Monday, March 28, 2016


That's "Bockers", as in "knickerbockers," Mary-Lou (Comments, last entry)  The sort of underwear into which one might have been sewn in winter.  The pattern features a gusset, and presumably no picture for fear of offending public decency.  It would have been helpful for the knitter though.

Just as much of its time is this set of patterns from a booklet called  "The Aran Look" - pre-decimal coinage, so sometime in the 60s perhaps.

  Would anyone have left the house dressed in this get-up?  And imagine a country walk in Aran gaiters like this. 

A change of theme - around our village, various dated properties.  This one once fronted up the King's seeds site.  Growing plants for their seed was a major enterprise locally until quite recently.
(Click on the picture to enlarge.)

By the bridge over the Blackwater, this blue plaque:

Coggeshall Abbey was an ancient foundation, standing to the south of Coggeshall.  The remaining buildings are now a farm in private ownership, but the Grange Barn, where the monks stored their harvests, is run by the National Trust.

This one kind of brings it home to you, doesn't it?  Twenty years ago we had an allotment on that same Vicarage Fields.

Here's one where the date is very precise - and probably correct.  However, I used to rent a flat just behind this house.  The owner had brought up her children in the house pictured and one of her sons had trained as a wood-carver.  I think that horizontal beam - the bressumer - in the picture may well be his work, from about 1967.
And, finally, the clock tower from the village square, above the Clockhouse tearooms.  This counts as modern, for us.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Camibockers, anyone?

Alternate days of lovely, sunny, spring-like weather and bitter chill.  Last Sunday,  we ate lunch out on the patio.  Yesterday, it was a huddling sort of day.

Browsing the bookshelf at our cottage recently, I came across this little booklet, published, I think, in 1933.

I do remember the Scotch Wool Shop in our local town, Whitehaven.  It was right next to the department store, The Beehive, where we often shopped.  It did look like this on the outside, as - I guess - did the other 350 branches -  "a mile of shops."

In the booklet a wide selection of patterns, some impossibly archaic.

And the illustrations even more so.

However, one could possibly knit a cricket sweater for a twelve year old from this pattern.
Unfortunately, no illustration accompanies these instructions.  It does say "Begin at the knee..."so you would have some clue, but it is a while before it reveals that you are knitting one half of the garment.  I'm almost tempted to try knitting it, or should I say, them...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Colour Therapy

So - a smallish jumper for Knit for Peace, in a yarn so thick that each row adds about a quarter of an inch.  Should be a fun knit, you' d think?  Sadly, it proved very wearing on the fingertips.

This is a yarn recovered from a giant jumper I knitted for myself some ten years ago and never wore.  Nowadays it's layers of fleece for me on winter walks.  But this jumper looks thick enough to keep out the chills.

A pair of Newfoundland mittens in a colour scheme which hurts my eyes.  Strangely, someone from South Korea commented on how pretty these look, so maybe they will find a taker.

And, a third pair, using up thirteen different colours of acrylic yarn.  These really glow in the sunlight and were both quick and fun to knit.  Colours like these really lift the spirits.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Knitting from deep stash

On Ravelry recently a group was started aiming to knit only from "Deep Stash" for a while.  Non-knitters might not recognise this term.  "Stash" in this sense is your store of knitting yarn, and "deep stash" has been in there for a longish while - up to fifty years in my case.

Hard to believe, but there are some addicts who spend hundreds of pounds augmenting their stash, but never actually knit any of it.  Or else, they have lots of yarn in store, but always feel the need to buy more for new projects.  Now, that seems quite reasonable to me.  As does picking up bargains in the yarn line from charity shops as the opportunity arises, without a clear idea of what it might be used for.

Around our house I would say I have reached Peak Yarnage - ie almost all the storage spaces are full already.  Several carrier bags are floating free in our lounge, where they ought not to be.  So I am setting myself a challenge.

It is this: How many garments can I make from yarn already in the house? 

In fact, I made a start with those Sanquhar hats.  Many years ago, when my nephew was a small boy, I knitted a dark green jumper with a bright red tractor worked in intarsia on the front.  That dark green yarn must be almost forty years old.  Good to see it used up.

Just posted off already, to the same organisation, is this oatmeal pullover in Jaeger Shetland, made to The Una Vest pattern by Marie Wallin in "The Knitter."  It's a straightforward pattern and should be warm, but the finished effect on me was a little more rustic than one would wish.  It looked great on the young girl modelling it in the magazine, as is always the way.

Next up, these Newfoundland Mittens, a satisfying and quick knit.  The pink here is the remainder of two skeins of art Yarns sent to me as a prize for having knitted fifty of the Innocent hats for someone.  Lovely yarn, but with sufficient variation in the two skeins to make it more suitable for small projects.