Busy Needles

It’s hard to admit this, even to myself, but I can’t foresee a huge amount of making things occurring over the next few months that we’re staying at my Mum’s while our house is a building site.

Busy Needles cover
I am not as busy as this woman

Sure, I packed a few bits and pieces in the optimistic hope that I would be able to work on some projects, but at the moment my sewing machine is still in its box on the kitchen floor while I ponder if there is anywhere to put it (there isn’t) and of course I’ve brought all the wrong wool for anything I want to knit and though I have a few secret projects packed and ferried over here, I’m not entirely sure exactly when the time for making them will present itself.

That’s not to say, however, that there isn’t plenty of inspiration and planning going on…

I was reacquainted with an ancient and rather fabulous collection of magazines called Busy Needles that my Mum subscribed to back in the ‘70s and ’80s.

Do you want to have a look? But of course you do…

All the magazines are bound together in this glorious folder, which, as you can see, is rather more tasteful and restrained than the covers of the magazines themselves.

Busy Needles magazine
Of course, the first magazine you’d turn to would be the one on the left

Inside is a treasure trove of delights. Some that I genuinely want to make. Others that just make chuckle…

The colours on this baby blanket are a little sugary sweet for me, but I love the look of the pattern:

Retro baby blanket pattern
I’m tempted to have a go at this blanket once I next pick up my knitting needles

And this fluffy jumper is so retro to be cool again (or at least, I certainly think so, but maybe that just shows me up…)

vintage jumper pattern
Would you wear this?

In non-knitting projects, putting aside the extreme amount of 1970s brown in this photo, the animal rug is something I would absolutely adore to make for the sproglet’s room:

Vintage children's rug pattern
Brown wood? Check. Brown basket? Check. Brown rug? Check. Must be the ’70s.

On the other hand, I can’t say I will be rushing to start on any of these projects quickly. Fancy painting some tigers onto your clothes? Nope, me neither…

Retro craft magazine
Perfect clothing for the English summer

…or how about this Valentine’s get up?…

Vintage knitting pattern
Looking more closely at the photo, I can see that it’s actually the accessories that are more hideous than the jumper, but still…

…though you surely couldn’t fail to be tempted by this pink blouse?

Vintage craft magazine
Even better, there was a batik pattern on the back.

By now, I’m sure you’re dying with jealousy and desperate to have a copy of Busy Needles for yourself. Fret not! A quick google has just shown me that you can buy the first seven editions on Amazon for a piffling price of, wait for it, £219!

My Mum’s clearly sitting on a treasure trove right here. I’m not sure I’ll tell her, though. Or at least, not until I’ve made a few of the projects anyway. First port of call, a sarong painted with tigers…

Related articles:

Knitting in Vogue

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11 thoughts on “Busy Needles

  1. I am a lousy seamstress and a non-knitter but I love me some retro magazines. Enjoyed looking at what you found. Agree with all your potential project thoughts. Best suggestion ever? Schedule your creative time. On Tuesdays, between 10 & 2, I have a babysitter and you better believe I make the best use of the time. Yesterday I was compelled to clean. But the week before was query writing. Pennant gluing, card creationg, and blogging have all happened with her anticipated presence. I’m excited for your house renos. And glad you like your Mom well enough to stay with her.
    Love and well wishes to you and yours,
    Shalagh

    1. Yes, I squeeze everything into nap time at the moment, which is always something of a moveable feast (sometimes more of a snack, ha ha…) It means I am always totally frantic the whole time the sprog is asleep, ricocheting between various things I mean to do!

  2. I am so jealous. Those magazines look so much fun. I used to have a pile of Quilter’s Newsletters from that era and hubby sold them in the 90’s at a flea market. I don’t even know how much he got for them but they were snapped up quickly. That rug in other colors would be terrific for sproglet.

  3. Those images are precious. So hilarious! At the same time if you update the pictures, those projects are totally en-vogue now. It’s really funny if you think about it. Nothing changes much…

    By the way: you have now the same WP theme as I do. Made me chuckle a little. 🙂

    1. It would be great to make something and compare a modern photo to one of those, wouldn’t it? Like you say, some of the projects would look totally modern. (Not that tiger print sarong though!)

      I’ve always had this theme! Have been meaning to make some design changes to the blog for ages now, but think I might have to move over to WordPress.org to do so (the small size of the photos especially drives me mad) so I keep putting it off…

      1. That would be a great idea! A modern interpretation. That sounds good.

        I’ve been contemplating going to wordpress.org for months! I’m just shying away from the work because when I change, I want to to it right and it should look perfect (in a way). Do you feel the same?

  4. I rather fancy that tiger painting, might try that on my next project. The solution to not having brought the correct wool with you, is of course to go out and buy some more. I mean you must, otherwise how are you going to knit. – Annie

  5. I too remember these books, my mum still has them proudly sitting on the shelf in her spare room, waiting for me to inherit them. I think there was another one too, ‘Stitch by Stitch’ which was dressmaking stuff. Or I could have made that up!! Memories!!! 🙂

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