Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Fine Vintage

Sorry this is a day late. I had a lovely but exhausting day on Sunday and so spent most of Monday asleep!

I'm developing more and more interest in vintage knitting patterns, and, as I know I'm not alone in this, I thought I'd share some of my favourite links.

The main things to bear in mind with vintage patterns are that

  • they rarely supply a gauge measurement
  • much of the terminology is different from modern terminology
  • vintage sizes are often much smaller than modern ones!

However, there are plucky souls out there who are decoding the patterns and making them much more accessible for modern knitters.

For the original publications, as well as actual paper patterns and books, I use two online sources of public domain textile books : Project Gutenberg, which has an entire Craft Shelf full of textile books; and the Antique Pattern Library.

There are also individual free vintage patterns available such as those on the Vintage Purls blog, and the 1940s patterns on the V&A website.

Some bloggers have taken on an entire book, or a whole lace sampler, and resolved to decode and rework every pattern for modern knitters. The best that I have come across are FitterKnitter, who is slowly working her way through a book from 1897 called The Art of Knitting, and Kathleen, who is reworking an 1884 lace sampler book. Her notes on antique terminology are very useful, and she explains things very clearly. Both of these bloggers provide charted and written instructions.

Well, that's it from me. Not very entertaining, but I hope it was useful - and next week I will be rested and back to my usual self, fingers crossed ;)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great links, Heather! I downloaded the Schiaparelli bow knot jumper, from the V&A site, just to read the pattern in full. Doubt I will ever make it, but you never know, it would be extraordinary to wear such an iconic design.