Thursday, 14 June 2012

60's style Crochet Beachwear

I have been reading with interest several Celebrity type pages as they are containing lots of crochet. It seems to be the latest thing for the red carpet celebrities to  turn up wearing something crocheted or knitted. The magazines always confuse the two skills. As you know I love anything that looks vintage or from the 60/70's era so I am so glad that it is becoming fashionable and trendy once again.

A lot of the styles I couldn't wear any more due to age and weight but I do love making things like this for my younger slimmer friends.

This is for my friend Julie to wear on her holidays in Turkey. I am still not happy with the shorts. I have taken a few rows off the length of the shorts already but they still look quite 40's in their style. I couldn't try then on the mannequin properly so I am hoping than when Julie tries them on they will spread out widthways which will shorten them. This mannequin has no hips so doesn't have the womanly shape that Julie does.

I like the top as a bolero/shrug style to wear over a dress and am considering making something similar myself to wear over my Summer dresses as I am so sick of wearing trousers and sweaters all of the time. The pattern that I used is a vintage Twilley pattern that actually has Shakira (married to Michael Caine) as the model wearing the beach set. I should have draped something coloured underneath this top so that you could see the pattern stitch clearly. White on white is not a good idea.

All that is missing now is a headband. I am making matching headbands for each outfit that I make as she likes to wear them on her holidays to keep her hair tidy without having to blow dry and straighten it every day. Yesterday I took delivery of 4 small packets of different coloured small sequins which I will use to trim the flowers on the headbands.

For Christmas about 3 or 4 years ago I was given an amaryllis bulb in a pot that came from Marks and Spencer. . The first year it flowered 3 separate times, the second time it flowered just the once. The third time all it produced was leaves so I put it in the porch when the leaves died down and forgot all about it. I didn't water it over the winter so imagine my surprise 2 weeks ago to find that it was budding again. I brought it indoors and watered it and this is what happened.

Sadly the joy has been a bit short lived. I got up yesterday morning to find that the stem had bent over so far that it had snapped off . I have got the flowers in a pint pot of water and they have continued to flower but it's not the same as if they were still on the stem. I hadn't realised that the stems are completely hollow so the weight of 3 flowers must have been too much for the stem which was bending further every day.

I think amaryllis are so beautiful. Just look at the beautiful shadings on this flower.

This is what I am working on at the moment. It is from a pattern which I think is Russian in origin. I got it free from Ravelry. It is a pop over beach dress for Julie. I am struggling with the pattern somewhat as I am not used to completely following patterns with only symbols and very little in the way of instructions. I managed to sort out that I started off with 10 circles for the  dropped waistline and then this is the back which is crocheted upwards as is the front. It will have very large armholes as it is meant to be worn over a tube top of a swimsuit. I have now finished the top half and am ready to start crocheting downwards to make the short skirt part. I doubt if anyone who wasn't good at ammending patterns would be able to attempt this. I think that had it been for me and not an order I would have given up on the pattern a long time ago.

The yarn looks plain on here but in the light it is a mix of silver grey, grey and black all with a shiny metallic finish. The yarn came from Turkey. I also had a delivery of some more gold metallic thread yesterday from Ice yarns as I have another order for a gold lurex dress. Not the same pattern as the last one I made. I do prefer to make things as one offs wherever possible so that they will be unique to the person that I have made the dress or top for. That is what makes crocheting them so special. Knowing that you can walk into a room and no-one will have the same outfit on as you do.

Today I am going to the Manchester Art gallery. I am meeting my friend Rachael from Art Yarn who is holding a knitting session in the Gallery linked to the We Face Forward  exhibition that is running there at the moment. I am looking forward to seeing the exhibition and meeting up with friends old and new for an evening of knitting (or in my case crochet) in pleasant surroundings. I haven't been there since my younger niece got married there 3 yrs ago. Because I was at a wedding I didn't get much chance to take a proper look around. Shame on me. Having so much art to view locally and not taking advantage of it. It is one of those things that are on my pending list.

Today the sun is actually shining although there isn't much warmth in the day. I hope that you are having a great day and are staying happy and healthy.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Gold Lurex 60's Style Crochet Dress

Sorry that I haven't blogged in over a week but I hurt my hip last week and so could not sit on my PC chair for long enough to blog. I don't exactly know what I did. I had been machine knitting and whether I pulled a muscle or moved in the wrong way I am not sure. All I know was that I was in agony and couldn't walk. I wasn't even comfortable in bed as everytime I moved it was a stabbing pain down my buttock and into my hip. I could crochet though but only laying down in my recliner. It still hurt everytime I moved which was made me think that it was something muscular and not a dislocation.

