A favourite programme at the moment is ‘Call the Midwife’ a period drama set in the 1950s portraying the daily work of a group of midwives in London’s East End. Just love all the vintage 1950s handknitted jumpers and cardigans. I’ve always had a soft spot for a hand knitted cardigan and always will, probably the librarian in me! The programe has some wonderful shots of babies in lacy matinee coats and little jackets, and allows you to wallow in nostalgia.
This baby boom period after the war saw most women staying at home while the men returning from the war took up full employment. Knitting and the needlecrafts were the main hobbies for most women with many relying on their skill to clothe a growing family.
This was the time when every high street had a wool/yarn shop and every Women’s magazine carried at least one knitting pattern. Where have they gone today? There has been a knitting revival of late with Ravelry boasting a membership of three million yet you have to travel a fair distance to get to a decent yarn shop. No doubt online stores allow for easy purchasing of wool and synthetic yarns but they are little comfort to the tactile knitter who prefers to look and feel the yarn first.
But one great advantage of the internet for knitters is its access to free patterns. Found this wonderful website Free Vintage Knitting with free patterns for 1950s baby knitwear all available as PDF downloads. Some of the patterns are really sweet, and stylish enough for the modern baby! Classic designs never date.