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Suffragette City Part One January 10, 2012

Like millions of viewers around the globe, I seem to be in thrall to something kind of unexpected. Even though I consider myself to be a stone cold Citizen of the 21st, I am mesmerized by the tale of an upper-crust family, their army of servants, but most of all their Lifestyle.

And, it didn’t occur to me, until I was watching the premiere episode of Downton Abbey Season 2 this last Sunday, that all of this mighty foo fa rah actually takes place almost One Hundred years ago.

The Crawleys, et all, are languishing in the complications of high and low culture in 1916.

AND yet.

Into the mix comes the Modern.

For me, that’s the ultimate fascination.

Along with the estate (overwhelmingly HUGE), the sets (impeccably drawn), and all the details of life above and below stairs, something interesting bubbles right below the surface of it all.

The Fashion.

And here, in an intriguing and subtle way, we see the most important sub-plot of all: that while women were claiming their right to vote, the female wardrobe finally evolved into something mobile and wearable and yes, arrestable.

Even though it’s a slow trickle down into the older generations, the Crawley Sisters go dashing onto the Runway! From shorter, simpler dresses (at least in the daytime!) to pantaloons, it’s full-speed ahead.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear:

VOILA! Enter 20th Century Knitwear. Worn by Sybil Crawley. At the chilly breakfast table.

And suddenly, it’s good-bye Shawls; hello Sweaters!

Seeing this made me remember something and I went running – I possessed (from my wild and crazy flea-marketing days) some very, very old craft magazines, from right around this time.

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Now this, although it’s titled an “Embroidery Book” is really much much more.

Just like Ethel Parks, Housemaid, who often enjoys a magazine or two in her free time, this is a multi-function tome for the masses.

We have:

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which could be one of the 1st mass-distributed reality-shows-as pitch platform, where everything from wardrobe to relationships is dished with the product solving Everything!

Dear Diary:
I decided to wear my organdie to the dance. I do hope that none of the girls remember it from last year. That new sash may help. Do men ever remember dresses, Diary? Jimmy will be there with Edith Williams. Always Edith Williams. Oh, if I only had some becoming clothes!

And maybe, Ethel daydreamed a little while she was making the Mistresses’ bed:

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Of course, the Mistress embroidered all the “Lovelies” and Ethel just put them in their place, but one can’t help wondering if maybe Ethel and maybe her friends, styled themselves as well:

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But what about that sweater? Looks almost like it could be from Top Shop, no?!

Stay tuned for more masterpiece ahead

…all in the series:
– Suffragette City Part 1
– Suffragette City Part 2
– Suffragette City Part 3
– Suffragette City Part 4
– Suffragette City Part 5
– Suffragette City Part 6

New Threads Friday January 6, 2012

Chic Knits Elisbeth

Why let the deep days of Winter keep you from doing all the things you love..

the Elisbeth Collection
a beautiful series including a shaped Headband, a Cap with either a slouch or regular-fit option; a traditionally shaped tubular cowl, with a horizontal cable motif; and a lovely shaped cowl, with a vertical cable motif.

The collection is made in the popular 1824 gauge and features subtle shaping using short-rows and beautiful stitch patterning.

Chic Knits Elisbeth

There’s nothing we like better this time of year than being able to style the Great Outdoors!

Even if you’re all bundled up in a parka made of down, it’s no time to abandon chic and just let Nature have her way…

Our solution? HEROIC CABLES!

In the grand tradition of times gone by and the new traditions of stories to tell, cables add layers of warmth, to protect you from the storm.

We think they are beautiful badges of courage, letting one master the icy wind and rule the cutting snow…

Keep warm and carry on…

…get the pattern HERE

Get In There! January 3, 2012

Hahahahaha. Ha.

It IS a new year, after all, and it’s really amusing me how my fingers didn’t even stumble when typing 2012.

but, it’s time to Begin the Beguine…

Heh. Early A.M. here in the Windy and I’m getting ready to go on the road.

Chic Knits Knitting BlogIt’s photoshoot time and looking out the window, I can see a nice little frosting of snow on my neighbors Mini. Thanks!

I need that, the snow that is.

Later this morning, I’ll be driving to Michigan to scout some locations for some new pictures of some new styles and nothing is more ticklesome to me than to actually have snow for an actual winter shoot!

Although lots of stuff you see in the cloud is shot months (even a year) in advance, this is more of a real-time excursion. I’m done with the knitting and in a few hours, I’ll be on my way to snag some images to go hand-in-hand with a new design.

This morning has been spent harvesting the elements from around the house to go on the road with me.

This proved to be harder than I thought, because a few weeks ago, the whole place was packed up for some re-mod work and, maybe this has happened to you: I could NOT remember where I put some Really Important Things.

Missing: camera battery chargers (2); camera flash unit; cool new blush makeup; memory card reader; and last, but not least, size 7 – 16″ circular needles (for hat WIP).

But what was the most important ingredient for this whole fou-fourh-Rah?

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Yes! C.O.F.F.E.E. coffee and more coffee.

In this lovely beginning week of January, not only is it colder, but those pesky days are still not very long, and it’s dark, and the Brain, it doesn’t really want to fire on all synapses in any particular speedy order.

SO, faced with the possibility of being stuck out-in-the-woods without, let’s say, my Lip Gloss, I will go to the greatest lengths to jump start the process.

I’m raising a Cuppa right at you right now!

And yes, I know it’s a little pathetic to be wearing make up in the woods but as any Uptown Girl will tell you: (we) Don’t Leave Home Without IT!

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