Saturday, 6 September 2014

Random Ramblings and The Fantastic Forties...

I have a brief window of peace today. I've waved M and J off. J dragging a cricket bag large enough to sleep in. M forgetting his special scoring pens, he will be cross about that, he is very particular about the way he scores.

E is meeting a friend in town. A male friend. Today we have reached that rather awkward milestone when your daughter brings home a boyfriend. Oh boy. Not only have I no back up, and by that I mean socially and a back up pair of ears, I'm also part way through trashing the dining room in order to get to every single last book in there (did I mention it was two million?!). We have a kitchen which is half done (but hey the sink is plumbed in at last) and two stinking dogs from their early morning twenty lengths in the nearest boggiest river. I'm out of scented candles so I've had to light an incense stick. He will surely expect me to appear in hippy attire with a woven band round my forehead.

In between stressful situations like the boyfriend and the bookshelves I will be finishing off another oatmeal cowl. The last one was 'gifted' as they say across the pond. I'm modifying a free pattern I found and will share the details on that soon. It was one of those leisurely projects that whips up in a day, leaving the decision about the final few rows for at least another week.

I've also done a HUGE amount of surfing online for vintage style cardigans or sweaters. I've concluded that in the old days they pretty much crocheted with dental floss and a toothpick. Even 4 ply wool is too thin for me but imagine doing an intricate sweater in 2 ply! No thank you. There are some sensible knitted versions to be found (thanks T) but my wrists won't thank me if I start a knitted one.

I eventually found a crochet cardigan pattern which appears to use something close to DK. The suggested hook size was G, which roughly translates to 4.5mm according to online sources. You can see in the photo that it's called the Americana Cardigan; 'a sweater to live in will be such a help in your wardrobe..bejewel it for an evening and dancing, wear it with a dicky for everyday or team it with slacks for active service.' Well slacks it is then! Active service clearly means, mopping floors, bathing dirty dogs, sorting books...

I've worked up a few rows just to see whether the pattern is decipherable. I've chosen random wool leftovers which will run out before I'm done with the pattern sequence but in the spirit of Make Do and Mend I'm using up what I've got to see whether it produces a wearable item and whether the size might need adjusting before I purchase the 400g the pattern calls for (doesn't sound nearly enough to me!). I thought the colour combo was vaguely vintage but Ella thought it was revolting! So helpful.

There is a reason for this garment. I've told a few close family and the reactions have been decidedly luke warm. Perhaps only Mum 'gets it'. I do wish my Nan were here to advise, she'd also get it, very much so. I'm going to be cough, forty cough five, next month and I wanted to do something fun. I've always liked the forties look and fancied a forties makeover! From 45 to 1945. Yep, I know, it's slightly mad.

Mum has big rollers, Ella has bright red lipstick...I may even have a forties style cardigan by then. Do you think that raffia crochet handbag would pass for forties? M keeps pulling funny faces about it and I just say that once I've done my cardigan I need to measure him up for a fairisle tank top. That shut him up!


  1. I think it's a great idea for a themed birthday, as for the cardigan I like the cream green and brown stripes but not the bright blue. x

    hope you survived meeting the boyf!

  2. That is the best idea ever - it will be so much fun. I LOVE the raffia bag too. Really looking forward to your crochet cowl pattern, it looks so beautifully soft and snuggly.
    Have a great Sunday,
    Kate x

  3. Sounds like a great idea for a birthday Juanita. I'm looking forward to seeing some photos. By the way 45 doesn't seem so bad when your looking at it from the other side of 50:)

  4. Oh my gosh, too funny. Aren't kids the best?! Not! My daughter informed me last week that my clothing has a decidedly Soccer Mom feel and threw nearly everything out! While I appreciate the help, what am I suppose to wear now the cupboards are bare?!