Good morning, afternoon or evening! Actually, who am I kidding? I already know you’re reading this at 10pm, thanks to the details revealed by my stats recently. Good 10pm, everyone, and welcome to a brand new segment I’m calling ‘Take Me Back Tuesdays’. This is a little feature I’m planning to run on Tuesdays on a semi-regular basis although, really, I have enough material to see us through ten years’ worth of Tuesdays without a break.
“But what’s it all about?” I hear you cry. Yes, even over here. I have great hearing.
Take Me Back Tuesdays will showcase the craziness, amazingness, inventiveness and outright uniqueness of the way things were done in the past. This being me, there will be a heavy focus on all manner of handcrafts, but you never know what else I might discover on my travels. For instance, I have a (possibly) excellent recipe for chocolate and potato biscuits courtesy of a WWII issue of Stitchcraft I found recently. Because nothing says rationing like potatoes randomly turning up in your chocolate biscuits.
Today, we are starting with Patons Knitting Book 689, which I found recently. Twice, in fact. The first copy was unfortunately eaten by silverfish who were determined that none may finish the garments within. I didn’t realise that the intact covers concealed somewhat holey contents until I got home and I promptly set myself on a mission to find a less-ventilated version. Whenever you set out to find something in this op shopping game you rarely expect to find it, so I was more than surprised when I picked up an absolutely pristine copy of it just this weekend in the local op shops.
I rather like men’s pattern books because there’s a lot of dateable stuff in them such as cars and cameras. And shotguns. Nothing says manly like standing around with shotguns in the crooks of your arms. (There are no shotguns in this book. Sorry. Some other time, perhaps.)
This wouldn’t be right without some commentary, so here you go:
“Oh, for goodness’ sake, Gareth, at least try and PRETEND you actually own that Porsche.”
“Is that the owner coming back? He’s going to kill us for leaning on his Porsche.”
“He’s dashed tall, isn’t he? He could knock the cigarette right out of your hand.”
I love that terrified smile on the guy with the cigarette. It’s as though he’s doing his level best to pretend he’s totally hanging out with his Porsche without actually implying any ownership whatsoever. If it weren’t for the smiles, these two could be well on their way to creating a Failboats photo where the rules state that everyone should be looking in different directions with serious expressions at all times.
These two, however, fail at Failboats photo posing.
“Hey! What’s that over there?”
“I don’t know but it’s… well, it’s definitely worth looking at.”
“I’ve never seen anything like that.”
“Please stop trying to make conversation with me.”
“Hey, you should do this backwards thing with your hand on your thigh like I am. It looks amazingly casual.”
Yes. Two mates just hanging out in their raglan sleeved jumpers. Nothing could look more natural.
“Look, papa – it’s a map!”
I have raised a moron.
Then there’s this guy, who’s far too smiley even for someone who’s at the beach. In a thick jumper. Possibly in Summer. Actually, perhaps he’s delirious with heat rather than insanely smiley…
“Hey, Steve! Why don’t you pick up that rod and pretend you’re fishing? Because you’re at the beach? Steve?”
“Can you read this? I can’t see a thing.”
“Sorry, old chap, but everything’s gone dark for me, too.”
It’s quite reasonable, though – jumpers and cardigans that fancy deserve some sharp looking sunnies.
Then there’s my favourite.
I don’t know what Raymond has in mind for tomorrow but I rather suspect it has something to do with killer robots and world domination. While looking snazzy in a new cardigan, of course.
This is one of the reasons why I love collecting old knitting patterns. You never know when you’re going to come across a mind-bending crochet monstrosity or a collection of photographs where the models seem to have ignored the photographer at all costs. Except for Raymond. Raymond was paying very close attention to the photographer. Raymond pays very close attention to everything.