Sunday, September 19

Vintage Jones book review

I picked up a fascinating old Jones (later Brother) stitch pattern book, when I was up at Metropolitan Dream Week (it's the one with the very stripey cover here). I've since had more time to look through it.

This book is designed to go with the original 8-button knitting machines - pre-punchcard. So, apart from some amusing photos - a leaping girl, in matching knitted top and skirt, superimposed over a field of pink flowers in a shot that looks like it came straight out of a Japanese version of the "Sound of Music" - and a knitted fez - there are lots of interesting stitch patterns. Especially because - or in spite - of the fact that these machines are very basic in comparison to modern day punchcard and electronic domestic knitting machines.

So, we have:

  • Pull-up stitch (needles held for some rows) - how does this differ from tuck stitch? (it doesn't, mechanically)
  • Pull-up tuck stitch - combination of the above and tuck - allows you to tuck two stitches side-by-side, presumably
  • Lace-like stitch - combination of tuck and slip
  • Fair-isle - two colours as per modern definition of fairisle
  • Open pattern stitches - tuck or pull-up in combination with needles out of work, ie tuck lace
  • Lace stitches - as per modern machine-knitted lace, except done by hand manipulation (no lace carriage)
  • Pull-up lace - combination of hand-transferred lace and pull-up
  • Weaving (thread knitting) = modern knitweave
  • Woven-lace patterns - combination of hand-transferred lace and knitweave
  • Embroidery knitting - this is using threads threaded through a piece of card, hooked over certain needles in vertical and angled directions (vertical knitweave)
  • Pull-up patterns - using the latch tool to create a tuck stitch on the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Solid patterns - a catch-call term for hand-manipulated garter stitch patterns and/or cables.
  • Fair-isle colour patterns - hand-selected fairisle and motif patterns (ie not multiples of 8 stitches)
  • Ribbing patterns - combinations of rib, racking and/or tuck

  • Crochet stitch definitions and some lovely crochet patterns.
  • Instructions for some machine-knitted motifs in diamond shapes (and one circular one) with lace patterns
  • Triangular, circular and hexagonal knitted motifs
  • Fringing and knitted lace edgings
  • Crochet edgings
  • Tunisian crochet patterns
  • Schematics for the garments photographed earlier in the book

If any machine knitters have the later Brother volumes, you will know that they mainly concentrate on slip, tuck, knitweave and fairisle, with some double-bed jacquard and ribbing patterns for good measure. Certainly nothing from the second paragraph - no crochet, no shaped motifs and no schematics. "Embroidery knitting" disappeared completely, apart from a Japanese leaflet I got with my garter bar.

It's a shame such non-mk things got dropped from later volumes, I think. Machine knitting can be complimented a great deal by crochet. I would have loved to work in the department that made the samples for these books. "Think up a new pattern - we'll document it!". What a lovely, creative job!

No comments: