Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Travelling Hat comes to visit!

I have been enjoying a visit from a lovely lady lately - the gorgeous travelling hat, Adelaide - the work of talented milliner and wonderful sister Tanith of Tanith Rowan Designs. It has been a joy seeing Adelaide's earlier stops around the world and so even opening the box and getting my first proper look was exciting. 

Adelaide emerges from her hat box!
I had big plans for my outfit for Adelaide. I'd been wanting to make a 1920s one-hour dress for ages, and using Bianca at The Closet Historian's thorough guide, I set to work. I also had crocheted a vintage collar pattern in a blue that I thought would go with Adelaide's colours. All good, right?

Except I don't like it! The dress style does not suit me very well, or maybe is just too big (as the dress is cut based on bust measurement, and normally I'd do a full bust adjustment on patterns to stop them being too big elsewhere). Whatever the problem, I just don't like myself in it. It may just need a belt. I'm still going to experiment and haven't ruled out trying it again with some tweaks.
However Adelaide is the star of the show, and here I wore her tilted to the side with a black snood.
Adelaide with my attempt at a 1920s one-hour dress.
Now while I adore vintage and am incorporating a few more elements into my wardrobe each year, it isn't a staple part of my day to day outfits the way it is for many of the people Adelaide has visited. So I also styled Adelaide in the way I would be more likely to regularly wear such a hat, were she mine. Here I am wearing her further back on my head, with loose hair, and a dress I'd wear to a wedding or similar formal event.
Adelaide with an outfit I'd wear to a wedding. 
And just for fun, I gathered my hair in a half ponytail, put Adelaide center front high on the head, and paired her with a casual outfit of denim skirt and black bamboo top. The boy decided he wanted in on the action at this point.
Casual Adelaide and a scene stealing toddler. 

I've had so much fun playing around with Adelaide and will be handing her off with some reluctance. Thank you, Tanith, for letting me be a part of Adelaide's journey!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Vintage Snood Pattern reviews: a belated Snoodtember roundup

As part of Tanith's #snoodtember initiative, I wrote a guest post for her blog, giving some quick read-only reviews of some free crochet snood patterns from 1930s and 1940s Australian papers. In doing so, I got intrigued by several and decided to try them.

I have crocheted two snoods before, using patterns that other people had discussed.  I tried the 'Perky Snood', seen and well discussed at the lovely Bonita's blog Lavender and Twill in a white stash yarn and that saw a lot of wear during #snoodtember. I really like this pattern as it has minimal shaping and it is easy to get into a groove.
The Perky Snood during Snoodtember

Back view of the Perky Snood

I made this pattern in black but made the elastic a little too tight so it kept creeping off my head. I decided to use this snood to experiment with ribbon instead of elastic and discovered that I am Not A Fan of that method.  This pattern does require a bit of attention as the chain lengths vary each round, but it does produce a lovely back view.
Back view of the snood showing its centre detail

Having made two different snoods, both fairly basic meshes, although one worked in the round, I was eager to try some variations.

Lacey Snood with Rosettes:
Weekly Times, Aug 6 1947
The snood itself was not that much of a variation from a basic mesh apart from the central curtain ring (I used a 2cm split ring from a key ring I was decluttering) and it worked up quickly. I used Sullivan's Royal Rayon 3-ply crochet yarn and my trusty vintage 'Stratnoid 13' hook (2.25m) The instructions were basically complete, although I decided that it was meant to be worked in completed not spiral rounds and hence needed slipstitching to the centre of a loop to start each new round. (The original was a bit vague.) It certainly looks neat this way.
Lacey Snood, without rosettes yet, and temporarily attached with a ribbon. You can see the foundation 'curtain ring' at the centre back. 

Rosette from the lacey snood pattern, 
I only did one rosette and was actually really impressed with how much volume was achieved from this pattern. With two able to be 'propped' up against each other thanks to the central metal rings, it could give a suitably frilly look. The contrast white bands at the edges of the two layers of frills is very effective.

I only made one as I could already tell that the whole snood wasn't going to work for me. I find the way the metal ring looks at the back of the snood a bit odd and it just isn't to my taste. I can see how it would suit other people though.  (I didn't follow the instructions to crochet over the elastic for the same reason. I think it is there because the pattern says to do the snood in coloured thread, and this way the elastic wouldn't stand out in the very wide edge holes.)
Snood and rosette, flat. What will I do with this?

Snood and Collar Set
Weekly Times, Dec 6 1944
I made three attempts to start this. I did some detailed tension calculations, working out how many rows would be in the completed diameter and taking an average diameter size from several other existing snoods, hence getting a number of rows per inch  -- and I couldn't make that happen. Two different hook sizes with one yarn, and one with a different yarn and none of them worked. I know which way I need to go on hook and yarn for my next attempt but it may never happen as I abandoned it in favour of...

Basic Crochet Snood

This pattern was incredibly basic- make a mesh and follow these size instructions. It didn't even have a picture, as it was an answer to a reader request rather than a featured pattern. In my review I said that as the sizing information was so complete, one could do any density of mesh or even a solid pattern to these specifications and get a good result. I decided to test that by using one of my favourite mesh patterns - a trellis stitch  - and I love the final result.
The trellis stitch underway.
I used yarn leftover from a cardigan I'd made - I remember it was a sock yarn but can't recall brand or exact details- and a 3mm hook. It handily used up all the yarn I had left with maybe 25cm over. Perfect stashbusting.
Back view of the completed trellis stitch snood

I used their instructions for where to put the fullness and gathering, and did the ribbon binding at the top too. I am so happy with how it looks on me.
Finished! I missed doing so in #snoodtember though

The snood on a display head; you can see the ribbon binding more easily here. 
I have a sneaking suspicion that unless I am testing another specific pattern, I'm just going to make up whatever stitch suits me into this size for any future snoods I need. I do at heart prefer working up my own patterns and so this middle ground - taking a workable sized template and filling it with whatever stitch pattern I prefer - suits my crochet style.

I hope these further reviews help if anyone is thinking of venturing into the world of vintage crochet snood patterns.