I haven’t done one of my ephemera posts on old papers and clippings found in my late Mum’s hoard for ages, but came across these two knitting patterns recently which piqued my interest…

A knitted swimsuit – hard to conceive of in these days of stretchy fabrics that hold everything in.  However, what amused me was the caveat at the top of the instructions overleaf …

As woollen fabric expands a little when wet, a Swimming Suit must fit the figure firmly before it is worn in the water, otherwise it will be liable to sag. The sizes given in the recipe are, therefore, not those of the finished garment, but such as will stretch in wear to the required dimensions.

Glad that’s clear then!  I also like the way the instructions are referred to as recipes. There’s no date on this pattern, but I’m guessing early 1950s?

The second one is a pattern sent off for from the Daily Mail. The reverse of the clipping gives the date – Feb 1941. The clipping invites you to write in enclosing an large SAE plus 2d in penny stamps to the Editor of the Women’s Page.

The instructions are on three and a half sides of typed foolscap – not an error to be spotted.  Meanwhile, the clipping gives suggestions for colours - “Make it up in cowslip yellow wool for a grey or navy suit, or turf green with ******, or, very Parisian, clerical grey with black.”  The asterisks indicate a shade that I can’t possibly repeat these days, don’t ask. Look at those shoulder pads though.

There’s something fascinating about old knitting patterns isn’t there?

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