Thursday, March 29, 2012

1940s Free Crochet Hat Pattern

Hat Pattern No. 1844

NOTE:   For this ADORABLE hat i simply used my favorite color of Red Heart yarn (that i got from Walmart) in place of blue yarn and a size 'I' Boye aluminum crochet hook.  This worked well for my head shape and gauge.  If you dont have or cant find a bone hook then work with different hooks and yarn until you get the size you want.

Pattern taken from Free Vintage Crochet Patterns (a website that i love!)

J. & P. COATS KNIT-CRO-SHEEN, 2 balls of Blue Jewel.
J. & P. COATS or CLARK'S O.N.T. PEARL COT­TON, size 5, 1 ball of Spanish Red. Bone Crochet Hook No. 6.
Divide each color into 4 equal parts and use 4 threads throughout.
With Blue ch 21. 1st rnd: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, 2 sc in last ch; then, working along opposite side of starting chain, make sc in each ch across. 2nd rnd: (3 sc in next sc, sc in next 19 sc) twice. 3rd, 4th and 5th rnds: (Sc in each sc to center st of 3-sc group, make 3 sc in center sc) twice; sc in each remaining sc. 6th rnd: Sc in each sc to center st of 3-sc group, make 3 sc in center sc, work sc in each sc across decreasing 4 sts in center of piece (center back)—to dec 1 sc, work off 2 sc as 1 sc. Work 3 sc in center st of next 3-sc group, work sc in each sc across, increas­ing 4 sc in center of piece (center front)—to inc, work 2 sc in 1 sc. 7th and 8th rnds: Repeat 3rd rnd. Repeat last 3 rnds (6th, 7th and 8th) once more. Sl st in next sc. Break off.
RUFFLE ... 1st row: With right side facing, attach Blue in the 2nd sc to the right of one end, ch 4, * dc in next sc, ch 1. Repeat from * across to corresponding sc on other end. Ch 4, turn. 2nd row: * Dc in next dc, ch 1. Repeat from * across ending with ch 1, dc in 3rd st of starting chain. Ch 1, turn. 3rd row: Sc in 1st dc, * ch 3, sc in next dc. Repeat from * across ending with ch 3, sc in 3rd st of turning chain. Break off. 4th row: Attach Red in base of 1st sc of 3rd row, ch 1, sc in same place, * 3 sc over next ch-3, sc in base of next sc. Repeat from * across. Break off. Turn edges of Ruffle back and sew to edge of hat.

Monday, March 26, 2012

WWII Cooking: Baking with Honey

Hello, and happy Monday!
During World War Two, thrifty housewives cleverly thought up ways to substitute sugar, which was rationed, without sacrificing sweetness.  I got to wondering how and what they used.  I did some research and here is what i came up with.
Honey was sometimes used, but did not automatically substitute for sugar across cookbooks or their recipe cards.
It couldn't.
  The two sweeteners are quite different.  One is a liquid, a thick liquid, but one just the same.
The other is a dry ingredient, which affects how they are measured and when and how they are combined with other ingredients. 
In addition to contributing sweetness to a recipe, honey also adds a slightly different flavor.
And still, the best results were achieved when using recipes that specifically devised to be made with honey.
  When the war ended,  women switched back to using sugar in almost all recipes, but a few of my Grandma Mae's survived WWII.  I realized that i might just have some from her hand written recipe cards in my collection.  (!!!)

So here it is: an authentic 1940s/WWII recipe using honey.
After much digging around in my old junk that i feel like i just cant get rid of,
I have finally come up with a Chocolate Cake recipe that uses honey.

(And the moral of the story is... never throw anything away!!!)


Mix and beat with a spoon or electric mixer

2cups sifted cake flower
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

                                                           1 teaspoon salt
                                                           1/2 cup shortening
                                                           1-1/2 cups honey
                                                           2/3 cup water
                                                           2 eggs
                                                           2-1/2 one-ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted
                                                           1 teaspoon vanilla

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.  Sift cake flour, baking sod and salt together.  Set aside.  In large bowl, stir shortening to soften.  In small bowl, combine honey and water; add half of the mixture to creamed shortening.  Stir to blend thoroughly.  Add eggs; beat well.  Add dry ingredients.  Stir slowly until well blended, the beat hard one minute.  Add remaining honey and water mixture along with melted chocolate and vanilla.  Blend well, the beat hard two minutes.  It is importantly of count only the actual beating time, not blending time, regardless of whether the mixing is being done by hand, spoon, or electric mixer.  The finished batter will be thin.  Pour into prepared pans.  Bake 30 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool  cake pans 10 minutes before turning  out onto cooling racks.  When cake is cool, frost with Easy Honey Frosting.  Serves 16.

