Take Me Back Tuesdays: Needlework in War-Time

Welcome back to Take Me Back Tuesdays, where we take a look at the past as revealed through Things I Found In Op Shops.  I had a couple of contenders for this edition of Take Me Back Tuesdays, but they were rudely shoved aside when I stepped into a Healesville op shop and found this particular mystery. Continue reading

Take Me Back Tuesdays: The First One

Good morning, afternoon or evening!  Actually, who am I kidding?  I already know you’re reading this at 10pm, thanks to the details revealed by my stats recently.  Good 10pm, everyone, and welcome to a brand new segment I’m calling ‘Take Me Back Tuesdays’.  This is a little feature I’m planning to run on Tuesdays on a semi-regular basis although, really, I have enough material to see us through ten years’ worth of Tuesdays without a break.

“But what’s it all about?” I hear you cry.  Yes, even over here.  I have great hearing.

Take Me Back Tuesdays will showcase the craziness, amazingness, inventiveness and outright uniqueness of the way things were done in the past.  This being me, there will be a heavy focus on all manner of handcrafts, but you never know what else I might discover on my travels.  For instance, I have a (possibly) excellent recipe for chocolate and potato biscuits courtesy of a WWII issue of Stitchcraft I found recently.  Because nothing says rationing like potatoes randomly turning up in your chocolate biscuits.

Today, we are starting with Patons Knitting Book 689, which I found recently.  Twice, in fact.  The first copy was unfortunately eaten by silverfish who were determined that none may finish the garments within.  I didn’t realise that the intact covers concealed somewhat holey contents until I got home and I promptly set myself on a mission to find a less-ventilated version.  Whenever you set out to find something in this op shopping game you rarely expect to find it, so I was more than surprised when I picked up an absolutely pristine copy of it just this weekend in the local op shops.

I rather like men’s pattern books because there’s a lot of dateable stuff in them such as cars and cameras.  And shotguns.  Nothing says manly like standing around with shotguns in the crooks of your arms.  (There are no shotguns in this book.  Sorry.  Some other time, perhaps.) Continue reading

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

The Things You Find in Crochet Patterns

This blog has been going for over fifty posts now and I think I’ve reached a level where I’m comfortable enough to admit some things to you all.  In this spirit of sharing and openness, I have a confession to make: I first started collecting old knitting patterns for the lols.

I didn’t even own a single pair of knitting needles.

I thought I was going to stick to crochet forever.


But seriously, old knitting patterns, especially from the sixties and seventies, are full of the most amazing craziness you are ever likely to see.  This craziness reaches a whole new level when it comes to crochet pattern books, however. Continue reading

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