Reasons to be cheerful, part 1 (vintage reasons…)

It’s vile outside.

It may look all beautiful and mystical and Tolkienian, but it’s a pain in the bum when you have to drive all the way up to the hospital through it, and then all the way back when it’s got even worse – a round trip of well over 50 miles. But the good news is that I’m OK for my hand surgery, and now all I’m waiting for is a date – which could be soon. So I’m frantically trying to finish a) work projects, b) the great pre-op bread making marathon, c) the cardigan I started knitting for a friend about six months ago, and I need a bit of levity.

What do you do when you’ve got lots of things which absolutely have to be done? You rake through all your old patterns and enjoy them, that’s what you do. If you’re me.

I am so ready to knit something interesting.

Something on fine needles, using fine wool. The hat from my last post is on my list, but I’ve been diverted by cardigans. And tops in general.

The one on the left is calling to me, but I’d lengthen the sleeves and body, and I’m imagining it in hemp… and no, I’m not insane – a fine 4-ply hemp from House of Hemp, perhaps. Washed before knitting, washed afterwards – gets lovely and soft and has a delicious drape and a slight sheen.

So something in a lace pattern, perhaps, or a cable. And I’ll be able to move my hands round a Fair Isle (though maybe not round this one – I’ve had second thoughts on that).

Cute but – well, I suppose you could do something with it. I’m sure there’s room for the twinset to be reinvented, but perhaps not by me.

My old copies of the Needlwoman (responsible for the first double-page spread) have provided me with more food for thought. How about the little waistcoat on the right?

I’m not at all sure about the shoulders of the left-hand item, though. And what exactly is a jumper coat? I thought I knew, but I did not – or if I did, I was wrong. For my money, this ain’t no jumper and it ain’t no coat, lady. But the continuation of the stripe down the sleeve is an interesting idea. Hmm.

Ah – given that I’ll be able to manage a Fair Isle (I’d better be – I’ve explained the importance of this to my surgeon), I’ve excavated the mitten pattern I’ve mentioned on here before. It’s wonderful, and very reminiscent of some mittens one of my fellow spinners, weavers and dyers was knitting at our recent Sunday spin-in. Mind you, I don’t think her mittens were described as Gay Mitts.

They’re wonderful – and they’re charted, which must make them one of the really early charted patterns. Oh, and I’ve just noticed the  ‘Trim Fit’ top – that’s nice… I do like that neckline.

There’s so much potential out there when you can use your hands properly!

(Of course, as has been pointed out to me, I do not know the meaning of the M word – shh, whisper it low: moderation. So I’ll probably end up with a frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and knitter’s twitch. I don’t know if that last one is medically recognised, but I think I’ve got it already.)


10 thoughts on “Reasons to be cheerful, part 1 (vintage reasons…)

    1. kate Post author

      Aren’t they cute? I can’t quite believe the pattern’s over sixty years old – incredible…. I’m sure they’d be a hit on Ravelry!

  1. heikeknits

    I know it is near impossible for you, but please please…will you just slow down and take it easy as otherwise you will never knit any of the above (or anything else for that matter) again. Not sure I know what a Jumper Coat is either, but always willing to learn 😉
    No longer lovely here and no chance for cups of tea outside today…your weather is here!!!

    1. kate Post author

      I know, you are absolutely right… but it’s going to be very hard. My stash is calling! (Fortunately I have some very forceful friends round here who will keep a knitterly eye on me. Whether I take any notice is, of course, up for debate…)

    1. kate Post author

      I think I’m going to have to ration my knitting time and build it up slowly. And I’ll need the willpower of an iron man, whereas I actually have the willpower of a maggot. Maybe my stash could go on holiday for a bit?

      (but I’m sure one pair of mittens won’t count…)

    1. kate Post author

      One thing that may help me resist is the fact that it should be warming up by the time both my hands are done, and I won’t be wanting to knit mittens. Much…

  2. Anne

    Pot calling kettle here BUT take it easy ,it won’t be long now until its all over,Chances are you will be finished before I get my op 😦
    I love the mitts too and my book has just arrived (Magnificent Mittens & Socks ) so am planning what to make .That is when I have done my present and as yet not started knitting but in the process of spinning project !! Well we have to plan ahead ,right ? 🙂

    1. kate Post author

      Take it easy? I can’t believe you’re saying that!! Seriously, I will be good – I don’t want to risk a repeat of this. No, really!


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