Thursday, 2 June 2011

Double the vintage - an amazing find!

I love knitting patterns, I really do, more than is really reasonable for someone who only started knitting about a year ago.  I think my obsessive hoarding of knitting patterns is bordering on scary and frankly, if I spent as much time knitting as I do sourcing and buying patterns, then I'd have a fabulous wardrobe instead of 4 unfinished projects looking at me wanly.

Anyway - enough of my spending related guilt.  The item I have to show you today was an absolute steal at just £2.99 on eBay.  It screamed 70's from the photograph which can only explain why noone else bid on it.  Noone else bid on it twice in fact, as the first time I missed it due to an eBay, iPhone related cock up.  mutterbloodytechnologymuttermutter.

Looking at the description I quickly saw that this was a 70's book of revisited vintage patterns from 1920-1940.  I had to take a punt on that!

Well, this little marvel arrived today and I could not be happier.  It was indeed published in the 70's, 1979 though, so it isn't quite as old as it's new owner.  Amusingly the publisher was Mills and Boon, yes, that's right, Mills and Boon - the famous publisher of risque short novels for bored housewives.  I can just imagine the former owner sitting on the settee next to her increasingly beige husband, knitting up a 1939 sweater and dreaming of it being removed by a dark and brooding hero from a wartime romance...sigh.

This is a great little book, the title "Knitting 20's and 30's originals" by Nancy Vale, and includes - oh the joy - patterns to knit up with DK yarn.   The book includes both the revisited patterns and some originals.  There are lots of wonderful illustrations and also photos of most of the patterns knit up.

Nancy clearly had a real passion (heh heh heh) for this era and writes floridly about her adoration of the period. 

My only criticism is that some of the vintage patterns are used merely as illustration and the instructions are therefore not complete.   Still - there is enough here to keep me happy!

Enjoy the photos - 70's does 30's - it's official!

 Neither, nor Baby Gene like this ladies brown waistcoat and unstyled hair.

 Loving this DK Tyrolean number.  I'm definitely making this soon.


Right - I'm off to do some actual knitting for a change.


  1. I know exactly what you´re talking about. I just startet knitting a few months ago and already own what feels like a bazzillion of vintage magazines full of patterns. In fact I got most of the magazines before I even started knitting. And I still want more. It´s addictive.
    Congratulations on the find, too. Looks like there are some nice pieces in it.

  2. Ha! 70s does any era is funny.

    Vintage knitting patterns are indeed an obsession. I had to stop collecting for a good while but I've been itching lately for new ones. :)

  3. That is such a good buy! I think they needed to do some vintage styling on their models - especially the guy with the pipe - "Get your hair cut!"

  4. Wow, great find! I recently rescued a knitting book from the late 1930s from a bin!!!!! X

  5. My first jumper came from that book- the last picture you showed in fact!
    Hehe, I love 30’s and 40’s patterns showing a dashing man with their pipe but that one puts me right off- How models changed!!! I seem to remember there was a really lovely pattern for a knitted suit in that book but she only gave part of the pattern- grrr.
    Tups x

  6. I agree - I am incapable of walking past a charity shop without buying all the knitting needles, even if they aren't all complete sets! The same with patterns - they're one of the few things you can still find in abundance in charity shops, though it's starting to get harder......