Poison Grrls: Jailbird Blouse

April was a little crappy to say the least. My Dad passed away of 18 months of fighting terminal brain cancer (glioblastoma), and as usual, when things go tits up for me I find solace in picking up a new project.

I’ve had the needles, yarn and pattern for this kitted top in my to do pile for around 2 years, with the hope of a new year, new start that then went into home schooling again when we entered lockdown part II.

Armed with the pattern, and youtube I set to work and the distraction was welcome. I learnt so much, and having knitted only a one pair of legwarmers (badly) previously I was so pleased and felt so accomplished when I finally finished this gorgeous top.

I learnt so much doing this (blocking? Who knew?) and it’s given me a lovely new hobby to spend more time on, and something I can take with me when I’m away. I already have plans to take the next project with me when we’re up in Scotland on holiday over summer. I don’t know about anyone else, but finding/buying vintage style knits, or repro knits is something I struggle with so this has solved that problem and then some.

More than anything, typing this now, I am thinking about Dad and how much he enjoyed reading my blogs. He subscribed so he’d get an alter whenever I put a new post up, and he was always so proud of everything I made.

A family moto Me, Tim and A adopted many years ago (before A was even a glint in our eyes) was up from the ashes grow the roses of success. I think it somewhat applies here, without trivialising things too much.  

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My Machine Knitting Pattern Collection

My Nana gave me her Knitmaster and all accessories, patterns and cards at the beginning of the year. I have put them to one side knowing I’d pick them up at some point but not knowing when. It was only last night when I started leafing through them that I discovered their full retro potential.

As with my sewing patterns I’ve added them to my flickr, created a set and I’ve also put a link in the sidebar; if you click you”ll be directed to them.


They are mainly from the early 70s through to the 80s, at a time when my Nana furnished me, my sisters and pretty much the whole of my family with knitted goods.

Unfortunately I had to ask Nana to stop knitting for me after a disastrous fashion blunder of a rainbow coloured jumper which I felt I had to wear and promptly was laughed at by pretty much everyone (I should point out that I am extremely grateful to my Nana. It was definitely a jumper I would love to own right now and I feel horrible that I probably broke her heart a little).

At 89 she can’t see all that well and has arthritis in her fingers so she asked me if I’d like her Knitmaster and I happily agreed to take it off her hands and show it some love after all these years.

There are a lot of amazing patterns in there, I plan on knitting several matching outfits for me and Tim. I will make him wear them when we go out in winter by hiding every other jumper option.

So without further ado, some of the pattern books I have:

Modern Knitting Vol 22 No7 1972Modern Knitting 6 1974Modern Knitting 1 1975

Modern Knitting 3 1974Modern Knitting 7 1975Modern Knitting 10 1975

And that’s just the front of them. You should see some of the treasures inside! I am very much looking forward to getting stuck in, and hopefully I can find some patterns that correspond with some Mad Men knits too. I have a lust for Megan’s green jumper that cannot be fulfilled by just any green jumper.

Again though no running before I can walk, I have not used a knitting machine for about five years now and I feel like the old cast on issue will raise it’s ugly head yet again.

It’ll be scarves and bobble hats for a while until I know what I’m doing and can master the pattern cards (my previous knitting machine didn’t have that function!)