Saturday, September 20, 2008

Retro Knit Saturday!

The February Lady Sweater is coming along very nicely. I am ready to start the lace portion. I like the way the buttonholes are finished at the very beginning of the sweater. There is a row of many increases at the end of the garter section and the instructions are pretty vague, telling you to increase 38 sts evenly across the 280 or so stitches. I tried it once and goofed it up, ending up with 5 too many stitches, so I cut some scrap yarn into 38 pieces and looped it along the row, trying to space it evenly. Then, when I came to a piece of yarn, I made an increase. This was so easy that I will have to try this method again, its main benefit being no math involved.

Today I am making tortillas using the recipe in Rancho Cooking. Right now the dough is resting but soon I will be shaping the many little balls of future tortilla dough. My daughter is coming for the weekend and she will help me roll them out and fry them up.

While I wait for the dough to rest, we will look at this 1940 volume of Bear Brand/Bucilla Smart Styles. The cover garment is a shorty jacket called "Fair and Square". The description says it is 'a distinctive windbreaker style with a smart roll collar knitted of the new CURLICUE.' That is a great name for a yarn with lots of loops and texture. As the shadow of the coming war loomed on the horizon, many sweater patterns had a larger gauge than before. The wartime knitter had less time for very fine gauge knitting since she was usually in the service or had war work, commercial or volunteer. England was already at war when this was published. The gauge of this jacket is 4 1/2 sts/inch on size 6 needles.

'Fieldster' is another larger gauge jacket knit at 3 1/2 sts/inch. The texture pattern uses wrapped stitches to give a woven look. Edges are finished with single crochet, and shoulder pads are used to give the jacket its shape. The booklet contains a page of instructions for making your own shoulder pads.

'Tuck-In' was to be used as a blouse. The description says that it can be worn with a suit tucked in or out. The back has extended shoulders that are buttoned over the bound-off stitches on the front bodice, and the front is decorated with purl ridges, which also decorate the top of the sleeves. It is knit of a dress yarn at 6 sts/inch.
'Smart Note' has "new fitted feminine lines in suave TRICOLAINE". It is knit at about 6 1/2 sts/inch and has a lovely cable pattern. The puffed sleeves give a hint of the big 40's shoulders that were only a few years away.

This week was my FIL's 86th birthday. We had a nice dinner out at a restaurant, then went back to their place to eat the birthday cake I made for him. I made a chiffon cake, and a layer of meringue. I filled the cake with a raspberry whipped cream and frosted it with lots of plain, sweetened whipped cream. The cake barely fit in the cake-taker container. I had to wedge the top down, and I told myself I would patch up the sides when I opened it up. When I did take the top off, the top half of the cake came with it. I held the top over the poor beheaded cake, gave it a shake, and the top half of the cake fell onto the bottom with perfect accuracy. I smoothed the cream around the sides, and you would never know anything had happened to it. It was delicious.

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