New Old Things

There were various ways I planned to start this post.  Exciting stories of how I used to write mostly text-based entries.  My old life on LiveJournal.  The revelation that I wasn’t actually born with a DSLR surgically attached to my hands.

I didn’t intend to start with something along the lines of: I can’t believe it’s been a week since I last posted.  This is mostly because I was sure I’d written a post on Monday.  In fact, I’m still somewhat convinced my blog calendar is lying to me and has sneakily back-dated that entry.  It can’t have been almost a week since I was last here!

And yet, here I am, refusing to accept various irrefutable facts.  How can it be a week since I last posted?  I know I discussed the problem of time passing more quickly than is legally mandated in a previous post, but that was mostly a joke.

Seriously, a week?

It’s probably time I got over that and moved on to the true point of this post.  Or points.  Let’s start with the camera one.  This may be difficult to believe, but I didn’t always have a DSLR camera in my life.  Once upon a time, in fact, I was only in possession of an adequate point-and-shoot digital camera, which I took with me when I remembered and took a smattering of photos when I felt like it.  I was blogging on LiveJournal at the time (hereafter shortened to LJ because it’s a) quicker, and, b) how we all referred to it anyway) and photos rarely made an appearance in my blog posts.  It was a bit of a hassle, to be honest – re-sizing and adding watermarks and fancy drop-shadows and remembering your photobucket username or password so you could actually add them to your post.

Then I acquired my first DSLR: a Canon 1000D that was part of a laptop rental promotion.  The laptop ended up being complete rubbish but the camera became an obsession.  My friends (hereafter known as The Failboats, because of reasons) stopped bringing their cameras with them on our trips away, because they knew I’d be there as unofficial official photographer, taking photos of such rivetting events as Couches Being Moved By Mammokinesis, That Giant Dog We Saw At The Petrol Station In Penshurst or Emily’s Face.

Suddenly, a blog post wasn’t a blog post if it wasn’t saturated in photos.

It’s been that way for so long I’d almost forgotten there was any other way to blog.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I remembered how to write a blog post that wasn’t all photos with captions, so I took myself off to LJ to re-visit my entries from 2007-2009.  It was a different place.  Very few photos turned up unless it was a special occasion of sorts and in 2007, I seemed to be posting almost every day.

This, I decided, would be my first new-old thing: a return to my old style of blogging.  After all, I like to call myself a writer and a true writer should seize every opportunity to toss some words around and see how they fall.  Or take a slightly more disciplined approach, I suppose, depending on levels of laziness.  I won’t be cutting out photos entirely, because that is just not possible with me now.  And it would also be a waste of a perfectly good camera (and a perfectly good understanding of how to use it in a semi-decent way).  There will be words and silliness and I expect I will take advantage of WordPress’s gallery feature so my photos will have their own place without stealing all of the attention away from the words.

My second new-old thing is, well… it’s several new-old things.  I’m pretty well out of the habit of purchasing new things (with the notable exception of cameras, apparently), but this doesn’t mean I’m out of the habit of acquiring things in general.  Somehow, items purchased from op shops or vintage markets are fair game, despite the fact that we currently have no real space for all of this stuff.  But seriously, how am I meant to resist when I come across 1940s knitting patterns or a slightly bent set of Queen Bee knitting needles that my mum tells me are precious hard to find?

I found all of these treasures last weekend, when I informed The Chef that we were heading to the Revival Market in Mornington.  For the grand sum of $2 each, we were able to wander through a treasure trove of vintage deliciousness and to make a purchase or two.  The Chef bought some little mugs and a sugar shaker.  I bought two 1940s knitting patterns and a Simplicity sewing book from the 1950s.  And a coffee.

If that weren’t enough, The Chef spotted a sign for a recycling centre as we were leaving the market.  Open all weekend, it said.  Right there.  So we went in and rescued some more treasures.

Yes, it’s more stuff and we probably don’t need said stuff… but at least it’s flat.  And useful.  Have a look for yourselves.

