Vintage Art

I’m always talking about Vogue Knitting. Likely, I will always be talking about Vogue Knitting. Not only have I found this publication the most fashionable, fashion is my motivation to knit, I have come to understand the way their patterns are written and follow designers who have found their work published there. Adding to my attraction and deep dedication to this magazine are the more recent events of attending Vogue Knitting Live, walking the runway at the event, and being recognized for my knitted garments. That does not mean I am not aware or do not appreciate other publications for knitting, crocheting, and sewing that are forever beckoning our attention.

While at last year’s VKL in NYC, I took classes, many of them. The classes I chose were specific to the theme of design. For me, choosing a theme made it easier to choose what classes to take. There are literally hundreds of classes not to mention lectures, fashion shows, and vendors at these events. One of the classes in particular was with Deborah Newton, a VK designer who’s patterns I have knit and who’s books I have read. The topic for her class was sketching, sketching fashion, for me the highlight of the entire weekend. I couldn’t wait for it and I couldn’t wait to meet her. She showed many examples of sketches explaining the purpose of them and the importance of honing that skill. Her enthusiasm for the artists of the sketches as well as the aesthetic nature of each was infectious. That enthusiasm, maybe more than my actual desire to sketch, has stayed with me. The below are exercises from the class.

So, when a friend of mine, who knows I love to knit and who seems to love to find treasures for people (a genuine act of kindness), handed me a box of vintage knitting magazines, I was not only appreciative that he would think of me while rummaging, but I fell in love with the covers. They reminded me of the sketches from Deborah’s class. None of these publications were Vogue Knitting, but all of them represented some collective aspect of what I hold dear when thinking of my knittings’ past. Such titles as Gifts, Brunswick hits, Fashion and Accessories, Headliners, Modern Knitting all called to me as I could relate to each of them. “Yes, I’ve knitted gifts. I remember knitting with Brunswick yarns. Modern knitting? That’s what VK is all about!”, I was saying to myself. These covers were literally speaking to me.

How fortunate am I that my DB is a graphic designer. I showed him the box of these vintage magazines, all of different sizes, fragile, and color-aged. I explained my passion over the covers and asked if they could somehow become art for my wall. He did what he does. Many pdfs, lots of frame discussions, measurements . . . he planned to solve what potential challenges there might be.

I love the way the kindness of one, the enthusiastic teachings of another, and the willing and abled spirit of a third has come together to make this most meaningful wall art display for me.

And, what’s more? The magazines are still intact, so now I can begin perusing ideas for knitting!

Yarning About Dye Lots

You might think purchasing yarn a simple matter.  I’ve had questions and heard comments from non-knitters that remind me that purchasing yarn is anything BUT simple.  Such questions as “So, what’s the difference between “craft” yarn versus yarn purchased at a yarn store or specialty shop?” or “Why do you order online?  Can’t you find yarn, locally?”

There are such a variety of answers I don’t even know where to begin.  One might answer with the price per ball/skein or the quality of the fibers or the specific yarn needed for the proper drape of the project being created.  And then the discussion would move to the weight of the yarn as all knitters know that the weight of the yarn gives the number of stitches per inch, or the gauge, which lends to the ultimate fit and feel of the garment.  But this post is not about any of that.

Rather the recent debacle I had regarding the dye lot of a recent purchase.  It is amazing how the same color of yarn with different dye lots will appear the same shade when bundled but will, in fact, be very different once the fabric is worked up.  Amazingly, you can literally see a line where you moved from one dye lot to another when knitting with mismatched dye lots.  For those of you who do not know about this, look below.  You will see on both balls of yarn, the shade color 29.  You are thinking, perfect!  However, upon further looking, the set of numbers following are different.  That is the dye lot number and must be the same when working up a project especially if that project is a solid color.  Of course, multi-colored projects easily hide dye lot mismatches.


Now, today I will take the blame for the unhappiness of my latest yarn package.   In this recent purchase, I did not specifically state that the yarn had to be the same dye lot.  It appeared I was ordering from a reputable specialty yarn shop and any and all knitters certainly know about dye lot.  No?  After all, the yarn on the site was of high end name brands familiar to all knitters and offered a wide variety of choice.  So, I neglected to state to only send the yarn if all the skeins had the same dye lot.  Well, here I am with the purchase and a variety of dye lots before me.

Now, the story gets worse.  After a number of email exchanges, I am told the yarn cannot be returned due to dye lot issues.  Here is the exact email:  Returns for dye lot issues are only permitted if we can make the exchange.  WHAT!! I am thinking!  I cannot use this yarn for the project intended and now I can’t return it if they cannot send me more of one dye lot???  And, worse, I am thinking…. oh, so they DO know about dye lot!!  Come Monday morning, the first thing I will be doing is putting this yarn in its very neat package and shipping it right back from whence it came, authorization permission or not!

Heads up to all purchasers of yarn on-line AND to purchases made at local yarn shops.   ALWAYS STATE or check that you want/have the SAME dye lot for all yarn purchased to avoid this insult and inconvenience I now have.