striped

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The forecast for spring is looking like a melting cast member of the original ‘Beverly Hills: 90210′, and who am I to stand in the way of progress? This week’s free pattern is something I’ve already seen a number of trendy ladies walking around Soho in…oh did I say walking? I meant hobbling, as with every step they attempted to take on the crowded streets of New York their floor-length maxi skirts and dresses, if not stepped on by their own heels, were trammeled under a thousand pedestrians’ feet, not to mention blackened from the filth that is this city. Did we learn nothing from Taxi Driver?


(The model looks like she’s trying not to crack up, possibly due to dress squeakage.)

Until that real rain finally comes people will continue following the random whims of fashion. In the meantime, let us stick to this slightly more reasonable above-the-ankle-length, or better yet, the ‘midi’ length, which would probably eat up a lot less yarn. Even better, follow the other trend of weensy skirts and make it a body-hugging mini. Ultra-mini! Belly shirt! Whatever!

I’ve also included this inverted image, just because it looks boss:

Tube top?

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This week’s pattern took a little extra time to set up because it had to be dug out of an enormous pile of miscellaneous vintage paper goods. Somewhere in that massive stack sat an absolutely patriotic salute to this great land, and consarn it, it would be found if it took all night. And it did! And here it is, the Americana, in all its star-spangled glory. The directions don’t come right out and say it but you can only knit it while listening to John Phillips Sousa marches.

Speaking of directions, apparently I have to come right out and state the blindingly obvious: THESE PATTERNS ARE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. DO NOT TAKE THE IMAGES AND SELL THEM, DO NOT PASS THEM OFF AS YOUR OWN. Linking to them is totally fine; printing a copy out for your own use is fine, but anything that involves you taking them and making money off of them, STOP. DO NOT PASS GO. Fellow free-pattern sharer Bex recently alerted me that an Ebay seller stole images from our websites and sold (is selling) them in her store. On the downside, this is extremely rude, lazy and annoying. We post these patterns FOR FREE, buying or digging through archives for the originals, spending time scanning and cleaning them up, not to mention maintaining a website where people can find them, all for the sheer love of vintage knitting goodness. So when someone comes along and snags the images to make a quick buck, it hurts.

On the upside, this is the first time it’s happened in my several years of sharing, and in a rare burst of good mood I shall take that as a general sign humanity, or the chunk of it that enjoys looking at vintage patterns, generally understands what theft is and avoids it. Now, onward to patriotic knitwear!

Let the Eagle soar!

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Hey folks, today’s a special occasion here on A Rarer Borealis. This week marks the 100th pattern shared on the site, and I’ve been saving a particular pattern for just such an occasion. It’s one that delights with vintage detail and nerdish charm, and what a coincidence, it’s just in time for the end of the school year!

Yes, no more pencils, no more books, except for the full set of Proust’s ‘Remembrance of Things Past’ (that’s how most kids spend their summer, right? That or deeply immersed in the Teapot Dome scandal?). It’s almost surprising to see ‘algebraic symbols’ used as decor in an age where the phrase ‘guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses’ pointed out the social stigma of girlsmarts (clearly demonstrated by eyewear) and the horror of it possibly impinging your marriage potential (don’t worry about that any more, ladies.)

I hope you children remembered to bring your implements of destruction.

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While perennially popular, of late thin stripes have made the majority of fashionable youths look like extras from ‘On The Town’ . Perfect! Let’s make Fleet Week EVERY WEEK! The ‘modern’ update’s been to focus stripes around the yoke, so how convenient to find a pattern from 60 years earlier that fits the bill! It’s almost as if someone from Urban Outfitters time-traveled and gave the 40s hints!


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The suggested color combination is baby blue with royal blue, but come on, we all know this should, nay, will, be white and navy.

New York, New York, it’s a helluva town…

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This week’s pattern, the stripey number on the left, is again from Holiday Handknits, the 60s wonder that keeps on giving. It isn’t just a quick-knit dress to greet the nicer weather with, it also teaches you how to project yourself into other people’s photos and hover several inches off the ground!

(The first tip-off was the hard-lined hair.)


Also the hoverfoot.

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