Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

This is one of my treasured posessions. Published in 1944 "in complete conformity with the authorized economy standards" it is an amazing window into a difficult world where women used their skill and imagination to keep things together for their families.
Its full of wonderful quotes, including this from the introduction:
This little book is, quite frankly, one for hard times and scarcity of materials, when thrift and make-do are the greatest of all household virtues. We are all passing through such a time now and so I hope that'Economy Knitting and Patchwork' will help the knitter, the crochet worker adn the needlewoman all equally.
And when the national hard times are over, I believe that this book may still aid any women who are unluckily passing through individual hard times, when sixpences are scarce and each must somehow do the job of a shilling. I have tried, therefore, to choose economical ideas which will not readily date when the wheel of Fashion turns more rapidly again than it is in these days of coupons...

Well, that wheel has spun a fair few times since 1944 and while I wouldn't pretend that our hard times are even a shadow of wartime hardship, I certainly don't have much to splash out on materials. 'Thrift and make-do' are definitely virtues needed around here, so, inspired by the lovely Butterfly Balcony blog amongst other things I'm doing a bit of making do, using some oddballs, mostly of Rowan Felted Tweed:

I'm planning on making a patchwork cushion cover, trying out some of the knitting stitches in 'Economy Knitting' as sample squares.

This first, green, square is in what's simply called 'Triangle Pattern': "An effective design for skirts, shawls and blankets, and looks best in thick wool on a comparatively heavy article." Personally, I'm really taken by the idea of a cardigan using this stitch and despite the fact that I'm fully embroiled with pattern testing for my 'Baby Queen Bess' sweater I'm already turning ideas over for how that would work.

The second, red, square I'm working on is 'Barred Stripe Stitch': "A decorative pattern, which looks well on jumpers, jerseys and boys' or men's sports stockings." Can't see myself knitting any men's sports stockings anytime soon, but I'm sure it'll look great on the cushion.
More making-do and mending is planned for the rest of the weekend, so will hopefully have more to share here soon.


  1. I really like the triangle pattern. Is it hard to do? I'm making a blanket and would love to use that for a few squares.

  2. Not difficult at all really! Send me an email at and I'll give you details :-)

  3. I am so behind on my blog reading!! Thank you for the mention, I love the book it sounds marvelous!! Love the idea of a cushion of all those squares in different stitches, (I know if I tried it they would all end up vastly differnt sizes due to my eratic tension!!)Its going to look lovely!!!

  4. Hey! Love the patterns do you have them posted or are they to buy??