Friday 26 November 2010

Knit It - Toddlers 30s Winter Warmers

My mum has asked me to make a woollen winter set (hat, mittens, and scarf) for her God Daughter Imogen for Christmas. So began my yearly Christmas crafting endeavour.

I knew I wanted to knit something in keeping with the vintage vibe that I hold so dear, but still, something that is cute enough not to look out of place on today's fashion-conscious toddler. All of the patterns I used were freely available on the net - Oh the wonders of Ravelry's pattern search engine!

I loved the adult version of the 'Bow Knot Scarf' so much when I saw it on Ravelry, that I knew I wanted to make Imogen one just like it. Not only did it have a very 1930s style it also seemed a safer option for a toddler to a standard scarf as there was less risk of it getting caught and hurting her.

The Butterfly Balcony Toddlers 30's Winter Warmers Knitting Patterns

After doing a bit of searching (again on Ravelry) I found this lovely child's winter set from Drops Yarn. It was a really easy pattern to follow, especially as it was all in garter stitch! I also really loved the ingenious way that the channel for the tuck was created! I am certainly going to make an adult sized one soon! Once I had finished the scarf I needed to find a suitable Hat. I wanted something in keeping with the 1930's style of the scarf also it needed to be in garter stitch.

The Butterfly Balcony Toddlers 30's Winter Warmers Knitting Patterns

So I improvised, by using last years Xmas baby hats as a guide. I increased the quantity of the rows and stitches so that it would fit a toddler - I hope! Once I'd finished, I felt it looked a bit plain, so I created a bow to match the scarf to stitch on the front. If you like the pattern you can find it on my Ravelry page here.

Lastly the mittens, I have to confess that these have come out a tad on the large side; I found the pattern at Panda Man's Knitting Corner. I must confess to losing track of my rows whilst knitting, I blame the TV, which means they've not come out as well as I would have liked, there are a quite a few hole around the joint on the thumb!  The pattern, however, is very easy to follow, even if it requires you to work out the sizing for yourself, clearly not my strong point!

The Butterfly Balcony Toddlers 30's Winter Warmers Knitting Patterns

This year there are, including Imogen, two extra little ones to make for which means I am currently sporting very achy hands from all the knitting I have been doing. So far Imogen's winter set is the only thing I have finished. I am hoping to have more to show you all soon. Plus progress on my Perfect Xmas Jumper too!

I am off to my parents this weekend for an early birthday treat!
 I'm going to relive a bit of my teenage youth, I will tell all on my return!

Have a great Weekend!
Wendy x

The Fringe Benefits!

AKA Don't Try This At Home

I have a confession to make, last weekend I did something very stupid, or very brave: I cut my own fringe, please don't tell my mum!

I have for some time now wanted a fringe just like Chuck (Anna Friel) has in pushing daisies which is essentially a 60s peekaboo style. I know it's not really in keeping with my 1940s obsession at all, but I am sure I will still be able to style it into a forties style when I want to.


I have attempted to get this style of fringe on no less than three different hair cutting occasions, and each time I have left the salon without my fringe. I think the problem stems from my fear of having my hair cut at all (it's on a par with the dentist for me) as I get very nervous and probably don't explain what I want properly. The best I have had so far, was a long tuft which was swept to one side - which did look OK but it was not what I wanted - no photographic evidence remains, thank heavens!

So, on Saturday evening after re-watching my Pushing Daisies DVD for the umpteenth time, I decided I had enough of my lacklustre hairstyle. I wanted my fringe and I wanted it now! After all how hard could it be to cut your own fringe!? - I should point out before I continue that I am well aware that this could have gone very badly wrong - I once asked the boyfriend (a qualified engineer, by the way, straight lines should be part of the job) to trim an existing fringe, only to end up with right side perfect and left side 1" shorter than right! This was only days before my best friends wedding which I was going to be a bridesmaid, the poor wedding hairstylist had to practically glue the thing in a sweep across my head with hairspray!  My own fault I know so will I ever learn? not likely!

