Look at the Things!

Sometimes I just need to come here and shout, “Look what I got!” because I have so much excitement in me that I have to share it before I explode.

Remember a little while back when I recommended that you let your family and friends know you’re a mad keen collector of porcelain cats?  Or 1970s pottery?  Or doilies?  Or whatever it might be?  Well I am back with further proof that it’s the best course of action in the form of a stack of vintage patterns I received from my mother-in-law the other day.  There I was, walking down the hall after sorting out a television issue when I spotted an interesting pile of paper that caused my vintage knitting pattern radar to go off.

“My vintage knitting pattern radar just went off,” I said to the aforementioned mother-in-law.  I always find it’s best to utter your inner thoughts aloud if you want other people to be aware of them.

“Oh yes, they’re for you,” she said. Continue reading

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Treasures from the Past

We had a plan the other Saturday.  That is, I had a plan and the Chef was happy to go along with it.  Said plan involved dropping by a local and as-yet-unvisited op shop, followed by a daytrip out to a hopefully photogenic location.  Said plan went awry when said local op shop turned out to be closed on the weekends; with the op shop element of the day rudely cut out, everything felt unbalanced and there was only one way to fix it.

We spent the day visiting op shops instead of roadtripping and photographing.

Luckily, this turned out to be the best decision ever because I found some absolute treasures that give me a warm glow every time I think of them (which is far more often than a normal person should do, I am sure).  What are these treasures of which I speak?  Let me keep in you in suspense no longer… Continue reading

People Keep Giving Me Things

If there’s one piece of advice I could give to a collector of old knitting and sewing patterns, it would be this:

Make sure your friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues know you collect these crazy old things.

I didn’t even realise the benefits of this myself until late last year, when I was gifted with a pattern book for knitted novelties.  My unexpected benefactor happened to mention she had a book she thought I’d love and an hour later, it was in my hands.  Mine!  To keep!

On top of this, I’ve had people taking pity on my inability to cultivate a fabric stash by doing it for me.  This is awesome, in my opinion, although I’m now faced with the problem of finding a way to make use of this donated stash.  As problems go, it a good one to have.

More recently, I came in to work one Monday morning and found a little parcel on my desk with my name on it.  Intriguing, I thought to myself.  Why should anyone be giving me a mysterious gift?  And since I’m chronically incapable of dealing with my own curiosity longer than absolutely necessary, I set to opening this little bag and pulling out the treasures inside, which looked a little like this: Continue reading

Vintage Style or Completely Mad?

There’s a special kind of craziness reserved for vintage knitting patterns.  It was that very craziness that attracted me to collecting them in the first place.  Yes, that’s right: I began collecting old knitting patterns because I adored their insanity, not because I had any plans of making something from them.  This changed, of course, but I honestly think I never would have picked up my knitting needles again if it weren’t for the glorious madness I was accumulating in every op shop I visited.

The sixties and seventies are my favourite period, although the fifites deserve an honourable mention for their men’s pattern books where gentlemen are either just standing around, casually smoking with shotguns hooked over their arms or they’re sitting in a comfy chair while their women bustle around them, tending to their every need.  As nutty as that may be, it doesn’t hold a candle to the multi-coloured crocheted men’s vests of the seventies or my all-time favourite sixties pattern book, which I call ‘Shenanigans in the Library’ and will one day share with you and you will understand everything.

Op shops rarely disappoint when it comes to providing me with these treasures, although sometimes I’ll walk out with nothing, having found only a desultory smattering of rather bland nineties patterns.  Other times, however, I’ll come home with a handful of awesomeness and this was the case last weekend, when I paid a visit to my local op shops and came home with this: Continue reading

This Week

If you asked me to tell you what the past week has been about, I would probably say ‘knitting’.  Or, more likely, KNITTING OH MY GOODNESS IT NEVER ENDED.  And even though the knitting was worked in amongst some pretty awesome other things, it was always there.  Always sitting there, with its deadline lingering somewhere close.

But I am here to tell you that I met that deadline.  In fact, I took it by surprise and arrived a day early, which is always irritating to every host who is not expecting you for twenty-four hours and is still in the middle of preparations.  Alas, I did not care, as I had finished my dad’s present and now had some free time in which to revel in this joyous feeling.

I made use of said free time by switching back to one of my other knitting projects because it turns out that too much knitting is never enough.

When I wasn’t knitting, however, I had a chance to visit some op shops and find a couple of treasures that just beg to be shared.  So here they are.

Firstly, we have this knitting book from the 1960s, which I found in an op shop in Rye.  Not just any knitting book.  Oh no.  It’s…  Well, have a look for yourselves. Continue reading