Thursday, 18 April 2013

Look At These Old Patterns!

Knitwits Yarns

Owning any kind of business in these difficult economic times can be fraught and difficult at times and a wool shop is no exception.  BUT - how many other businesses very occasionally have joyous moments such as perusing old patterns which came our way courtesy of the charity shop across the road from us.

Undergarments anyone?:

Sadly, this pattern has no date but it's knitted in 3ply WOOL.  Call me sensitive but, surely that's going to itch and scratch a girl's nether regions?!

Here is a second example (from Sirdar, no less):

Included are very strict instructions that "it is essential that you work to the tension stated".  "The one-inch rule at the side of this page indicates the number of stitches to the inch and it is for your guidance.  PLEASE USE IT".  Who would dare not use it?!!

Wool  specified is Sirdar Super Shetland Wool 3ply or Sirdar Coronella (Lingerie shades) - oh, how I would love to see a shade chart for "Lingerie Shades".

Finally, we have another set from Bestway:

which is described as a "Slim-Fitting Set in a Fancy Basket-Stitch".  "The top edge of vest and knee edges of knickers are turned in, as double hems, making a firm finish, with the effect of a shell edging".  All that for garments which, presumably, no-one would see apart from the knitter and wearer.

The really striking thing is the sizing. Each pattern has just one size - the vests finish at about 26" and stretch up to a 34" bust.  The knickers are about 35", stretching to 38".  It's true - ladies really were smaller but, by jingo, I bet they were warm!

I just love these patterns - I have absolutely no idea what to do with them but I'm certainly going to keep them.

Next up - extracts from Woman's Weekly 1st October 1960 in which Twilley's were offering a free book "Handknits for Health" containing 6 patterns of Health Vests for all the family.  Ah - those were the days!


  1. About 40 years ago I was friendly with a woman who'd grown up on a jhard-scrabble sheep ranch in Australia. She told me that nearly all the clothing they wore was home-made, and, yes, the underwear was terribly itchy. I cannot imagine what torture that would be for a young child - - no less a developing teen.

    1. I wonder if they hand spun the wool as well? No doubt the best wool from their sheep would be sold and they would be left with the dag ends! On a hot day in Australia you don't really want warm, woolly undies do you -- can you imagine?!