Thursday 11 February 2016

A Popular Pattern

There are tens of thousands of pattern leaflets in the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection, but I sometimes wonder whether some of them were ever actually made.  I don't just mean the horrors like knitted patchwork trousers - some of the designs that look quite stylish now might not have actually appealed to knitters at the time.  In most cases, all we know is that the leaflet was published - we don't know how many copies were sold.  Sometimes, we can tell that a copy in the collection has been used, and maybe the knitter has written on it (e.g. these), so we know that at least one copy of that leaflet was sold.  But occasionally we know that a pattern did catch on, and sold very well.

Stitchcraft, March 1954

One pattern that we know sold well was first published in Stitchcraft magazine, not as a leaflet - it was the cover design in March 1954.  Then in May 1954, Stitchcraft carried an ad saying:
Knitted blazers with the "Bulky  Look" are all the rage,  When this P & B design was featured on the front cover of March Stitchcraft it was so popular that all the copies sold out in two days.  For this reason you may have been unable to obtain the pattern.  So many women have asked for it that we have rushed out a special colour booklet (C-786) covering this blazer.
The blazer is not what we would call bulky now - it is knitted in DK yarn, on sizes 9 and 11 needles  (3.75mm. and 3mm.)  The stitch is quite textured, though, which would make it thicker than stocking stitch.

And twenty years later, the pattern was issued again, in Patons' All Time Greats booklet - I assume because it had been such a good seller first time round.

From All Time Greats
It's a smart blazer, but I can't say I want to knit it - especially not in white, such an impractical colour.  But maybe its time will come again.

And while looking through the issues of Stitchcraft from 1954, I found another of the originals of the All Time Greats designs - the cover design was taken from the February 1954 Stitchcraft.  I guess that it had also been a popular pattern in 1954.  It's very elegant - and I like the way that the stylist has found a pavement of pink, grey and white tiles to pose the model against.  But it's a lot of plain stocking stitch in fine yarn - not so popular these days as it was in the 1950s.    

Stitchcraft, February 1954


  1. I'm not too keen on the blazer but I love that diamond pattern jumper. Need to see if I have that Stitchcraft!

    1. Alternatively, if you're a Guild member, the All Time Greats booklet, which has an updated version of the diamond pattern jumper, can be downloaded from

    2. Thanks got letting me know!

    3. Hope to see your finished jumper some time!

  2. I agree, Katie, the diamond sweater is lovely. Keep us updated if you plan to knit it!


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