Knitting Vintage by Claire Montgomerie is a knitting pattern book worth having for the pictures alone. The patterns, photographs and design drawings are all beautifully laid out. The book is split into chapters by decade from the 1920s to the 1980s, each with a few pages of information about prevalent trends of the time and how knitting was regarded. At the beginning of each pattern, Montgomerie writes about the inspiration and original piece of fashion behind it. I’ve read through Knitting Vintage and gazed longingly at the pictures so many times since buying it, but last weekend I finally picked up my needles and began a project from it.
This is the Hollywood-Style beret (modeled by my lovely sister), knitted with some King Cole Galaxy DK wool that I was given for Christmas. The original pattern was knitted in pink and white, but I thought my Galaxy wool was perfect for a hat. It’s knitted on 5mm dpns.
The wool, whilst being one of the prettiest yarns ever, is also the most infuriating. It had a tendency to split and slide off the needles, so I lost a lot of stitches off the ends of my dpns. Most of them I was able to catch before it was too late, but some were lost and had to be sewn in at the end during the making up stage. Since my number of stitches never matched up with what the pattern said they should be, I’m surprised that my lace pattern looks as regular as it does. I was expecting it to be horrendously wonky! I’m really pleased with how this turned out, it’s just so gosh-darn cute.
Blocking it was fun. As per the instructions in the book, I stretched my weirdly-shaped creation over a large dinner plate and sprayed it with a light mist of water. I then gingerly pressed it with an iron and left it to dry for a few hours. When I took it off the plate, I had something that looked like an actual beret.
I’m not usually in the habit of naming hats, but I’ve called this one Skyfall. Partly because I had the theme song to Skyfall stuck in my head most of the time I was knitting and also because that’s just what the wool reminds me of.
Now working on: A birthday present for the sister.