Wednesday, February 9, 2011

vintage wednesday

     Okay, I have to admit, I have this thing for history.  Not the list of dates and outlines, but the people part.  You know, what life was really life at a point of history.  Where they got their food, what they wore, who they spent their time with, that kind of thing.  So when my friend brought me a stack of her grandmother's knitting books, I got a big kick out of them. 
     I know that I'm... er, a wee bit quirky, but I thought I'd show just a couple things I saw, and what went through my head.

     First up, a book to teach girls young ladies to knit.  I believe this came out at a time when the economy was causing people to have to take up some skills that had gotten put on the shelves.  I love the illustrations.

     All right.  These next set came from the same book, with "over 70 patterns."  These two shots left me wondering about the "vest" which seems to have been a one-piece type undergarment, worn by girls, boys, and women.  I mean really, how do you go from being underwear to being something you wear over your clothes?

     These two, well, gosh, can you even imagine???

     Now, this particular book was printed before the War.  Back when a certain geometric pattern was meaningless: 

     I mean, really it's amazing this book even exists.  What with all the Better Dead Than Red going on, it's amazing they weren't all burned.  I can imagine countless mothers pulling out their hard work, ripping out the stitches they had planned on passing down from one kid to another.

     At a later time period, this book was issued:

     And this book, with its everyday sweaters, sweaters to slim you for date night, sweaters for tennis, and even one sweater in a guage that would be considered "modern" (meaning that the loops aren't teeny-tiny, for those of you non-knitters).
      I love flipping through these bits of history, and thinking about other mothers in another time.  Times when if you were encouraged to knit to alleviate "war-nerves."  Times when everyone knew what a soaker was.  Times when all babies wore dresses, because that's what babies wore, no matter the sex (which I suspect had to do with the fact that people only owned so many items of clothes, and those baby things would be used and re-used and re-used). 
     It makes me happy I'm a knitter, because in some way, every stitch I make for my family in our piece of history, connects me to the American women before me, and let's me understand just a tiny bit of who they were.

1 comment:

amy@flexibledreams said...

I love the bathing suit that covers more skin than most homecoming dresses these days :-)