Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Everybody's Knitting

Every so often someone will bring into the shop a lovely, old book on knitting, usually something A4 and wonderful featuring intricate shawls and fair isle patterns and assorted ganseys. Proper, serious knitting. It's probably symbolic of something or other that whenever these lovely books turn up, my thoughts turn to this little Penguin Handbook from 1977  which makes knitting seem like the most carefree, fun thing in the world. I'm not saying there's a lot in there that I'd want to make, and probably nothing at all that I'd atually wear, but just looking at the pictures gladdens the heart.

From my point of view, apart from the brightly coloured tank tops and swimming costumes - it's very much of its time - it endorses the idea of the backstitch as a good way to make a seam, (which alone would make me love it) and it has instructions like: 'If you know how, double crochet an edge round the neck and armholes, but it's not really necessary.' That so works with my 'it'll do' grain. It's a joyous little book filled with smiling faces and floppy hats and a knitting-makes-you-happy kind of vibe.

If you think knitting should be fun and that there's room in the world for very many drop-shouldered, patterned jumpers with multiple motifs and very little shaping, see if you can get hold of a copy. Amazon has secondhand copies from 43pence (or, if you're very particular and/or very rich, new ones from £999.10).

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