Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mama's Little Man

The hand-knitted motif on a little boy's jumper provides an adorable launching point for his imagination. 

"What's that, darling, a choo-choo train?"  Instantly he is an engine driver, chugging around the living room, so proud of his responsibilities.

Perhaps the motif echoes, or inspires, what he thinks he wants to be when he grows up.

But what happens when he has grown up . . . and loving hands continue to produce aspirational motif knitwear?

Frankly, it becomes a little embarrassing. 


Even disadvantageous.  While his smirk tells us that he believes himself implicitly to be the high-flier his mother's knitting needles proclaim him to be . . . others remain unconvinced.

Ninepence well spent - this one is too lovely and my particular favourite, perhaps because the props point to a lifetime of knitted motorcycle motifs having achieved the status of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Sir, not with those sleeves.  In fact probably not at all.

The decoration on the upper right was not part of the original knitting pattern.  It's what happened when he wore this down to his local on darts night.

Twins are guaranteed at least one source of empathy and support.

Some poor fellows never work up the courage to tell their mothers that enough is enough.  Said mothers are renowned for their long life expectancies.

447 is actually his prison number.  But his mother doesn't see a gangster beneath the brim of that hat . . . he's her little dancing cowboy, and always will be.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Knit One, Purloin One

Today it's my pleasure to share some images from a Villawool Hand Knits booklet from the mid-60s (don't you love the "knitted" Villawool logo?).  There are some pleasingly odd pictures and delectable vintage woollens herein, but what initially struck me was the face of the model on the cover, who appears to be stealthily tip-toeing out of a waiting room, clutching a purloined magazine.  Does she remind you of anyone?

Seems that her accomplice is left pondering how to slink past the receptionist without attracting attention to the massive modern painting she's lifted from the wall.  Don't worry honey, just a little more swagger and the hypnotically swaying red fringe of your stunning jumper will be all she notices.  Why not take the cherub wall plaque while you're at it?

Having a decoy dressed nearly identically is always useful when it comes time for the police identity line-up.  

"The woman I saw stealing the book was a blonde in a sweater.  Yes, I'm certain of it.  But... just a moment... she could have been a red-head... or was it a cardigan she was wearing?  I'm sure it was some sort of Aran style knit. Yes, no, I'm almost certain of that. Officer, I can't think... could I have a glass of water?"

It's Nerida's first day on decoy duty and after forty minutes of attracting every eye to the very window she was doing her best to shield, she wonders whether she should have asked the girls what "unobtrusive" actually meant....

We find Jocelyn standing guard at the back door, wrapped in an oversized orange marle sweater with dauntingly massive pom-pom trimmed collar, and impenetrable dreams of revenge. 

Meanwhile, Delores having finished the last few rows of her suit has used her crochet hook to pick the lock of the liquor cabinet.  No icon of sobriety came up with those daringly chic half-concealed buttons.

Back at headquarters, religious door-knockers are easily deterred if you greet them clutching a mock-up coven manual and invite them in for tea and sacrificial goats.  

Australia in the 1960s was a lovely place, so very far from the rest of the world that a major pattern company could describe a suit as "Chanel Style" without fear of litigation.  Looking at these trompe l'oeil pockets it's safe to assume that the worst Chanel's lawyers might have done was to spray their colleagues with café au lait as they spluttered with incredulous laughter.  Not even the models could contain their mirth at the optimistic description.

Okay, any takers on a look-alike for Suspect Number One?

I thought she could easily masquerade as The Thunderbirds' Lady Penelope.  Perhaps it's not the facial resemblance so much as her disquieting air of being not - absolutely - human.

(Note: if any of these designs totally grab you, drop me a line and I'll be 
glad to email you a scan of the pattern.  Have your llama wool ready!)