornings. Hello, hot rollers!  Thought you’d all be amused.

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