Sunday, July 31, 2011

Annie Modesitt's Modern Cloche, Hats Plus and More...

This is YarnOverChicago's Crochet Beret (designed by Teresa Richardson). Yarnover used Crystal Palace's Cotton Twirl, now in the latest version of Yarn U, version 1.6.
Picture was taken at Windy Knitty, Chicago.
This slouchy hat was made in brown (hard to tell here in my Hipstamatic shot).
This man's hat is at Hats Plus on Irving Park Road in Chicago.
Another man's hat at Hats Plus. This is perfect for summer. Check out the store's Hat Chronicles.
Finally, my latest hat project: Annie Modesitt's Modern Cloche from a recent issue of Knitting Today. Yarn? Classic Silk by Classic Elite Yarns.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Various Links: Chicago Silent Film Festival and More

Today's overcast with rain...perfect for sewing, knitting, reading or dare I say it,
cleaning? Anyhow, here are arious interesting links related to sewing, hats, films and fashion!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome Cherished Collections Summer 2011 Tour: my Vintage Yarn Stash

1. My first skein of Evermatch yarn, a blue green skein, against a background of labels.
2. Mogor Gimp, part of a small collection of matching skeins I bought on eBay. Probably from the 1940s.

3. Glosilla Corde, scored at an estate sale, along with purse in a project.
4. More Evermatch yarn, this time in yellow. Probably from 1970s.
5. Published in April, but I just discovered it at the Evanston (IL) Public Library.
Welcome Cherished Collections visitors. I'm thrilled to share with you my growing collection of vintage yarns, which I actually use. What vintage yarn, you ask? Because I can, if it's out there and in good condition, I'll use it. There's a myth that all old yarn is riddled with moths, and just beyond brittle. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let's start with no. 1.

1. This is Evermatch Sport and Sweater yarn, which I got from my mother who's into knitting hats, socks for charitable causes. I told her I wanted to knit her a pair of footsies (socks without ribbing, for a lack of a better word). Did she have any yarn that I could use? She did, and this was it. After three skeins and a finished pair of socks, I was hooked on Evermatch Sport and Sweater, a discontinued yarn probably from the 1970s. I searched high and low for more skeins, nothing. I only found more back with my original source: my mother. Unfortunately, all the green was gone! But she had a motherlode of yellow, which I'll get into in no. 4

2. Mogor Gimp. You've probably seen the crocheted bags from the 1940s in the antique stores, all faded black, brown and navy. That name of that yarn is corde (or cordette), it was extremely popular during World War II years for hats and purses. It's a rayon yarn with a cotton core, which makes for an extremely stiff material when crocheted (I haven't seen it used for vintage knits, but I'm sure there's an example floating out there).  I bought this batch on eBay. What makes it interesting is that it's a light pink. I've yet to see a 1940s crochet bag or hat in this color, but here it is. I started to use this for a late 1930s handbag pattern, didn't like my stitch gauge, so I unraveled the whole shebang, but the whole batch continues to be begged to be used for something special. I would love, love to recreate Casey's grandma's bag someday.  With a little studying and charting, that wouldn't be difficult. Corde is still made today for purses, but you would be hard-pressed to find it in a knitting shop. I've seen similar yarn in an online UK store, very expensive...the most comparable yarn widely available would be Berroco's Seduce.

3. Glosilla Corde. This was an amazing find at an estate sale in Chicago a few years ago. It was part of an incomplete purse project. It came with something like 90 like crocheted circles already made. Unfortunately, a good number of those circles got destroyed by my late cat. It was right after Hurricane Katrina, so how could I complain about something so minor in comparison? No, I couldn't wash the urine out without the ruining the yarn's sheen and composition. So I sadly tossed those destroyed. The good news? I still have the above skeins and enough circles probably to make a little handbag or a pillbox hat. 

4. The Evermatch yarn in yellow. I trade some more contemporary yarns to get a whole bag of the Evermatch in yellow! I had something like 30 skeins, all matching! I made the Sun-Ray ribbing sweater last year. I started a cardigan from 1970s Stitch in Time, still not finished. Now most recently, I working on the Jan sweater from the second edition of Stitch in Time, coming out this year. I probably could squeeze one more yellow sweater out this collection of Evermatch, but I need a break. I'm thinking of something more contemporary like Dream in Color's Everlasting sock yarn or Three Irish Girls's Springvale Sock in Mimosa.

5. Knitting Vintage. Last but not least. A new vintage knitting book I just discovered at the library. It's in my hands, so I'm going to make a couple projects. My favorite for leftover scrap is the lacy collar, which I could make by the dozens with half-used lonely skeins in my collection. I see no one has uploaded any completed projects for this in Ravely. My competitive juices are in full gear. I better get started to be first! The collars should go well with the stretch lace (think Free People) tops I've sewed to date.

Finally, a commercial plug for my iPhone/iPad app, Yarn U. There's not a discontinued skein in the list of 170 yarns in this database, but there are score of ideas and plenty of contemporary yarns at a shop near you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pleated Skirts Make a Comeback

In case you haven't noticed pleated skirts are coming back in a big way. Think Madame Grès, floaty, ethereal, and most importantly, silky. But you don't have to own a pleater to get this couture effect in your own sewing. Look no further than your local fabric shop. Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, Ill. custom orders pleated panels of your choice. It's not cheap ($34.99 a panel) but it's inexpensive considering the final product...which will look like a designer original. In New York City, there's Stanley Pleating,  which I've never tried. The West Coast version? Try Ace Pleating. Near neither? You can buy one, but hold your breathe, they're not cheap.

A more recession-friendly approach to pleating your own fabric is to rent one,which you can do at Vogue Fabrics by the hour. Call the Evanston store's to arrange the rental.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hats from 1930s, 1940s and 2003

1930s hats
1940s hats, from a knitting pattern booklet

2003 poster for Eugenia Kim's hat line
Back later this week with more pictures from the Hipstamatic...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday Round-up of Links....

I snapped this Hipstamatic shot at downtown Borders store. It's a birthday card for those born in 1934. Here are a few more hat-related links for you to enjoy:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Independence Day - Annie Modesitt hats and a link

Gone with the Wind Hat, no. 1
Gone With Wind Hat no. 2

High Society Hat
Having fun with my Hipstamatic documenting some of the Annie Modesitt hats I've knitted over the past 24 months. My favorite is still the High Society Hat you see above. I can't wait to try out Modesitt's Modern Cloche, winging its way in the mail now. Hopefully to land in the mailbox Tuesday.

Here's one last hat-related link I forget to put up the other day.