Wednesday, June 07, 2006

VKB’s 31 and 32 arrived yesterday, as hoped. I’ve been having a wonderful time with them.

They are Autumn ’47 (actually dated on the cover) and Spring ’48. Post-war life is still pretty grim. My two pre-war ones, 14 and 15, will have been published in 1939, if Vogue kept going at two-issues-a-year during the war. Otherwise, obviously, earlier. They are full of references to cruises and Switzerland for the ski-ing and sherry. Post-war, the happiest knitwear-wearing occasion on offer seems to be “evening”.

On the other hand, 31 and 32 offer a variety of sizes, up to (curiously) a 39 ½ inch bust. The pre-war patterns are written for one size only, 36 inches if you’re lucky, 34 inches more commonly. Could the world really have been so different?

The next issue I have is no 36 – 1950. Sizes now go up to 40”, everybody looks much more cheerful, occasions are not only “evening” but also “dinner” and “country”. And the editor has started writing an introductory page, not seen previously.

In each of 31 and 32 there is a photograph attributed to Diane Arbus, to my astonishment. Norman Parkinson did one, too, for issue 31. By no. 36, all the photographs are by “Baker”. No mention of designers’ names anywhere.

31 and 32, for all their austerity, look like VKB’s. 14 and 15 are quite different in format.

The two that I bought on Abebooks recently and then was told I couldn’t have after all, were 29 and 34. I’m still cross.

I have 33 issues still to find, so eBay has a lot to do.


Jean-in-E, I do have “Fishermen’s Sweaters” and I now have Lochinver firmly fixed in my mind. I was out and about yesterday, but it was too hot for you to have been wearing it. More than that, I have put the book in the box to go to Strathardle on our next trip (which will take place tomorrow, insh’Allah). There are several fairly simple-looking knit-and-purl patterns which I want to consider for the top of Ketki’s gansey.

MamaLu, I have added Shelridge Farm to my “Yarn Sources” category on the “Favorites” list. And I agree, the Ultra Merino looks like an ideal yarn for the three-ply fingering yarns of yesteryear, and the colours are brilliant. It’s the “ribbon-pattern blouse” illustrated yesterday that I’d go for. Hey, maybe I’ll do it!

Let's see if I can show you some grandchildren.


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