Cable amazement of the 1960s-80s

Cable amazement of the 1960s-80s

An exceptionally thoughtful blog reader emailed me the other day to say that she had come into possession of a friend’s grandmother’s collection of vintage knitting publications and that there were some Aran sweater (aka fisherman sweater) booklets in there she wondered if I would like. WOULD I?! Yesterday evening, just as the daylight was waning, I pulled them out of my mailbox — 5 booklets (dozens of patterns) ranging from 1963-1987 — and nearly fainted. I’d give just about anything to be able to republish these patterns (despite every stitch being written out; not a chart in the bunch!) but in lieu of that, I thought I’d show you some of my favorite photos. Pardon the quality, but I couldn’t stand to wait for a better lighting situation/location than the parking lot at dusk.

The last photo below just absolutely kills me. Thank you so much, Catherine!

By the way, while all of this was happening, the Swon Brothers were shooting a music video outside my studio, so I was already swooning a little. Damn, those boys can SING.

Cable amazement of the 1960s-80s

I need to get publication rights for this one so we can all knit it for next year’s #fringeandfriendsknitalong, am I right?

48 thoughts on “Cable amazement of the 1960s-80s

  1. Wow! I have that Bernat book. My mother knit one of the cardigans for me
    In Candide when I was in high school. I still wear it 45 years later.

  2. Wow, the collared cardigan on the woman with the head scarf?! Incredible. Which booklet is that? I may need to track that pattern down.

    • That’s one of my favorites, too. Anna says we need headscarves for our next photo shoot. The pattern is called Away Days. (Most of these patterns are numbered, not named. But this particular book has names.) The book is called Family Aran (16 Designs) from Sirdar. There’s no publication date on this one, but looks like the booklet number (?) is 101, if that helps. Turtleneck and feathered hair lady up there is from the same book. Based on her hair and the number of fly-away shirt collars under the sweaters in this one, I’m guessing it’s c. 1978-80. Definitely Charlie’s Angels era.

      • Thank you, Karen! I’m on the case, gotta find this. Incidentally, I vote yes on the headscarf photo shoot. Do it!

  3. Oh, I’m so thrilled they got there and you like them. That turtleneck sweater was one of my favorites, too. Now, if anyone wants a huge stack of McCalls Needlework and Crafts, let me know. :)

  4. LOL – -I have all of these books and the first sweater I ever knitted was the (headscarf) cardigan! Still have it — even though the moths have enjoyed it as well!

  5. I’m pretty sure that the sweaters my mother made for my father, brother, and me were from that Bernat book. She copied out the pattern line-by-line onto index cards and worked from them.

  6. For every picture, I just keep saying, “HEY GIRL.” Why don’t we just all start styling ourselves like this? HEY GIRL.

  7. Hi Karen, I have the Bernat Book of Irish Knits also, my aunt was a fantastic knitter- she had the book which I received after her passing along with a aran throw pattern and from the 1940’s sock, hats, mittens and women’s stockings(!!!) pattern books. Currently I’m knitting Dwell-just finished the back- wish me luck. So what sweater are you going to knit from the Bernat book? Hagen, a.k.a. Judy

  8. What a gift! I have that Bernat Fisherman’s book too. It is a cherished treasure. When I finish my wip, I will have to knit a sweater from this book. Enjoy your gift. :)

  9. It’s a pity that I don’t have pictures from the aran sweater and jackets I knitted back at the 70s/beginning 80s.
    One jacket even traveled to the U.S.
    In Germany we only had charts :-)

    #fringeandfriendsknitalong: CO the back ribbing last night

  10. absolutely love the dress never could wear it especially these days, (did knit a suit in the early 80 but sold it just didnt feel right wearing it ) but love the cable patterns on that one I think I have couple of the books but all i can say is enjoy

  11. Oh my god! My mother had this & I must have flipped through it a thousand times as a kid. I remember all of these models & sweaters <3 Thanks for sharing ;'-)

  12. This was just too funny. I am thinking about doing the knit-along but maybe with a different pattern and hadn’t made it to the basement yet to search through my patterns – but I know that I too have this book from my mother. I’m loving just reading along – I’m learning so much!

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  16. I knitted the fisherman’s sweater (in the last photo) when I was about 14. I was on holiday and 5he weather was very bad. We went to the local craft shop and bought the pattern and the wool. I knitted the crew neck version and wore it for years. I found the pattern years ago on the net, but have lost the first page so don’t know what size needles to use. Other than that the pattern is complete.

    • It calls for “1 pair each BERNAT-Aero stright knitting needles Nos. 2 and 4” for the Small Size Only. The other sizes are “Nos. 3 and 6.” Bernat was a US company so presumably that’s US3 (3.25mm) for the ribbing and US6 (4mm) for the body of the garment. But of course you’d want to use whatever size gave you the correct gauge for the pattern, which is different for the different sizes, which I’ve never seen before. It’s stated as 13 sts and 13 rows per 2″ for the small size (on suggested No. 4 needles) or 11 sts and 11 rows per 2″ for the other sizes (on No. 6). Also weird to see stitch and row gauge be the same!

  17. Wow! What a generous gift. Enjoy your treasure. I too have the Bernat book in my collection and also Bernat’s Blarney-Spun Heathers and Irish Knits,and 18 Bulky-Knit fashion greats. There are some Irish sweaters in the Fashion Greats book.

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