Needlework A Go-Go #6

To demonstrate how little I know about needlecraft, I thought Columbia Minerva was the woman on the cover.  Turns out, it's a corporation specializing in yarn and how-to needlework books.  Personally, I cannot operate a needle - I couldn't sew a button if a gun was to my head.  However, I do have a strange fascination with vintage needlecraft books. Go figure.

The reason I'm fond of them is that they are perhaps the best sources of vintage fashion out there, along with catalogs and old magazines. If there's one thing I've learned from hundreds of trips to hundreds of flea markets, it's that women hang on to their cookbooks and needlecraft literature - making these two items abundant.  Whereas, women threw out their old catalogs and magazines, making these vintage articles harder to come by.

Anyway, here's a few scans from the needlework booklet pictured above, published in 1968.  I particularly like this one because the photographs are so colorful, crisp and clear - plus, the fasions are very (ahem) interesting.

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  1. My wife just found a blog you may like. It's not so much retro as just bad: http://whatnottocrochet.wordpress.com/

    Today our library added a book called Crocheting for the Home by Margaret Ramsay and Sondra Miller from 1977. It smells really musty. Not sure why an academic library would need this book. I'll scan some things and send them to you.

    <a href="http://www.retrohound.com>RetroHound.com</a>

  2. Please send any scans you can. Much appreciated!

  3. I love those pictures--they kind of say "hey, if you're going to look dorky, make one for a friend so you're not alone." Wow, I remember crocheting my heart out on scarves and a halter top--yeah, a halter top--it was groovy!

  4. That is the first vintage knitwear book where I would actually wear some of the designs

  5. Wow, what's with the last picture - a hat, sweater and... sandals?

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  7. There are couple of things you need to understand...

    These kinds of books are not an "sources of vintage fashion". Most of this crap was never popular with anyone but grandmothers and those 4H girls who like horses too much. Gaultier and Lagerfeld didn't do yarn, and there really wasn't all that much of it in the Sears Wishbook either.

    Secondly, horrible patterns for crap like this are still being sold today. Just take a trip to Jo Ann Fabrics and check out the plans for the his and hers Detroit Redwings night gowns.

  8. Chad, I don't believe I said "high fashion". But believe me, lots of normal folks who didn't wear "Gautier and Lagerfield" were sportin' the yarn back in the day. A tour through most any old photo album or low budget 70s movie is enough to see the "crochet look" was actually popular.... although maybe not in Milan or Rodeo Drive.

  9. Lucy Angle is in a couple of these I think.