Tuesday 31 October 2017

Donation from Scotland

A friend sent me a package of pattern booklets and leaflets this week, a donation for the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection.  She lives in Scotland and had found them in her local charity shop - several of them do in fact have a Scottish flavour.  There are several 1950s pattern booklets that were given away free with The People's Friend magazine (published in Dundee).

There were several late 1940s pattern leaflets in the package too, including this lacy blouse pattern with crocheted buttons. (I'd call it a blouse, or else a short-sleeved cardigan.  The leaflet calls it a 'jackette'.)

The most intriguing item was a copy of the Scotch Wool & Hosiery Stores' Hand Book of Knitting and Crocheting. which was similar to Patons & Baldwins' Woolcraft.  It gave a lot of useful basic patterns, with an emphasis on underwear.

I think this edition dates from the First World War - it has several patterns for balaclava helmets, steering gloves, puttees, and similar garments that would be useful for soldiers and sailors. But the intriguing thing is not the booklet itself, but its cover - the original cover (above) is falling apart, and a new cover has been made from the outside of a school exercise book.  (To confirm that, it has the address on the back:  Corporation Printing and Stationery Department, 197 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, S.1. )

And on the front is advice to children on how to cross the road safely.
Do your best to avoid street accidents by observing the following rules:-
1. ALWAYS stop at the kerb, before crossing the street. 
2. ALWAYS look right and left before stepping into the street. 
3. ALWAYS keep looking RIGHT till you come to the middle, then keep looking LEFT. 
4. ALWAYS look out from behind a car or bus before stepping out into the street. 
5. NEVER climb upon a moving vehicle, or hang on to it. 
6. NEVER follow a ball, hoop or playmate into the street while there is traffic about. 
7. NEVER play games on the street. 
What I want to know is: when did children last play with hoops?  (i.e. hoops for rolling along the street, not new-fangled things like hula-hoops).  Long before my time, I'm sure.  There's a long article on hoop rolling in Wikipedia, which shows that it has a very long history, but it doesn't say when it stopped being a common street activity for children.

The cover should clearly stay with the booklet - even though  it's nothing to do with knitting or crochet, it's now part of the booklet's history.


  1. I have two of those little Scotch Wool and Hosiery booklets - one from 1916 and the other from 1931, they're interesting books.

    1. Hi Frankie - they are nice, I agree. Do yours have dates on them? I have one that has a date January 1st 1912, in someone's handwriting, which is very helpful. But Fleming Reid don't seem to have bothered much themselves about dating the different versions.

  2. I'm going on the numbers at the bottom of the back cover (or last page). The one I think is from 1931 has 80M/9/31 and the other one 50/12/16. This last one looks exactly like yours; we could always compare the patterns.

    1. The copy in the exercise book cover has 50/8/15 on the original back cover, which I agree is suggestive - though I don't know what the 50 means. It has some patterns that are probably aimed at the armed forces - a Hussar cap on p. 21, a knitted tubular scarf or cap comforter (p. 38) and two patterns for puttees (p. 48). My own booklet with the hand-written date of January 1st 1912 does not have any of those patterns (and doesn't have a printed date code either).


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