Friday, June 22, 2007

Knitting Shop Archaeology

Yesterday Kate spent much of the day up to her elbows in patterns. We have a room in the back which is called "the dressing room," not because anyone changes their clothes there, although Lisa tells me that was the original intent--that people would want to try on sweaters and there would be a room designated for the purpose. The room we call the dressing room is more where knitting projects and patterns go to die. It's also the room where we put everything we can't figure out where else to put. Some of the items we pulled out yesterday included:

*2 rolls of toilet paper, not brand new but half rolls, in two seperate places.

*A box of vacuum cleaner attachments to a vacuum I have never seen (and I've worked here for nearly 6 years!)

*A box of floppy disks (none of our computers have floppy disk drives.)

*A box with broken Christmas tree ornaments (owner? Jewish.)

*Two rubber band balls that were exactly the same size, which amazed Kate more than it should of.

*Knitting magazines from before the store opened, so where did they come from?
And, here's the best part, these are all things we couldn't bring ourselves to throw away!
Some of the better finds from yesterdays dig:
This is an actual issue of Knitter's Magazine from 1990. Inside there is a baby wearing the bunting, which seems to make much more sense to me. My question is: Did they know it was hilarious to put a cat in a baby bunting or were they being serious? Did they think, "You know, lots of knitters have cats. Women knit, and they love cats. This is a good marketing plan." or was it more, "That is the funniest thing I have ever seen! Oh my god! We have to put that on the cover! People will think we are soooo funny!"
Keeping with the kitty theme, and not to make Knitter's magazine feel alone in their crazy cat-ness we have this lovely pattern from Vogue:
Poor kid, where is he now?

And similar to cats, I guess, is babies:

So this is not such a bad pattern, it's really just the title that Kate cracked up over. For one, we were all remarkably impressed at the proper grammer used in the title. I feel like apostrophe usage has gone a bit haywire lately. No one seems to be sure where exactly they go (and if mine are screwy sometimes, it's okay, I know. I am guilty of it too). Really you have to hear Kate read the title, it's hilarious. Even funnier was when Max came in while we were marvelling over the pattern and the baby's skeptical look and pointed out that it had been published in Big Sandy, Texas. Having grown up in Texas nearby Big Sandy Max pointed out to us that Big Sandy was in fact a place where babies would indeed dress fancy. And, even better than Kate finding one copy of Baby's Dressin' Fancy? She found two.

And in case you were wishing you had something to lounge around in this summer, feel free to drop in a take a look at

This is an actual book, 120 pages, on how to make many different kinds of hammocks including a Twin Oaks hammock. And it's full of pictures of sexy men like the one on the cover. He's laid back, he's relaxin', he made that hammock! Don't we wish we had that guy around the house, or communal living area?
While in the dressing room, though, Kate also discovered some of the more wonderful sides of yarn shop hoarding:

*The fact that we have every single Rowan magazine and color card from the beginning of time.

*We have a wonderful stash of vintage knitting patterns and magazines from the 20's forward.

*We have every issue of Vogue Knitting (almost!) from the 60's forward and lots of Knitter's magazines.

*We have an extensive collection of Classic Elite patterns from the Kristin Nicholas heyday.

*And lots and lots of yarn. Old yarn, new yarn, discontinued yarn--we have lots.
*And this, over which I think we both totally freaked out:

One of the original owl cardigan patterns like the new one we have from Penny Straker.
Kate's going to try this version out and see if the armhole shaping is any different. We'll keep you posted.

And, the dressing room looks great now!


Courtney said...

Okay, so I know that I am posting a comment to the post I just wrote but does anyone else feel like the voice of the post is reminiscent of the voice used on the Price is Right when they talk about the showcase showdown prizes? Or is it just me?

Carol said...

To Kate: You have NO IDEA how many rubber band balls (with dried out rubber bands that snap if you try to use them) the Saturday Crew has thrown out in the last five years. Then we giggle when a certain someone comes in and says something like "I can't find any rubber bands and I know there's a big rubber band ball around here somewhere!"

My question for you, Courtney: Exactly what dingdong needs instructions for how to lie down??

Bridget said...

Oh God, you mean there were actually MORE rubber band balls than all the ones that have been tossed when I've been there??? (And I haven't been there that much, but I swear one day we threw away six!) What, were they mating in there or something??

How much do you want to bet that the Dressin' Fancy baby belongs to the hunk in the hammock ... and the lovely wife/mother is the knitter for both ...

Love the owl sweater!

Sherry W said...

Congrats on tackling that room!

Oh that poor cat! I sure hope it came with a litter box escape hatch.

Ooooh, owl sweater...I really would wear one in adult sizes.

Sharon Rose said...

OMG!!! Please let me know next time you engage in such dangerous spelunking. You need a back-up crew! :)

Sharon Rose said...

PS - did you know the shop web site is down?

Amy McWeasel said...

This post had me laughing out loud. That poor cat - s/he looks so pissed. :-)

And what's up with the hammock book?! I can understand a book about how to make your own hammock, but "how to lie in it"?! Crazy.

Carol said...

Please see:

crow said...

I was buying Knitters when that cat in the baby bunting issue came out, and from comments inside, I'm pretty sure they knew it was funny. It really is inspired marketing.

I'd love to go through those old Vogue Knitting looking for Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns.

Anonymous said...

Baaaybbbeee's Dresssyn' FAncI!!!!

really, that closet will be the death of me. but i get such a kick out of how much crap (oh, I mean vital knitting store items) can fit in there....

i KNEW the rubber band balls were insane-o. they spawn!!

Karen said...

Wow, all those aged magazines - bet there is some cool stuff within. But I can't get over the published version of the owl sweater! My copy is typewritten from a friend of my MIL - and I think her copy was hand typed as well. It is so amazing to see what might be the beginning of the folklore that is the owl sweater. Wish I could have been there for the excavation!

debbie said...

Hi, I was wondering if in your cleaning you came across an afghan pattern with an owl on it..My mom saw it years ago and now would ike to make it.I think it may be knitted..Thanks..Debbie I can be reached at