Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cool 50's slippers

I've had a few people ask about the pattern for the cool 50's slippers. I contacted McCalls for permission to publish but they say they no longer have any association with McCalls Needlework & Crafts and didn't have any advice on where to get permission to publish. If anyone feels I've stepped on their rights, please let me know and I'll take it off.

(click to make larger)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everything remains the same

This weekend I came across some interesting 19th century publications called “Farm and Fireside” at our wonderful used bookstore here - Prairie Archives. It was a publication out of Springfield, Ohio, and the issues I found were from 1884 and 1885. One of the sections of the publication, called “Our Household,” is full of editorial comment, recipes, patterns, household hints, etc.

I haven’t read through all the issues (I found 5) but I did read the following and had to laugh. I guess I tend to think we get way more obsessed about “fancy work” in our day than our ancestors but evidently that’s not true! Somehow I find that really comforting as I think of the laundry stacked up and the dishwasher waiting to run.

“I read, not long since, a bitter tirade against all kinds of fancy work, and while there was a great deal of truth in it in regard to the time wasted by many women over this kind of work, yet it seems to me that all work of this kind ought not to be condemned. It is nice to have a bit of lace or embroidery to pick up at odd moments, and it rests one sometimes to do something of this kind more than it would to do nothing. I confess there is a fascination about nearly all kinds of so-called fancy work which tends to lead one into too great a devotion to it, and time is used which ought to be given to reading or outdoor exercise. We must watch ourselves against this.”

from “Farm and Fireside,” Springfield, OH, September 15, 1884

By the way, if you're interested, I've posted the scanned "Our Household" sections at my website here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Traveling around

Do you ever know you need to do something but it seems a bit overwhelming so you put it off. Then you’ve got new stuff to do plus the old stuff so now it just gets bigger. Yeah, well that’s sort of what’s been happening with the blog so sorry for the absence. But here’s a wrap up.

I’d been wanting to take a weekend away for a while and finally got the chance last weekend, going on a little jaunt through Galesburg, IL, where I visited a lovely antique shop, to Davenport, IA, where I found a yarn shop (as you do) and my find of the weekend (a whole stack of vintage crafting magazine from the 30’s, 50’s and 70’s for just $5) and finally on to Muscatine, IA, home of the famous shell button factories and home to a Crazy Girl Yarn Shop. Here's a photo of the outside of the shop and one of the inside of the old button factory that's now been refurbished and houses a variety of very cool shops and restaurants.

I stayed at the cutest little bed and breakfast called Strawberry Farm B&B. It was, oddly enough, at one time a strawberry farm. The owners were so kind and did they ever do a great breakfast! Handmade quilts and antiques everywhere, a screened porch and lovely back yard. Charming. Definitely charming.

Muscatine is right on the Mississippi. Here are some shots of the area. As always, you can click a picture for a larger view.

In my treasure trove of vintage pattern books I found the most interesting pattern for a knitted slipper. It’s a most ingenious construction. Here’s the picture from the magazine showing the layout and the finished product.

And here’s after the seams were sewn and on my own personal foot.