6.06.2006

La calotte glaciaire (for your head)



I wanted to share a quick shot of my mom's old stash of knitting mags--three Boye/Columbia-Minervas from the late 50s, a Bernat from 1958, and two more Coats and Clark's from the early 60s. There are also two "101 Sweaters" Issues from Womens Day (1971 and 1973, not shown above)--but alas, no bikinis or speedos to be found there.

The green book at top left is actually my grandmother's 1941 "Learn How Book"--a slim 50-page volume with instuctions to teach yourself knitting, crochet, tatting, AND embroidery. In case you didn't believe me, here's a page from the inside. All for 10 cents! I like that little hat at the top left--I assume that's the "Star Stitch Calot." Does "calot" mean hat? I looked it up, but calot is not in my English dictionary. (However, turns out it's in the French dictionary. Calot means "large marble." Hmm...Oh wait. Calotte means "skullcap." And just in case you ever need to know, calotte glaciaire means "ice cap." Beacuse, you know, there are so many of those in France.)

I didn't bother to photograph what I found to be the two scariest issues, a 1987 Phildar sweater booklet (knitwear really should have neither puffy sleeves nor shoulder pads) and a 1995 McCalls crochet mag (imho, sweaters should not be quite that colorful, nor be knee-length). But it's okay, I don't know how to crochet anyway. Of course, with the Learn How Book, I have no excuse anymore, do I?

I've mentioned elsewhere that my very favorite sweater is a gold cable-trim pullover that my mom knit for herself in the sixties and gave me a few years back. She dug out the pattern for me a couple months ago and this is it. See how cool the sleeves are? I still love this sweater, and aside from needing a little hem repair, it looks like new, even after forty years of wear.

Another favorite of mine is a poncho my aunt knit for my mom when she was in college (also in the 60s--sorry mom! I apologize to you in advance if anyone does the math). So, fellow fiber friends, you can see that your handknits really are destined to become heirlooms with possible generations of longevity.

P.S. I really did not ask Isis to act like Chaos and pose in all my pictures. She just keeps getting in them, one way or another. The only reason she isn't in the page scans is that she didn't fit under the scanner cover.

6 comments:

Samantha said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. :) Those books are cool. I actually think my Mom has that "Learn How Book" but I'm not sure if hers is just knitting or if it has all the other crafts in it too. Branching out is looking great. I really like the colour you chose. I knit one of those for my Grandmother at Christmas ... it was a big hit. :)

Happy Knitting!

Barbara-Kay said...

Ooh, that's spooky: I have all but two of those books from my first foray into knitting! I knit a sweater for my hubby (then boyfriend)from the Columbia/Minerva book with men on the cover. It was my first sweater, red wool. He worked on a road crew all summer, and developed significant shoulders, so that the sweater no longer fit. He kept the sweater for years, anyway, and I kept him! VBG!

Dawn said...

I just finished reading your article in Knitty, good job and I love those llamas! My sister and I have the Learn to Knit book. We got them in the 60's when we were little and learning to knit. My sister taught herself to tat from that book. I also have a few of those Columbia-Minervas from my late Mother-in-law's stash. I keep thinking I should try a pattern from them, but, like you, I am sticking to smaller projects like hats, scarves and socks.

Rebekah said...

I just love old knitting books. I've collected several, okay 40 or more off of Ebay. They are so much fun to look through.

Obsidian Kitten said...

Yeah, I SO love these vintage knitting patterns. I love vintage clothes anyway, and I like daydreaming about one day being able to knit some of these patterns. It's funny so many of you recognized the books!

So the consensus is that I shouldn't give up so quickly on the Branching Out? Maybe I just need to frog it and start over...

msfortuknit said...

You have all the fun patternes! Cheers for these posts!