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 "It's all about me!"

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Kittenwithawhip
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PostSubject: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:23 pm

Tell me about your specialties and your passions. Have you got a museum quality collection of anique dresses? Or a tiny collection of vintage teacups that make you happy evey time you see them? What's your currect holy grail of vintageware? Marilyn's makeup case? Howard Hughes' fedora? Jean Harlow's glasses? A Faberge egg? What got you started down this trail? Do you have any special skills? Can you recreate a wartime Christmas meal under rationing? Maybe you spent hours watching that particular old movie so you could get that Black Bottom dance just right. Maybe you sound just like Judy Garland when you sing. Maybe you learned to fly a bomber or went on a ride on one.

Show off! I want to hear all about it.
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Ali
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:33 am

My specialty is aromatherapy. I'm a registered therapist and one of my favourite possessions is my custom made wooden oils box. Just lifting the lid and inhaling the gorgeous aroma that comes from the two dozen bottles of essential oils inside is bliss!

I've been a big fan of Old Hollywood for as long as I can remember. I'm slowly building a dvd collection of vintage movies. At the moment, I have several Marilyn movies on order. I think its important to collect these while you can as they'll eventually not sell enough and will disappear.

I'm also slowly building a collection of vintage kitchen and housewares. The difference is I want pieces I can use. I'm not interested in making a museum out of our home. This is something I've only recently started, so my collection at the moment consists of one bone china cup and saucer, a baking dish thats subbing nicely as a fruit bowl and some vintage Christmas decorations. My aim is to have an entire tree's worth of decorations. Its slow going, but the hunt is no small part of the fun.
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Kittenwithawhip
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:00 pm

Where do you get your oils? I'm looking for a cold-pressed lemon oil. I bought a teeny bottle of it years ago and it cost $30. It's probably gone up to $50 by now, but I'm almost out. I can't remember where I got it.

I am also of the useful housewares type. I jus went shopping at a huge antiques mall in Phoenix, and I got a great set of vintage pyrex nesting bowls in yello and orange. Oh my gosh I love them! We use them every day. I saw a green vaseline glass citrus reamer that I wanted too, but it was $56!

I know what I want for Christmas next year!
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:48 pm

I'm in England. I buy my oils here Phytobotanica .

Lemon essential oil is nothing like $30! My goodness. Was it essential oil or lemon carrier oil you bought? Though I can't say I've ever heard of lemon being used as a base, or carrier, oil.

The citrus oils generally very inexpensive; less than £3 (thats about $6 US) for 10 ml. Organic oils will cost a bit more. Most essential oils are produced using a method known as steam distillation. Sorry, I'm rambling. I can go on forever about aromatherapy.

Your in California so I'm sure there's several essential oil suppliers of good reputation you could contact. A good place to start might be to ask a massage therapist where she/he buys their oils.
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Kittenwithawhip
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:04 pm

Ali wrote:
. Most essential oils are produced using a method known as steam distillation. Sorry, I'm rambling. I can go on forever about aromatherapy.
.

Yup, hence the more difficult manufacture of the cold-expressed type, but it smelled SO much better than a lot of the lemon oils I've found since. Eh. It was a shot in the dark, the global market being what it is.
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:07 pm

Well, let's see...I've been thinning out lately (I've returned to the 'rents after an illness, so I don't have the space I did in my flat), but mostly I collect 1930s handpainted bone china teaware, specifically by Shelley and Royal Doulton (no Mrs. Bucket and her hand-painted RD blue periwinkles, please!) I also have a full dinner service in one of the deco Burleighware patterns. I have/had quite a good collection of vintage clothes from the 1920s-1950s, but a couple of years ago, I had some sort of fit, and gave away or sold nearly everything, except for most of my Anne Fogarty dresses (I love her!), and a real stunner of a VERY early Bill Blass grey wool dress (very severe and Lauren Bacall-ish), dating from before he was BILL BLASS, if you know what mean (he designed for Maurice Retner in the '50s/early 60s, then bought the house, eventually changing it to his own name.) I'm also keen on first editions (or as close to as I can get) of favorite books, especially the original 1930s Nancy Drews (the thick blue ones, before they were revamped and abridged -- the variety with the yellow spines), and Margery Allingham's Campion series.

