Friday, August 13, 2010

Vintage Thursday - Knee Socks

Do you have any really, really old UFO's hanging around? I mean really old. So old you forgot you started them, and are startled to see them one afternoon as you're cleaning out your closet? And I'm not talking last year or five years ago old. I'm talking so old that you know you won't finish them in your lifetime because, well, you're 84 and knitting is no longer paramount in your daily schedule.

Witness the 47 year old UFO.
My grandmother was knitting these knee high lacy socks for my aunt Susie, who is now a grandmother herself. The pattern book is from 1964.
That's right - my grandma is an organized hoarder, as they say in my family (aka pack rat) and not only was the sock tidily stowed away in a zip-lock bag, but it included the pattern book and the remaining yarn. No needles, though. But I think I can manage.The book calls them "Lace-Knit Knee Socks B-644". (Vintage patterns have such romantic titles, don't they? :P) Naturally, I called dibs on the UFO. It's knitted flat and then seamed up the sole, heel and calf. Apparently the yarn is Coats & Clarks Red Heart Wintuk Sport Yarn. I'm trying to imagine what is was like to be a live in an era when sport weight acrylic (possibly Orlon!) knee highs seemed like a fantastic idea. But then I've seen enough vintage knitting patterns to not be shocked by much. (Have you seen these ski masks? Believe me, they are real. I have the magazine that features them. Fortunately, they are wedged in between some perfectly decent patterns. So you know not all hope was lost. But still the question rages - why? Why feature them at all?)

I am determined to finish the knee socks. They may be too big for me - my aunt Susie is nearly six feet tall, and I'm, well, almost a foot shy of that - but we'll see what happens. I may be able to swing it. Or just frame them and hang them on my wall. Either way, I hope my aunt Susie doesn't have any expectations. :P

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