Knitting, Then and Now

Summer 1950

Some things come and some things go but is knitting forever? Of course the skill will always be a big part of our lives but what about the trends, techniques, designers, and patterns that make up our knitting/crochet world? How have they changed from, say, 50 years ago? Where will they be in another 50? Heck, another 6 months! Well, we invite you to sit back and enjoy as we relive some of knitting’s finest moments (in some instances, by “finest” we mean ridiculous…ly awesome) from the decades when knitting seemed more glamorous and classic, knitwear models looked like movie stars, and ads were very…up-front.

The 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s

Let us begin with the beauty days or pre-1970. Designers made patterns with sophistication and glamour in mind. These designs would be worn at parties to impress and create buzz around the neighborhood. Women took pride in how they dressed and took time making quality knits. Intricate cabling, perfect fit, modest lines that accentuated the waist, and being on-trend with solid seasonal colors were what mattered most. Things started to get a little more interesting in the late 60’s (last two pictures).

RobinVintage Ad 2

Beautybeauty crochet
















reynoldsfallplummage2late 60s









The Funky 70’s


This disco ball could mean nothing else but the 1970’s! Things got a little groovy and a lot funky during this decade. People just wanted peace and love! According to their style, people in the 70’s also wanted ponchos, crop tops, fringe, and matching sweaters! For some of you this may be a trip down memory lane and for others it may be inspiration for this year’s Halloween costume!

70s 9 70s 870s 2 70s 5















70s 6


The 80’s until Now

The 80’s until now are when knitting got really fun! Designers got inventive and felt more comfortable making original patterns. From geometric shapes to thighlighters, things really took off in a fantastic way! Knitting kind of faded out in the 90s with the popularity of windbreakers, Hammer-pants, and neon puff paint. But trends like fingerless gloves and cowls really brought knitting back in the early 2000s!

80s2 80s80s 2


80s 5

90s sonic


Nose Warmer

As with most things, knitting styles seem to be cyclical. How popular are chevron stripes right now? Look at this vest from the 40s! What about bunting/pennants? Check out this sweater! We are even starting to reinvent the vintage patterns that were once so popular. But with all things that are cyclical, there are some things we hope never make a comeback. Take this Wool Nose Warmer for example. We all probably wish these were still popular in those wintery months when your nose feels like a popsicle but when the ad describes it as “kooky but practical,” you know it has to be something special. But how is one supposed to breathe? Don’t you think that mini nasal ski cap would be itchy? At least the tassel on the end DOES NOT include a tiny pompom. If it did, this accessory would be taken to a whole other ridiculous level! This Christmas, Wool Nose Warmers for everyone!!

Chevron Jerkinbeauty 40s








To end, here are a few sewing ads that really show how times have changed. A “Chubby Fashion Book” actually existed. Seriously, Lane Bryant? The second ad is just weird. Imagine if sewing a pattern that fit required you to literally cage yourself in, what looks like, chicken wire!

chubbiescagey like a fox

Hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane and found at least one picture that made you say, “Hey! I had that!”


3 thoughts on “Knitting, Then and Now

  1. You show the front of leaflet l.w.1094. I made this years ago. I am trying to locate new copy of patteren. Mine is all worn out.

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