Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A plethora of patterns. Part Three.

Straight into Part Three. More fantastic patterns and the story behind the big pile of them can be found in Part One and in Part Two .

February 1955.
This 'Carefree Cardigan' is knitted in 4-ply in a rib pattern. I am not that keen on it as I prefer the fitted styles of jumpers that were often worn in the 1950s.

I really like an embroidered tablecloth and have a bit of a collection going on. I like the bright and cheery colours, the lovely patterns (especially the flowers) and I like using them knowing that someone has put their time, effort and love into this piece and I am keeping that going. However, much as I like them I can not imagine actually making one. I do not think that I have the patience. The magazine editor says 'if you start now you will finish the lovely cloth in time for your summer teas when the real flowers are in bloom. There is not too much work in the embroidery as the shapes are all quite small...' I do not think that I would get this finished in 4 months!

'Her cable sweater in white. His classic V-neck pullover. 4-ply sports casual for you and your boyfriend'. Again, not my favourite but I do like to see a his and hers jumper every so often.

'Hardanger and Weaving'. The chair back on the left is the Hardhanger and the cushion cover is the weaving. A runner, table centre and trolley cloth can also be made. I have read the instructions for both pieces of needlework and do not fully understand either but have included them as I like to see the types of pieces that people would have made for their homes.

'Cocktail wear uses beads. Charming bead knit evening sweater, in white on red for this elegant blouse'. This is a fabulous beaded jumper, it looks so glamorous and special occasion ready. The beads are knitted on in pairs, 3-ply yarn is used. I have yet to try a beaded knit but when I do it will be a 1950's cocktail top such as this that I make.

'Zoo time'. This is a fantastic jumper for 6-7 year olds. The front has a zebra, polar bear and a camel. The back has a monkey, an ostrich and an elephant. Whoever designed the charts for this has done a good job of making the animals look realistic. the original is knitted in 3-ply, the main body in Beau Blue and the animals and contrast in Coral Rust. I would have enjoyed wearing this jumper when I was small.

I love this picture of a more mature and buxom woman doing her gardening in her gloves, pearls, pencil skirt and beautiful hand knitted cardigan. With her set hair and perfect make up she looks so glamorous just to be doing household jobs. The cardigan has lovely lace panels at the front, the back and sleeves are in stocking stitch. It is made in 3-ply and is a 40-41 inch bust. Nice to find a larger size garment in Stitchcraft.

'Spider's web - attractive gingham supper apron. This attractive apron is smart enough for a hostess to slip on whilst serving supper snacks - very gay in black and white gingham with white and scarlet embroidery'. The method for making the apron and for doing the embroidery are included. I think I will have a go at making this, so that I can be the hostess with the mostess serving my supper snacks to my guests!

Please excuse the flash reflection, it is not a ball of light coming out of her stomach, no matter how super her jumper is. This is the back cover photo of a jumper for a teenage girl to wear at the weekend. It is knitted in 3-ply in Navy, White, Glamour Red and Light Steel Grey. I really like the chevron stripe, it is really flattering.

May 1958

'Dear Readers,
This issue is full of ideas to knit, sew and crochet for your holiday, whether seafaring or country bound. The gay balloon trimmed skirt with its useful carry-about cushion, is as easy as abc to do and can be made to any size.

The front cover features a 'twinset for summer walks'. This is a really pretty twinset and has cable and diamond patterned panels. It is knitted in 3-ply.

'Set sail with your holiday knitting. Star stitch quick knit huskies for Big Brother and Tommy Tucker'. The start stitch gives a tough almost double texture effect and these jumpers look just the thing to keep nice and snuggley in whilst sailing and racing your yachts on the boating lake.

This is a coffee cloth 'American Style'. I have no idea why this is so, if anyone can enlighten me about this please do. It is made in cotton, they have used mauve and white gingham, with bias binding edging and white ribbon bows. I think it is really charming and would make breakfast time extra special if you made it for your table.

I love a dressing table set despite not owning a dressing table. If I ever have space for one I would love to put a beautiful set on it like this one. These mats have a floral trellis border on white linen and are edged in crochet. The flowers are daisies, roses, and star flowers. The transfer cost 1s.

'Country Rambler to wear with slacks'. This is such a pretty double knit jumper which has a diagonal lace pattern. I am wondering why the model is eating her glasses. Perhaps they didn't feed her when she was on her country ramble.

'Daisy chain yoke. A light hearted sunny jumper in two sizes'. This is knitted in 3-ply, the original is in Rose Petal and White which must look lovely. I like the deep rib at the waist, the fitted style and the V neck.  The scattering of daisies emphasises the shaping and elevates this from a pretty jumper to a gorgeous one.

The next few patterns come from a four page spread called 'Holidays Ahead - 4 pages of ideas for sea & sand'. This 'gay cotton beach skirt' tickled my fancy, it has really captured the holiday spirit. Those hot air balloons just make you smile. It would be really cheerful to wear, this one is bright blue poplin with applique balloons in cherry, pale pink, lime and a blue and white stripe. The baskets are embroidered, these are in white, black, pink, lime and jade. There are 6 balloons around the bottom edge and 3 set slightly higher up. It would be gorgeous! I am going to put it on my list of things to make (it is growing ever longer)!

'Swimwear for water babies. A sun suit for a sturdy toddler. Trunks for a would-be Channel swimmer'. Poor sturdy toddler. I hope that didn't give her a complex in later life. The sun suit is knitted in 3-ply in White, Catkin Green, Crimson Rose and Royal Blue. It is really sweet. The trunks are double knit and 4-ply in Breton Red and White. They are knitted in a firm non stretch twisted stitch to avoid accidental exposure!

This crochet top is a blouse for summer. It has a neckline decorated with sequins and beads which is very attractive.  It looks lovely and cool and very versatile as it could be dressed up for evening or left as it is for daytime.

These matching boyfriend and girlfriend sports shirts make me giggle. Was wearing matching outfits really such a thing? These are 4-ply in White with stripes of Gold, Spun Gold and Shannon Green. I don't like them much but thought they were interesting enough to include.

This 'Rug for a boy's room - introduce his school crest', fascinates me. Did young boys want their school crest and colours all over everything? Would they have liked it? If you were going to take the time to make a rug wouldn't you make something that is, frankly, nicer?

I love the colours in this picture, muted but still striking. The tapestry chair seat and back is worked in cross and tent stitch and is a Victorian ribbon design featuring the flower 'Convolvulus'. The colours used are Purple, Dark Green, Light Green, Light Blue, Light Magenta, Pale Pink, Dark Blue, Mid Blue, Dark Magenta, Yellow and White. Lovely.

Well, I have come to the end of the Plethora of Patterns. They have given me hours of enjoyment so thanks again to my lovely friend who shared them with me and the nice woman who donated them in the first place.


  1. Zoo time jumper, the gingham apron and the Daisy chain yoke jumper are my favourites!

    1. Good choices. I am thinking about putting the daisy jumper on the blog as a free pattern, would you like that?

  2. Oohhh, now where did I put my magic wand? I need it something fierce so that I can wave it around and perhaps have every one of these darling vintage pieces land in my closet (especially the hot air balloon skirt and chevron striped sweater). :)

    ♥ Jessica

    1. What a lovely idea, wouldn't it be great if that was possible!? I like your choices!

  3. Hardanger's not difficult - I've got a table runner on the go - but you do need to be brave and have a sharp pair of scissors as you have to cut and remove individual threads.

    Old Stitchcrafts are so lovely...

    1. Sounds nerve wracking to have to snip at your needlework! I would be interested to see your table runner.