fifties

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On a recent trip to a fancy junk shop (also known as an Antique Store) in Carroll Gardens, I grabbed a photo from the top of a large pile heaped in a glass bowl.

I had no other clue as to who these people were, why Mr. Grumpy’s frowning in the background instead of joining the others or why the photographer gave up and framed them all that way, but I had to have it. A wee sign on the bowl said ’4 PHOTOS FOR A DOLLAR’ so I dug around and found four more in short order:


There’s something great about the expression on both women’s faces, particularly the one dancing in the center. If you squint you can make out the larger gathering on the edges, but the background’s darkness makes it seem much more intimate.


At first I thought this was a dad relaxing on the weekend; it could be but the ‘U.S’ and caduceus emblazoned on the jacket pocket suggest a doctor at an Army barracks.


Another great set of expressions. This one was cut to fit a round frame.

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This week’s pattern is a jaunty little meta-sweater displaying engagement in the very activity the sweater is intended to be worn doing. The pattern’s a bit easier to follow than that sentence.

Intarsia knits are always a bit annoying to work but make up for it in pure 8-bit joy of wear- the awkward blockiness of the images charms enough to get over a thousand dangling strings tangling themselves as you go along. Mary Maxim patterns are the most well-known (that is, well-known among knitters, i.e. not at all among the general population), but there’s also Bouquet, Knit-O-Graf, and the looser search term ‘cowichan’, referring to the style of knitting developed by the Cowichan people of British Columbia.

A few choice examples:

Funnily enough, I found a reinterpretation of the same chart from this week’s pattern in a sweater for sale on ebay:


Intriguing!

Let’s hit the slopes!

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This week’s cozy, comfy pattern comes courtesy of Beehive Handknits for Men. Doesn’t Johnny Pompadour just look snug as a wee, sweatered bug in this? As someone who currently spends most of their existence working Morlock-like in the icy wastes of an unheated concrete basement, this Grandpa sweater is the sort of thing I dream about.

So warm looking, so….snuggly and nice. Like a Slanket, but with dignity!

The book has tiny sketches throughout, not as weird or humorous as those found in the Minerva books but rather small observations of men of the time.

Pipe and slippers not included.

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Another pattern this week from The Workbasket. Though I’m normally all about keeping patterns true to the original, I’d like to see this with a scoop neck and longer sleeves, a more 1930s feel. Just a thought. It would definitely look nice in emerald green or other jewel tones.

Pyramid schemes and stitching.

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Aw, nuts. I was going to do a salute to the Men of Knitting, but didn’t have time to dig through my archives. Instead, I briefly proffer this snappy cardigan (the fellow on the left) for those who like their retro a tad more on the camp side. It’s less ‘sitting by the fire smoking a pipe’ and more ‘preparing to look cool in my glass boomerang-shaped house on the moon’.

Beehive Handknits for Men 01

True, it’s a little late to start knitting it up for this Sunday, but you can always surprise Dad in time Christmas!

Pipe Guy
‘Gee, that sounds swell!’

On a completely random note, here’s a group of people who dressed up like Ned Flanders, certainly a man who knows how to sport some knitwear:

We assumed the future would have more jet packs.

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