Stash Haus, you’ve sold me. I’m going to order some Manos Silk today. Follow the link, people, for a lovely virtual tour of the Blackberry Ridge mill and a top down view of the cat I want: tortoiseshell and white. They’re not all that easy to find.
I had a successful if boring evening of i-cording. I’ve now finished the second short edge and have progressed perhaps two feet up the final long one. With a bit of pressure, I could get it finished today – ready to start on tidying the yarn ends.
Yesterday’s Knitting News was that Vogue Knitting Book No. 19 turned up – the specification on eBay said 2nd class post, and I didn’t write to her about it because she was selling six others the same evening – but she sent it 1st class anyway. That’s service. It’s in splendid condition, better than the photograph I posted here would suggest.
It was published in the autumn of 1941, when things must have been pretty grim. If I’m ever going to attempt a survey of Vogue-at-war I’ll need a companion volume of London-at-war to know what was going on in the background. The publisher’s address is given as 1, New Bond Street throughout.
(I must gaze at it reverently the next time we’re in London. The pursuit of art takes us up and down New Bond Street regularly, but I’ve never looked for Number One.)
The winter of 1939-40 was the winter of the “phoney war”, i.e., nothing much happened. Hitler made his move into the Netherlands in May, 1940, and the fall of France and Dunkirk and all that followed hard upon. Who was it? said when he heard the news from France, “So -- we’re in the Final.”
But the Blitz? When exactly? I have a sort of feeling that the bombing of London was very bad in '40-'41, tapered off somewhat in the later war years, and then was capped by the final horror of the doodlebugs.
Anyway: autumn, 1941. Vogue is never going to refer to specific events, but the war is on every page. Each pattern is tagged with the number of clothing coupons required. What a responsibility! – buying yarn in the knowledge that you’ve got to get it knit up promptly, and it’s got to be a good enough fit to be useful, or you’d have been better using the coupons for shoes.
(Coupon-free yarn was available for knitting for the troops. I’d have stuck to that, and to my stash, as I’m sure many did.)
Some peculiar yarns are coupon-free: “Greenwood’s rayon boucle”, “Greenwood’s Angel Skin Yarn” (what do you suppose that was?), “Copley’s Alpaca Loop”, “Greenwood’s Lightweight Chenille”, “Coats’ Crochet Cotton” (for stockings). By the date of the next issue (Spring ’42) all hand-knitting yarns were rationed.
The patterns, needless I hope to say, are Vogue through and through, all pretty knittable today with the addition perhaps of a little more ease. Vogue published knitting-for-the-troops in a separate publication. There is nothing of that here. “For walking, cycling, and the country life…” , “Here’s your new autumn sweater…” “Chic for wartime evenings.”