Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Queer terms you should know...

Hello lovelies!

Its time for another interesting class on Queer Stuff 101.

Camp Betty Sydney is coming up (June 10-13), with a weekend of wonderful activities for Sydneysiders (CB isn't queer-exclusive, all are welcome to attend). If you want to read about the gay/queer history behind this celebration on the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend, just jump over here...

So perhaps, its time to throw out a quick and dirty guide to some common Queer words you'd probably hear at a panel/talk:

An umbrella term for sexual minorities that do not identify as heterosexual.

Cis-anything. (Cis-gendered, Cis-male, Cis-female, etc).
Cis- is generally taken to mean acting as per your gender identity. I.e. my Dad is male and acts like a bloke, he's cis-male. The term is preferred over Gender-Normative, which kinda sounds like anyone who doesnt match that term isnt normal. It also complements the term Transgendered, which i'll get to further on.

Along side this word is Cissexual. In a nutshell it would mean non-transgendered, or your mental and physical sexes match.

Cis- is used to empower Trans- - that is, the assumption that Trans is so different, and matching your gender identity is so normal it doesnt even need to be thought about.

Gender and Sex. There is a difference.
Gender is generally a range of characteristics that distinguish between masculine and feminine, but also depends on the context (its quite often called a social construct). Gender does not have to be related to your biological Sex.

For example, i'm cis-female, and queer-femme. I see Femme as a hyper-feminine gender.

A term for gender identities that do not fit the man/woman identity. It can mean moving between two genders, being third gendered or not wanting to name your gender (and other meanings).

Someone who dresses up in the other gender's clothes for kicks. Please never call a Transperson a transvestite (or a tranny), or I will have to hurt you. They are not being Trans for 'fun'.

Is the state of some one's gender identity (male, female, both, etc) not matching their assigned sex. It doesnt imply any sexual orientation (i.e. hetero, homo etc), and there can be a million different ways people can identify using term.
Transman - male-identified
Transwoman - female-identified

A person's identification with a gender that inconsistent or not culturally associated with their biological sex (similar to above). This is normally the 'medical' term, and people who identify as transsexual quite often do not want to identify as Transgender (vice versa too).
(There is a whole melting pot of issues there, but as someone who is not involved in the Transsexual community its not my place to dissect it).

Someone who may have both male and female sexual (biological) characteristics.

Wikipedia is great if you want to

*These explanations are very rough, so please do not use them as a queer bible. I'd also like to add that i'm not a scholar or academic, and if you think that i've missed something please let me know!

*I also mean no offence by any of my definitions, I'm just hoping to broaden people's horizons a bit and make queer-spaces more accessible for people not active within the queer community.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

40s/50s Festival, Bligh Park NSW

I think I forgot to mention, i'm a red head now!
After 4 years of pink, it was time for a change... I bleached the roots, tried to lighten the ends (didnt really work) and put a orange/red stain over the top. Followed up with a blonde/copper semi to give it some tone. If anyone really wants to know the details i'll make a seperate post ;).

50s cardigan, Etsy. Pink sunglasses,
Fifties Fair @ Rose Seidler

Anywhoo - on Saturday, a group of us did a road trip out to Windsor for the 40s/50s Festival at the Bligh Park Tavern.

The festival was tiny, but it was only the first year so wait and see for next year I guess. There was an awesome brooch seller there and her prices were very  cheap - she told me where she usually frequents so I think i'll stalk her a little bit!

Kim and I in front of the best vintage caravan!
The best thing about heading out west was being able to visit the op-shops! I've been keeping my eye out for a hair curler, and picked this one up for $2, box included. (it says its perfect for the "Bouffant, Cleopatra and Wing"). The other score was this 50s (maybe early 60s) fabric from the same shop - nearly 4 metres, so enough to make a dress!

Unfortunately, Cowboy couldnt come so we're going to plan a seperate day out so she can visit all the op-shops/vintage shops too...

Vivid Weekend

Friday night, Cowboy, myself and some friends finally went and checked out Vivid Sydney - a Festival of Light. Definitely one of the best free events i've ever been to - I wish my camera could have taken better photos, buts its all at night (sorry about the dense amounts of photos)

Customs House at Circular Quay was hypnotic,
we could watch it for hours...

Cowboy, my friend Carly and imported
French butch Drass

Very dark photo of the Sydney Opera House and the

I've lived in Sydney for years and have never been, I'd recommend all Sydney-siders go check it out, the installations were beautiful!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A little, tiny, announcement.

