Geek that I am, I recently bought this gorgeous 1950s…
I’m adding to my vintage craft book collection and it’s such a joy to go through the pages I thought I’d share some of them here.
I feel such a geek listing them … erm, some justification was meant to finish this sentence but I can’t find one, I am a geek.
They exude an enthusiasm which I feel around again at the moment in the craft revival and I think they’re apt for right now. Many of them are from the war or just post-war period so they were a necessity – how to use your scraps, how to make do and mend, and the Government issued leaflets along similar lines. Just think, not only was craft seen as a great and useful hobby, it was of national importance!
- ‘Pins & Needles: Treasure of Family Needlework’ (2nd ed 1953)
- ‘Modern Knitting Illustrated’ (1st ed, approx 1945)
- ‘Wooden Toymaking Step by Step’ (2nd ed, 1963)
- ‘Practical Knitting Illustrated’ (1st ed, approx 1940)
- ‘Encyclopedia of Needlework’ by Therese de Dillmont (1st ed, 1897)
- ‘Gifts You Can Make Yourself’ (1st ed, c.1940s)
I think we’re at a time when recycling and cutting back are high on our agenda at the moment so I can only think the craft renaissance will continue. Materials can be so expensive now – if you look at the knitting books on the shop shelves you’d be forgiven for thinking that there are only about 3 wool manufacturers worth buying wool from, and that a size 12 jumper will cost a minimum of £45 to knit up. It’s about time we saw some cheaper alternatives coming to the fore, but I think that will only happen when knitters develop the confidence to experiment a bit more, to read their wool bands, do their tension squares and think ‘hmm, this will knit up the same as that Rowan wool for half the price’. I’ve been a sucker for that myself in the past but no more, I’m going to do some more research and find out some good quality alternatives.
It’s time there was a bit of a backlash against the expensive brands – in these times of fiscal need, craft should be a more satisfying and fulfilling way of saving a bit of wedge here and there.