And of course, knitting magazines and yarns, dating from the 1920s to early '60s -- but I'm very picky (most think to the point of utter madness). I limit myself to the all-but-forgotten Minerva patterns (which ran from about 1917 to sometime between 1950 and 1953), when they merged with the equally-forgotten Columbia, resulting in the more familiar Columbia-Minerva brand, the completely-forgotten Pauline Denham (who was only around from approximately the late '50s, to mid/late '60s), and, of course Vogue Knitting. The same with yarns, in order to be authentic -- my oldest dates from the 1930s, and latest early '60s, all top-quality, all Minerva or C-M -- in their early days, they kept the existing line of Minerva yarns -- and PD.) And of course, sewing patterns! (1920s-early '60s) As for Kitchenware and the like, I have a set of the '50s black Pyrex with the snowflakes, some Kensington ware, and some AH Vitrock in the fired-on green colorway.

Other prized possessions which aren't exactly collections:

- My Heywood-Wakefield bedroom set (the "Rio" line)

-John Held cocktail tray and highball glasses (there's a cocktail shaker as well, but it's pretty much the Holy Grail of JH items -- I've only seen it in a couple of books, and in museums...there are also other varieties of glasses, but I only saw them once, at a Held exhibition which was visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum.) There are also playing cards (which I have), and napkins, which I saw once on e-bay, and tried for, but lost.

- My 1930s English Dressing Table Set

- My English 1930s guilloche travel vanity set.

- My alligator trimmed 1950s Hartmann luggage.

- My 1941 301A Singer in the streamlined deco cabinet w/ matching stool.

- My Underwood portable typewriter, circa 1920, unusual because it's dark marbled green, and only has three rows. (It has a double shift key in order to have all the numbers and punctuation keys)

Everyone thinks I'm crazy because I actually use all this stuff in day-to-day life, and don't preserve everything like museum pieces, and just sit around looking at them on display. (And most seem to thing sticking to vintage yarns for vintage knitting patterns in downright weird. But, honestly, stuff just doesn't turn out right -- most of the time -- using contemporary yarns)

What was I saying about thinning out?...maybe I should work on that a bit more...
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:27 pm

Oh, and I forgot about my extensive collection of vintage etiquette books, ranging from the 1880s-1960s...nearly all of those were gifts though. (I wrote a couple of silly etiquette books several years ago.)
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:19 pm

Well, not to duplicate stuff too much, but I got lotsa vintage mags and books. If you need research or a certain year of a decade, pm me or whatever and I can send you scans or certain articles. My goal this year is to somehow get my mess on bookshelves and cataloged.....sigh....I'm keepin' my fingers crossed on that last one!!!!!
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Kittenwithawhip
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:29 pm

Any year in particular? I'm partial to 1943 and 1961, myself.
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:02 pm

I have liked old movies for as long as I can remember. I statred watching them exclusivley when I was about 18. Everything else (clothes, music etc...) just sort of branched out from there.

I collect way to many things. Initally my collection was movies based but it branched out. In my movie collection I have an Original Merton of The movies poster, Many arcade, cigarette and post cards, Lobby cards, Celebrity paper dolls, film stills, Glamour photos and movie magazines. About half of the paper dolls and photos are original. The other half are repros. I also have a modest Autograph collection. My favorite autographs are my Katharine Hepburn and my Olivia DeHavilland/Joan Fontaine magazine photo of them both together.

I have a few vintage dresses, skirts and sweaters from the late 30s-late 50's. I am learning to sew because I don't have much luck finding vintage in my size.

I have just started collecting compacts. I have 4 (Elgin American, Zell, Dorset and Stratton). I really want a Guilloche compact and an Art Deco dance purse/compact.

I also collect Paperdolls of non celebrities.

I sew a little, I draw and am hoping to get a book of paperdolls published soon. I sing but don't sound like anyone famous. Well maybe a less talented Deanna Durbin.
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PostSubject: Newsletter information...   Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:24 am

Hi all!

Ok, if this is illegal, please boot this out. We all get enough spam and that's not my intent.
--------------------
Newsletter Announcement (free, no ads, no spam, no junk)

study Weíve been toiling away down in the retro workshops to bring you the first ever newsletter, the Retro Review. Now, being a total amateur at this, but with the shining courage of those who have gone before, I should have the newsletter to press here very shortly.