*cough cough*

I've been carefully scanning whole pattern booklets (Lux Knitting, Stitchcraft, etc), retouching and creating electronic patterns. By sharing my knitting collection I know that another copy exists, out there somewhere and won't be lost (all patterns are out of copyright and public domain).
And there's a lot more patterns to come....
Don't worry, I'm not about to stop listing free ones on my blog. Having a mortgage in Sydney just doesnt leave a lot of spare money left aside for pattern collecting. I'll also be listing sewing patterns and smaller vintage items further down the track as well.

A big thankyou to Cowboy for making my banner for me!


*cough cough*
feel free to resume normal blogging now....

Cabra plus-sized suit, Minerva 39 (circa early 30s)

Sometime ago, a really lovely knitter sent me scans of her 1930's Minerva Knitting Book for Plus Sizes.
(Minerva were the best knitting books on the market at the time - they later became Conde Nast, then Vogue).

So here is design 3902, Cabra. A crocheted crepe suit with diagonal scarf sized for 40inch bust.
(these are not my scans BTW, hence the resolution might be a bit low).
I personally want to crochet the scarf - the suggested colourway was Chestnut, Tally-Ho Green, Sprig and Champagne.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wind Breaker 2726, Sun Glo (circa WWII)

Just look at this illustration!

I love the pants, the jumper, the hair scarf! Perfect.
This design is from one of my favourite war-time knitting books, Sun Glo 62. There's even at little blurb about serving Australia in the front. Enjoy!

Stitch in Time, Volume 2

 I'm sure all the vintage-knitting-afficionados know that Stitch in Time, Volume 2 is due out at the end of June (amazing preview here - go now!).

The book's RRP is $55 Aussie/US + postage (yay, dollar for dollar), buuuuut.... if you pre-order it online at BookDepository its only $38.25 including postage if you use the code MAY11 during the checkout. 

Here's a couple of images of some finished garments in the book i've scrounged off GoogleImage:

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Enid Skirt

Here is what the Enid Gilchrist box pleat skirt looks like if you follow her pattern - and I rather like it! Add that it only took a few hours to make and thats always a winner in my book.

The only changes I would make would be to interface the waist band before attaching it to the skirt! I used  waist band petersham to keep the waist band ultra firm, and used a vintage pink zipper down the side.

Close up of the box pleats

The fabric is last season from Spotlight, its a stretch cotton sateen with the stretch going against the stripe - ? I'm baffled as to why someone would use it that way, with the stripes going up their body.

I'm trying my hardest to finish the Petal Yoke Cardigan before winter really kicks in, it might be a slow knit but at least its enjoyable!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

High five time!

I think I found my perfect winter knit!
It was a mission. I went through every single vintage pattern book I own.
The discards were piled high, threatening to topple over and crush me under their pages.
(you dont want this to happen with my cat, Calamity, around. She's one of those pets that would gladly gnaw your face off if you lay motionless for more than 12 hours)

Then I came across the Petal Yoke Cardigan, from Coats and Clark (1955)

Multisized - no need to rework the pattern. Tick.
Small gauge (4ply) - won't overheat. Tick.
Knit from the top down - minimal seaming. Big tick!
Cute 50's style cardigan. Tick.
So, putting aside everything else I have on the needles I'm casting on this baby right now, using Bendigo Luxury 4ply, in brick. I got gauge the first try on 3mm needles - lets just hope I don't get distracted again... 

(and for your enjoyment, here's the pattern in 10 sizes)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Keryn, Patons Knitting Book 309 - circa late 40s early 50s

Ooh - two tone angora! So fuzzy and warm... I could see this in navy and warm white, hunter green/mint green or even burgandy and rose.
I think this would look fabulous knitted up in plain wool too, not just angora.

Plus, it comes in three sizes!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Baby, its cold outside!

Brrrrr. It got down to 8 degrees C last night (46 F for the Americans), its time to whip out the winter woolies.
For Sydney-siders this normally consists of thin knits with jackets over the top - anything over an 8ply and you're pretty much dying from heat overload. Sometimes, I wish it got cold enough to bust out a cowichan cardigan or a woolen dress but I think i'd get over the intense cold pretty quickly.
From Etsy seller storyofthings

Esty seller Raleigh Vintage


Yesterday, I did score a 1960s black angora/lambs wool jumper for $5 at the Marrickville Markets and its perfect! Thin enough that I won't overheat and a really great raglan sleeves. 

It got me thinking about the perfect knit for this winter.
(And yes, the 1940s Victory Sweater is still on the needles - i've finished the front and back, but alas I've put on weight so it doesnt fit now. Its in hibernation.)
I'm working on something, but I dont want to get my hopes up as resizing a vintage pattern is really a stretch of my skills. BUT, if it works, i'll be able to share the original plus a re-size to a 39 inch bust.

If you could design a perfect winter knit, what would it be?

P.S If you want to be totally knit-spired, check out some of the practical stuff Tasha at By Gum By Golly has knitted...
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