Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Knit it

Does anyone still knit? The last person I saw knitting regularly was when I briefly worked at a Benefits Office in the 1980s, there was a woman there with a leathery complexion who used to knit and smoke her way through every lunch-hour. The clicking of knitting needles punctuated by cigarette-sucking and her phlegmy cough still sticks with me. Oh and she used to suck boiled sweets too. Tucked them into her cheek whenever she took a drag.

I thought of her today whilst browsing the charity shops because I was irresistibly drawn to some 1970s knitting magazines in a box on the floor in Help The Aged. 'Golden Hands' they were called (and then I couldn't stop thinking of the Klaxons'  'Golden Skans' and I've had that going through my head all day). But the mags were only pence so I bought a couple, just for the pictures. I might have to incorporate them into something ironic and artistic some time. Before I do, though, you've just got to see them...

From the feature: 'Knit him a casual sweater'


 The caption says 'Meet Sacha and her brother Gregor'


This article tells you how to 'Machine knit a glamorous evening dress'


From the feature: 'Romantic party looks for mothers-to-be'


22 comments:

  1. I want that orange jumper! Is the pipe optional? In fact, his trousers look as though they may be ok as well, though a 70's flare would be a no-no.
    I feel for Sacha and Gregor: have social services been informed?
    How come Peter Wyngarde was reduced to modelling for knitting patterns when he was in his Jason King pomp?

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    1. I think the pipe is compulsory, SB. As is the faraway look in his eyes - orange jumpers have that effect.
      The freakiest pic for me was Sacha and Gregor, I had a sudden flashback to scary Dr Who episodes with the Autons, these being their android offspring in toxic woollen underwear.... aarghh... run for the hills!
      And 'Jason King' looks as if he's about to tap that woman on the head, just plain weird!

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  2. There must be a box of 1970s knitting patterns in every charity shop in the land and they're full of gems like these. We should rescue them all! The men in the photos are always smoking a pipe and often pointing...at nothing in particular. It's a look I've never quite perfected.
    My aged Aunt in London, who recently broke her wrist, is a ferocious knitter, so she's currently bereft as you can imagine. Mrs S's Mum knits occasionally and a few years ago Mrs S, out of the blue, decided she wanted to learn how to as well. A lot of swearing and throwing stuff around ensued as she tried and failed to master the art. Mrs S's Mum came over one day to check on progress and offer some words of advice, 'You need to ensure you have enough tension' she said after observing Mrs S struggle through a row. 'There's plenty of that around at the moment' I countered before I could stop myself. I really should learn to think before I speak.

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    1. Oh you're so right. Every charity shop, every male model. It's a strange, woolly, parallel world.
      I can understand Mrs S's struggle! I think it's one of those things best learned at an early age, like riding a bike. I learned to knit as a kid and was absolutely fine just doing straight lines, knit one pearl one knit one pearl one, on and on and on and on..... as a result the only thing I ever knitted was an impossibly long scarf. I'd still be doing it if it wasn't for running out of wool some time around 1983.

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  3. Hhhmmm, pressing 'publish' seems to send comments off into oblivion today?

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    1. I'm receiving you, Yve!
      More Blogger probs though? I had this the other day on someone else's blog, just couldn't get the comment box to work :-(

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  4. Damn right they still knit...knit and blog about it. Now that I'm back in the open I'll troll blogs, looking for something worth reading...only the fashion blogs (I think I'm gonna start taking pictures of what I'm wearing everyday...you can't ignore what the people want) outnumber the knitting blogs.

    Pictures from High End 70's look more futuristic to me than anything from the last 40 years.

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    1. I seem to be missing out on a whole world out there. I had no idea, although come to think of it, I suppose I should've twigged that all these crafty things you see made out of wool do actually have to be *knitted* by a human being, d'oh.
      Yes please, Erik - 'outfit posts' they call them don't they? - look forward to the orange jumper and pipe selfie.

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  5. There was an article in the Guardian yesterday about musicians with unlikely hobbies - seems that Kim Deal of The Breeders is an avid knitter and even sells her stuff, she took it up to get over her heroin addiction apparently - one set of needles for another...

    And yes that does look like Peter Wyngarde ! (Who I once 'signed on' in Hammersmith Benefits Office... the connections are coming thick and fast today...)

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    1. It sounds like knitting is in! I thought people only knitted yoghurts. Shows how much I know, oh well....quite glad I posted this now, I've learned something new!
      Peter Wyngarde signing on at Hammersmith UBO?! It must have been so tempting to hum the Department S theme!

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    2. Unfortunately he was somewhat out of favour at the time - an unsavoury incident in a public convenience I believe - hence him signing on... I think he was trying to keep a low profile (that's a contradiction of course, how could Jason King ever bee low profile ?). and yes mondoagogo of course you're right, Deal or no Deal...(sorry)

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    3. Haha, don't you just love how an innocuous knitting magazine can take us to a transgression in a toilet, in just one easy step?!

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  6. The people who I know who knit rarely talk of anything else.

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    1. If they're knitting Sock Monkeys though, I can't blame them :-)

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  7. I know loads of knitters, both genders. Some knit clothes, some knit amigarumi (look it up, it's cute!), some knit porn star intarsia (my friend actually does a workshop teaching that one). There's even a knitting/crochet social network which rivals Facebook/Twitter.

    I still don't knit though. I don't need another hobby that I abandon... :)

    @Belmondo -- I thought that was Kelley Deal, not Kim. She makes bags if I recall...

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    1. Amigurami? Porn star intarsia? Knitting/crochet social networking? I feel as I have just accidentally stumbled into another world! Thank you for the tip-offs, I'm off to look those up now, my curiosity is roused. Where have I been... and, more's the point, where are those old knitting needles from my childhood? There's an unfinished scarf somewhere that could be given a whole new lease of life....

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    2. Hahaha have fun! I forgot to mention the social network is called Ravelry, people share patterns and such. Have a look on Pinterest, which is a pretty good images search engine these days, quite often better than Google.

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    3. The name Ravelry is inspired, ha!
      I have a couple of friends on Pinterest and there's some great stuff on there - hadn't thought of using it as an images search engine, that's a good idea - thanks!

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  8. Two plain 1 pearl....my Mum knitted, as did my older sister, always loved the fair isle jumper she knitted me for a Christmas

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  9. No but i do a mean triple salko on the half pipe!

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    1. Old Pa, you have just confirmed my total lack of knowledge even further. I live in a bubble. Not only did I not realise how many knitters there were out there or what amigarumi etc. were but I had to look up your reference. You might as well have said that you could do a mean octopus mannequin on the mug branch... or words to that effect.... Anyway I gather it's something to do with snowboarding, ski-ing or skating (????!) Although it sounds like a drinking term to me for some reason, dunno why!

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