Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Book of Good Needlework

Vintage needlework and knitting books are among the things I treasure most, so when I saw this beauty in Oxfam’s window on Monday, it had to be mine. MINE! My mother-in-law gave me some money for Christmas, so I am considering this book a present from her.


 A few of these volumes were released in the 1930s - magazines getting more use out of existing content, and readers wanting magazine content in a more durable form is nothing new. I nearly bought another one in the series at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace one year, but on getting it out for a look realised it had been drawn in and lots of pages had bits cut out, so I went straight back to the vendor and got my money back. This one is perfect, with no missing pages and no scribbles.
I do have another book in the series, and without being able to explain exactly why, I’m sure this one was published later than my other one, though both are 1930s. The other one has more cutwork, whereas this one has a couple of bits of Jacobean-style embroidery, something which I definitely associate with the 1940s and 1950s. The other one has echoes of the 1920s whereas this one has shadows of the 1940s. Does that make sense? It’s just got a subtle change in style.
Anyway, you’re probably thinking, “Shut up, Mim, and let me look at the pictures.” So I shall stop speaking my branes.
Will I make anything from it? I want to. Then again, I’ve wanted to make stuff from the other one and never found time to do so. Remember how I wanted to make a handbag from a 1940s Stitchcraft? I have the instructions. I have the materials (a misironed dress). I haven’t had the time. So don’t watch this space, ‘cos you could be waiting an awfully long while!

10 comments :

  1. Now that is a great find, Mim. I collect these too, although I don't have this copy....yet! Mind you, out of the four books I have I've only made one thing which was a green felt bag (I blogged about it here: http://thevintageknitter.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/crafty-endeavours.html)

    It's like the knitting - I have good intentions then I lapse!

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    1. I remembered reading about that bag. I was very impressed that you'd done something from it - it's 100% more projects than I've managed to make from mine.

      If I see another, I'll beg it for you.

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  2. Love the illustrations in these books - fabulous!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  3. I am not surprised that you had to have this, it is a wonderful book. I would have snapped it up too. What lovely pictures. It is very sad that someone had chopped up the previous book you found.

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    1. *Chokes back usual rant about 'up cycling' vandals*

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    2. Ha ha. My previous comment was my polite response to book cutter uppers! It is so upsetting to me, ruining a perfectly good book.

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  4. Oooh, how lovely! I have the Good Needlework Gift Book, though sadly it's in a terrible state with the covers coming off and pages adrift all over the place. Some lovely projects in it, all little things that are designed (as per the title) to be given as gifts. One of these days I'll get around to making something... or maybe I'll just enjoy the pictures. :)
    What a great find in such a good condition!

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    1. Heh, with your mad skills I can imagine you rebinding it. (Have you learned bookbinding yet? I bet if you don't do it now, you will one day!)

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  5. Oooh, fabby! I love these kind of books. I got a copy of Modern Needlework In 600 Pictures for a quid a couple of months ago in the charity chop, a bit scruffy on the cover boards but not too bad.
    I sometimes see them having been destroyed for so called craft projects and then I blow a gasket!

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    1. I'm so glad someone else hates book vandalism. I like old film annuals too, and they're so hard to find now, probably because people chop them up.

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