Knitting in Vogue

When I moved south of the river last September (I mention this move a lot, don’t I? I clearly haven’t quite come to terms with being a South Londoner yet), I was somewhat disappointed to discover that there was not a single second hand bookshop in walking distance from my house.

Yes, I have two amazing independent book shops, so I’m not really complaining, but what with the whole maternity leave, not-earning-any-money malarkey, I did miss the brilliant, cheap second hand bookshop on Stoke Newington Church Street.

So, you can but imagine my delight to discover a teeny, tiny second hand shelf in Rye Books. (Which is, itself, something of a tiny, but absolutely excellent bookshop.)

Whatever delight you originally imagined, now double it, nay treble it, nay multiply it by a hundred, because this was what I found on said shelf:

Knitting in Vogue
Best second hand book find ever…

Knitting in Vogue, volume 2, from 1983. “Patterns from the ’20s to the ’80s for men and women.” And all fronted by what seems to be a dewy looking Andie MacDowell in a pastel pink number. Perhaps she knitted it herself?

Want to take a look inside? Of course you do…

The inside cover shows you how well-represented the 1980s are going to be, with this fetching pair in their fetching polo-necks:

Knitting in Vogue retro book
But you mean if I knit myself a polo-neck, I could look as glossy and in love as this? Let me at my needles now!

In fact, every pattern has the original photo from the decade it was released, along with a re-shot 1980s photo where the knitting has been “brought right into the current era” (okay, despite the quotes, those are still my words, but I bet it’s what they said to each other as they were brainstorming the photoshoot…)

Knitting in Vogue
But you mean this jumper could look as fashionable as this if it was worn by… …by a woman?

Needless to say, I prefer the original photos, especially those from the 1920s to 1940s. Especially those with dashing men riding bicycles in knitted wonders, looking catalogue-tastic.

Vintage knitted jumper
“This jumper? Oh it’s just something my wife made me while I was out cycling through meadows, what what…”

The big delight of the book though, wasn’t just how wonderfully retro all the pictures are, but the fact that I actually want to make every single pattern. There’s not a dud in here. Say what you like about the ’80s, but they clearly knew how to pick out a good knitting pattern. Here are a few more that look outright amazing…

Vintage knitting pattern
Awesome leaf pattern knitted cardie
Retro knitted twinset
Everybody needs at least one twinset in their life
Vintage aran jumper
The jumper, the belt, the bag – there is nothing about this I don’t love

Knitting in vogue? I certainly think so.

But tell me, which of these patterns should I cast on first?