Easy Honey Frosting:
1 egg white
dash of salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  In small bowl, beat egg white with salt until stiff peaks form. 
Add honey in a fine stream; beat constantly 4 min. or until frosting
holds shape and is of spreading consistency.  Beat in vanilla.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Norman Rockwell and the 1940s

  I silly little habit of mine is to go to the library and get those great big books of famous paintings that stick out of your book bag, nearly take off you arm trying to hold them all and causing the librarian to frown to herself as she hauls them over the counter to under the scanner.  Some of my favorite ones are Norman Rockwell collections.  They're almost like a photograph, almost better, in vivid color with comical or meaningful messages.  I especially like to look at the ones from the 1940s.  The give a clear picture of what life was like, what Rockwell saw and thought and created. 
Take, for instance, Rosie the Riveter.  Where in the world would we bee without Rosie? (far right)

 Or the cute little USO ladies in their Sunday best, cooing over Willie Gillis Jr. with treats and attention that renders him speechless and makes us smile?  (far left)
And then there's the realistic, thought provoking story teller from Rockwell's Freedom series.

 Now, I'm not going to gush over how great and wonderful Rockwell was,  i'm just saying i enjoy his work and it helps give me a colorful look inside the 1940s when i write or daydream. 

 I'm also not going to complain about how black and white movies and photos are hard to look at and not as interesting.  No, quite the opposite.  I love black and white photos.  They're so much more mysterious and i prefer them over color.  I'm just saying it gives you a better idea.

  Many times when we picture the past, we picture it in black and white or sepia like all the great photos we've seen.  I just think it's nice to see the green and pink dresses for a change. :)

  Because of my 'addiction' to Rockwell's paintings of the 1940s, i just had to include some of my favorites.

  One more thing, some of them may be from the 30s or 50s too and i'll try to blow them up so you can see them better.

(i think, though i can't be sure, that that's Kathrine Hepburn in the magizine on her lap)

That's really all i have time to do now.  of course, there are so many others that i love and could but here but i'll let you find those for yourself.
I hope you liked it!
So long and thanks for reading,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dress Inspiration: Happy Spring!

  Hello everybody and happy first day of spring!

 I have been working on literally one dress after another in every spare moment I can get due to the fact that i recently found a boatload of great vintage/older patterns at different thrift stores.  Most of them have spring-like fabrics but there was a long sleeve dress that i made in dark purple about a week ago in case it turns cold again.

  If i really work at it (that and i am steadily getting better at sewing) and don't neglect any other things that needed to be done around the house i can get an easy dress finished in about a week.  But they have been taking me about two weeks because i have also been knitting a lot.

  I was stumped on a fabric choice and decided i needed a little vintage spring dress inspiration.  I Googled it and now I'm crazy about it.  It really did help with my color choice by the way. 

  So come on and get inspired with me on this first day of spring!

  Here are some of my favorites:
  I own none of the pictures, nor do i claim to they all are the result of a simple Google search.  Enjoy.


*Sigh*   I almost wish it was the 1940s...
Hope you liked it!
So long,

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Vintage Guide to Glamour

 I came across this video and just had to share it.  It's from YouTube and called: 1940s Fashion - A Vintage Guide to Glamour. Its six minutes long but is really worth your time!  It is full of wonderful tips and advice that is still needed, even in today's world.  I think I'll watch it another time and take some notes :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chattanooga Choo Choo!!!

One, if not the most popular song in the early 40s, Chattanooga Choo Choo was a cute little song about a train (more or less) and Glen Miller made my favorite arrangement of this song.  Please watch entire video.  It is part of the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade featuring Glen Miller and his Orchestra. I've heard this song since i was young and it was wonderful to get to see them perform it and the black folks at the end made me smile more than i already was.  I wish i could dance like that!
Anyway, i hope you'll watch and enjoy this as much as i did...

Isn't it swell?
So long,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book: Creative Hairshaping and Hairstyling You Can Do

Creative Hairshaping & Hairstyling: cutting, rolling, curling and waving instructions for 1940s hairstyles  
I am adding this book to my large stack of favorite books, originally published in 1948, (reprinted in 2008) this little book is full of helpful techniques.
It was written as a textbook for beauty students, 3 books in one and so the first part is about haircuts.  Most of these are for if you're going to get a permanent wave so I wouldn't recommend them unless you are getting a permanent wave or you're going to do your hair the same way every day.
Then it talks how to make pin curls, sculpture curls, basic waves, pompadours, how to style bangs and so much more.  It includes the best styles for different head/face shapes and tips for how to section hair and help full little things like that.
However, all of the illustrations are drawings.  This was fine for me because the drawings are life-like and highlight the sections of hair it talks about.  But i know some people cant understand just plain drawing instead of pictures, but its really not a problem.
Keep in mind that this was a book for hairstyling students, so some things have to do with permanent waving or other beauty shop things, but instead of permanently setting my hair, i just do an overnight damp set which works fine.
Also, this is not a book of different hairstyles like victory rolls, a pageboy, etc. But of different rolls and  pin curl and bang setting patterns.
Over all i was very pleased with this book about waving and pincurlish basic.
And no, this is not a sponsored post, but just a example of what i love and like and call my own! :)
As with all books i recommend, pleas check at your local library for it before purchasing, just to make sure you like it before you buy it.
So long!