Monday, 25 July 2016

1970s Guernseys

I mentioned that in the collection of pattern leaflets and other publications that we were given a couple of weeks ago there were a lot of Aran patterns. The woman who collected them was evidently interested in Guernseys, too - she had a surprising number of Guernsey patterns from the 1970s, published by some of the big yarn spinners and all intended for special 5-ply Guernsey yarn.  I was knitting in the 1970s, but wasn't aware of this fashion for knitting Guernseys at the time.

Emu 4728

There were more than a dozen traditional Guernsey patterns published by Emu - this one is described as "using Scottish Fleet and Mallaig stitches".  Some of the other Emu patterns, though still specifying 5-ply yarn, have raglan sleeves, polo necks, or stitches that appear to be based on Arans rather than traditional Guernseys.

But from a quick read, all the other patterns in the 5-ply Guernsey yarn are constructed as I think a proper traditional Guernsey should be, with underarm and shoulder gussets and the back and front identical.

Wendy 2018
Each of the spinners also published a pattern for a plain Guernsey in stocking stitch, like this Wendy pattern.
Poppleton 1711

This Poppleton pattern is for a "Vale Guernsey (Parish design)" - it's a traditional Guernsey from the island of Guernsey.

Marriner 1796
And the Marriner pattern is a "Guernsey style sweater in traditional Patrington and Withernsea stitches".

I wonder how many of these Guernseys were knitted in the 1970s.  The point of a Guernsey is that it's very hard wearing, so they might still survive, still being worn.   Do let me know if you have one.

6 comments:

  1. My mum definitely knitted them in the mid 70s. All the family had one each, and mine was navy blue. I wore it a lot, it was warm and comfortable (important in a shared student house). I seem to remember that the one she made for Dad was bright red. I have a couple of her guernsey patterns in my pattern box.

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    1. Navy blue was the traditional colour, I guess. And it would have been very warm, I'm sure. I remember wearing an Aran sweater a lot, to keep warm in the house, at that time. Houses weren't as warm back then - at least ours wasn't.

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  2. I knitted one in the late 70s early 80s I think. All the 'traditional British' knits were really popular then, even M & S did a range based on them. I think I first saw guernseys in the BBC book and TV series"Knitting Fashion' which was 1976:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014bhmd

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    1. Thanks for the link - pity the programmes aren't still viewable. The thing that surprised me about these patterns was that so many spinners were selling 5-ply Guernsey wool, which is pretty specialised. (And I hadn't realised that Wendy 5-ply Guernsey wool is still available.)

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    2. Hi
      I want to knit the marriner 1796 pattern. Do you have a copy please

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    3. Yes, we have a copy in the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection. However, all of these patterns are still in copyright and we don't have permission to copy Marriner patterns. We do have permission to copy the Emu, Wendy and Poppleton patterns for Guild members. If you are a Guild members and would like to knit one of those, please email me at collections@kcguild.org.uk

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