Friday, July 6, 2007

Those Old Knitting Magazines

"We're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave," an old song starts. Well, it's actually happening here in my city as I stay indoors as much as possible and peruse the old Vogue knitting magazine from 1965. I've told you about it, how my copy was a mess and I got a better one from eBay. Now that I have one which I can page through without fallout, I've been reading it and marveling over how such mags have improved in 40+ years.

On the left, "dog chewed" and on the right, "mouse nibbled."

I knitted this sweater back in 1965. Even though it was before I became a "bona fide knitter" I did a good job on the knitting, even if I do say so myself. I knitted in a white yarn. I don't remember the fiber, but I do remember it came from a yarn shop, not Woolworth's so I probably bought what was called for, Spinnerin Homespun and US 13 needles. It was called a "Husky Knit." I knitted and knitted. I finished quickly . . . for me. Remember, I was a backward purler causing my stytches to be twisted and hard to knit into. As you can see the pattern was reverse stockinette. I don't think I knitted the pockets. When the main pieces were done, I sewed the sweater together and never needed the pockets. The sweater was gi-normous!!! (A made-up word combining gigantic and enormous to give you a better idea of just how much too big it was.) I knew I was a tight knitter and was making size 42 instead of size 40. I wonder if I did a gauge swatch. Probably not.

The sweater was big enough for my husband to wear and for me to get inside and wear it with him! The pattern sizes went up to 44. Mine was at least a 50. It was off the charts!!! I put it away and contemplated ripping and knitting it again. It stayed "put away" for many, many years, until I heard of a senior citizen group who wanted old yarn, previously knit yarn or old sweaters that could be used for the yarn. I did the ripping and donated the balls. Furthermore, neither my husband nor I liked the look of wearing a sweater on the wrong side. I still don't like reverse stockinette.

The photography in this magazine is surprisingly bad. These fuzzy pictures are not a result of my poor photography. They are actually fuzzy in the magazine. Maybe it was "artful"? However, I would think in a pattern book you would want the texture, the stitches, to show.

There are some great patterns in the book, colorful designs but pictured in black and white, a far cry from what we get today. In fact most of the photos are black and white and some are line drawings.

There were only five colors used throughout the magazine, including the cover. The few sweaters pictured in color were of the same hues: red, mustard, beige, green and blue.

There was even a hazy, foggy or sun glare patch in the picture on the right. No, it isn't from my flash. The magazine picture is exactly like that. Artful? We've come a long way, baby!

However, with all its early lack of technology, the sweaters were great. They are still great today. And now that I'm a bona fide knitter, I intend to tackle another one . . . when I start jonesing again.

Bona Fide Knitter

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