Atomic it ain't, mostly just a simple newsletter about retro stuff. It's one of my New Year's resolutions to give this thing a fling. If you would be interested in receiving this via postal mail or email (pdf only), please drop a line to me, and Iíll ensure you get your own copy. Please indicate the format you would like this and as soon as itís ready, Iíll send it zinging your way.

Topics for this monthís newsletter will include a recipe or two, couple of jokes and some book reviews and an actual serious article. Iíve never done anything like this before, so go easy on me, but I think it will be fun for all who would want to give this a shot with me.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
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Mimi
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:22 am

Hey, T--

This board has a feature whereby we can do newsletters and broadcast them to the members...I'll fix ya up so you can blast it out, if you want!
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:15 am

That sounds pretty neat....lemme know if you get a chance!

thanks,
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:24 pm

I guess a lot of you know me pretty well by now, but for the new folks, I have been into vintage everything for about 20 years. Like a lot of you I try to live as vintage as I can, and use as much of my stuff as possible. With a few exceptions, everything I use around the house is vintage, especially in my kitchen. I have been fortunate to inherit a couple entire estates worth of furniture and gadgets, linens and knicknacks, etc. Some of my prized possessions are my 1930s deco bedroom suite, 1959 Seeburg jukebox, numerous old radios and 1940s/50s kitchen appliances.

As for my personal life, I'm married with a three-year old son and a daughter due in April. I got my bachelor's degree in music and play and teach trumpet. Since I love old stuff so much, I went and got a master's degree in museum science and now curate an aviation museum in PA. I get to talk to pilots all day and play with airplanes- for someone like me, that job can't be beat!
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:46 am

You got a Seeburg? Wow!!! Are you able to find tubes for it still? I've got a Zenith stereo and I only turn it on once or twice a year as I'm afraid I'll blow the tubes out and not be able to find another one...........
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:35 pm

Yes, as a matter of fact I still have almost all the original tubes working- they say "Seeburg" right on them. I had the amp rebuilt several years ago, but didn't have to replace any (and there are quite a few- its a stereo amp). I have only had to replace one auxilliary tube (twice) and that one is still fairly common. I know a guy who repairs jukeboxes & arcade games and he can get them for me fairly cheap.

Tubes are still being made in many of the former Soviet countries & China, so there are some brand-new ones available (albeit of questionable quality) on ebay. I wouldn't hesitate to run your radio just because of possible tube failure- you're more likely to burn up a capcitator and those can usually be found at Radio Shack or Grainger. There are plenty of hobbyists still around also that could get you tubes or even fix your set should it go- so enjoy it!

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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:36 am

Cooking.

Movies... Audrey, Grace, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant.

Family history: it seems I've married into a family where things aren't retro, they're just "our things". I like that. My babies sleep/will sleep in the same cot that their father, grandmother and great-grandfather slept in. Every baby born on my husband's side of the family has been christened in the same gown since the 1860s. That sort of thing blows my mind.

I love reading about and listening to family stories and poring over old photographs, thinking about who those people were and what their lives were like.

Right now I'm at home with two small babies and I'm pouring my energy into making a home. I love housekeeping manuals and recipe books, older ones in particular but also some newer ones, like Home Comforts, that talk about the traditions and history of keeping house.

When the weather cools down I like pottering around in the garden, but it's mid-summer here and it's far too hot at the moment to be outside for long.

Mmm, so that's me!
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:46 am

Pudding wrote:

Family history: it seems I've married into a family where things aren't retro, they're just "our things". I like that. My babies sleep/will sleep in the same cot that their father, grandmother and great-grandfather slept in. Every baby born on my husband's side of the family has been christened in the same gown since the 1860s. That sort of thing blows my mind.


