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A black and white images of a seated lady knitting  and wearing 1940s handknit sweater and purls

Well hello there,

I'm Megs.

I love old things and I make stuff.

I may have a problem … the stuff is kind of taking over my house.

I started this site after a little encouragement from family and friends to share  (justify) my passion for knitting and all things vintage and fibre arts.

The confessions of a now vintage knit-a-holic yarn hoarding retro child.

I'm a vintage loving child of the retro era, raised "bush kid" style on tank water and handspun jumpers. 

Mum to five humans and one bossy wool thief yapper dog. And no, the lovely lady in the above image isn't actually me, buts she does represent the way I feel when crafting, well... most of the time.

I am fortunate enough to have the support of the world's most tolerant bloke, even though he has a T-shirt that declares him "Grumpy" every Christmas. He will patiently listen and nod in all the right places as I prattle on for hours about the history of the knitted sock.

He will roll his eyes, sigh and carefully move one of my dozen half-done projects off the chair before sitting or carefully extract that ball off sock yarn I neglected to hide from the mouth of the yarn thief.

He'll even applaud along enthusiastically when I find those 23 one ounce skeins of 1950s Australian yarn in mint condition (the kind that doesn't have moth holes, isn't too faded and doesn't smell like old man trousers!).

Our 'big kids' have long since flown the coup and we recently moved into our own little 1960s retro fixer-upper in rural Australia with the remaining pre-teen, her ever-growing family of Cabbage Patch dolls and the yarn thief. 

It's not quite the off-grid bush block cabin I always thought we'd end up with, but it's on a bigger than usual country town block, has a sunken living room, a wood fire, tacky fake weatherboard cladding and big pine trees in the backyard.

It came complete with laughing kookaburra's, a resident grunting possum, a weird looking fat Banjo frog, about a gazillion little lizards and possibly the odd snake (or maybe its just sneaky lizards with really long tails?).

Sometimes it floods, the water tastes funky and a few of the neighbours are of questionable character, but we love it.  

In my "day job" I'm an archaeologist.

I've had a few jobs since finishing high school back in the retro era, including working as a cook, an artist, a professional sample knitter, a gallerist, curator and conservator, before going back to university to do honours in archaeology around a decade ago. I told you I like old things...

I do love my job, but it's not quite as exciting as it sounds. I wish it was a little more Indiana sometimes as I seem to spend most of my working time talking heritage legislation and trying to explain why you can't "just dig it up and move it over there" (although sometimes you can) or sieving the dirt from endless holes in the ground,  just to fill them back in again.

It can at times be physically demanding and emotionally stressful. Let's face it, just being awake can be stressful some days and I've found knitting is the best non-alcoholic, drug-free stress relief currently on the market (although a little wine while you knit is a pretty good thing - just don't wine and knit a complicated lace shawl in 2ply yarn, the results are apt to be a little weird).

You'll often catch me "work knitting" through conferences and meetings or hiding in the work vehicle on site between test pits or while we wait for rain to pass. Usually something small and portable, like socks or beanies

I first learned to knit....

Well, I actually don't remember learning.

I'm sure Mum taught me the basics,

or perhaps it was Nan?

I had an older cousin who crocheted

and several aunts who could sew, knit and crochet.

Perhaps I just learned through osmosis?

I do remember my first "grown -up" project.

It was a striped jumper for a doll,

complete with a button hole and raglan sleeves.

The pattern was from a little Patons knitting book

published circa the 1970s. 

I was in primary school,

so somewhere around seven or eight.

I was determined to finish and I am sure

made many mistakes trying to knit by torchlight

under the covers when I was meant to be asleep. 

I no longer have the jumper,

I suspect it was either so badly knitted

that it fell apart or was handed down to my younger sister for her dolls.

I do remember it though as I shared a room with my younger brother who told on me for knitting when I was meant to be asleep (hang on little brother - what are you doing up?).

I got a telling off from Mum. Although, I'm sure I also remember Dad trying not to giggle while she did the grumpy mum voice.

I knitted my way through much of high school, although mostly at home as my friends, who were quite happy to receive the results of my efforts as gifts (often fluffy retro-era boat neck vests or gawdy leg warmers), didn't think it was "cool" to hang out with a girl knitting in public.

This all changed when I finished high school and began travelling around the country. Long train trips were perfect for knitting and you always met someone else on the train doing the same (and still do). One of my fondest memories is still meeting my fellow knitter friend Rose while sitting in a McDonald's in Melbourne in the early 90s when our train was delayed for six hours. It made what would have been some very long, lost and  boring hours into something entertaining and productive. At that first meeting, Rose introduced me to the long-tail cast on and I shared the method of colour work yarn carrying while we drank endless thick-shakes and sustained greedy burns eating apple pies. 

I continued to knit for family and friends, my Dad who was a shearer, always needed more socks. Later I knitted for my partner, children, nephews, nieces and a succession of dogs and cats.

I discovered "vintage" knitting...

A few decades ago when Nan's health declined and she finally had to relocate to a care home. I inherited some of her retro faux tortoiseshell needles and other oddments. While that particular event  is not such a joyous memory, sometimes great sadness, if we are blessed, can be the catalyst for something new and lovely. 

I had started collecting copies of old women's magazines from the 1920s through to the 1940s, initially for the recipes, but later for the knitting patterns.

I already had the needles and now the patterns, it seemed a natural progression to start sourcing era-appropriate yarns to recreate those patterns.

And here we are today.

Vintage knitting is creative, meditative and directly feeds my love of all things old and historic.

With every stitch, I feel a connection to all those knitters that came before me. Some by direct line through a succession of aunts, my Nan, Mum and Dad (yes, Dad's knit too, although mine not so well, but he gave it a red-hot go and the man appreciated a good set of handknit shearer's socks). Others too, such as the women across the world  knitting war comforts through centuries of atrocity, to the sock knitters of medieval times and nalbinding Vikings with whom I share a small portion of my DNA.

It's also the ultimate eco-friendly slow fashion. 

But that is a rant for another day...

Vintage 1940s Australian storybook illustration of mother teaching daughter to knit
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