Do you go through style moods? One of mine is vintage. I love girly clothes from the early decades of the twentieth century, especially the ones in old movies with Cary Grant, and the BBC mysteries. Sam Stewart had a lily-of-the-valley-esque green cardigan in the last episode of Foyle's War that was to die for. Sadly, I can't find a photo of it to share with you.
Anyway, I'm always interested in those designs that are vintage, yet updated enough so that you can wear them today without feeling like you're wearing a costume. One of the things I came across on Ravely was this 1930s beret pattern, from petulant feminine. Her posting the pattern with a black and white photo of an actress wearing such a beret just called out "make me! wear me!" and I cannot refuse. Even though I've never knit a hat for myself before! Here is the yarn that I chose for my beret. It's teal green Mountain Mohair, from Green Mountain Spinnery.
If you like vintage knits too, you might check out Popknits. Their first issue is up, with a gorgeous cardigan by Blue Garter, and a fair isle beret that I might attempt, if I can do the one color one first. Please share your favorite vintage knits or styles with me!
Two new knittings books arrived from Amazon last night, and they are the perfect compliment to each other: Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard, and Inspired to Knit by Michelle Rose Orne. Wendy's is the left brained "here's how to analyze a schematic and mathematically alter a pattern to fit" book. Michelle's is the "here's how to take the color, pattern, and texture inspirations from nature and design a pattern to fit" book. They really raise the bar as far as looking at yarns and patterns, and making them your own, rather than knitting them exactly as directed (which I do). Perhaps this is one of the dividing lines between "art" and "craft" that so many knitters discuss in forums and around the knitting tables?
Public Service Announcement: The Animal Rescue Site and Petfinder are having a $100,000 Shelter Challenge. They are giving money away as follows:
Grand Prize: One $25,000 grant
Runner Up: One $10,000 grant
State Winners: Fifty-four $1,000 state grants
Weekly Winners: Eleven $1,000 weekly grants
All you have to do is go here and vote every day (or as often as you remember) between now and Dec. 14th for your local shelter. Tell your friends and relatives too! All of the smaller shelters are desperately in need of funds: so many pets have been abandoned due to foreclosures, moves, hurricanes, and so often are unmentioned victims of the difficult economy. If you don't have a favorite local shelter, please click for Rosie and Rainy's former rescuers: Forgotten Felines or Meriden Humane Society, both in CT. Let's get some funds to those who really need them.
P.S. This post was drafted early last week, but before I could finish it, we received some difficult personal news. The company I work for has been purchased by another company, and most of us will lose our jobs in 60 days. As you can imagine, it is overwhelming at times, trying to maintain some sense of normalcy when things are definitely not normal. But I do intend to follow those infamous words of Elizabeth Zimmermann: "Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises." Good thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated.