06 November 2017

Knitting of the Past

Do you have any family heirlooms that were knitted and/or crocheted?  Sometimes when I go into a second-hand, or "antiques"store, and see things like doilies, tablecloths, or christening dresses that are clearly old, I feel bad thinking of the makers.  I think how much time and effort went into making something that was handed down as being special, and now is being sold in lots or sort of as an afterthought.

The Tim's grandmother was a crocheter, and we have some really lovely things that she made to us and gave to us for a wedding gift.  We use some of the stuff regularly, but there is a gorgeous tablecloth we don't use because it's way too big for the table we have.  A couple of my nieces have said they would like to have it, and that makes me happy.

But the knitting of the past I'm talking about are from more recent times - the 70s and 80s.  Knitters get irritated when people think of the stereotypical little old lady knitting, or the pregnant woman knitting booties for a baby.  And I get that, I really do.  But lest we forget, let me share some of the images of knitting that may also be seared into their minds.  (I know they are seared into mine now.)

This begs the question:  Why are there not more booklets and patterns based on the theme of Men in Belted Sweaters????  I guess it's a good thing this guy doesn't have a lot of chest hair, or that tie there could be painful!

This hunk is going not just for the belted sweater, but for the same color, with coordinating ascot.  I'll bet he has to beat the women off with a stick.

Moving on, people in the 70s and 80s were no slouches when it came to fashionable, knitted ski masks to deal with the cold weather.

I swear to God that even in the bright light of day, this would scare the bejeebers out of me.

Now, this is something you just KNOW jazz lovers would love to have in their closet:

She looks like one fun gal!

And as nice as the above sweater is, I think we all might prefer something more elegant, with - as advertised - some "magic" in it.


All kidding aside though, I think this last one has elements of each of the horrific examples above, and yet somehow seems jaunty and always in style.

Perhaps after the holidays, we could have a KAL for this - think how excited the men in our lives would be!  

To paraphrase another saying, just because you CAN knit it, it doesn't mean that you SHOULD.  

The 70s and 80s - Once Was Enough.


Bonny said...

Can't wait to see The Tim in his jaunty striped beret and sweater! More from the scary ski masks dept.: http://kitschyliving.tumblr.com/post/3862904940/ski-masks-from-mccalls-needlework-crafts

Lilly's Mom said...

This brought a smile to my face as I too have some of these old pattern books stored away in my knitting chest. I didn't like the colors or designs then and I still don't like them! :( But, aren't we lucky that we can choose the patterns and colors we like and still create lovely knitted things? Enjoy your week, Pat xx

Anonymous said...

Apparently, MUSTARD was a THING!!! A thing that must DIE!

Kym said...

The belts! The jaunty tam! The eye-searing stripes! Thank heaven none of these "heirloom knits" are hanging around in my attic... (Although Tom's grandmother used to crochet a LOT of items in various BRIGHT Red Heart acrylic -- and we do have some of those in storage: afghans and toilet paper covers and potholders, etc.) (Thankfully, she stayed away from clothing . . . )

Nance said...

Oh brother! But I have to admit that I had all of those women's hairdos in those decades.

And yes, once was enough.

Jeannie Gray Knits said...

You just know that striped sweater & beret were knit with Red Heart which means, they are still hanging out, stuffed in the back of someone's dresser drawer. I inherited a bunch of 60's - 80's pattern books from my aunt & love looking through them. It's so hard to believe we actually wore those clothes and thought we looked good. All I can say is, it's a good thing the music was good because the clothing was horrible!

AsKatKnits said...

OMG, lmao. GREAT POST! And, really, all that "harvest gold" it was not good in kitchens or in sweaters! Hahahahaha!

Tired Teacher said...

The old knitting pattern books are a hoot! And to think those designs (not the ski mask, which is creepy on many levels) were actually worn by men and women in the 70s and 80s, and they were fashionable then.

rue said...

The lady in the Jazz sweater is Bonnie Langford a well known musical star in the 80's in the UK, also a Doctor Who companion. It was a surprise seeing her in your photo's!

KSD said...

Truth, though? I would have asked for the sweater with the pink/blue/yellow, but without the stripes on the cuffs.