Fashion And Textile Museum


A couple of things struck me about this knitting exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London – how truly awful some knitted items really are and I’m glad the world invented Lycra®!

The displayed items at this “Knitwear, Chanel to Westwood” extravaganza were taken largely from the private collection of Mark and Cleo Butterfield and knitted items were grouped by era. Painstakingly knitted under garments from the early decades of the 20th century led onto the grey and depressing jumpers of the second world war era. It carried on through to the crazy giant mohair jumpers of the 1980s and the weird and wonderful creations of the 1990s.

Looking at the knitted pre- and post-war swimwear and imagining the inevitable wet wool droop, I had visions of my poor dad suffering the double indignity of having to wear a saggy wool hand-me-down girls’ swimsuit. Childhood seaside trips out in a girls’ woolly swimsuit – the late 1940s were clearly tough times. Never mind rationing, bombed houses and no TV – think of the outfits!

In fact, it was only the 1950s that seemed to produce anything that you wouldn’t gladly toss onto a bonfire. Beautiful ‘cocktail sweaters’ with big skirts looked exactly as you’d imagine – fitted, glamorous, sparkly and like you should only wear one if you’re poised drinking a cocktail, perhaps with James Bond. You can keep your giant jumpers from the 1980s, your scratchy re-hashed dreary jumpers from the 1940s and definitely the weird jumpers knitted from plastic bags from the 1990s. We want glamour! Cocktails!

Moving seamlessly on from ‘glamour’ to ‘giant, knitted, pink pom pom woolly hat’ – here is a sneak preview of my latest knit. Well I actually have two latest knits, both unfinished of course. I can firstly proudly present … Santa’s leg! Ta dah!


Taken from a Let’s Knit pattern:


Pathetic effort I know, but I will soldier on. It does, after all, have quite an obvious Christmassy deadline…

Next up, again pathetic effort, is my latest woolly hat. Bright colours of course, dark can be sooo draining on the face daaarhling!


I’m attempting a pattern I received for free from the Ally Pally knitting show, that is basically knitting 2 rows, purling 2 rows (opposite shades):


Fingers crossed I complete these two items before summer…



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