Monday, August 24, 2009

fables & fabulous yarns: columbia minerva vintage knit fashions

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: Fables & Fabulous Yarns

not too long ago i discovered this fabulous knitting pattern book on etsy. its the columbia-minerva knit fashions for boys and girls no.775 from 1970 titled 'fables & fabulous yarns'. not only is it full of fabulous floral backdrops, the knitted outfits are downright charming - though maybe i feel that way because i never had to wear a woolen pinafore myself!

flowers, crazy stuffed animal props, pinafores and knee socks - what more could you want?! how about some poems? well you've come to the right pattern book!

the introduction goes:

a long time ago
in the kingdom of make believable knits
the children declared their independence
and moved across the valley to live with the friendly animals.
they were happy until autumn when it came to their notice
that the animals coats were growing thicker and warmer
while their own clothes were getting thinner.

as winter approached, envy grew into hostility,
until the animals, alarmed for their lives,
sent the tiger in delegation to persuade the children
from persisting in their foolishness.

"children" said the tiger,
"your pride threatens the peace of our land.
rob us of our coats and you rob yourself of friends,
and when our coats wear thin on your backs you
will be lonely and cold too. let us carry you home where you
can enjoy the fruits of the affectionate adults."

the children heard his words and met
in council to deliberate the matter.
a few thought it more romantic to sneak home
under cover of darkness and gather yarns to knit for
themselves. but the majority said this was not a time
for romance. "all we can knit anyway is scarves and who
wants to go around all winter wrapped in a scarf
when we could have cardigans and dresses and caps and slacks.
let us return and reconsider independence when we
know better how to care for ourselves."

secretly relieved at being outvoted,
the few joined the many and they all set out at once
astride the larger animals. the adults were likewise
relieved and decided henceforth they would
try to give their children a greater sense of freedom.

and so you will notice as you
read through our book that while the children and
their animal friends play happily together,
the grownups are not anywhere to be seen.
they are behind the scenes knitting.

the fashion director

now on with the fashion parade! please note, the poems are featured above the photos in the book. i didn't write them. i can only write rude limericks and thats another story for another time!

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: girls who feed asses

two maids garbed in knits of high fashion
met an ass who ate yarns with a passion
said they in protection
please try for "delection"
these flowers as alternate ration

how sweet are those knee socks and mary-janes? and i love those hair ties the girls wear. can someone who had some tell me what they're made of? are they wool? they look like ropes and remind me of sesame street!!

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: nautical but nice!

three sisters in dress of a sailor
took their pet to be fit by a tailor.
when faced by a bear
all covered with hair
the merchant turned five degrees paler.

as my mother would say, 'nautical but nice!' i wish i'd had some sailor outfits as a child. how did they get the skirts to not stretch all out of shape? can you tell i'm not a knitter?

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: apres ski, apres style

a toast to warming snacks and sweaters
sköal to saint bernard the bold
it may be june,
but none too soon
to start and knit for winter's cold.

plaid trousers! i die. how terrible is that stuffed st bernard? it looks like someone won it at a fair! i'd like that hooded cardigan, and those red mugs though, please.

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: bring on the chevron

two sisters found a baby 'roo
playing in the hollyhocks.
they spent the morning at the zoo
and picnicked there on lollypops.

lollypops, knee-socks and hollyhocks! oh my! i love the little girls matching tights and polo neck combination. i had a lot of pinafores as a child and i still love them. i just look like a sack in them now thankyouverymuch puberty!

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: matching in brown

a career kangaroo
who sold fruit at the zoo
was caught making book on the side.
when asked to foreswear
this shady affair
he said, "by the book i'll abide."

these last two outfits i do not envy. and judging by the kid's expressions, they share my sentiment. the girl looks like she's saying "a brown pleated skirt?! thanks mum. now i can wear my school shoes on weekends too" and the boy looks to be saying "you think you've got it bad? i'm going to be missing more than this one tooth when i wear this around the guys!"

so what do you think, should we petition to get more poetry+knitting crossover books published? i'm thinking haiku+crochet! sonnets+cross stitch!


apparentlyjessy said...

Hey! I found your blog through Meetmeatmikes, and I kept thinking you seemed so familiar! Then I realised you used to be on Swap-bot and I was the one that sent you the matchbox drawers! Am I guessing right?
I love your funky style and look forward to following your blog! :)
These fashion photos are a crack up, and yeah a lot of them remind me of sesame street for some reason...

Pilgrim Lee said...

hey jessy! how funny! the internet can seem so small sometimes, can't it? hope you're well! so nice to see you here :)

strawberry lemonade girl said...

Hey I'm SO excited about this post because I had bookmarked this EXACT book on ebay ages ago (and snagged a handful of photos....diff from these) and was crying I forgot to bid (or maybe the price was too high, i can't recall. Love it!).

Oh, and those hair ribbons were very popular in the 70s. They were made of something synthetic and were really puffy/soft-- like cotton. We all wore them in our hair! (they are twisted like ropes, though, its true)

Pilgrim Lee said...

alex - thats so cool! i'll definitely have to post the rest of the pages soon, then! you can have yourself a 'digital' copy of it haha and thanks for clearing up the mystery of the hair ropes!

Leslie from said...

Hi Miss Pilgrim,

I just found your blog via Alex at Strawberry lemonade and I loved it so much that a posted about it on my blog,

Thanks for the great find and I lurve your bloggy!

Pilgrim Lee said...

well hello to you, miss leslie! what a nice surprise! thanks so much :) i'm glad you like it here!

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