Vintage Part II

All week I’ve kept going back to the vintage patterns my Grandma gave me.  I’m amazed at how fashions have really circled right back around to where they were fifty years ago.  OK, maybe the hairstyles have changed and maybe the sweaters end at the hips now instead of the natural waist, but the basics are there.  Sure, hemlines and colors change.  A cabled girls cardigan?  Yep, still in.  In fact, this is one I’d like to do in navy blue so my oldest daughter can wear it as a school uniform. 

It’s easy to see that the baby items haven’t changed much either.  Maybe the majority of moms don’t use soakers anymore, but they’re still out there with the cloth diapering crowd.  (As for cloth diapering, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.  The new cloth diapers are amazing).  By the way, check out the price on this pattern booklet!  I think there were around 32 pages in this 8 1/2" x 11" booklet, so it wasn’t a tiny one. 

The one thing I did notice about the baby patterns was that lace was definitely acceptable for either boys or girls, as were bonnets.  Since ultrasounds weren’t in use yet, all of the baby items are knitted in white.  These ladies were thrifty and practical. 

Thank you to everyone that’s been commenting on the blog.  I love reading the comments!  I also appreciate everyone who gave me t-shirt slogan suggestions.  I decided to hold off on the t-shirts, just because it seemed cost prohibitive to print up just a few shirts.  Keep reading and keep commenting, I do appreciate the support!

Vintage Knits

My Grandma gifted me with a stack of her old knitting patterns this weekend.  She also had several bags of wool yarn that she gave me.  Most I’m not sure what I’ll do with, and some I may have to overdye because of the colors, but I’m pretty positive it’s all wool. 

The patterns though, are pure gold.  They are amazing.  There’s a lot of baby patterns, as my Grandma taught herself to knit from a book when she was first married.  I think she learned while they were living in Portland, OR while my Grandpa was still in the Navy.  One of the first things she learned to knit were wool soakers, as they didn’t have plastic pants for diapers yet. 

Of course, she knit a lot of socks in her day too.  We talked about the trials and tribulations of knitting socks.  She talked about how frustrating it is to spend time knitting socks for someone, only to have them wear out.  I agreed, but said that todays commercial sock yarns seem to be more hardwearing with the addition of some nylon.  I was again reminded of how things were different when she was a young woman – you definitely did not throw away a pair of socks just because the heel was worn.  You darned them.  If a sweater had worn out elbows, you ripped out the sweater and either knitted a child’s size sweater out of the yarn or you knit it into socks or mittens.  She pointed out that this book (below) has tips for ripping out worn heels and reknitting them. 

This page got me giggling.  It reads,

Hand Knitted Socks by Beehive for Men

Knit your way to his heart.  Any man goes soft and romantic over the little woman who makes socks "just for him".  So knit them in his favorite style, his favorite color…and be sure the wool is the finest, imported straight from England… Beehive. 

Oh yes, and Wonderized Yarn!  Because you wouldn’t want your baby’s sweater to do what the one on the left did.  "Stays true to size, it’s Wonderized!"

There were a fair number of books for women’s clothing.  Everything from 1945 through to the very early 80’s (the last time I remember seeing my Grandma knit).  One of the women’s books was titled, "Campus Women."  It’s totally my style.  A little preppy – OK, a lot preppy!  There’s argyle, there’s cute little cardigans, a Chanel jacket, and there’s this super cute vest.  This may have just won out for my Olympic Knitting Project.  Right now I’m debating between this cabled number and the Scooped Lace Vest from Creative Knitting, January 2010.  There’s enough patterns here to keep me happy for a very very long time. 

It makes me wonder what my Grandchildren will say about my knitting stash some day.