Friday, 20 March 2015

The Leather Tuscadero Jacket

Today was a catch-up day with fellow blogger and knitting fiend Gilly B. After a good gossip over coffee we decided that it would be wrong not to indulge in a charity shop browse, especially as last time we found a great 1960s coat for Gilly.

We visited a shop that's not on our usual route and I'm so glad we did. I came out with a full bag of bargains; the first being this 1970s leather jacket, which'll be ideal for spring. It reminds me of something that Mistress of Bass Guitar, Suzi Quatro would have worn back in the day, hence the title of this post.

Suzi knew how the work the leather look to perfection
Photo source: BBC

The shop's bookshelves were filled with a vast array of knitting and needlework books and stuff, which kept us occupied for a while. I delved deep and found a '70s sewing pattern that I can size down for Monkeychild and use towards my Vintage Pattern Pledge target:

I also came across a some great knitting and crochet patterns too:

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really need to learn how to crochet as the black top above is gorgeous, especially with those deep cuffs and high waistband. Mind you, it took me nigh on twenty years to learn how to knit, which nicely leads me into my last buys, a selection of Rowan knitting books from the late 1980s/early '90s:

A friend of mine used to knit lots of lovely cardigans and jumpers from these books. I would borrow them to look through and can remember reading the Rowan No. 10 book which featured a then unknown Kate Moss, and wishing that I could knit the spotty cardie she was wearing.

But now as I have my own copy and can finally knit I'm thinking that its only right that I should knit it to bring things full circle at long last and fulfil that wish from years ago!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

'Style Me Vintage - Home': Book Review

My opportunity to review Style Me Vintage - Home came about one evening after tweeting with its author and "mega enthusiastic" doyenne of all things vintage: Keeley Harris. Soon after, a copy of the highly anticipated book found its way into my hands and I settled down with a cup ('Gaydon Melmex' natch!) of tea and a quiet corner to read it.

Style Me Vintage - Home is the latest addition to the lavishly illustrated Style Me Vintage series published by Pavilion Books. As previous editions have mostly covered vintage fashion and styling, a book on homewares, period décor and display is particularly welcome.

Photos taken from Style Me Vintage - Home

Covering the 1920s through to the 1970s, Style Me Vintage - Home showcases individual homes that have evolved to reflect their owners' favourite decades; whether its a faithfully recreated a period home or contemporary styled with retro. It also discusses the key elements that make up a decade's look and how to translate this into your own home. The photo of the super 1970s bathroom with its Ali-Baba laundry basket and carpet up the side of the bath brought back childhood memories - all it needs to complete the scene are a couple of of 'Matey' bubble-bath and 'Vosene' shampoo bottles on the side next to the plants! 

Photo from Style Me Vintage - Home

I have to admit that I used this book like a vintage homewares 'I-Spy' book as I found myself going "I've got that...and that..." or "I'd love that...I wish I had brought one of those now..", and I think that many vintage homeware nuts out there will be doing the same. Also if your childhood coincided with one of the decades featured, the book is likely to bring back some fond memories.

For me, the detailed focus on homewares is a great addition as this aspect often gets left out of vintage-themed lifestyle books. Here Keeley has chosen key pieces that really typify each of the featured decades from literally A(rt Deco) to Z(ambesi coffee pot by 'Midwinter'). The book also includes a whole host of colourful photos of crockery by manufacturers such as 'Hornsea', 'Meakin' and even my favourite: 'Woods' Beryl Ware. These are pieces that every vintage collector/hoarder/enthusiast will have chanced upon at some point.

Photos taken from Style Me Vintage - Home

One of the best things is about the book is that it shows that you don't have to throw money at a room in order to achieve an interpretation of vintage style or an interior from a specific decade. Its the details that count such as the 1970s flowery bedding, 1960s psychedelic wallpaper or an exotic Chalkware lamp-stand from the 1950s; all things that can be easily found if you're prepared to look in the right places. In fact, many of these frequently crop up in the blogs of all you charity shop and boot sale scavengers out there!  However, for those uninitiated in the joys of the hunt but eager to join in, Keeley also includes a 'Where to Buy' section, whilst there's a list of suppliers at the back of the book for those who prefer to indulge in a bit of online vintage shopping (and who doesn't ?). 

This compact book is crammed full with Keeley's vast knowledge of vintage collectables and styling, and is supplemented with gorgeous photography that has inspired me to make a few changes display-wise in the VK household. Yet what also attracts me about Style Me Vintage - Home is that its written for people like you and me for whom vintage is a way of life, not just a passing phase.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Just William Pullover

Well, Monkeychild's Just William-style pullover is finally finished and ahead of schedule too. 

Regular readers might remember my December blog post where I mentioned that I found a 1930s Fair Isle pullover pattern to knit, which met with Monkeychild's approval. I stuck with my favorite Debbie Bliss Rialto and Baby Cashmerino 4-ply yarn, keeping to the original colour scheme - apart from substituting yellow for blue.

After I got the first pattern repeat under my belt I found that it proved to be quite a quick knit for a Fair Isle pattern, especially as I only had to start shaping at the armholes. 

The bit I wasn't looking forward to was weaving in all the loose ends, which took up an evening whilst watching tv. Instead of my usual steam-blocking, I decided to wet-block it as this would get rid of any minor tension issues and ripples. Luckily, I must have got my tension spot-on as the pullover knitted up to the measurements given in the pattern.

Today was the first time Monkeychild wore her pullover and as you can see below, she's very happy with it.

I really enjoyed knitting this and am on the look out for another Fair Isle pattern...but this time its for me!

P.S. For some reason Blogger isn't publishing my comments on certain blogs, so this is why I've been quiet on the comments front recently. Hopefully I can get it sorted out soon.

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