Other than the sniffles, however, I think I can safely say things are all back as they should be (or as near as makes no difference). I've still got the previously-mentioned drafts to finish but once again something unexpected has come along to upset the order of things (albeit in a totally good way).
That something was another Antique and Collectors Fair at Runnymede Hall in Benfleet, Essex. Literally just around the corner from my parents, I took full advantage of the fact and stopped in for lunch before mater and I went down there for an afternoon's browsing. I can hardly believe that it has been a whole year since last I went to one of these (they're roughly bi-monthly at Benfleet, with others held at various locations in Essex), although of course I've had my reasons(!).
When I attended the February 2012 event, at which I picked up two 1930s non-U.K. pennies as told here, I mentioned my surprise at the high prices in evidence and speculated (hoped!) that it was the exception rather than the rule on the basis of other antiques emporia I had visited around the same time. I'm delighted to say, based on my experience yesterday, that that seems to have been the case as prices this time were much more reasonable and there were several things that, were I more flush with cash, I might have considered buying. I don't think for one minute that the antiques and collectibles market is in any kind of trouble either locally or nationally; I believe this was more a case of dealers coming to their senses, reigning in their ambitions and being keener to sell (there was much more of that on display too - lots of deals, half price tables, "everything must go", "make me an offer" and the rather amusing "buyers wanted, no experience necessary!" signs). It was a slightly smaller affair than last year - the picture above, taken in April 2012, gives a good idea of the scale this time too - but it was well-attended and there were some interesting items, as I mentioned.
I (or, I should say, we) didn't come away empty-handed this time either and it was thanks in part to mother's eagle eye. One of the first tables we came to contained heaps of odds and ends, many of them Second World War vintage (ironically it was run by a friendly German stallholder who, like most of the traders there, was keen to chat). Half hidden beneath some old matchbooks, pin badges and similar knick-knacks were some papers. Closer inspection revealed them to be - knitting patterns, all it seemed from around the early/mid 1940s!
Having leafed through all ten and with mater on a bit of a knitting kick we agreed to buy, for 50p, the one that looked the best for yours truly - as illustrated by the handsome chap above (I can guarantee I won't look as dapper, I'm afraid!). We then continued round the rest of the hall, stopping for some tea and cake on the way. During this break the discussion returned to the remaining 9 patterns and after some deliberation I went back to see if I could take our Teutonic friend up on his offer to "do a deal" on all of them. As if to underline my earlier point about this particular fair, he was happy to let the rest go for a paltry £3! So, without further ado, here are the rest!
Might see if I can get Ma to have a crack at the men's slippers, although I think she might be rather dubious about using "rug wool" and making the leather soles(!).
Researching Sirdar Wools I was surprised and pleased to find that they're still in business!
A great advert for Lee's Wools in one of two Woman's Weekly pattern sections, this one from November 1940. Perhaps Tups will be able to tell us the name of the model? ;-)
On the other side, a double pattern for "Stocksize" and "Outsize" ladies vests. Unfortunately, the "opposite page" which details the materials needed is missing. Any suggestions from the knitters out there?
No such problems with this great, brilliantly modelled pattern from a later Woman's Weekly dated the 5th August 1944.
Mum has offered to do these gloves too. I'll have to supply the binoculars and tin hat myself, though! ;-p
Hang on, this model looks familiar(!). Could it be Tups' favourite and subject of her latest post, Miss Peggy Chester?!
"They Always Need Socks", is the subtitle on the reverse of this pattern. Something that still holds true today, I can tell you. Maybe I should see about dusting off my very basic knitting skills with a pair of these fellows...?
Even mother was getting carried away at this point, but she did say that she might have a try at the bag too. If she does I'll be sure to try and get some pictures of it.
All in all a splendid day out for all concerned. I get some vintage knitting patterns to blog about (and reap some woollen rewards from!) and mother gets some more things to knit.
I'm looking forward with renewed anticipation to the next fair in April, as well as some others elsewhere locally that I may blog about in the future. In the meantime I hope you've all enjoyed sharing in my latest acquisitions and I hope to have some new knits to show you soon.