we’re back from our mini-vacation, and although i’m not full functioning yet, i have something i needed to show you all right away.
google-ing brought up nothing except maybe some of these on ebay at one point or another. i found this historical gem in a lovely little antique store in clarion, pa. they sold it to me for a dollar. i think they were happy that the right person found it :) i was ecstatic.
Anne L Macdonald, in No Idle Hands says that in the 50’s, “Argylers were still in full cry, elaborating on the ‘traditional’ Scottish patterns by knitting diamonds within diamonds and combining diamonds with plaids and stripes. Argyles were so popular for high school cheerleaders that the going rate was $20 a pair for handknit ones.” that quote totally reminds me of my interview with Sue and her answer to how she stared knitting… i must remember to ask her if they were argyles…
reads on both sides: 12 DIFFERENT COLOR COMBINATIONS TO CHOOSE FROM – see other side…
this side: This pak contains 2 1/8 ounces of yarn… sufficient to make one pair of short length diamond pattern men’s or boys’ socks in any size up to and including size 12. Easy-to-knit instructions inside.
the other side: This is meadowspun… the yarn with the cashmere-like feel… 50% virgin wool for softness and warmth… 50% Dupont Nylon for lasting strength and easy washability… anti-shrink, anti-stretch.
in her chapter on the 1950’s, Macdonald mentions just such kits as these. i wonder if the kits continued to exist after the craze was over? i have at least one sock booklet from the late 60s or early 70s with argyles in it… but did the kits still exist? i know they weren’t as wildly popular as the 40s and 50s. anyone?
if this kit does happen to date back to the 1950’s, this next quote from Anne L. Macdonald is apt. the yarn inside is 50% wool/50% dupont nylon. (click here for more history of nylon).
“Argyle-knitting teenagers were humored by one authoress’s jaunty introduction: ‘You all know what I’m doing! Knitting. And I love it… knitting all the time. Right now I’m turning the heel of a pair of argyles-they’re gray, red and navy. I’m sure he’ll like these…. Socks, socks and more socks! He just can’t get enough of them. Socks prove that a little goes a long way. Probably he clings to the precious wool, but maybe he’s taken up nylon, and if that’s his liking, nylon’s your meat. It’s a great advertisement, too, with socks so easy to carry around, and knit.’
She never clarified what was being advertise, but with nylon as the ‘meat,’ someone’s trap was baited!”
in the 1940’s, nylon was only used for re-inforceing by most. by the time of these, it was better respected and not only did it make it into the yarn, but ended up being 50% of it!! this kit is, of course, never to be knit – but is destined to ride out its time as a precious piece of knitting history.