Saturday, 1 March 2014

Manly Pursuits (as depicted in vintage knitting patterns)

I am often entertained by the front covers of old knitting patterns and have been known to buy patterns that I have no intention of ever knitting just because I find the picture funny. Sometimes it is down to the garment, or the model, or the colour, or the staging, or the props or the scenery. Some moments of comedy gold are down to all of the above. I like to look at them with my mum and my friends, adding captions etc. Sometimes I do wonder what the yarn company were thinking and how they thought that particular image would help to sell their pattern.

I was sorting through some patterns to put some new ones away and was struck, yet again, by this. I realised I had a lovely pile of men's patterns which showed men 'doing something' in their knitwear. Almost like it might be embarrassing to model knitwear unless you were also doing something stereotypically manly such as posing against your car or map reading. In a manly manner of course. Maybe with some facial hair, a stern expression, or a pipe. Or all three.These are my favourite manly pursuits as seen in knitting patterns.

This is photo heavy, I liked so many I included them all!

Sporting activities are acceptable, of which golf is the most popular:




Golf - lovely band of Fair Isle


Golf  - nice cravat

Golf - explaining the finer points

Map reading  - as long as you are on an adventure, leading the way, or are an explorer:


Map reading

Map reading

Map reading - in a smug manner

Map reading

Arctic explorer - in your string vest
Posing alongside your vehicle:

Teaching your son to pose with the wheels

Car maintenance


Leisure activities:

Drinking beer

Having a pint

Frowning at your girlfriend as she plays the drums

Hanging with your grandad

Yachting in your chunky jumper and your tighty whities


Sailing yachts with my boy

Sailing yachts with my son

Gardening - chopping logs with a very large axe

Gardening - let loose with the shears

Being outdoors  - manly holding of benches


Author - of boy's adventure stories

Author - travel and adventure books

Lighting director for films, especially Westerns

Executive - reading the finance news
Studying is also an option:

On the way to the library - so smart

Using the library as a place to meet girls

Maybe you are in charge of the family pet?:

A big knit for a big dog.

You may go to the local camera club:

Explaining your latest gadget. Lovely Fair Isle

Checking through your photos

Working out the technical bits
Maybe you belong to your local shooting club?:

Down the range
I love this one, it makes me laugh. Green jumper and red jumper clearly have no idea how to shoot a gun and are likely to shoot someone else instead. Yellow jumper is about to fire and put them both to shame. Pink jumper is too busy posing to get his stance straight and is about to miss the target.

The other activity that men do in knitting patterns is smoke. Pipes or cigarettes or both (not at once). This will be the subject of another post as I have a whole collection of men smoking patterns!


  1. This post is so fabulously fun and instantaneously smile inducing. I love a good lighthearted set of vintage images like this on the weekend, when one just wants to kick back and enjoy themselves (as I very much did with this post - thank you for putting it together, dear Kate).

    Have a marvelous first weekend of March,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Great, I am glad that you enjoyed it Jessica. I had such fun putting it together. I have had a lovely weekend, hope you have too!

  2. I think the funniest one has to be the open weave look on the muscle guy. So funny!

    1. Muscle guy is pretty special, I snapped that pattern up with a little squeal of joy when I found it!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I love how cheesy a lot of old knitting patterns photos were. I think the shooting range one has to be my favorite.

    1. The shooting range one is probably my current favourite. It is one of the most recent I found. They are so very cheesy aren't they?!

  4. This is BRILLIANT!! My husband is wondering what I'm laughing at. Seriously, thank you for sharing these, they are all hilarious. I think Torpedo (Torpedo? Seriously?) Golf Men are my favourite. They both look a bit like the camp younger brothers of Micheal Gove. And your captions are so funny too. x

    1. Ha ha! Just checked back on the Torpedo golf men and you are totally right. Camp younger brothers of Micheal Gove indeed. How did I miss that?! I am glad it gave you a good laugh!

  5. They are great! I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets amused by what is going on in the pictures!

    1. Glad you enjoyed them! Am sure to find some more!

  6. Can anything be more World of Wrong than a string vest? As a camera nerd, though, I find myself wondering if I could date patterns accurately through the cameras in them!

    1. Awww, string vests are so wrong but they remind me of my grandad who always used to wear one! I would be interested to know if you can date the patterns from the cameras, certainly sounds feasible!

  7. Fabulous post! Love smug map reader and frowning man with girlfriend and drums! I have a handicraft book full of models posing and some of the men in the pictures are magnificent, I think they are truly fabulous what with their groovy knitwear worn with belts. I can't get enough.

  8. Thank you, I am pleased that you enjoyed it. It was such fun to write and I laughed a lot choosing the images. I like the sounds of your handicraft book, sounds like there may be some horrors in there!