Vintage sweaters, snow days and Elsewhere

Vintage sweaters, snow days and Elsewhere

My friend Victoria Heifner of Milkfed Press (she prints the Yarn Pyramid) recently came into possession of a trove of vintage craft supplies and asked me if I would like these two Jack Frost pattern booklets from 1950-51, one book of men’s sweaters and the other of women’s. These vintage booklets always kill me. They’re generally not more than 32 pages each but they are so packed with patterns (even with the full-page photos), and every pattern is a little gem. They’re not tricksy or fancy in any way — just solid, useful, beautifully designed garments. Page after gorgeous page of them. The patterns are all much briefer than knitters have come to rely on these days; they assume you know how to knit, so they cut to the chase. The two books here have as many as 3.5 sweater patterns per page. I adore them, and clearly so did their original owner. The spines have been taped together after falling apart from use, and not recently — the tape has been there long enough to have yellowed and disintegrated by now. The ladies’ book also had the previous owner’s notes tucked inside. Such incredible treasure, Victoria, thank you. I can’t wait to knit from these.

The vintage vest I’m currently knitting is coming along nicely — you can see a glimpse of the finished back piece here. And I did actually sew last weekend for the first time in a year! Rather than diving into the Sonya Philip pattern I wrote about last Friday, I decided it would be wise to start back in with a pattern I already know — dust off those particular brain cells after their long disuse. So I traced off a modified Wiksten Tank and cut it out of some khadi cloth I bought at A Verb for Keeping Warm last spring. We had another snow day in Nashville yesterday, which for me means a work-at-home day, and I spent what would have been commute time finishing it up. I’ll show it to you soon!

Meanwhile, a mini-Elsewhere for your weekend clicking pleasure:

– There’s a promising new webmag called Woven Magazine that just kicked off with a terrific interview with Nashville weaver Allison Volek Shelton, who you’ve heard me raving about before.

– It’s been a long time since I professed my love of Karen Barbé’s blog, but anytime I want to be inspired by the way someone else’s mind works, a trip to her site always pays off. Her aesthetic, her photos … so good.

– I’m happy to hear that Kelbourne Woolens is planning to do Crochet Summer again — maybe that and this free pattern will mean I finally make that granny-triangle shawl I’ve been talking about for … how long?

– And have you ever seen anything more beautiful than these sheep?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone — thanks for reading!


PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere

9 thoughts on “Vintage sweaters, snow days and Elsewhere

  1. Karen, I have at least 2 boxes from my Mom as well as the patterns from my Grandma (between 1925/1963 written on index cards. Cut right to the chase. I’d be glad to share these with you since I can see that you have a great appreciation.

    Let me know how we can touch base further to discuss. Lynn

  2. I have a pattern book from the 40s which is similar. I love that they call it speedy knits when it is knit using such small needles.

  3. Great Friday post, Karen. A weekend’s worth of exploring, thank you very much! And your vest texture looks lovely. I am one sleeve away from finishing my Linney Hybrid….so far, so good.

    As for making a granny triangle, prepare for addiction. Pure, unadulterated fun!

  4. OH MY, that Woven magazine got my brain in high gear! Thank you for getting us out there :) Looking foreward to seeing your sewing. Your Waistcoat/vest looks great!

  5. I do so love vintage knitting pubs, but mostly for the photos. Rarely is anyone alone, and they’re always staged in some interesting story that could be the premise for a novel.

  6. Pingback: Elsewhere | Fringe Association

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