Yes, back in the late 1960s they had knitting patterns for outfits for fashion dolls – not busty Barbie, the much more girlish UK Sindy. In fact, this particular pattern is for a nine inch doll – Sindy’s little sister Pepper (who had very prominent freckles which don’t show up on the scan).
The patterns on offer make an odd combination - a winter three-piece and an Austrian dirndyl – but my dolls had them both thanks to my Gran who, once she no longer had babies to knit for, produced loads of knitted clothes for them. I can also remember a white moss-stitch textured cocktail dress with salmon-pink sequins on the front. This was the dress which usally adorned my one and only ever, Barbie (with bendy knees) I got when I was ten; it was a real mini-dress on her, and my favourite.
Moving on to knitted teacosies – the butt of many a joke. There are two variants in this pattern from the 50s/60s – one is knitted and the other crocheted. My Mother-in-law still uses a knitted one that looks suspiciously like the picture to this day.
They’re actually a jolly functional design; you don’t need to expose the teapot to the cold to pour, although if you have a dribbly pot, the cosy will get stained beneath the spout. But don’t despair - due to the fab new synthetic fibres in the double-knitting wool du jour, they will always wash well and never wear out! Just one thing – tell me, why is it that knitters seemed to choose particularly unattractive colour combinations?
“There’s no need to feel apprehensive about tackling a large project if you have never crocheted before. It takes about eight squares to get used to handling a crochet hook in conjunction with wool at the right tension. After this, each square will take you about 30 minutes to complete and, without making a mistake, you will be able to watch televsion or talk to your friends at the same time.”
My Mum did do some crocheting, I don’t recall ever seeing a full bedspread of Afghan squares though – but I still do have the mini blanket she did for my dolls – it’s still in use today on the rare occasions, now my daughter’s nearly ten, that the dolls come out.
If anyone would like the Afghan bedspread/throw pattern, leave a comment and I’ll email you the scan.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these woolly novelties. I have a thick wodge of other vintage knitting patterns but I’m going to save all the wonderful photos of people posing in jumpers for another post or two in the future.