Vintage Ladies

25 Sep 2006

I promise this is the last heart for a while. This is my contribution to the Pincushion Challenge. The pincushion had to be made from recycled materials and mine is made from two sweaters that accidently made it into the wrong washing cycle and became too small for even my daughter to wear. Plus the paler pink is a piece of old blanket.

A few weeks ago my mother and my auntie started going through some of their old knitting patterns and they have passed them on to me. Now these women were serious knitters in their younger yearsand knitted not only to provide their families with warm woollies but because they loved knitting.

Any time we went on a long drive my mum would knit; my dad was doing the driving , mum wasn't that crazy. When my auntie and cousins came with us there would be two sets of clicking needles. We had a station wagon then and no need for seatbelts,it was the 60s. It was three across the front bench seat, three or four across the back seat and whoever was left was over the back.

My auntie tells how when she was a young working girl there was always an unspoken competition when a new pattern book came out to see who could be the first to knit and wear something from the new book.

These two come from a book where all the patterns have a name beginning with M. This is Miriam and Madge but there was also Mandy, Maye, Mavis and Mollie. My auntie's name is Maisie so she must have been disappointed to have missed out on having her own design.

Most of the pattern books are English but the other two ladies above are obviously from an Australian book as they are named after two Wollongong Suburbs: Austinmer and Thirroul where I used to work when we lived in the beautiful Fairy Meadow(coal trucks and heavy industry) when we were first married. Austinmer and Thirroul are beautiful beaches to the north of Wollongong.

8 Responses to “Vintage Ladies”

  1. oh my what a great post!!! first of all...i LOVE your pincushion!! the subtle colors and sweet flower are so charming...i just finished mine last night and will post it when i get home :) and thanks for sharing all the sweater patterns...what a score!! and that walk down memory mom spent all our road trip time knitting one thing or another. which pattern will you start knitting first?

  2. I love vintage knitting patterns - I nearly cried when my sister-in-law told me she had thrown out a HUGE pile belonging to her mother. I especially love your Madge. The only thing I find is that vintage patterns are not well-sized for the more generous bust! But lovely to look at!

  3. It's the "Miriam" pattern I like best. I've also found that it's difficult to find a vintage pattern in a fuller bust...lots of the really early ones are for 32 or 34 inch chests! i love the pin cushion, pretty pansies.

  4. The patterns only have instructions for a 32-34" bust but there is a note for each one as to what size neeble to use for a size 36-38" bust. That's as generous as it gets. I would love to knit Miss Austinmer, partly for nostalgic reasons. Austinmer beach kept me sane during my working days in Wollongong, I spent every lunch time there.

  5. I love the idea of making a pincushion out of recycled fabric. Yours turned out so perfect. I've yet to try to make one of these but it's on my very long list of things to do. I love the patterns too!

  6. Hi! Just a quick word to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. How lucky you are to have inherited those beautiful vintage patterns...

  7. Beautiful pincushion. I loved seeing all the vintage knitting patterns...sometimes I knit in the car also.


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