Monday, April 28, 2008

1960s crochet

It's easy to associate crochet with bad 1970s kitsch -- orange-and-brown afghans, poodle tea cosies, Phentex slippers. At the thrift store last week, though, I came across evidence that crochet was just as mod as knitting in the 1960s. Consider exhibit A: McCall's Crochet, 1965:

The secrets to good crochet (both then and now) are colour and gauge (as in, finer gauge is better). Here's McCall's idea of a good project for "new crocheters":

It's nice, right? I like the description -- "straight skirt and boxy hip-tip jacket" -- and I like that the model's prop is a pair of binoculars. I also like these two cardigans:

"Two classic cardigans of identical style and stitch differ only in their smooth or fluffy textures." And look at these fancy coats!

I think both these models are saying "prune." There are fancy outfits for Barbie, too -- a "stylish, easy-to-make street wardrobe":

Exhibit B: Häkeln von A bis Z, publication date unknown:

This booklet is bilingual (German and French) and bicraftual (crochet and knitting). Apparently, diagonal was all the rage in photography when this was published:

Almost every photo is angled like that, with models tilting one way or the other -- and sometimes both on the same page:

I like this girl -- she looks slightly uncomfortable but really modern, and she has such a cute haircut:

Speaking of cute haircuts, I'm hoping to have one by about three o'clock this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed for me! You'll see the results when I model my Twilight Scarf for you (so if I show you the scarf on a hanger, you'll know the haircut didn't go so well).


Veronique said...

Wow, you are now a crochet treasure trove!
Also, I am gazing nostalgically at my computer screen: my grand-mother made maany crochet outfits for my Barbies. Including a black and silver ball gown (with little scallops on the bottom edge)... It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Dr. Steph said...

I swear I have those Barbie clothes in the doll box.

And I love the cute haircut.

Good luck to you!

maryse said...

good luck on the haircut! i look forward to seeing it.

and i love barbie crochet. somewhere at my parents' house is a box full of such barbie outfits.

Julia said...

Oooh! I love me a good vintage pattern. Maybe someday I'll actually get around to knitting (or crocheting) one.

And Phentex slippers? Those give me the heebie jeebies!

knitnzu said...

Love the old pattern books! (I have several posts about them, so was happy to see new ones here). But why does she have the binocs? I think she's at the races, but is checking out men's behinds or something. I'd guess early 70's on the german/french book. I think the model in pink is cute too, and her sweater set is almost something we'd see now too. Thanks for the fun pics!

djb said...

How I miss the days when models were fabulous, glamourous, sophisticated, and just better than the rest of us! These days any skanky foetus can be a model. "Prune!"

Chris said...

Hope the new 'do is stylin'! Dang, you sure had to be limber to be a crochet model back in the day.

gleek said...

i am SO in love with this post, of course. i see a lot of fun things here to take a stab at! those tilting models are the best

Jo Stockton said...

That white coat on the right is FANTASTIC!!! I wonder if I could find someone to crochet it for me in time for my brother's wedding tomorrow night?


Catlady said...

Great sharing... but just an "FYI". They aren't binoculars, they are opera glasses. Opera glasses don't have the strong magnification of binoculars; they are for watching stage shows (plays, opera, etc.) from the back rows or the balconies. Very popular in the '60's and '70's - back then, even the middle class could afford to go to a show now and again... if you didn't own the opera glasses, a relative had some you could borrow. (yes, I still have mine - used it recently, even.)