I volunteered to work at the used book fair for Dear Daughter's school today. I donated like a thousand books to this fair and I swore to myself and hubby that I wouldn't come home with any books. At all.
What I didn't know at the time of the swearing was that there might be vintage knitting pamphlets and books. Such conditions, I believe, render said swearing null and void. I spent $13.00.
See the Barbara Walker book? And the Mary Thompson's Knitting book? It's from 1939. The Knitting for Young America is a self published book with easy first projects dated 1948. The author was the managing director of The Handknitting Institute (about which I can find nothing on the Web.) All are from the library of the O'Fallon Motherhouse for the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood. Many have the name Sr. Catherine Beckerle written in lovely script on their inside covers. Sr. Catherine also collected booklets.
These baby booklets are absolutely chock full of beautiful, timeless patterns. The blue one in the bottom right corner is dated 1942, the rest are newer. There are at least 16 different patterns for soakers in these books, and 4 different patterns for buntings (I love the idea of a handknitted baby bunting.) The 1942 book has a pattern for two bathing suits -- knitted in all wool yarn though... Embiggen the picture and see? It calls for Fleishers Cassimere, a 100% wool fingering weight yarn. Nice.
And this little one has no knitting on, but she seriously doesn't need it, does she?
And this hat? A must knit. Really. I just think it's the cutest thing.
File this one under "Blog contests, write a caption for this picture." Too easy? Really, though, this child is way too old to be cute and nakey on a blankey.
This set, in one of the older booklets, early '50s I think, is absolutely simple and gorgeous. I can't wait to make it.
But Sister Catherine didn't just knit for babies.
There are great patterns for grownups here too. Love these -- they're from the orange book at the upper left. I mean seriously, I'd knit any of them tomorrow. I don't even see where there would need to be too much modernizing in the shaping. See the cable running up the raglan sleeve? Love it!
And Sr. Catherine knit the first one for someone...
Husband says I can knit this for him only if I include the pipe and some Brylcreem. Do they still make that stuff?
Edited to add: No, I don't think an all wool bathing suit is "nice". That was sarcasm. Yes I do really love the yellow cap. That was not sarcasm. Darned internets, interfering with my nonverbals... And did you notice that the two knitting books in the bottom right hand corner of the first picture are the exact books noted in the latest Interweave as books Elizabeth Zimmerman says any intrepid knitter should own. Well, then. I'm all set...