Sunday, May 14, 2006

Vogue Knitting Book

The Christian Aid Book Sale was something of a disappointment. I got there ten minutes before the time, but a queue already reached around the corner into St Andrew’s Square, and there must have been two knitting fanatics in it, because they were rifling the table when I finally got there. No books of any interest. Old pattern leaflets were a pound apiece, so there was no question of buying the whole pile. I got an old Vogue Knitting Book – I already had it, but this was a cleaner copy – one of those offprint pamphlets they used to do in the old days, this one on blouses and dresses; and a children’s pattern with elephants on it, which won’t be any help at all in the Lacy Elephant Quest.

Old Vogue Knitting Books are an obsession of mine. In the Good Old Days, it was a separate publication from the American one, with some overlap of patterns I assume, but the ads and editorial matter and specified yarns were entirely British. It came out twice a year, and the issues are numbered but undated.

The one event in the outside world which actually got nodded to in the Vogue Knitting Book, was the Coronation, and I thus can date all the others forward and back from Spring, ’53. [The only subsequent such real-world reference, I believe, was to 9/11.] The numbering suggests that it was published throughout the war. I’d love to get my hands on one of those. Publication stopped in the late 60’s.

When I got home from the sale, it occurred to me for the first time to try Abebooks. Several VKB’s are there, but none of them are ones I am missing. Perhaps it would be worth writing to the booksellers who offer more than one.

The ones I’m missing, if anyone wants to brighten my day, are numbers 1 through 13, 16 through 35, 40, 43, and 45. I pay well.

My Sister’s Shawl

The last bit of patterning has gone faster than I expected. I should finish today, and pick up the stitches for the top edging. I remember thinking when I was at this stage of Helen Ogden’s shawl – same shape, different lace patterns – that that was nearly that, only a couple long rows of moss stitch to go. Not so – there’s a lot of top edging. Still, I’m about to pass a landmark.

I can’t provide a direct link to Hellie’s shawl, because I have named the page badly, but I think you can see it if you go to my website and follow the link to “Helen Ogden’s shawl” in the list of knitting at the bottom of the first page. If you do, you will see what I mean about the top edging.


I have enjoyed reading about NH Sheep and Wool in Sean’s blog and elsewhere. We never seem to have any rain here in Scotland.

Lorna, alas, football has never grabbed me. I rejoiced for Gretna, of course, but tepidly and at a distance. My husband is totally oblivious to all sport; it is not easy to persuade him even to let me watch international rugby matches. I had resolved to make this the year I got to grips with cricket, as the last remaining sport played in daylight – but they don’t seem to be showing test matches this year on the sort of television we can receive on our little set.

I heard on the radio just now that Tony Blair has signed a petition about the use of animals in medical research. Who is it addressed to, I wonder? His left foot? L’etat, c’est lui.

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