The only thing better than a couple of 1940s knitting books is a couple of 1940s knitting books featuring gloves, socks and stockings. No. 141 comes with the closest thing you'll ever find to a date in a knitting pattern: a reference to 'those in service'.
These were rescued from the Outlook Recovery Centre in Mornington, which is described as a 'tip op shop'. Essentially, I have saved these gorgeous 1960s patterns from being buried with a pile of rubbish. Those needles are slightly wonky but that won't affect the knitting!
If any given pattern book features a knitted dress, I pretty much have to buy it. The same goes for crocheted bikinis. I'll never make one of the latter, but I may have plans for one of the former...
It was $8 but I couldn't resist it. I have an early 1970s version of the same book and I always find it fascinating to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same.
This is one of my favourite sections in the Simplicity Sewing Book: What's the best colour for your type? This is equal parts amazing and frustrating. What if you're an ash blonde with blue eyes? WHAT THEN??

The photos were all taken on the OM-D, which is this close to becoming my primary camera.  And possibly my only camera, because I need a better lens and the best way to finance that would surely be to sell my DSLR.  Anyone want a Canon 60D with two gorgeous lenses?

What do you think of my treaures?  And what new-old things have you welcomed into your life lately?  Let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, I’m off to find a way to put a stop to this time-speeding conspiracy once and for all.

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0 comment

Dianne 19th March 2015 - 11:21 pm

Those black & white Patons covers are worth framing! Very 40’s film noir! I’ve never seen the Simplicity sewing book before, looks wonderful. Hmm, I haven’t been op shopping for a couple of weeks, might just have to make a detour on my way home from work tomorrow…

Katie Writes Stuff 20th March 2015 - 8:42 am

Aren’t they fantastic? I particularly like the one with the venetian blinds – it’s so moody! This is one of the reasons I love old knitting patterns – they really had fun with some of the styling. Modern ones can seem a little boring by comparison. Actually, that gives me an idea for a blog post…

If you haven’t been op shopping for a couple of weeks, you definitely need to make that detour. Who knows what might be waiting for you?

Trey 20th March 2015 - 1:54 am

…..I’m still hung up on the term “mammokinesis.”

Katie Writes Stuff 20th March 2015 - 9:29 am

It’s a brilliant term, isn’t it? The only thing better than reading about it is actually seeing it in action.

alexiericrac 20th March 2015 - 12:37 pm

Oh Katie, I want ALL the new old things!
I especially love the Simplicity sewing book. Divine.

Katie Writes Stuff 20th March 2015 - 3:13 pm

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The cover alone is gorgeous, but I found the ‘Colours for your Type’ section to be a fascinating glimpse into the preferred colours of the time. New old stuff is the best.

alexiericrac 20th March 2015 - 3:25 pm

I adore those pages too. So beautiful. I’d love to seer what is recommended for me.

Katie Writes Stuff 21st March 2015 - 3:07 pm

It’s oddly arbitrary in its hair and eye colour combinations. I’m not sure I’d call myself an outright blonde, but the ash blonde is apparently only twinned with hazel eyes, which I don’t have. There’s no way I’d ever wear the type of red at the top of the blonde hair/blue eyes combo – it looks awful on me! I do like greys and blues, though. I might scan the pages properly and put them up in a future post, so everyone can see what colours they should have been wearing in 1955.

Bonita Vear (@bjvear) 21st March 2015 - 3:13 pm

I’d love to see the scans of the color palette advice, and those knitting patterns look gorgeous! Any chance they might go in the “To scan” pile? I adore knitting up vintage patterns and I’m always keen to add to the collection. ; )

And please, if you have any hints to solve that time-speeding conspiracy…. I swear someone’s out to get me!

bonita of Lavender & Twill

Katie Writes Stuff 21st March 2015 - 10:06 pm

I actually have quite a few old vintage pattern books scanned as I rarely work from the original pattern – those are for looking at! Plus, I often keep counts of things or circle the size I’m working on, which I simply couldn’t do on a vintage pattern. And would you believe it, but I found a copy of one of those patterns in an op shop today! It wasn’t in great condition, but it would have been about one tenth the price of what I paid for it at the market.

Maybe I should start a feature sharing some old favourite patterns. Hmm – thanks for the idea!

(No luck on the time-speeding front, alas. I managed to get a lot of stuff packed in to today which I’m sure means I’m due to be short-changed a couple of days next week.)


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