Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Knitting project I this year: embroidered sweater 40's/50's style

Did I mention that I'm not only a collector of things, but also a knitter? I do that for a living (yes, this is possible ...). Mostly, a new design comes with a custom order. Someone asks: I'd like to have a sweater 40's style, in this or that color and with long/short/puffed ... sleeves - can you do that? So I start thinking and drawing and try to make something from sketch. But sometimes - sometimes! - I manage to find a bit of time and do something for myself, something I dreamed of for a long time ... And I did that now :)
As always, my knitting is inspired by period knitwear or by fashion history in general. I'm knitting everyday and always work on several projects at the same time. And besides all the sweaters and stoles and scarves for my cherished customers, this one is something I want to wear:

the pics are from a German Magazine from the early 1950's - you still see the 40's here. None of these two magazines still has the pattern instructions inside so there are images and inspiration only. I love embroidered knitwear and try to work something with embroidery in the same color as the knitting.



It will be a sweater in a mint color - and I'm not quite sure about the sleeves: short and a bit puffed or a bit longer and not puffed  - or long sleeves since I'm not sure that I want to wear a woolen sweater with short sleeves (either I feel cold and need a long sleeved sweater or it's hot outside and I need no sweater at all .... ) So the sleeves will come later ....




Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pre WWII patterns - 30's and 40's knit and sew magazines

A few days ago I found these magazines online, by accident - and hesitated to buy them. The images and the description were poor so I wasn't sure if they were worth the price - they weren't expensive but the date and the content were difficult to tell. But since I am who I am I took the risk, yesterday, they arrived in my letterbox - and I was as happy as a vintage fashion Lover and knitter could be :).
I already own a lot (and I mean a lot ...) of magazines from the 1950's to the 70's - but the pre WWII era and the 40's are still a nearly empty space on my shelves. I'm so glad this has changed now. And even better: Two of the magazines are from Berlin!!
Here are the first pictures:

from the 30's

from the 30's, too. and this will be an inspiration for one of my next knitting Projects.
 This one is from 1946 - a Magazine from Berlin, and here are some of the pics from inside:


This one is from Berlin, too, and from 1947:

and two pages from the inside:

And this one is one page only, no date here, but 40's style:







Thursday, May 15, 2014

Findings of the week: Shoes

Honestly, I've never thought I would ever buy used shoes in order to wear them - but I did buy two pairs these days and hardly can stop smiling at them since they are exactly what I needed (or wanted?). In my defense I have to say that both of them are nearly unused, without any signs of wear on the outside and - more important - on the inside. So I couldn't stand away - and now they are mine.
This one was the first:


They are a bit too big for my feet but I managed to eliminate this minor flaw with some insoles ... and if you think brown is a bit boring: I have exactly the right dress for these shoes (which will be shown here as soon as the weather is more sunny and right for a flimsy summer dress)
And here's the second pair:

This pair fits perfectly well and I already see them with a white pleated skirt or a pair of trousers with a high waist ...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12179983/?claim=kqtzyu47tck">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
Yesterday was Mother's Day, time to think of the one woman who taught me so many things - not least how to sew and how to knit.

She was a seamstress herself and a skillfull knitter, even if she left the knitting part to me when I was still very young. But she never gave up knitting completely. In her last months when she already was very ill she still tried to handle the sewing machine, and it was so hard to watch how at last she couldn't manage to finish her knitwork  since she was much too weak. My mother died from cancer on the last day of the year 2010.
with a friend

 my parents have their own special story - they were in love long before they could marry since they lived in different parts of Germany and weren't allowed to cross the border. So every minute they spent together was rare and treasured ....


And there was another woman to whom I owe special thanks - my father's twin sister who was a seamstress, too, and a knitter - not as creative as my Mama but far more professional - the dresses on these photos were home made, by the way - aren't they lovely?
  My aunt was - believe it or not when you see these three photos - kind of a bluestocking, sober and ambitious, and since she had no children of her own she turned towards us, loved and educated us - not always to the joy of my Mama :)


Friday, May 2, 2014

KMK pottery - my love for Kupfermuehle Keramik

First, I love to live in Berlin. It's green and full of flowers and pretty smells, at least here where I live, which is not the Center of the City. Since I'm doing my work outside whenever it is possible I'm always waiting impatiently for spring - and now it is here. Have a look at my pretty studio in this season, please:

But I wasn't always a 'Berlinerin', I was born in Schleswig-Holstein, the land between the Baltic and the North Sea, and that's where I moved into my first own flat, sometime in the 1980's, with my partner - and that's were I became aquainted with KMK ceramics.
When we first met our new neighbours in this new house, we instantly became friends. It was a young couple with the cutest two little boys I ever saw. They were only a few years older than we were, but to us, they seemed to be so wise and settled - they were married with children, and we had just left school. One day, the young mother from vis-à-vis took me on a drive to a village, a few kilometers from our home, called Hohenlockstedt - and to a ceramic manufactury. This was Kupfermuehle Keramik - short KMK. And I instantly got hooked. I'm not sure how many of these beauties I gave as presents in the following years, but the plates and bowls I bought for myself are still on my walls and in my cupboards. After all these years and countless movings, they still are in my kitchen (have a look at the sill above the window):
 and on the cupboard:

All these items are from the early 80's, and Kupfermuehle Keramik reflects perfectly the lifestyle of this era. I think it was from the later 70's on when the back-to-country thing became fashionable in every household. Knitting and Spinning, bakeware made from pottery, dried flowers and herbs, homemade cakes and breads - all this was popular. See the colors: they are warm and dark, handpainted ornaments on simple, plain forms. A bit folk style, a bit cottage style. Timeless and beautiful.
The story of Kupfermuehle Keramik is short and a bit sad. The manufactury was founded after World War II in the middle of Schleswig-Holstein. There wasn't much industry, the whole area had lived from farming, shipbuilding and fishing for hundreds of years. After the war, times changed very fast, and a manufactury like this met the contemporary taste and offered jobs for many people. KMK grew fast until the later 1980's - but then by and by, everything changed. Not only the taste and the fondness for this folk styled, handmade things. More and more jobs were relocated to foreign countries, were wages were lower. I think that's one of the reasons why so many smaller manufacturies disappeared in these years: Outsourcing was only profitable for the bigger companies, and they did it and managed to survive until today. The smaller ones with their handmade and handpainted art couldn't keep pace regarding the costs. They closed down, one after the other.
KMK closed its doors in 1997. The manufactury doesn't exist anymore. But the beautiful pottery still does: