Saturday, 26 May 2012

It's Not Always Me, Me, Me

Baby Eve wearing Nicole Needles!
I love having a blog, and have learnt so much since starting it and made contact with some great people, but I always have the niggling feeling that it's an ultimately narcissistic hobby. I'm always conscious of not wanting to sound all 'Look at me! Look at how clever I am!'. But then I've never been very good at receiving complements - I'm one of those 'Oh, this old thing' people who gets all embarrassed and starts tripping over their words.

With that in mind, today's project features a cardigan worn by little Eve Noyce, my husband's second cousin. I've never wanted to make clothes, etc, for a living, but I love surprising people with something now and then. Plus childrenswear is great to make - it's really small, so quick to make up. I was actually able to make this cardigan with leftovers from another project. And babies don't generally have an opinion on fashion, so they're pleased with everything they receive!

Here's the original pattern I used, from 'Knitting Illustrated',  by Margaret Murray and Jane Koster, published by Odhams Press, 1949:

I made it minus the embroidery - I just couldn't get it to look right...

This project also brings up another subject I've been interested in - Odhams Press, in particular their sewing and knitting books.

I came across my first one about 20 years ago, and since then have collected a total of 6. If you see one in a charity shop, jumble sale, etc, I thoroughly recommend you snap it up. Even if you don't sew or knit, they're packed full of brilliant images and graphics from the 30's and 40's, and give an insight into life before chain stores and fast fashion. I particularly like the wartime/ rationing editions, with tips on how to re-knit items, or even how to make men's shirts into aprons and undies:

 Here are some examples of the great graphic design from the inside covers:

And this one even supplied the Nicole Needles' logo:

 Sadly, Odhams Press no loger exists, the result of being bought up and merged into another group in the 1960's. But you can still find their books on Ebay and Amazon. For now, I'll leave you with a few more images:





  1. Oddhams published some great books, you have a lovely collection, 2 I've never seen before. On the knitting front, there are a 3 more that I've found useful, worth picking up if you find them - Practical Knitting Illustrated, Practical Family Knitting Illustrated and Knit With Norbury (not the best named book!!) :o)

  2. I have a few of the Odhams books too (natch!), especially for the photos, illustrations and those endpapers.

    That's a dinky little cardie pattern too, Eve's a very vintage baby!

  3. haha blogging is like that, it is a very strange and unusual hobby, I agree. My downfall is having a personal style blog and being so awkward in photos. I keep telling my boyfriend I need to learn to sew before the baby gets here so I can make clothes. I imagine it would be less trouble than women's clothing. What a cute model you have.

  4. Oh Cute!! knitting for kiddies is certainly fun and the best bit quick, though it seems my friends are currently trying to repopulate the earth as there are so many new babies popping up that I can't keep up :) x

  5. I so love books like those, Mr Bunny and I were lucky enough to find two in a Scottish Church thrift store, knitting ones, for 50p each! now and again I just look at the pictures (I can't knit as i'm too impatient and drop hints for Mr bunny to pick up(he Can knit!) I've just discovered your blog, I like it!


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