Friday, 22 July 2011

Ukulele tote bags

Now, I don't usually feature lovely new things for sale on this blog, but I'm going to make an exception for Ivy Arch's ukulele tote bags, which have their fabric feet so firmly planted in the 1970s that I can almost hear the Bay City Rollers.

Ivy Arch is taking these little beauties off to the Hollesley Ukefest this weekend but maybe if you ask her nicely she will make you some more. The bags are made from scraps of vintage fabric with a life-size uke applique. Lovely.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Kitchen cover-ups

There's this peculiar British fetish for creating covers for things that really do not need to have covers (see this embroidered Radio Times cover for proof). Here's a project from Stitch By Stitch magazine, 1980, showing you how to keep your toaster "clean and tidy under a smart cotton cover".

It's a simple project, using only rectangles of cotton fabric, interfacing and bias piping, but the question has to be asked: does anyone actually need one of these? Is a toaster really such an irritating item of shame that it needs to be hidden away between uses? Maybe you could make a bigger version of this to hide your oven and fridge, too. That would be rather good, actually.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Chadds of Lowestoft 1973 catalogue

Here is a rare glimpse into a world of 1970s acrylic wonder - the Chadds of Lowestoft yarn catalogue. With a vintage knitting pattern, you can only see the colours that the stylists chose to use for their cover photo, but this catalogue reveals the whole range of shades available to a 1973 knitter equipped with needles, knitting bag, and the Chadds Knitting For Leisure book.

You may want to put on some sunglasses now, before going any further.

Here we have a selection of colours available in Bri-Nylon Super Crimp (100% nylon). I think my favourites are Orangeade and Clematis.

Carlton Tricel Nylon (70% Tricel, 30% Nylon) sports an equally colourful rainbow of man-made colours:

Hopton 4 Ply (60% Courtelle, 40% Nylon) is probably the most vibrant of all, with Peacock and Signal Red still zinging off the page despite their age:

Babies, however, had to make do with this wishy-washy selection of pastel shades, in either 100% Cortelle ("wears and washes well so that any baby looks a dream") or in 100% Bri-Nylon ("for the mum who really cares"). Maybe the fear was that brighter colours would keep babies awake at night. They can progress on to Orangeade and Clematis when they are older, and stronger.

One point of local interest for me is that the happy bowlers on the cover are strutting their stuff in a bowling alley in Worthing, West Sussex - my home town. You can just make out posters for Supreme Fours, Worthing, and Ambassador Lanes, Worthing, behind young Hermione Granger, here.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Jane Austen costume drama dolls

One for the Sense and Sensibility fans - here's my Colonel Brandon doll, accompanied by Marianne Dashwood. Both are for sale in my Etsy shop - you can see more photos of them there, too. I'm thinking of working on more Jane Austen and costume drama characters in the future. The costumes are just so much fun to knit up.

If you're an Alan Rickman fan, you may also like my Severus Snape doll, who you can visit over at the Slytherin House Knitting Club, along with my Lucius and Draco Malfoy, Voldemort, and Harry dolls. You can buy patterns for all of the Harry Potter dolls from ye olde Etsy shoppe.