I think that I may have found a new collecting obsession - old knitting patterns. Patons Baldwins patterns to be specific. I've got number 518 - does that mean there are 517 that precede it? I'll have to make room on the bookshelves.
I picked up this current swag at the Salvation Army op shop in Oakleigh a couple of weekends ago. I always have a look through the knitting paraphernalia when I'm at the op shop - aluminium dpns anyone? - but it's often 1970s Villawool patterns which don't appeal. Unfortunately, there are no publication dates on these black and white beauties. The prices are still in shillings and pence (so pre-1966), measurements in inches and ounces (metric was introduced in Australia in 1947 but not in common use until the 1970s), and the postcode for the company, located at 84-94 Flinders Lane, Melbourne is C1. Four-digit postcodes were only introduced in Australia in 1967 (thank you Wikipedia).
There are so many garments in here that I would love to make. Interestingly (and affirmatively) a couple of respected friends have remarked on the self-same pattern that is at the top of my list. Perhaps it's the asymmetrical fastening, or the batwing sleeves, or the fact that it's front and centre at the top of the pile but Lynda is in gestation (so to speak).
The pattern calls for Patons Beehive 'Lady Betty' - a yarn so discontinued as to be utterly obscure. I know that it was a 3 ply but am curious as to whether it was a crepe or a twisted yarn. Due to the sizing I am actually going to knit Lynda in a 4 ply (I think), possibly a 5 ply - I really have to decide on both a yarn and a colour. Filatura di Crosa Zarina is a 4 ply option - high twist and good colour selection. Patons Bluebell, my favourite, is a 5 ply crepe option, but I'm not sure about the colour choice.
In fact, I'm not sure about the colour at all. That's one of the issues with these black and white publications - unlike today's full-colour glossy patterns, the old ones don't indicate which colour to use. Do you know knitters who just can't bear to knit a garment in anything but the colour shown in the pattern? I'm not (quite) that extreme although I do sometimes have trouble imagining a garment in another hue. Clearly the version of Lynda photographed wasn't in black or another dark shade, but what colour was she? Any ideas?
ps. news from Linda (!) at Patons - "Lady Betty came in 2,3 and 4 ply, it was produced in
Australia and was on range from 1930 to 1937."