Saturday, January 13, 2007

The storms have quieted down – the wind was high enough yesterday afternoon that one had moments of wondering whether one could keep on one’s feet.

I had an email from The Yarn Yard this morning saying that a new member of her sock club had mentioned this blog as her source. A grown-up moment! And speaking of sock clubs, the Harlot's tale of Blue Moon Fibre Arts and “Socks that Rock” is very peculiar. And we thought 21st century British banks were as bad as it gets. (But we haven’t, of course, heard the bank’s side of the Blue Moon story.)

I got a fairly recent Rowan book yesterday, “Vintage Style”, an eBay purchase. There are some good things in it, including two tempting Kaffe’s and a rather nice striped Mably. The patterns are based on styles of the 40’s and 50’s and I devoted a few moments, in my role as VKB connoisseur, to thinking about why they looked so different from their sources. I’m sure Rowan has a stock of VKB’s that rivals my own.

And I decided that the answer is that people are a different shape nowadays. Specifically, that women in the 40’s and 50’s, even impossibly slender models, wore girdles and other constricting undergarments, and moved and stood accordingly.

I was taken aback to hear Rowan say that two necklines I am fond of, the shawl collar and what I would call rugby-shirt and they call button-opening-and-collar, are particularly appropriate for “a classic of bygone times”. Roba degli anni cinquanta, in a memorable phrase from a Linguaphone Italian course I once pursued. Puts me in my place. I really must start to give serious thought to the Calcutta Cup neckline.

Rugby shirts aren’t made like that any more, anyway.

Ron from Mexico: Thanks very much for the comment. I’ll seek out the sweater you mention from “Sweaters from Camp”, and indeed consider knitting stripes as you say you did. Cautiously. I have a vertically striped dress and it makes me look particularly fat.

As for a top down Fair Isle raglan, rather you than me – I’ve never attempted top-down, or felt much attraction to it – but I don’t see why not. You might want to have a look at Wendy Knits. (Scroll down a bit.) She’s been doing a Bohus design top-down. It’s nearly finished, and it’s stunning.

Here’s where I’ve got to on my sleeve. All the stitches are now on the small circular, and progress is faster than ever.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting, what you point out about garment shaping and foundation garments. I remember in my earliest childhood complaints (sotto voce, of course) from my grandmother and her friends about their girdles and how beastly uncomfortable they were, especially in summer.

    Of course, now the complaints (quite un-sotto) are that Young Women These Days look absolutely awful because they don't wear girdles.

    I asked my grandmother whether she really just felt that since she'd suffered in her youth, they should also have to, and she said, "Well - yes."