Saturday, September 08, 2007

More stash in Ravlery – we’re now down to some real oddities on the bottom shelf of the cupboard.

No more bidding on that ur-VKB. A sad thing, though: I mentioned a couple of days ago that the same seller recently offered VKB’s no 2, 3 and 4. I hoped she had the British no. 1 up her sleeve. But I found yesterday that she has put up three post-war ones (260156617073) with a little note saying that these are the last she has to offer. So there’s that hope gone.

Anonymous left an interesting comment yesterday, way back on a Games Week post. She’s trying to find the Vogue Knitting with the Kaffe Fassett Fair Isle waistcoat. She seems to have found it – but the seller can’t find the pattern. She thinks maybe what she has found is the American edition, and I’m inclined to agree. Although previously I had surmised that the "Vogue Knitting" series was British only.

Mine, reproduced below, is Spring/Summer 1969. I gather I said something slightly different before. An odd thing about the original British Vogue Knitting Book magazines is that they are not dated – there isn’t even a teeny tiny copyright notice inside. Whereas the American ones always are. The British did put dates on two issues just after the war, but then dropped the practice again. Those two are useful, however, since they are also numbered, in providing fixed points from which others can be dated.

Another, confirmatory, way to date them is from the issue of spring, 1953: a couple of advertisers couldn’t resist references to the Coronation. I think I’ve said before that I believe 9/11 is the only other contemporary event to make its way onto those august pages. The wartime VKB’s are full of wartime atmosphere – there is even a pattern in one of them which is billed as ideal for wear in the shelter – but there is no reference to specific events, Munich or Dunkirk or Pearl Harbor or El Alamein or Hiroshima, to name but a few.

That's by the way. Members of the "Vogue Knitting" series of eight magazines which followed the demise of the "Vogue Knitting Book", are dated. It is in the penultimate one of that series that Kaffe’s pattern appears.

Throughout the 50’s and 60’s there was a very considerable, perhaps total, overlap of patterns between the British and American magazines. But the covers usually, perhaps always, featured a different design. I don’t know whether or not there was a time-lag, or whether the two editions printed the same patterns at the same time. One day soon I’ll pick up an American one cheap on eBay and do a proper comparison.

Anyway, Anonymous, here’s the cover of my magazine with Kaffe’s pattern. I don’t see how anyone could fail to spot it if it’s there – it’s a full page colour picture.


I’ve reached row 35 (of 46) of the fourth pattern repeat in the Princess centre. Maybe I’ll finish that repeat and take another picture this weekend. When it’s on my lap, I really am beginning to feel that I’m getting somewhere, and may actually finish one day. When it’s spread on the floor, the hugeness of the task becomes apparent again. Kathy is much further on.


  1. I was struck by your gloom over what I believe is referred to as "sable" - Stash acquisition beyond life expectancy. This summer a close friend lost her mother. She passed away mid-row at the age of 96. In the last three years, since giving up "proper knitting", she had turned out in the region of 150 little blankets for premature baby units. To be still capable of useful work at 96 is surely what one would wish for.

  2. At the beginning of this year, there was a "Knit From Your Stash"
    movement. First project was to list all the yarn you own. This took two weeks. When completed, I determined that if I were to knit one ball per day, I would need to live to be 116 years old.

  3. I want to see a picture of your Princess! That is an amazing Vogue collection you have there.

  4. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Jean, thanks very much for posting the pic of the VK #7 cover, the one that has the first KF pattern in it.

    I was the one who asked you for it. It's definitely not the same issue I had found, so there must have been a separate magazine in the USA. I'll have to keep looking.

    Somehow, when I first tried to post this comment here, I managed to post it on Sept 3 (?). I won't repeat the whole comment here, I just wanted to explain why I double posted. If you want to see the USA version of that VK issue, I put the ebay item # in the first post.

    Thanks again,

  5. Jean; I did a search for bavarian traveling stitches and your blog came up with a reference to some books on the subject that you had purchased. I love this technique and would love to design a book around it, but need more examples of the work. I fell in love with the austrian stitch cardigan that Harrisville designs has. It looks good from the front and the back. Any books that you could suggest would be appreciated.

  6. Hey Jean, that Princess centre pattern is a rotten deceiving little swine of a thing isn't it. That chart looks like it could go a long way, and reality goes nowhere, then you get flying, and end up in the deepest, blackest, gloomiest black hole of knitting you could ever have imagined.
    That black hole still has me well and truly sucked in, but I think I see glimmers of light at the edges of it.

    You got it right when you said way back when, that I still have acres and acres to go.

    I am on repeat 9, with one more to go, less than one hundred rows, but still a very long way to go.

    I love that you have managed to put in your stash on ravelry, if I ever get in I doubt if I will even touch that mountain. I fear I am no where near as organized as a lot of folk.