Image Source :The Vintage Wife
So, this time, I did my research and passed on the boyfriend's offer to "cut it for me" his idea of a joke, funny? Armed with Google, YouTube and far too much confidence in my abilities, I decided to to take my hair into my own hands.

Most of the YouTube tutorials I found were all about trimming an existing fringe not creating one from scratch. I was about to give up when I found 'The Vintage Wife's' wonderful blog post all about how to cut your bangs/fringe from scratch no pre-existing haircut needed. Plus the illustration of Audrey gave me the confidence to give it a go!

Firstly I washed and blow dried my hair leaving it just a little bit damp just enough to make it easy to part the hair. I quickly realised that the key to the perfect fringe is to section the hair off correctly. For the style I wanted I needed quite a high upside down v shape (as in the Audrey Picture) lined up with the edges of my eyebrows.

The Before - The After

I also used one tip gleaned from all the YouTube tutorials I waded through, which is to twist the hair tightly in front of your face and then cut across, this seemed to give the fringe a curved shape a little longer at the sides than in the middle, which softens the whole thing. There is a great video by Sam Villa which explains the whole thing!

I gradually worked my way up the sectioned hair getting shorter and shorter until I reached a point where I felt happy. Then I used a pair of thinning scissors (which you can get from most chemist stores) to, you guessed it, thin the ends out a little and take some of the weight off.

The finished result, will I ever get the hang of a selfie!

All in all, I am really happy with it, I have to admit it is just a little too long, but I am going to live with it for a few days and then trim it up a little bit. Let's just hope I don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!

If your as crazy as me then here is some YouTube fringe/bang inspiration, but remember To Always Snip Responsibly:
  • For a good explanation of how to achieve various different styles look at Miss Curly Locks video.
  • For the best 1940s Betty Page Bangs Tutorial take a peek at Strawbwerry Koi Vintage video.
  • If Straight Bangs are your thing then biancablovesu's video will be right up you street.
Wendy x

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Knit It - Hand Knitteds by Lincolin

A link I found through Ravelry
lead me to here where you can download the 1940s knitting pattern booklet
'Hand Knitteds by Lincolin'
for free, which contains this little lacy beauty and many others, and as if that was not enough, there is also a 1930s  jumper pattern for free too!

For more FREE vintage knitting & sewing patterns head on over to my other blog  The Vintage Pattern Files!

Wendy x

Saturday 6 November 2010

Knit It - Poppy Appeal

It's that time of year again when our nation comes together in showing it's support for our Armed Forces and in remembrance of the sacrifices made by British and Commonwealth Servicemen and women by wearing the traditional red poppy.

The Butterfly Balcony Poppy Appeal knitting pattern

If you are a knitter you can do your bit by downloading the official knitted poppy pattern from 'Knit on the net'. For a small donation of £2 you can download the pdf pattern, from which you can create your very own Remembrance Day Poppy, knowing that all of the proceeds will go straight to The British Legion and The Help For Heroes Charities.

You can wear your knitted poppy out year after year - as long as you are willing to pop some money in your nearest donation box. Simple!

Wendy x

Monday 1 November 2010

BBC Land Girls

Just popping in to let you know, if you missed it the first time round (like me) Land Girls is available to watch and download in the BBC iPlayer - be quick though as it wont be around long.

You've got to love Bea's fair isle tanktop
Made last year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the start of WWII, it follows the lives of four girls (Annie, Bea, Joyce and Nancy) doing there bit for king and country whilst dealing with the challenges of their own lives. I spent a lazy Sunday watching all the episodes and can honestly say it's a great series, it even kept the boyfriend engaged which is saying something!

The clothes as you would expect from a BBC period drama, are just drool worthy, all those wellies, shirts with tank tops, knotted head scarves and woolley cardigans which made me feel all autumnal. I especially loved Bea's pink fair isle tank top and Nancy's powder blue coat (in the first episode) is just amazing.

The DVD will be released in the new year so if you miss it you wont have to wait too long and I believe there will be a second series at some point next year too!

Wendy x