Friday, January 25, 2008

Retro Knit Friday!

Another grey day. Last year at this time, the almond trees were already blooming and the days were sunny, but this year is cold and spring seems far, far away. I have been busy trying to ease cholesterol out of my diet and to eat in more healthy way, which has been not too bad so far. All I have to say about this is that how foolish is it to go have a cholesterol test right after all that lovely holiday eating? As I prepare all this healthy food, I bid a sad and fond farewell to my favorite Pasta Carbonara with its cream and bacon.

This week, I pulled an old book out of my bookshelves for Retro Knit Friday. The book was published in 1948 and has no color pictures, but it has a nice collection of patterns for adults and children, and a chapter on knitting for the home, with coverlets, lace doilies, and lace edgings. I like this first sweater, which is an evening jacket. It is knit at 6 sts/inch of ribbon and silver thread. It is knit in a stripe pattern, alternating the ribbon, which the instructions say is the color Aqua, with the silver thread. All edges are finished with a crochet trim.

The dress is knit of nubby yarn at 8 sts/inch on size 2 needles. The dress is plain stockinette except for the striped front yoke. The belt is crocheted to match the contrast color in the yoke. After the dress is sewn together, the front openings are lined with grosgrain ribbon, then snaps are used as the front fastening.

There is a whole chapter in the book about using space-dyed yarns. These yarns originated to make the knitting of argyle socks easier. The pattern was 'pre-plotted' in the yarn and emerged as you knit. The knitter was told how many stitches should appear in each color space, and adjusted the needle size until the stitch count for each color was correct. In this example, the yarn is used for the fronts of a child's cardigan making an attractive diamond pattern.

Now for two funny patterns. The top is called 'Bathing Suit Bandeaux' and is really a couple of knitted tube tops worn in a different manner. Is it a bathing costume or a blouse? The model is wearing earrings and a necklace, so it doesn't look like she is going swimming. I can't imagine that this would stay on very well in the water.

I am fond of silly hats, but this hat pattern is a mystery. It looks like the top portion is built around some kind of padded ring, but the instructions are only a paragraph long and have you make a square, half the dark color and half the lighter color. It is blocked to a 24" square and there the instructions end. No idea how it was twisted into that peculiar shape. Maybe it is a Forties thing, and you were expected to know all about it.

I have started turning the heel on the second Trekking sock and have the V-neck sweater more than half assembled. Today I will make soup, watch DVD's, and work on the sock.

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