JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,

Down memory lane

Oh the things you find when you start digging in the backs of closets! Feeling mildly (but only mildly) ambitious this morning, I decided to haul out the half-shelf of old nonbook fibrecraft publications that I've had stashed away for ages and go through them. There are a few magazines, but mainly these are barebones pattern collection or single pattern booklets or pamphlets accumulated from various specialist craft shops, secondhand dealers, flea markets, garage sales, etc. and some of 'em date back to my high school days. They were also mainly purchased for "someday" because they contained one or more patterns that interested me, that I didn't have time or money for at the moment, but at least had the sense to know that if I waited until I DID have the time/money, the pattern would no longer be available due to limited print run, or the style or the craft itself no longer being in fashion.

Just looking at the covers and sorting them into categories has been fun ... remembering why I bought certain ones and puzzling over others (well, the fun of flipping through them comes next and then I'll know why ... hopefully). And I found a couple of "missing" sewing patterns ... both in giant-sized envelopes that are probably the reason they got shoved in with these instead of with the regular-sized sewing pattern envelopes that are stored elsewhere ... Simplicity pattern 7560 for a shirt with the option of horizontal or vertical yoke and lots of shoulder room either way, and an unused Folkwear pattern for a French cheesemaker's smock (a gift from a friend in college days, when I wasn't particularly interested in that kind of thing, silly me! Now I very much want to make it for everyday wearing). And wow, here's my book of ready-to-use dollhouse flooring ... that should probably be restashed with my dollhouse kit (another someday, snapped up many years ago at something like 75% off at one of those trendy household knickknack/odd'n'ends chain stores that are continually opening and closing because they don't really sell anything useful). Macramé (fashionable when I was a teen, and my booklets tend to go beyond plant hangers and on to knotting things like a fairly realistic, 3D, life-sized Afghan hound). Cross-stitch, embroidery, toys, antique doll clothes, knitting ...

Oh my, my very first knitting pattern booklet containing the directions for the very first sweater I ever knitted, complete with my own row/increase/decrease tracking notes in the margin (row counters being unknown to me at this time). I was certainly ambitious ... self-teaching with a few practice squares, one pair of garter-stitch slippers, and then jumping straight to this lace-paneled cardigan (click thumbnail for larger view):

I was 19 and pigheaded/determined enough to trial'n'error my way through the mysteries of the pattern instructions and it turned out beautifully and fitted perfectly and I wore it a lot (with my current knowledge I know how miraculous this is because gauge and tension and dyelots and most other knitting technicalities were also unknowns to me back then ... pretty much all I knew was the two basic stitches and which ends of the needles to use to make them) ... mine was knitted with Patons Astra yarn which was variegated in the colours of peaches and cream corn. 'twas acrylic, so machine washable and dryable ... thank goodness for my taking up this craft at a time when knitting wasn't fashionable (at these down times in the cycle cheap synthetic yarns dominate what little market there is) because I knew nothing about the shrinking/felting properties of real wool (superwash didn't exist back then) and would have been devastated if it had been wrecked.

This first sweater is long gone ... when I outgrew it due to building up my arms and shoulders with full time book-heaving library work (not to mention some ... ahem ... "chest expansion" that necessitated a significant change in bra size) it was passed on to the Sally Ann in the hope that somebody else would like it and take it home. But maybe someday I'll make it again (after doing the math to size it up to fit)

P.S. I started my second sweater out of this same booklet ... a lacy batwing knitted cuff to cuff, with a deep, traditional bottom-up waistband that came up in an inverted V between the breasts, giving beautiful front shaping. This one was never finished ... this was where I learned about dyelots by discovering that no two skeins of my deep rust-coloured, unlabeled bargain bin yarn were quite the same colour ... :-(
But I still like that pattern too ... so mebbe someday ... ;p

P.P.S. There is a purpose behind this sorting and identifying project too ... I want to add these items to my home library catalogue so that I'll KNOW what I have; also need to check any knitting-related materials against the pattern database at Ravelry to see if there's any ownership links I should be adding to my account.
Tags: knitting

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