Friday, December 25, 2009

The knitting tree

I got this fantastic handmade French Knitting tool, (aka "Strickliesl" in German) for Christmas:

Gnarly Strickliesel

It's made from a real branch and does work to produce pieces of knitted tube, although it's rather hard work. I also got a couple of others so I now have a russian-doll like collection of knitting dolls!


24: Esther Rantzen & Happy Christmas!

The real holy family. The family that knits together, stays together, or however that goes.

Have a great Christmas!

24: Esther Rantzen

23: Frankie Vaughan

Doesn't he look awfully smug. I don't believe for a second that he caught any of these (plastic) fish himself.
Nice cosy yoke jumper though.

23: Frankie Vaughan

Monday, December 21, 2009

22: Marion Ryan

Ah, enough of the cynicism now. Isn't this brilliant? Nautical, bows, red, what's not to like.

They could have given the "Marilyn Monroe of popular song" something a bit more figure-hugging I suppose, but it still reminds me of Joan of Mad Men as it is.

22: Marion Ryan

21: Grace Kennedy

This does not look like good pool technique to me. I'm not convinced she has her feet on the ground, and I figure it might be easier to play if she was facing the table.

The outfit is mostly nondescript, although I'm a bit concerned about that slit. Can we see London and/or France?

21: Grace Kennedy

Sunday, December 20, 2009

20: Lysette Anthony

This "most attractive outfit" has a pattern reminiscent of one of those strange tubes of toothpaste you buy when you run out on holiday (possibly in eastern Europe). Come to think of it, the shape is similar too.

20: Lysette Anthony

The where-are-they-now bit: stripping on YouTube.

Friday, December 18, 2009

19: Billie Whitelaw

This one's actually from the 60s book, although you wouldn't necessarily be able to tell - see what I mean about the cyclical nature of big hair?

The thing she is wearing is a "car coat", which seems like an impossibly glamorous concept to me, and she's even accessorising with driving gloves!

19: Billie Whitelaw

Thursday, December 17, 2009

18: Lulu

Seems that 1983 was the year of the Navajo Indian accessories, not only Anita Harris but also Lulu jumped on the bandwagon.

A sure sign of an unflattering garment is if you have to belt it.

17: more 40s Vogue Knitting

Now, THIS is how you do elegant nautical. Not like, say, this.

Although there's an even better sailor inspired outfit still to come.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

16: Lisa Harrow

I'm not sure what she's up to here but I do know that this situation would make my dad terribly uncomfortable - sitting on the edge of a rickety looking table, elbow near a glass and a bottle, and playing with a chair without looking. Did you know that 90% of all accidents happen in the home?

The most interesting fact nugget about this actress is that she is now married to a whale biologist.

Monday, December 14, 2009

15: Marie France

This cardigan is made from a thing called Rimple. The Lady is a TV French Teacher called France. Both these things sound made up but are not.

Commercial Break

It's ten days til Christmas and I've had a lot of fun at the two craft markets where I had stalls the last two weekends, but there's still some lovely things left.

Thus, I have finally taken the step of setting up an Etsy shop. It still needs a bit of "shop fitting" to make it more inviting, but Unusual Horse posters and postcards are now available, as well as a few of my picot-edged fingerless gloves and Christmas decorations.

Please visit! There will be mulled wine and mince pies* for all customers.

Twee as Volk on Etsy:

*imaginary only.

14: Prunella Gee

My favourite part about this is the hair - how long will it be until fashion turns round and big Cruella de Ville hair becomes cool again?

This photo also proves that inappropriately sexy mother-daughter posing existed before Nuts.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

13: Rupert Davies

Another TV detective for you! And in a similar manly fashion as before, except with a pipe instead of the facial hair.

12: Roy Marsden

I have just endured four weeks of "Movember" at work, which means many of my colleagues cultivated ill-advised moustaches that made it very difficult to talk to them with a straight face. This photo however is from more innocent times when a moustache was a sign of a real man.
To quote: "Roy Marsden is the detective every woman longs to be interrogated by. The six-foot star of award-winning writer P.D. James's extraordinary crime series draws compliments from countless female fans. His one problem? He can't find sweaters big enough to fit in ordinary shops".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

11: Something lovely to soothe your eyes.

This is not funny I'm afraid, and the lady was never famous, but it's just so pretty. I really want to make this "jacket-blouse", but fear it won't look quite as glamorous without the hair, the gloves, the tiny waist...

Ahh, wasn't life great in post-war Britain. Yeah, of course not. This booklet is full of adverts for stuff that essentially say, our stuff is great, shame it's not really in the shops right now, rationing and that. Just reminding you we exist (sort of)!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

10: Sabina Franklyn

"I adore frilly clothes" says Sabina Franklyn*. "If they ever go out of fashion i don't know what I'll do!". Neither do I. This wearable doily would be an easy target, but personally, I'm just distracted by that amazingly unappetizing sandwich. Ew.

*minor comedy actress

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

9: Switchboard Girls

Now for something completely different, a knitting pattern advert from the late 40s.
I have to say switchboard girl looks like my ideal job, currently I can't quite get away with knitting at my desk!

Monday, December 7, 2009

8: Gary Holton

I have to admit I rather like this "beatnik" sweater. Today, of course, it would be worn by girls with just out of bed hair over shiny pleather leggins.

Footnote about this guy - comedy actor and punk singer, and died quite shortly after publication of this wonderful book (which I presume wasn't his career highlight) of a drug overdose. Poor chap. Also shared my birthday.

7: Hannah Gordon

Hannah Gordon, star of upstairs, downstairs, was the face of Safeway in the 80s, so it's tempting to think that this image would have been used in the fruit and veg section. Although the mouldy texture of her jumper would have been a little offputting.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

6: Anita Harris

I'm not going to lay into this lady too much because my google research reveals that she's now "penniless and homeless", which is in ironic contrast to the posh hobo chic she was modelling here. She says: "It's what I'd call classical fun".

Saturday, December 5, 2009

5: Jackie and Jan pick a gay twosome

It appears that the celebrity knitting pattern is not an invention of the 80s! This pattern actually has the above title inside. And gay it is.

Jackie Rae & Jeanette Scott seem to have been a showbiz couple of sorts. I wonder what weird contracted name they would get called these days - Jackette? Jeackie?

(PS I don't have a date for this booklet but these two were only married between 1959 and 1965 - so some time in between that!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

4: John Inman

John Inman again! He must have been a big fan of knitwear.
He says this lovely coordinated ensemble is "ideal to wear for my walks along the canal where I live", but also for drinking tea out of creepy looking cups while wearing a surprised or worried expression.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

3: Roger de Courcey

This picture becomes more amusing when you learn that Roger de Courcey (right) is a "famous" ventriloquist. His mini-me is apparently his son Jamie, or possibly a puppet. I can only see one hand.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2: Karen Kay

This stylish lady is Karen Kay, it appears that her most enduring fame lies in being the mother of Jay Kay of Jamiroquai. Maybe this explains the eccentric headwear, it must lie in the family. The text that goes with this pattern claims that this garment is suitable for "open fĂȘtes, special functions, on holiday as a beach cover-up or in the evenings". Because there's no occasion where a bobbly dressing gown is not appropriate.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Advent Calendar is back!

Believe it or not, I have managed to get my hands on another celebrity endorsed knitting book from the 80s! We start off today with a wonderful Tattoo-inspired creation from Billy Connolly.