Isn't that the best? My household is much the same way -- unfortunately, we don't have too much family stuff (long story), as well as having things being lost/stolen during 30 years' worth of moves with the Navy, but what we do have is the stuff that's just regular household items -- furniture, rugs, china, silver, linens, clothing, jewelry -- pretty much everything. I never knew my grandparents (save for my paternal grandmother -- and her, only very slightly. I remember visiting a couple of times, but she died shortly thereafter, whilst we were living in England...I was about seven.), but it's so comforting to have these things here and there around the house. It's so comforting and interesting. What have these items seen? Where have they been? And when I was own my own, in Pittsburgh, nearly my entire flat was furnished with all these items -- "old hand-me-downs," some would say, as opposed to new stuff from, say Pottery Barn, but these things are precious to me, even if they were as recent (comparatively speaking), to items my mother acquired when she was first married -- well over 40 years ago. I wonder if it's partly a sense of Yankee Frugality? (Or in my dad's case, who grew up on a farm in Virginia during The Depression -- a mentality of "well, we may not have much, and we don't need much, but get the best you can afford, even if it's not at all fancy, something lasting....which is how my mother, A City Child from Boston, was raised as well -- and this has been handed down to me, with even the smallest item. For instance, I used my old Walkman for a good 15 years, at least, until it truly up and died, instead of jumping on the iPod bandwagon immediately. I did replace The Walkman with one, I admit, but really only from practical reasons.) You know -- here are perfectly good, serviceable pieces in perfect condition, which look nice in the house -- why replace them with anything new? Unfortunately, I have an older sister, who actually did know three of my four grandparents, and she's going to inherit most of the family pieces. Sad I wish there were more photographs, through. And my maternal great-aunt, who really was a surrogate grandmother to me, promised me all of her beautiful clothes from the '40s and '50s, including her beautiful '40s, bias-cut wedding gown, because she knew that unlike her own grandgriden, I was truly interested in these things, and would treasure them, and am built to wear them (unlike her own kids and grand kids), and all of her photographs and scrapbooks to my mom, as well as some jewelry which my grandmother had given to her over the years. But when she died, her daughter just THREW EVERYTHING OUT. Which is even worse than packing everything away for her own kids. that was years ago, and I'm still upset about losing not just things I would have loved, but such a large amount of family history. What I would give to be married in Aunt Mary's gown!

And if nothing else, even medium-quality mass-produced (but nice) furniture and other items from the 30s-50s -- even the early '60s -- was SO much better made, and of higher quality than anything new, even the most expensive of items.
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:27 am

Whew...where to begin?

I've always had in interest in vintage, but it didn't become an obsession until I started to swing dance.

Used to dance 5 nights a week, and I was quite good, at the social level. But the scene has changed dramatically, my husband does not like to swing dance (though he said he did when we met Rolling Eyes ), and most of the time I'm too tired after work to go to a dance studio (rather than club) where most of the people are wearing sweats and hip hop clothes and wouldn't know Jimmy Dorsey if he bit them.

My husband & I both love vintage...clothing, furniture, accessories, you name it. Our place is sprinkled freely with all of the above and more. One day I would like to do several rooms in High Art Deco, starting with the bedroom.

I don't dress full out vintage every day, but usually mix it in with some modern.

My favorite music is hot jazz, in spite of my early training as an opera singer.

I'm an obsessive knitter, using lots of vintage patterns, but I don't find enough vintage yarn to use it often (however, I am very good at substituting, and use a lot of cone yarn which looks much better in vintage patterns than most skeined yarn from a yarn shop).
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:07 pm

lindydiva wrote:
my early training as an opera singer.

I'm an obsessive knitter, using lots of vintage patterns, but I don't find enough vintage yarn to use it often (however, I am very good at substituting, and use a lot of cone yarn which looks much better in vintage patterns than most skeined yarn from a yarn shop).

WOW! Opera? That's so marvelous!

As for vintage yarn, I'm been able to aquire quite a lot on ebay -- granted, it's taken years and years to accumulate a stash with large enough batches to actually make items (although even a skein or two can be helpful in finding out what such-and-such is like, in order find a suitable replacement.) When I first started, it seemed nobody wanted vintage yarn, and I could get enormous lots of high-quality brands for just a few dollars, but now there are a few people who drive up the price tremenously, and one Unplesant Person, who snipes EVERYTHING, it seems. But on my blog, I've tried to set up a co-operative, wherein I've compiled a list of interested readers can call dibs on any item (and not just yarn -- patterns, related acessories, whatever), then the rest of us will hold off on bidding, in order to avoid bidding wars within the community. I'm beginning to think that it may possibly not be a good idea, as I know from my stats sheet that I have many, many more daily visitors than regular posters, and it's possible that lurkers wait for us to point out interesting things, then bid against us. (Quelle Low Behavior!!!), but I'm not QUITE ready to ditich the idea. If you want to participate, post a comment in any of the "dibs' posts, or send me a PM to the blog address, and I'll add you to our ebay group! Smile (Obviously, the same goes for anyone here.)
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:45 pm

