I have been busy marking A Level history scripts (250) for one of the exam boards for the last week or so, which is my excuse for not blogging recently (my excuse for not doing a lot of things, actually!). There have been so many possible distractions to take me away from my desk and the red pen - football, tennis, sunny weather - but I have been reasonably good, with the result that I now have only about 50 to go... I have, however, really welcomed a little bit of downtime every evening with the couple of knitting projects I have on the go at the moment. They are both vintage patterns from the selection I bought recently.
is a wartime design from Bestway (it says that the recommended wool is available in 'service colours' only). I am knitting it in Sublime Extra Fine Merino 4-ply (shade 0109). Although vintage 4-ply is a little finer than our's, the pattern is for one (small) size only, so it will work out just right for me knit in a slightly larger gauge. The pattern is based around a 20 row repeat with twisted stitches, yarn overs, 'lifted' stitches and goodness knows what else. Obviously something to concentrate on during the long blackout evenings (if you could see your stitches!). I imagine yarn was precious and expensive in the 1940s, so you would want to make something small but intricate, like this sleeveless pullover.
The other pattern is a simple raglan v-neck from Vogue Knitting number 61, from 1962.
It's the antidote to the intricacy of the tank but there is still the attention to detail in the raglan shaping, that I like and associate with these older patterns. I'm doing this one in Sirdar Balmoral (0474 Earl Grey) - a great value double-knitting wool, alpaca and silk mix. It knits up firmly but still retains the softness of the alpaca and silk. A really good find in my LYS.
With luck I'll have something finished to show off soon - and a package of marked papers to send off, too.