Thursday, 7 January 2016

Vintage Knitting Patterns

The jumpers for the little people were finally completed yesterday, only to find the sleeves were not big enough when I started stitching up. Grrr frustration! It is my fault as I was unsure when I knitted them and should have gone with my instinct to make them wider at the time.
 Even when you check the tension with a sample square before starting a project it does not always turn out as you expect, so time to pull back and re-knit the sleeves. 

This led me to think about old favorite patterns. I have some of my mother's old patterns, which I guess would be classed as Vintage today. One baby booklet has always been a family favorite for many, many years. My mother bought it whilst expecting me and knitted every item in it.
Apparently after two boys she was determined she was having a girl.

The pattern is pretty battered and torn today and held together with old sellotape.

Remarkably, I bought the same pattern book 21 years ago, 30+ years after the first one was purchased. It is an identical reprint by Patons although the Baldwin part of the name had gone to be replaced by Coats.

The price had gone up a bit and was no longer printed on the cover, just a code.
 They are lovely patterns that are quick to knit and work perfectly every time. 

Some are a little old fashioned for modern tastes. Not many babies need pram sets anymore, although if you have a large Silver Cross Carriage pram maybe you do. This pram coat has been adapted several times with modern yarns and thicker needles to make summer coats for the current younger members of the family.

I recently made the dolman cardigan for a friend's first grandchild. Not only is it a satisfying pattern to make, it is really easy to put on a small wriggly baby with the wide arm holes.

This pattern book goes back even more years, which my mother bought for my older brother. He was born a few years after the war and I think the patterns in it reflect that.

The knitted vest and pants are priceless.
Would those pants go over a Terry nappy or next to the skin?
The line illustrations of nursery rhymes add their own special touch too.

I am not sure if my mother made this "smock" for my brother but if she did I hope there is photographic evidence somewhere!

The back of the pattern book gives complete washing instructions, which includes the advice:-

"Don't ever peg or hang woollies on a line. Don't ever boil, soak or dry before a fire"

The label at the bottom is quite poignant as I think it must refer to post war shortages. A big reminder of how lucky we are today with the huge range of different yarns and colours on offer.

Time to get back to re-knitting the modern jumper sleeves, then when they are finished maybe reinvent some of the vintage patterns....................alpaca vest anyone???

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