Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fashions of the 50's

When I was in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago, I visited the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg.  In the gift shop, I found a copy of The Ladies' Self Instructor In Millinery & Mantua Making, Embroidery & Applique (1853).  It contains quite a good section at the end with knitting and crochet patterns.  While there're no pictures, I'm having a great time with them.  I've just finished my first one: Evening Carriage Shoes.

The pattern started out with the most fascinating stitch pattern knit into a rectangle:

Just looks like a scrubber, doesn't it?  The stitch pattern is very simple once you figure out what the idea is.  You do a foundation of the brown wool then for the blue section, you knit 4 in blue, slip 2 brown, and repeat across.  You do 4 rows like this, working the blue section in stockinette.  Next you change back to the brown and knit 2 rows and purl 2 rows.  On the next section, you set off the blue pattern by knitting 1 in blue, slip 2 brown, knit 4 in blue, repeat the last 2 steps to the last 3 stitches and knit those in blue.

It's a great textured look.  I was showing it to someone who mentioned it would look great as a jacket and now I can't help thinking what a great idea that is.  The more I see it the better I like the idea.

Next in the pattern, you simply fold lengthwise and sew up each short end.

The pattern then says to run a string through it and put on fringe.  I decided to pleat the front and add the brown button. (Click on a photo to see a larger image.)

Now is it just me or does this look very 50's - 1850 or 1950.  I can also see Scarlet O'Hara wearing these on the way to the Ball but it reminds me of the sort of shoe Mary Tyler Moore would have worn on the Dick van Dyke Show.  Oh, wait, that was the 60's.  Early 60's.

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