Vintage Day with Wool and Willow

posted in: knitting history, yarn | 3

On an extremely cold and snowy day last week, Gavin and I set off for Oxfordshire to spend the day with some lovely ladies who were all very interested in hearing me talk about Vintage knitting and Vintage clothes. The event was arranged by the wonderful Julia who owns Wool and Willow which is located in the lovely market town of Wallingford. Julia has created a fabulous display in the shop window featuring Excelana which looks so lovely.


However the talk and mini-workshop were held in the ‘Friends Meeting House’ which was a beautiful venue set back from the street in its own little courtyard. The building was built in 1724 and still contains all the original benches etc from that period.

This photo was taken when the weather was rather warmer than it was when we visited! The snow came down heavily the whole time we were there so I was very grateful to be tucked away in the snug meeting room with lots and lots of knitwear.



So here we are all set up at the meeting house with a selection of garments from A Stitch in Time Volumes 1 and 2, Vintage Gifts to Knit and Coronation Knits aswell as single patterns such as Frances, which you can see behind me on the right hand side of the photo. I’m holding up The Rose Jumper from A Stitch in Time Volume 1 and explaining in detail its very clever construction.


The ladies present asked lots of questions and also provided some very interesting facts about wartime knitting too. You can just about see that I’m wearing the Fair Isle Cardigan, part of the Fair Isle Twinset from Volume 2. The jumper part of the twinset is also on display on the mannequin on the far left of the photo. I find I wear this cardigan all the time and desperately want the jumper to match but alas don’t have the time to knit it!


We also discussed the amazing attributes of many of the garments which feature negative ease. This is Such Flattering Puff Sleeves – again from Volume 1 which employs it to great effect.  I also used negative ease when designing Frances so that the cables are stretched by the wearer and create a fabulous figure hugging shape.


You can see how it works on our lovely model who looks completely fabulous in both the cardigan and the colour – which is of course, Excelana Nile Green.

Once we got started everyone was trying on the garments. Here is Concentrate on the Sleeves from Volume 1 looking stunning as it always does. You can also knit this one using Excelana DK.


and Designed in Paris from Volume 2 proving that vintage garments can also be relaxed as well as formal. This design also uses Excelana 4 ply in Cornflower Blue and Alabaster.

The snow has finally cleared away but to finish here’s a little snap of me at the start of our journey south at the top of Parbold Hill in Lancashire.

Keep warm!
for now,

Ruby xx

3 Responses

  1. Annie @ knitsofacto
    | Reply

    A friend turned up at our Knit and Natter group in her newly completed 'Frances' this week … she looked stunning! It is a fabulous design 🙂

  2. garofit
    | Reply

    God I love that last design!

  3. Benita
    | Reply

    I love WWII sweater patterns and have been eyeing one in my collection to knit. These look wonderful! Loved the puffed sleeves!

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