Thursday, 30 June 2011

Jenny Linsky cat

I made this Jenny Linsky black cat with red scarf for a customer on Etsy, and I like it so much, I think I might make one for myself. If you'd like one, too, I'm taking orders in my Etsy shop.

I was unaware of Esther Averill's charming cat books until making this order, but loved the illustrations so much that I have ordered myself a copy. The illustrations are full of mischief and life - drawn by someone who has clearly spent a lot of time surrounded by lively cats.

This is one of the things I enjoy so much about custom orders - it's a two-way process. My customers get to enjoy the hand-made item that can't be bought off the shelf in a shop, and sometimes I discover new artists, books, or films that I've never heard of before.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wartime jumper

A pattern from the Second World War, kindly donated to the Knit For Victory archives by the King of Empty Shops, Mr Dan Thompson. Our model dons his tin helmet and kit bag and fixes his stern gaze on some ne'er-do-well Johnnies in the distance.

"Here is a long-sleeved pullover that every man will welcome, whether he needs it for Service or home wear. It will be particularly popular because of its Raglan sleeves which men always find so comfortable to wear; also because of its splendid fit and the fact that it gives no feeling of bulkiness."

There's something about the haircut, pose, and geometrical lines of the background that presages Kraftwerk's Man Machine cover by about 30 years.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

1950s bottle cap crochet

Big thanks to Erin from Rocker Magazine who sent me this awesome Coats and Clarke's Modern Trends booklet from the 1950s. You know how sometimes you open up a craft book and you just want to make absolutely everything in it? This is one of those moments.

With an infinite amount of time, yarn, and patience on my hands, I would start by making the hairpin lace curtains shown on the front cover. (Note: infinite amount of yarn = 120 balls of Coats and Clarke's "Speed-Cro-Sheen" mercerized cotton in Canary Yellow). The curtains are made by working strips of hairpin lace in different widths and then joining them together to create a 15 feet wide drape of incredible 1950s fantasticness.

With an infinite amount of bottle tops at my disposal, I would love to make this pineapple-shaped table mat to "dress up my dinette". Or maybe the rectangular place mat and hot plate set. Both are made by covering metal bottle caps with tight rounds of crochet, gathered together under each bottle cap to create a motif. Now, I'll need 153 bottle caps to make this, so I'd better go and start drinking that fizzy pop...

Monday, 6 June 2011

Tank tops

From Patons Kingfisher, 4 ply crepe: cheeky 1970s ladies eyeing up each others bosoms, or rather, lack of bosoms.

"Clingy little crochet tops to suit your mood - one in a feminine lacy style with button-trim at waist, and the other in a slimline vest with a difference." The difference being a granny square worked into the front of the top.

I do like the matching hat, which is made out of five granny squares, and then worked round in double crochet (that's single crochet to those of you in the USA), decreasing as you go to make the top of the hat.