Friday, March 23, 2007

Retro Knit Friday!

I felt like getting out of the house today so I went to some nearby antique shops and found some new-to-me knitting pamphlets. Just look at that gold dress. The gauge is fairly small so it must have taken forever to knit. Looks pretty cool in a Hollywoody way though.

The red dress with the jacket has a skirt that is yards around. Around and around in stockinette. You don't see too many skirts knit nowadays, but the ladies at the store used to make them. Some of my older pamphlets have order forms in them with which ladies could order a skirt knit for them to match the sweater they were making.

It must have seemed very comfortable to have a knitted dress in the days before you could buy doubleknits.

This book is from 1948, and the clothes are starting to have a 50's look to them with the longer post-war skirts and nipped-in waist, but the 40's shoulder pads are still in evidence.

A lot of the dresses were two pieces or suits, but the turquoise dress, which I really like, seems to be one piece. I wonder if the dresses, when completed, were hung up on a hanger or folded and put away in a drawer.

I remember some of the dress yarns my grandmother had. They were not as stretchy as sweater yarns and often had interesting finishes like crinkling or slubs. I like the mock smocking on the turquoise bodice, I will have to look up the stitch instructions to see how they did it.

The other two fashions are tops with the faux pleated shirts that often accompany knitted outfits. They were done by casting on a huge number of stitches (one pattern I saw said to cast on 790 sts) for the bottom, then start the ribbed pattern, gradually making the decreases at specified intervals until you reached the waist. Elastic was usually applied to the waist, sometimes with a zigzagged chainstitch semi-casing to hold it in place.

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