Friday, 8 March 2013

Knitting For All: Illustrated

When I first got this book back in November I promised a dedicated post on it. I picked it up from a local flea market for the grand sum of fifty pence, along with a couple of children's books. It was shoved in a box full of books that had obviously been stored in someone's garage or shed. It was damp and warped and the binding is a little loose, but the pages are all present and correct with no major internal damage. A night on top of the radiator and a while squeezed into the book case has dried and flattened everything out as it should be.

This book was published in 1941, so is perfect for WW2 era patters. The book has patterns for women, men, babies and children as well as a substantial number of different stitch patterns, cable designs, and general knitting instructions and care information. 

This basic cardigan pattern has multiple variations, including different stitch patterns, and a less fitted version without waist shaping.

The basic cardigan:

Worked in different stitches:
Note that the instructions for the cable pattern carry onto the second image here.

Each section of the book has these lovely illustrations. There are patterns for everything from underwear to hats, and just about every garment in between.

There are lots of little snippets of information, such as this story of how cable knits evolved:

The back section of the book covers the make do and mend aspect of wartime knitting, and has a lot of ideas on reusing wool from old garments, and reworking worn out items into new.

Another aspect addressed is how to make best use of your resources by choosing a more economical stitch for your work. Instructions for various types of drop stitch patterns are given too.

One of my favourite things about older books like this is the lovely paper used inside the covers. This one features rows of knitted garments, intertwined with needles and yarn.  Such a beautiful touch.

1 comment:

  1. I don't knit, but have a much-treasured copy of this book - which is a wonderful source of social history during WW2, and full of the most astonishing patterns for absolutely everything!

    The endpaper illustrations are top quality. I wonder if they are by Eric Ravillious (an artist and illustrator, who died young, in 1942). It certainly looks like his style. Fabulous :-)