Animals · Books · Inspiration · Knitting · Vintage · Yarn

Vintage Knitting, Craft Books and Cats

They had great covers, too.

I love old knitting books.

Unfortunately I can’t remember where I got this link but wherever it was, I’m endlessly grateful. I’ve said before that one of the reasons I find knitting so fascinating is its long and illustrious history. The most well-documented of this being, of course, the 1800s. With easy means to mass-produce books and other resources they spun out many patterns that are still accessible today. The above link gives you a great insight into the kind of things people would be knitting at the time.

This wonderful online resource for vintage books doesn’t just cover knitting. There’s all sorts of arts and crafts related books but of course I gravitate towards a certain sector! The image to your right shows the cover of a book/pamphlet that cost one shilling and is written ‘by a Lady’. It’s how to knit in a floral style and it’s simply charming. I would love to hold the physical book, flick through its pages and absorb it that way but since that’s not likely to happen any time soon, this is the next best thing. And there’s a lot of variety there which can suck away hours of your life as you read through all the old patterns and advice given to so many women through the years.

There’s also a book on there entitled ‘Ladies’ Work for Sailors’ which is a pamphlet explaining all manner of useful projects for those not able to shunt their work onto their wives. The fact that it’s called Ladies’ work is intriguing considering sailors must have been doing these kinds of things since time began, or else walking in holey socks throughout their seafaring days. The history of gender and knitting is something I’m planning on researching at some point since it’s a fascinating subject.

In more personal news, I’ve recently received a skein of Tosh sock in the colourway ‘Fjord’. It’s to knit a pair of Christmas socks for my girlfriend and to be honest, I haven’t had the best start. The skein was horribly tangled and it took me many, many hours to wind it into a ball which simultaneously wound me right up! Still, it’s done now and all I have to do is find a pattern for it.

Not the best match for colours, but you get the idea.

I’m actually tempted to make an ordinary plain sock without a pattern. I don’t think I’d need one now.

And yes, I’m still ignoring the sock with the messed-up toe. I’ll get to it!

In non-knitting news I spent a week cat sitting for Jane while she and Sophie were in France and I kind of… didn’t leave. At the moment my house is devoid of cats due to Dad moving to Southampton and when Jane and Sophie said I could stay here, I jumped at the chance. Mostly because Jane is such a lovely person anyway. She’s making her beautiful glass beads right now while I write this post and we’re listening to a bit of Joni Mitchell. What more could I want?

Oh that’s right. Absolutely gorgeous cats. She has two, Lou and Ruby, and they are lovely.


…is a slightly shy, standoffish girl with gorgeous markings and lovely soft fur. She took a while to get used to me I think but one morning I woke up and she was sleeping beside me. She wouldn’t let me get up for ages, demanding attention with rather fierce headbutts to the face and now she seems to have accepted my presence.


…is a much more social kitty who took about fifteen microseconds to start attacking me for attention when I showed up. She’s sweet and likes to hit me over the head with her tail until I stroke her. She’s lucky she’s cute! But seriously, this cat is absolutely adorable and I want to pack both of them up and bring them with me when I eventually leave.

Now to work out how to stop these two little fiends attacking my knitting…


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