Sunday, July 10, 2016

Yesterday went much better.

I didn’t watch any tennis, saving myself for today – but I rejoice that Serena won. Our niece C., with whom I often went walking in more vigorous days, is coming over to watch the final with us. It may have to be done from behind the sofa, like children watching Dr Who confront the daleks in the old days.

It is funny how rapidly we have morphed – we, the British, as a tennis-watching nation, at least for this fortnight – from cheering extravagantly when Jeremy Bates reached the third round, to having one of the world’s best in our midst. I exaggerate slightly; I never cared much for Jeremy Bates. In the early days I didn’t think Andy Murray could make it to the top because he was too spindly, lacking the physical strength needed for seven rounds of potentially five-set matches. But he worked on that, as on everything else, and here he is.

A bit more knitting got done yesterday. As on the first side, I am one stitch short of the number I need to attach the edging perfectly. Not difficult to fudge. Will it go on happening?

Flipboard has come up with a gem: a collection of men’s knitting patterns from the ‘60’s or so, from the archive at Southampton University (donated by Montse Stanley and Bishop Rutt, I think). They’re a riot. I don’t think I have any of them in my own archives, although the models look familiar. The sweaters are pretty good – turning aside from a couple of astonishing disasters, there are lots one might well consider knitting today. And it was good to be reminded of Sirdar’s Aran patterns of that era – that’s where I first engaged with Aran. But the models and the poses are very funny indeed.

Shandy, no, I hadn’t seen Paradise Apples. Thank you for that one. And it wouldn’t even take forever, as the yarn is sport weight. Fortunately, given my late-night stash-enhancement propensity, there didn’t seem to be an easy way to order the original Russian yarn. It sounds from my limited grasp of that language as if it’s Australian merino anyway. 


  1. Watching a Wimbledon final and knitting. What could be better? Go Andy!

  2. I have to confess that I have one of those patterns. I knit half of the balaclava as a stage prop for a play featuring women knitting for the war effort when I was working at Roedean. I don't think anyone else could knit! I love the fact that they got a man with hairy arms to model the hairy mohair sweater.

  3. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Love love love the vintage men's sweaters link! Gave me a good chuckle, but also, loved that there were a couple of older men, one was even chubby! Also love that they showed a few of them doing office work. I agree, many of them could be knit as-is today, but that one with the buffaloes!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Beverly in NJ

  4. You and your niece must be so excited. I hope you were able to watch the match. It was great. Tense, but great.

  5. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Thanks for the link to the knitting book images. I belong to a Ravelry group, All Things Vintage, where we frequently post pictures of our old pattern-book finds and indeed knit projects from them. We always get a laugh from the illustrations for the men's patterns - the man-with-pipe and man-with-sporting-gear memes are so prominent.

    Along with many other mentions of knitting, Barbara Pym in her novel A Glass of Blessings has a nice description of a male sweater model standing under a tree and gazing into the distance like a faun. As her female protagonist notes, all the other men modeling in the pattern book look faintly embarrassed.

    -- stashdragon

  6. Thanx for the look back at men's knitwear. When I was a kid in the 50's, everyone's dad & grandad had a Mary Maxim sweater!! They were extremely popular on the West Coast in Canada. But, I doubt that any of the men I know today would wear any of those sweaters except for the vests - maybe.

  7. Bravo Murray - an excellent match - hope you enjoyed it! So pleased too for heather Watson in the mixed doubles - what a great day :-)

  8. Anonymous4:33 PM

    I admit I definitely had to listen to Dr Who from behind the sofa at times!
    Glad you enjoyed the tennis on Sunday.