Yesterday, I found a couple of books in a local Charity shop that set my pulse racing and bought back happy memories of 1980s knitting, my sister dug deep in her pocket and bought them both for me at the princely sum of £1.35 (about $2.20).
The first book was the Sasha Kagan Sweater Book, I can remember borrowing this from the library in Stepney (back in 1984 it would have cost me a 1/12th of my weekly wage) and dribbling over the amazing pictures of garments knitted in a Fair Isle style. This was the first time I had seen this technique used to create fabulous pictures and back then the cardigan that I wanted to make was the Winter Scotties cardie... even if it was in 2 ply... yes, you read that right 2 ply! I never got to make it but there is a Scottie dog beret which even now is tempting me, although I think I might give the leg-warmers a miss!
The other book was The Sweater Book and excluding some of the shoulder pad heavy patterns, a number of them would translate really well into designs for 2011... although I am not sure I would submit a child to this!
So I thought you might like to see a couple of items I made back then from Patricia Roberts patterns... the first is a Sampler Sweater which I made in 1985, I bought the pattern and wool from her old shop in Covent Garden as a Christmas present to myself as I was going to be spending Christmas on my own, I remember having to wind up the skeins of wool into balls using my dining chairs to hold the wool! It was the first time I had ever knitted from a chart and I worked into the night so that I could see the yacht, house, the night sky and the tree developing. Although I have to admit the extra long cable between main sweater and the bodice still bugs me...
And the next is the Bow Tie cardigan, an absolute classic of the 1980s down to the shoulder pads which I used wear with black leggings and a black felt hat, and I thought I looked the bees knees, fortunately for me, no pictures survive!
I have realised that both these pieces are over 25 years old, but on searching for them, I discovered my first ever completed piece of clothing... An Aran cardigan made when I was 11 and my mother thought I should be kept busy as I was off school for a month with Glandular Fever.
Oooh when looking for my old pattern book I found a UFO (UnFinished Object) a Patricie Roberts cardigan using blackberry stitch to simulate bunches of grapes... and some of the skeins are not even wound up... it must be over 25 years since I started it... I think it might need finishing, what do you reckon?