Look what I got from my boyfriend! In the recycling store where he volunteers he found a decade of Ariadne magazines – 1960 to 1961.
Ariadne was a craft magazine that featured all needle crafts, from knitting and crochet to embroidery and macrame. Nowadays it turned into a home design type of magazine. Not very creative or interesting anymore unfortunately.
I have chosen the year of my birth, 1961, for a selection of some of the knitting highlights. If you are interested in any of the patterns, just let me know. I will scan them for you.
Bathing suit for the beach, suitable for ages 1-2 and 2-4.
So stylish, the men of those days! Now that beards have come back, maybe pipes will as well!
Paris knitting tricks: pompons, frills and ruffles.
Last weekend I visited a beautiful exposition of handcrafted textiles collected by Henriette Beukers. The charming venue was a little church in Hurwenen, a small village on the river De Waal.
Henriette Beukers and her late husband have been the main editors of two famous Dutch craft magazines (Ariadne and Handwerken zonder grenzen – Craft without Borders) for over 40 years. Handwerken zonder Grenzen was their brainchild, they introduced the Dutch to a world of cultural diversity in textile. Henriette is also well-known for authoring a comprehensive encyclopedia on crafts: Het Complete Handwerken (The Complete Crafts), a standard work in the 1970’s now only available on Marktplaats (E-bay).
Now, at the age of 76, she published a new book called Rondom Textiel (Around Textiles), which is dedicated to the story of her life, her work and her collection of authentic handmade textiles and woven natural materials from around the world.
The exposition was only open for two days, but the book is for sale online. Here are some of the objects that were on display and a picture of Henriette signing the copy of the book that I purchased. As you can imagine the very idea of a life devoted to all this beautifull stuff delighted me and I found her accomplishments really inspiring.
If you click on the pictures you can browse through them in large format. Enjoy the show!
This knitting magazine is not dated, but from the Editor’s note – signed by “Your faithful friend Margriet” – it becomes clear that this pattern book was published during World War II:
“..I am one of you. One of the many Dutch houswives who struggle each day with sorrowful little sorrows and hard little hardships. One who counts her food stamps and who cannot make do with her tea rations, and who tries to cut down on butter and watches her distribution points! But who forgets all her troubles when she dives into her needlework basket and joyfully anticipates how nice her little girl’s dress will be…”
The choice of models struck me as accommodating the occupying forces, given the ample presence of German-Austrian inspired patterns. Like the one on the cover above. And also the Tyrolean jacket “Steffi” (for non-knitting readers: it is crochet) and the dress for “Lientje”, both here below .
Throughout the magazine there are references to shortages, of wool among other things. There’s also a page with instructions on how to make your own sandals with wooden triplex soles and heels. Just put the wooden soles for two minutes in boiling water and you can shape it in the right form. The back cover encourages readers – “Really Miep, big Margriet is just as outstanding as Margriet Revue” – to subscribe to the weekly magazine, so that she can read the wholesome recipes that will take care that her children will not suffer from nutrition shortages.
And the last picture for now: Little Sun Bathing Suits. To remind ourselves of the days when not every piece of garment was stretchy lycra crap. In many cases that style of the past was way more flattering than today’s fashion, except of course when you had to swim in it!
My aim for making the trip up to the attic was to get a few extra needles for the knitting course that started last week. My mother (84) used to be a seamstress and she really preferred sewing over knitting, but I knew that she had a stack of knitting needles up there and would be happy to part with them. Searching through the boxes I hit upon so many other surprises! She still had loads of old knitting & crochet magazines, not only from her own adult life, but also from my grandmother’s. The oldest crochet book I found dated from around 1910. My grandma was a young girl then and my mother wasn’t even born yet..
But let’s start with the seventies, the best decade for vintage fashion.
Cowls, a clothing species that is now extinct. But how practical and warm. I used to wear them with V-neck pullovers and loved them.
This is sort of Arne and Carlos avant-la-lettre. These two are called ‘teenage dolls’. Don’t miss the bell-bottom pants!
And then these pillows. Aren’t the colour combinations beautiful? Why didn’t we just stop time in the seventies? The eighties were fun, but fashion-wise, what were we thinking? Not to mention the 90-ies.
Last picture: bags. These are crochet, not knitting, but aren’t they cool? I do not only have pictures of all this, I have the patterns as well. So contact me if you would like to make any of these. For the handles: saw two rings off from a piece of pvc pipe and crochet around them. I made something similar in macrame at highschool, but that’s another course!
So far 6 people showed an interest in my course and one of them is a man. Not a bad ratio! He wrote to me he had wanted to knit for a long time already, but back in the days his grandma could have taught him, it was considered weird for a man to knit. Nowadays of course we have Carlos & Arne with their X-mas balls and Strikkedukker, but I have known men who knit all my life!
1. My father. He spun and he machine-knitted, skills developed during the 2nd World War. I remember the – this is impossible to translate – borstrok, that I was wearing in my youth. This ‘chest protector’ was a woolen undershirt, worn as a second underlayer over a cotton undershirt. In winter obviously. I also have a clear memory of a woolen skirt that I loved to wear, up until highschool, by which time it had turned into a mini-skirt.
2. One boyfriend and one suitor. We are talking the eighties. Men, well.. some of them, were engaging in talking groups for feminist men and similarly, some engaged in the soft art of knitting. The first man knit me a sweater and the second a pair of socks, that apparently didn’t do the job. Of seducing that is. They were grey, what can I say… I have worn them for years though, they did an excellent job warming my feet.
3. My son. Like so many children he was eager to learn knitting when he was little and although he never finished any project he has not forgotten the skill. He even seems to be purling!
If you search, you will find many men who are knitting. They may have a different take on it, like Aaron who is blogging about ganseys (visserstruien). He has adopted an academic and a handyman approach to it. He made his own needles! The video is about using a knitting sheath (A Better Way to Knit! ). He writes passionately about how to knit The Best Socks.
Finally, in appreciation of all the men that liked my blog and/or facebookpage, an example of a nice men’s hat. The pattern is copy-righted, but the men attending my course can use my copy.