My friend Cliff ran across a campy knitting pattern cover and forwarded it to me last week. To my delight, this pattern book is available from various sites. I had to get my hands on a copy.
Yesterday, my copy of Gay Teen Ideas for Knitting and Crocheting arrived! It was published by The Spool Cotton Company, distributors of J. & P. Coats, Clark’s, Chadwick’s Red Heart, and Crown Zippers. The copyright date is 1944. I love everything about this cover – the Technicolor palette, the vintage bike, the position of the balls of yarn, and the subjects’ matching hair-dos!
There are tons of patterns in here, heavy on the accessories – lot’s of headbands, fascinators, coke (that’s right, small-c coke) bottle cozies, placemats, etc. But there are pretty small-gauge sweaters, too. The instructions are written in such a tiny type that they’re almost unreadable, but I’ve managed to peruse a few and, in general, I was able to follow them.
Some of these “teen” models seem a bit mature. But boy, are they active! Playing records, skiing, riding carousels, bowling – these gals are the epitome of “on-the-go.” One of the photo spreads mimics diary entries, making notes recording how pleased the writer’s friends were to receive their knitted gifts. A sample: “Wore the new vest. I finished it last night. Midge was delirious about it!” That Midge – she’s never had a high level of self-control. In another entry, the writer asks her diary, “These crocheted luncheon mats are simply a knockout, don’t you think?” And as Ginger, pictured right at the bowling alley (apparently, she has confused bowling with soccer), states, “Simply couldn’t get along without this super cardigan that pals up with all my skirts.”
“Listen, something pretty pulsating is going on. The coke crowd’s going to town with its very own knitting and crocheting Teen Fashions, smooth and super with plenty of paprika to make those beaux’ eyes blink. One swift look-see inside is enough to make any girl with an oz. of get-up-and-go in her veins take to her needles. Want a ski outfit that will make you Queen of the Snow Carnival? Try your hand at Chilly Sauce on page 12.Looking for some glamour-drama. The P.M. sweater on page 15 is your dish. Get a load of the New-some Two-some jerkin and beanie that’ll make you a Scenic Distraction!”
There is also a kind of advice column by someone named Cathie Wells that offers the following words of wisdom:
“Let’s start with that prize possession, P-O-I-S-E. It’s one part being sure of yourself and that comes from good grooming – omit pins in the hem, thank you, snow-white collar, shining, clean brushed hair, a lovely, clean, fragrant smell (deodorant dept, please note!). The other part is knowing how to stand and walk. Most people haven’t learned the simple art of holding their spines straight, and they develop torsos that look like the bumps. Try this for size. Stand ten inches away from wall, knees slightly bent, arms at side. Lean back against the wall and settle the small of your back smack against it. Now poo-osh the back of your neck against the wall, keeping chin in and down. Make sure there’s no daylight between the small of your back and wall. Now slowly raise your arms straight over your head to wall and bring ‘em back to your sides without budging that back. Repeat ten times, A.M. and P.M.”
Wow. Now, I don’t know if I really need any glamour-drama in my life, so I’m not likely to be whipping up any of these patterns any time soon. But if anyone is interested, I can send copies of any of these patterns. I’m going to try and get this framed soon.