Friday, August 21, 2009

Future Fashions vol.80 (1936)

Here's a peek at a gorgeous vintage knitting pattern book I picked up yesterday.

What a lovely inside cover photo. The former owner wrote her name and the date she bought the pattern book.

I believe the correct term for this is "jaunty". As in, "My, Lillian, that is a jaunty blouse!". The entire outfit is knit on size 2 needles. I do like the lace pattern, though. Looks like "lamb's lettuce" from my "Mon Tricot 1500 Patterns" book.

I am in love with 30's style. It's definitely not Hollywood glamour, but still fabulous! Can you imagine the time and yarn that would go into making this outfit? Can you imagine how heavy it would be?

There was an amazing surprise inside: three typed knitting patterns 'signed' and dated to 1937!

I might try some of the sweaters in here, once I figure out the sizing. I'll post the patterns when I do!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little Surprises

I found this tiny abandoned nest in one while picking berries in our yard.
What a nice little surprise!

Friday, August 14, 2009


It's safe to say that I am secretly an old lady in a twenty-something (okay, late twenties, but still) body. I love knitting, I collect doilies and old books, and then there's the whole tea obsession. So now I'm taking it one step further with sewing patchwork.

I tried out this patchwork ball tutorial from yesterday. I hardly ever sew, and this is only my second attempt at patchwork. I nearly declared a Jihad on my sewing machine but we resolved the issue peacefully in the end (with much swearing on my part). I think I did pretty well, though I did make some mistakes. One of the fabrics should have had some interfacing as it was unraveling at the points. I should have left the opening for stuffing in the middle, not at the end, and I didn't cut as perfectly as I needed to. My patchwork ball is sort of shaped like a mutated football as a result. I definitely need more practice and better fabric/cutting tools.

Oh well. It's kind of like those first pathetic knitted swatches a person makes, where you end up with about three extra stitches on one end and a wonky part in the middle. And you love it anyway.

All in all I had a great time with this. I get tired of the pressure of only crafting for sale and gifts... sometimes it's nice just to try something out for fun of learning a new skill. It only took a couple of hours from start to finish (I'm sure a more skilled seamstress would be able to do this a lot quicker... less time spent yelling at the sewing machine) and required very little material. I may even try more. Every granny needs a quilt, right?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dumpster Diving and Procrastination

I came across this amazing gas can in someone's garbage this morning. Super fantastic! Check out the decal close up.

There's just something I love about retro primaries with peeling paint. Ahhhhhh...

Here are some photos of "as-is cameras" for etsy!

My eumig S3 zoom.

I have about three old Polaroid cameras to sell, if I ever get the product photos finished.

I've become addicted to Drop7, a tetris-like game on the iPhone. That has been eating up a lot of my time, not to mention my batteries. Lord I hope battery life improves sometime in the next gen or two.
Anyway, I need to get some knitting done! I've been putting it off because we're finally getting summer weather here and who wants to work in the sunny summer time? Isn't that when "the livin's easy"? I think they made a song about it ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Homemade Marshmallows!

Do you like things that are sticky?
Do you like things that are sweet?

oh.... no... I don't mean... that.

I'm talking about homemade marshmallows! I had been itching to try the marshmallow recipe from as part of my obsession with getting away from store-bought stuff and heading in a more old school direction with food.

Go homemade!!!

So, do you have sugar? Corn syrup? Gelatin? Vanilla? Well, you've got pretty much everything you need to make marshmallows!

This recipe was perfect. Everything worked out the first time through, even without a candy thermometer. And I'm definitely no candy expert. Every time I've tried making fudge I've ended up with a dismal ultra-sweet mess-in-a-pan... yuck. The instructions at are awesome and very precise.

Here is the syrup cooking away. Even though the sugar seemed to be getting quite caramelized, the marshmallows turned out gorgeous and pure white.

I even overcame my fear of this lovely KitchenAid mixer. The syrup needed to be whipped for 10 minutes and you can bet your ass I was motivated to try anything that would allow me not to use the hand mixer. My husband gave this to me for Christmas -wait for it- three years ago (!) but I had never used it. How stupid! It was so easy to use and worked like a charm.

Here's the finished product. The edges of these marshmallows are extremely sticky and need to be coated with something to keep them from being pulled apart or drying out. I rolled some marshmallows in plain toasted coconut, some in macaroon mix, and the rest in cocoa powder.

This recipe makes a lot of marshmallows. They're not really the kind of thing you can eat a batch of in one sitting. I think they would make a nice little gift wrapped up brown paper and tied with a pretty ribbon. People were very intrigued by the fact that you could make your own marshmallows and they are lovely and old fashioned.

Happy baking!