Thankfully the pain has now more or less subsided but it still pulls a bit when I move to get out of the chair.

Anyhow back to the crochet. I have been making this dress for my friend Julie from a 60's style pattern that I bought from EBay. I did have this pattern in the 60's but as usual it was borrowed and not returned so I had to buy another copy, I seem to spend pounds on EBay and Etsy replacing 'lost' patterns. I have learnt not to lend patterns out any more.

This is the dress before it had the frill collar and the bottom edging added.

This is the finished dress. It's a shame that the lurex doesn't show up on the photos. I used some yarn that I bought from Ice yarns from Turkey. If I had used Twilleys Goldfingering it would have cost me 5 times as much to make it, It has taken me a little while as it is crocheted on a 3mm hook

This is a close up of the collar. It was crocheted separately and stitched on later.

This is a photo of Julie wearing the dress. I gave her the option of a tie which she threaded through to tighten the dress under the bust. She is such a tiny little thing but is blessed with a large bosom. This photo makes her look larger than she is. It must be taken at an unflattering angle. She doesn't even reach 5 foot tall even with her high heels on.

I am at present crocheting another 60's outfit for her. It's a pair of shorts with a cropped top. I have stopped for the moment as the shorts look like big crocheted white knickers and I think they would look much better adapted to be hipster style. Julie is calling on Sunday to try them on. I would rather unravel and restart them as I am not happy with the way that they are now. The top is coming out lovely and I have almost finished that.

I have  been busy Ebaying and Etsying as usual,

The James Walters book is more of an tutorial book without patterns. I saw this book secondhand on Amazon for a really cheap price so I had to get it. It is a bit of a collectors item and the last time I saw it they wanted £££'s for it. The lime green cotton is vintage Twilleys Stalite. It's a cross between 4ply and DK

I used to sell and crochet with this cotton in the 60's and 70's and loved it. I am sure that I paid a lot less for these 12 balls than I would have done when I used to sell it. A vintage bargain. This will be for a crochet top for myself. I think that I have enough for something with a little sleeve as our Summer days are so few and far between.

More E bay bargain patterns.

A better view of the top two booklets by Twilley. Both books use fine cottons but I am sure that they will work up with some of the machine cones that I already have.

Some more 'new' vintage patterns. The one at the bottom right is knitted with a crochet edging. I made this top on the machine with the crochet edging so many times back in the 70's. Not many people crocheted back then so my Mother used to 'volunteer' me to crochet the edgings for customers who knitted the tops. I didn't always appreciate her doing this as they were always 'Thank you very much' jobs. My Mother was the old fashioned shop keeper who believed that if you do something for customers then they will stay loyal to you. It must have worked as we did very well with oue shops from the 50's until the recession of the late 90's when people stopped knitting and I had to sell the last shop.

 I have always felt guilty that I could not afford to keep running the last one. If I could have weathered the storm then I would still be there in my shop. I didn't have the option though as I was going through a divorce at the time so didn't have an alternative source of income to live on, and buy my half of the house from my ex, whilst the storm passed. Still it's no good looking back at things which I could not change. Wishing about what might have been is a pretty pointless thing. No sense in looking back with regret although I do have my moments sometimes when I am searching for things that I used to sell and can't find them anywhere. How I wish that I had the room to have saved more things from the shop when I closed it down.

I am off to the hospital in a while for a scan. I have a lump behind my ear, The GP said it was a cyst but my dentist wasn't sure so referred me to a specialist. The specialist doesn't think that it is a cyst either so hence the scan. Perhaps I am growing extra brains cells behind my ear. I really need some more as the ones that I have seem to be wearing out these days,

Hopefully I am back to blogging more regularly again. I will have more to show you next time as I have decided that it is time to update my elderly selection of clothes so have been Ebay bidding for some summer dresses (Ha Ha) and a couple of skirts. As this is the North of England I have also bought some of the dreaded leggings to wear underneath these things to keep my hips and legs warm. I am determined to stop dressing as if it's the middle of winter. I visualise lots of summer type cardigans on the hook shortly as it is rarely warm enough to be short sleeved. Still at least I will look more summery even if I am freezing to death!

Happy crocheting x