You guys have me really wanting to learn how to knit! Any suggestions on basic resources (books, internet)? I don't really have any yarn shops close by or I would sign up for a class.
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:40 pm

Well, I'm biased, but I think vintage beginner's booklets are a lot more useful than any new/hip/trendy ones (also more useful if you intend to focus on knitting vintage items). Plus, it seems that for some reason, new books have altered the tradidtion abbreviations, methods, terms, and so on. Why, I don't know.

There are at least two books in the Minerva series called "Complete Knitting Manual," one published in the '30s, and another in the '40s (actually, I have another published in the teens, but the other two are more useful.) Each containes basic instructions, with clearly-written directions and photographs, some easy beginner's projects, and a stitch directory in back, as well as a list of yarns manufactured at the time. Or if you want something at an even more basic, and detailed level, there's a series called "How To Book" (softcover, magazine-sized), pulished by J.P. Coats and Clark's in the '40s. These also contain instructions for crochet, embroidery, and tatting, as well as knitting, and simple projects.

I think it might be best to start with the "How To" series...

PS: I'd skip classes, anyway -- knitting is easy enough to learn on your own, in your own time, in the comfort of your own home. (IMO)
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Femme Fatale Vintage
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:18 pm

Hello! I'm new here and am slowly navigating my way around!
I live in a tiny studio apartment in Brooklyn, so there is no collecting on my part. I am first a fashion designer and love fashion history. My own designs are inspired by film noir, vintage lingerie, old Hollywood and the like. I sew all of my own designs and am learning how to knit and crochet! I have always looked at vintage clothing as an inspiration and I love to see how things used to be made. The old details are amazing! I started buying vintage clothing as a teenager and I still wear many of those same items!
Second, I have a small boutique in Brooklyn where I sell indie designer lines, like my own, as well as vintage. I also sell vintage clothing and accessories in my eBay store. This satisfies my vintage searching and collecting "bug" as I can't store items for myself. Some finds are really hard to sell and let go, but I am very happy to make a living doing something and being surrounded by things I love. Some fab items do stay in my closet and I wear them as often as I can. I think it's important for the public to see these wonderful designs. I am partial to dresses, handbags and coats from the 30's through 60's. Living in NYC makes it easy to dress up, go out and be original!
I was lucky to inherit my Grandmother's bedroom furniture from the 30's. A dresser, wardrobe and vanity in Art Deco style with bias wood grain. I always loved it. I also have her dry sink and old Singer sewing machine in a green cabinet that works very well! My pad has a very vintage feel with a Crosley stereo, lace shawls, and my vintage purses, and cocktail hats surrounding my vanity. I wish I had more space!!
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:26 pm

For Susie, and anyone else interested -- there are currently a few C&C How To books on e-bay (the green ones with the five drawings on the front)
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PostSubject: Re: "It's all about me!"   Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:28 pm

SusieQT wrote:
You guys have me really wanting to learn how to knit! Any suggestions on basic resources (books, internet)? I don't really have any yarn shops close by or I would sign up for a class.

I second Honore's suggestions.

Classes can be frustrating, as the pace seems to be too fast or too slow.

There are also some very useful sites online.

http://knittinghelp.com has free videos that you can replay as often as you like.

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter07/index.html

Knitty is a quarterly knitting magazine (online) with forums (the "coffeeshop"), full of kind & helpful folks. You can read the magazine without registering, but to browse the forums you must create an account.

I'm self-taught. I sat down with Donna on a weekend trip, and for a couple of hours with a local acquaintance and they helped me with accidental yarn-overs and my tension, that was it. I used a green and brown booklet from the 40s that had instructions on knitting, crochet, tatting and such.

Yesterday I took my first class, and honestly...I'd rather teach myself! I go at my own pace. Smile
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