Sunday 27 December 2015

Knit It - The Perfect Christmas Jumper

I hope you all are having a very Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and if you don't I hope you have at least had a lovely rest!!!

I have been at my parents home in Liverpool for the last few days where I've come to realise, my favourite part of Christmas is actually the days in between Christmas day and New Years Eve. If your lucky enough not to have to work, they are the least pressure filled and most relaxing of any time of the year, perfect for self-indulgent crafting whilst watching films you've loved since childhood, feasting on leftovers turned into ingenious meals, and spending time with the ones you love, it's bliss!

The Butterfly Balcony - Christmas Tree Decorations

This year I decided against making myself a Christmas outfit for the big day, as to be honest I already have lots of dresses which seldom get an outing, it seemed extravagant to add another one to the collection. Plus after the trouble I had with last years dress (I'll actually be blogging about that soon, better late than never I guess!) I didn't much feel like another battle, so instead of showing off something wonderful and new I am going to give you a better look at a stalwart of many Christmases now, my 'Perfect Christmas Jumper'.

~ Perfect Christmas Jumper ~
Pattern By
5 100g Balls Robin 4ply Red
1 100g Ball James C. Brett Supersoft Baby Shimmer White

The pattern is another of Susan Crawford's wonderful takes on an original vintage pattern, Susan takes such care over resizing and updating them, that you can always be sure the fit and finish will be as true to the original pattern as possible, and this is no exception, the lovely puff sleeves and colour work, really make this pattern a 1940s classic.

The Perfect Christmas Jumper Knitting Pattern Susan Crawford

I first blogged about this jumper back in January 2011, I'd endeavoured to finish knitting it by Christmas a few weeks earlier but managed to miss that by just one month! It was the first time that I had knitted anything with Fair Isle and Intarsia so I found it a bit of a struggle, but once it was done it was certainly worth all of the tangled messes I got myself into, as it's been worn every Christmas since!

It was also the fist time I'd knitted long full-length sleeves, which I remember at the time being never ending. I am so glad now that I persevered as they are lovely and long and just the perfect length, something which I have struggled to achieve since, I think my eagerness to get wearing my latest project can make me a little optimistic on how much I have actually knitted and so the sleeves tend to come up a little on the short side (I am talking about you, Date Maker).

The Perfect Christmas Jumper Knitting Pattern Susan Crawford - Back View
The one drawback with this jumper is my choice of yarn. I didn't much care for it at the time but it was a cheap acrylic option when there were very few cheap options available (it's amazing how much more choice we have in 4py yarns a mere five years later!) so it was purely a practical choice, though I do wish I had invested a little more money into it, as the squeaky feel of the fabric has not improved with multiple washes and fabric conditioning, and the colour in real life is a little more brassy than I would have chosen in hindsight, but I still love it and it's certainly striking!

The Perfect Christmas Jumper Knitting Pattern Susan Crawford

There is one other side effect of this cheap yarn, and perhaps my loose style of knitting, which is the jumper seems to grow a little with each wash. Potentially this could be a problem, however as I only wear it a few times a year it only needs a little washing, and as I have put on a little more weight over the years since I first made it, it has actually grown with me and so has been more of a benefit rather than a problem.

The Butterfly Balcony - The Perfect Christmas Jumper 1940's

I am actually tempted to knit this up again, in perhaps a just as festive green and white colourway but considering how slowly I knit, though I am getting a little better, I should heed my advice from my last post about this jumper and probably start knitting soon!

 Wendy x

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Butterfly Balcony Boutique - Christmas Edition

It's been awhile since I posted about my little Etsy shop, mostly this is because I have let it fall by the wayside a little due to all the things I've had going on this year, but now it's time to give you a little look at some of the lovely things (mostly handcrafted by my mum) that I have been listing lately!

Click on the links to see more pictures
£13.00 + Free UK Shipping

First, are these adorable, Scandinavian style felt birds, perfect for adorning your tree this Christmas!

£59.00 + Free UK Shipping
My mum loves making quilts she spends many hours coming up with new designs and stitching away to see her ideas come to life and this and this gorgeous calendar quilt is no exception!

This quilt has twelve a unique appliqu├ęd teddy bears one for every month of the year! From snowy January, through the heat of August, to the crisp fireworks of November all the way up to the festive cheer of December. Each bear is tucked up nice and cozy in their little beds with blankets which reflect the passing months.

£5.00 each + Free UK Shipping

My mum has an enviable fabric stash with fabrics from many, many years of sewing and these cute little Scottie Dog brooches are handmade from many of the vintage fabrics found lurking there!

Each pup is handmade from vintage fabric, gently stuffed with polyester fiber filling to give them shape, adorned with a dashing collar secured with a button. They love long walks and are the perfect size for attaching to your coat or jacket so why not take one out for a stroll!
£4.00 per pair / 3 pairs for £10.00 + Fee UK Shipping

And now for something I made myself! 

These pretty little rose cabochon earrings available in six pretty shades and are certain to add a touch of spring to any grey day!

There is also a small selection of vintage clothing, all of which I would be keeping if I could just squeeze myself into it!

Free Shipping on all UK orders
For international orders I have charged what I think the cost will be, I will however once a delivery price has been obtained to your country, always refund any over payments!

Wendy x

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Free Patterns - 1943 Needlework Illustrated

Today is my birthday and so I thought, seeing that I am getting lots of treats today it might be nice to treat you lovely readers as well!! So I am sharing one of my Needlework Illustrated booklets which contains lots of sewing ideas for making yourself and your home look fabulous during rationing, also most importantly four super knitting patterns!

The Butterfly Balcony 1943 Needlework Illustrated Zebra Striped Shirt Free Knitting Pattern

Zebra Striped Shirt
To fit a 32-36" bust
The striped Shirt on the cover of this Magazine is a cleverly knitted version of one of the most popular and charming fashions of the day. These blouses always look fresh and tailored, are attractive under a suit and important enough to wear with an odd skirt for everyday occasions.

The Butterfly Balcony 1943 Needlework Illustrated September Beauty Free Knitting Pattern
September Beauty - Lace Knit Jumper
To fit 32-36" Bust
These days every garment has to do the work of two. Here is a versatile little knitted that makes the prettiest lace-stitch jumper you could wish for, or buttoning all way down the front, can be worn as a cardigan when so needed. The full sleeves are a new and charming feature finishing in deep ribbed cuffs to match the ribbed welt that fits so snugly at the waist. A tiny ribbed border edges the neck and fronts.

The Butterfly Balcony 1943 Needlework Illustrated Classic Cardigan Free Knitting Pattern

Classic Cardigan - Selected for Style
To fit 33-35" Bust
How's this for a bonny baby! The foal, full of fun and frisk, is only three days old! The Proud owner is wearing the classic hand-knit Cardigan. Four coupons were never invested better than in this warm woolly cardigan. It takes 8 ounces of 3 ply wool and is worked in stocking stitch!

The Butterfly Balcony 1943 Needlework Illustrated Arab Stripe Free Knitting Pattern
Arab Stripes Jumper
To fit 32-34" Bust
Raid your 'muddle-box' for bright bits of mercerised thread or wool left over from your knitting, and work them into the bands of colour that distinguish the sleeves of this novel jumper. Here you have a "Knitted" of great individuality... smart, new and striking... yet so easily achieved.

I hope you enjoy!
Wendy x