Vintage Sock Pattern Pamphlets: A Little Find

 I’ve never had much luck in finding yarn. I can dream of some fantabulous yard sale, the result of a knitter’s stash guilt, or maybe even (come on, you’ve thought of it, too!) their death. The idea of skeins of wool, of cashmere, even of humble cotton, dance before my crazed eyes. Long term yarn deprivation can do that to you. It also starts to make Red Heart Super Saver feel like the finest silk, but that’s when intervention by good friends is needed.

 I’ve had better luck in finding books about knitting. It takes patience. I have sifted through dozens of quilting and needlepoint books to find just one or two titles. But this past weekend, I found a little stash of vintage sock pattern pamphlets—for 25 or 50 cents.

 The first is from 1975. It’s a Bernat pamphlet called, “On Your Toes,” and one thing that I’ve immeaditely noticed about all 3 pamphlets that I found is that there are many more men’s patterns than you usually find today.

  This is actually probably my least favorite of the three pamphlets, but I’m really fond of this pattern here, poetically entitled, “Style No. 2333-218,”!


 There’s a knee high version as well, all knit in the well-known Bernant Berella Sportspun!

 The next pamphlet (and possibly the most amusing) is, “Bear Brand Hand Knit Socks, for Men, Women, Children.”

 And possibly for someone who is extremely fond of argyle.

 There are also some very classic sock patterns (mainly cabled) also included in this book. Many are sized for men. For example, these are Men’s Cable-Stitch Socks and Anklets, No. 2224

Or perhaps you prefer the more dashing Sport Anklets for Men and Women!

 What about a pair of Girl’s Knee Length Socks?

 There are more patterns, including some rather overdone Aran things, but I’m moving on to what is possibly my favorite of the pamphlets—The All-American Sock Book! (No Communist socks for you!)

 Now this sock, if I’ve ever seen a classic vintage sock pattern, it’s this one. It’s simply entitled Men’s Striped Socks.

Not quite sure where they’re hiding the cable on this pattern.

 I love old-fashioned socks. They have odder shapes, different sensibilities than we do now.

 This next pattern is very sweet and possibly one of the easiest to translate into a modern pattern—just shorten the length, and keep the adorable heart motif. This pattern is called Big Girl’s High Socks.

 A possible future project, if I can ever dig myself out my current obligations!

 And I love this. This history of knitting, of feeling like I’m rummaging around someone’s old trunk and finding treasure. It makes me laugh at myself, because I’m sure that in 20 years, I will look back at my “argyle” knitting and laugh. And maybe by that time…we’ll be knitting argyle again!


June 29, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Knittin' Porn.


  1. pdxknitterati replied:

    Love those vintage patterns! I have some old McCall’s knitting booklets (magazine format) with those slippers that everyone used to make, and Barbie doll clothes. My aunt made those for us. Too much fun.

    I’m not much of a yarn stasher, but I love books and patterns, and they are the jumping off point for my yarn shopping. Can’t buy yarn if I don’t know what it’s for!

  2. Tory replied:

    Now that’s too awesome! For my birthday, my grandmother sent me all of those books except for the first one!

  3. jinniver replied:

    We’re NOT knitting argyle? Son of a… Excuse me while I go frogging…

  4. samantha replied:

    I’m loving the argyle. I visit my grandparents’ house in maine yearly for week in the summer and there’s a cute secondhand book store that has a whole knitting section! I got a couple cute books there last time. now i want to find one on argyle socks!

  5. Dava replied:

    Ah, good ol’ 2333-218. I still can remember when Daddy would meet up with his pals and say, “Hey old sport, are those #2444’s?” The good ol’ days. Before names were invented…

  6. Jolynn replied:

    Wow, what a find!! It would seem that my tastes follow everyone elses… I love the argyle!!


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