Thursday, 13 September 2012

Vintage knits, recreated

If you're looking for a vintage style woollie, you have a number of options. You could knit one yourself, or persuade a friendly knitter to make one for you. You could look for a repro knit (although in my experience you're more likely to find a midcentury-looking garment than one in the style of the 1920s or 1930s).

You could also buy a garment hand-knitted to a vintage pattern. My friend Jill and her sister (I made berets to a 1960s pattern for their charity fundraising stall) have started their own business, Betty Knits. They make garments to vintage patterns and can do special orders. Mostly they sell at vintage fairs around London, but they also have an online shop with a selection of items including berets and tippets knitted to period patterns.

Fur is a matter hotly debated in vintage circles, which inspired Jill to design an ethically sound fox stole; she knits these herself and I think they're great fun, perfect for anyone who's not too purist about their era. However, if you demand strict authenticity, try one of their tippets.

Note: Betty Knits is not to be confused with Betty Knitter, which is designer Elizabeth Jarvis' business. Personally, I love Elizabeth's designs; she always approaches construction in a unique way, which is refreshing when so many knitting patterns simply look like variations on a theme, and her use of colour and texture always inspires me. (She designed an amazing ammonite bag, knitted in a spiral, for Simply Knitting that I keep hoping to convert to a cat bed!)

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