Coming of age in the crafty late sixties and early seventies, I was always trying to learn to knit. I’d find someone to volunteer to take me on, and then we both would realize that my left-handed brain simply could not wrap around their right-handed instructions. I bought that little Learn How Book from Coats and Clark Yarns, thinking that I could teach myself, but that didn’t work either.
Finally, in her last years, my mother-in-law, who was a world-class knitter, was able to teach me the basics. I learned by facing her, observing like looking into a mirror, instead of sitting side by side. I managed to make a little neck wrap that buttons and looks cute, but that was pretty much my limit.
I used to look in vintage knitting booklets and just dream of all the wonderful designs, but eventually I just stopped looking through them, knowing I’d see something I wanted to make and knowing I couldn’t. Then several years ago I took some old things to a local vintage dealer to trade, and included was a vintage knitting booklet for baby things. The dealer began looking through it and was delighted to find in one of the photos a Bakelite baby rattle being used as a prop. She then produced an identical rattle from a display case.
She said she always looks through old needlecraft booklets because the props are so interesting. Lesson learned. That’s why I looked through the 1950 sock booklet when it turned up in a bin at my Goodwill Clearance Center.
Along with the socks were the best little illustrations of people in their sports clothes. These aren’t just generic drawings, as you can clearly see some of the sock designs on the people.
Note the plaid cuffs of the skiers’ socks. That’s almost enough to take up knitting lessons again.
Does “trew” mean “completely wonderful socks or stockings”? Because that is what these are. Just looking at the photo, would you ever have guessed 1950 as the date? They are so much like what we were wearing in the late 1960s.