This Saturday I’m Selling at Classic Carboot Sale plus Free Vintage Knitting Pattern from 1938

I’m sharing a pattern today from Weldon’s Portfolio Of Ladies Fashion from 1938. It’s a lovely summery short-sleeved top. The rest of the magazine will be appearing soon on the website and then on October 3rd at the Classic Carboot Sale, King’s Cross, where I’ll be helping Elsie, from Elsie’s Droguerie with her stall, and selling off part of my hoard of vintage sewing patterns and magazines, with a few dvds of pre-1950s films thrown in too. (The Classic Carboot Sale is on for two days, but I’ll only be there on Saturday). Come along and stock up on classic cleaning products from Elsie and knitting patterns from me!

It’s called the Tricolour Triumph and is a bust size 36 inches and it’s made in 3 ply of maize with orange and green stripes.

Weldon's Ladies Journal 1938 free knitting patternRead More »

Bodies in the Library & Fans of vintage clothes and knitting also love crime novels (off topic)

The Golden Age of Mystery Fiction (approx. 1920 – 1945)

Venn DiagramThis is slightly off topic, but as you see from my imaginary Venn diagram of vintage knitters, wearers, sewists and Agatha Christie and other Golden Age author fans, there is a big overlap. I was lucky enough to meet the editor of the British Library Crime Classics imprint previously mentioned here, and introduce him to this demographic of readers he was previously ignorant of, at Bodies In The Library, a one day conference of writers, academics and über fans of the Golden Age of Crime.

Now if it had been a Gothic literature conference, there would have been a lot of people in black with lace and corsets, or a Sci-fi book convention there would be a smattering dressed in character. Alas I was the only person dressed ready to solve a 1930s country house crime, in my handmade 1930’s original pattern skirt (which I keep meaning to blog about) and hand knit sweater with a tweed jacket and sensible brogues for pursuing miscreants. One lady commented on my shoes, but apart from that I think people thought I was bonkers and had come in fancy dress – lucky I hadn’t gone the whole hog and worn a vintage hat (this was only omitted as I had to leave the house in a hurry). I wanted to point out that I really do just dress like that quite often (and on a side note, abhor the wearing of jeans as everyone from a toddler to a Grandpa seems to dress the same, which is so dull, or simply sickmaking as Evelyn Waugh would put it).

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Agatha Christie – New Exhibition of Photographs

I’m such a big fan that I’ve visited her summer house Greenway twice (and photographed her book collection in minute detail, if anyone wants to see those). Next time I go, I’m planning to stay actually in the house as there is National Trust holiday flat.

Anyway, today’s excitement – There is going to be a photographic exhibition at the Bankside Gallery London from 6th September Agatha Christie – Unfinished Portrait running from August to September 2015. I’ll definitely be brushing up my cloche hat to wear to this one.

Off Topic: I love the British Library

Slightly off topic – but this makes sense if anyone has seen my last post in which a missing part of a knitting pattern from a vintage copy of the Lady was tracked down and scanned at the British Library.

OMG Such Fun

Did you know you can contact the British Library, become an official “reader” and place an order to view any knitting magazine? They pretty much have all of them, which is so exciting to me. Or even every issue of Vogue or Weldon’s Ladies Journal. I need more vintage magazine titles so I can look them up (ok I’ve got a page full already). I’m wondering if they have all the free sewing patterns that were given away with magazines and all the supplements like the Vogue Pattern Book or Weldon’s themed catalogues like this fancy-dress issue. Being a reader is like a library member, but you can’t take anything home and have to have a small interview in the Reader Registration in which you explain why you need a card. I said I was blogging about knitting patterns from the twentieth century and surprisingly they said OK, you can come in! The nice lady even said “You are going to have so much fun”. There are rules like no pens, scissors or glue allowed, personal objects must be taken into the special reading room in a clear plastic bag and security guards check you for books on the way out of the room too.

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Vintage Tips on Washing Woolens and a local tip


The back page of the Norweigan Sweater tells us how to look after our woolens. My own personal experience has been shrinking things, then learning handwashing and wishing that they still manufactured mangles as a pure wool jumper gets pretty heavy after it’s been dunked. I have to make do with rolling woolens in a towel and then deal with shed loads of soping wet towels as I don’t own a tumble dryer.

Emu may recomend Dreft, but I recomend anyone in East London visit Elsie’s Droguerie and buy Fine Fabric Wash from Town Talk (made in Lancashire). Elsie is a new member of the WI I belong to (The Shoredicth Sisters Women’s Institute) and her shop sells all sorts of top of the range products that an old fashioned house maid would recognise. Even more marvelous than exactly the thing you need to remove that stain, she has a range of shoe polish in all the colours that exist AND shoe dyes. My light brown brogues are soon going to be green and my pastel pink bargain shoes I’d never otherwise wear are going to become blue.


How to wash woolens

Having an eBay sale of craft books and magazines

Hello! Due to some personal finance idiocy (possibly including buying too many vintage books, knitting patterns and magazines) I’m having a clear out and have listed some knitting books, magazines and a huge knitting machine on eBay.

I’m hoping this link will go to all my items (and not the list of them only I can see, as eBay don’t help out with this if you are a wee private seller). I’ll be doing a separate post here when I announce the eBaying of some vintage clothes which don’t fit me anymore and perhaps if my resolution to clear out stays firm, I’ll also sell some of my yarn stash, vintage and Liberty fabric.


Also…. some non-craft books and cds are on sale through More »

Sneak preview

My laptop is back and I’m ready to get scanning all the treasure I got this month – 23 copies of Stitchcraft magazine from 1940s, some fifties patterns and 3 copies of Fancy Needlework Illustrated from 1930s. Plus tales of my Agatha Christie holiday, castles and art deco country houses!

Dear Jordans, are your products vegan?

Dear Miss Brooks
Thank you for your e-mail concerning products that would be suitable for vegans.   Honey is used on site and this may be the reason for products not showing up on the web site.  I will have to check.
The products that we produce that would be suitable for a vegan diet are as follows:-        

Strawberry Country Crisp  Organic Muesli
Muesli Fruit and Nut              
Muesli Nut and Seed         
Muesli Natural                    
Natural Wheatbran 
Muesli Super Berry      
Porridge Oats   
Organic Porridge Oats 
Raspberry Country Crisp
Muesli Tropical           
Raisin Country Crisp
Four Nut Country Crisp
Natural Wheatgerm 

Thank you for your interest, and we hope you will find a product you like amongst our range.