Thursday, September 13, 2007


The realisation that I have become a sad little pattern-spotter has caused very little worry; which is a worry in itself.

Apologies that the Google doc is not available for viewing. If you would like to see it I am happy to email you a copy of the spreadsheet.

So here we have the pattern-spotter's guide to vintage Australian Patons pattern leaflets.

Leaflets of the late 1930s-1940s were black and white and looked a lot like this. Dimensions approx. 19cm x 24.5cm

In the 1950s and 60s, we got colour covers. Dimensons approx. 18cm x 23.5 cm

By the late 1960s and into the early 1970s when this first series of patterns numbered up to 1000 finished, they had color covers and measured 18 cm x 28 cm

The reprint series seem always to have had coloured covers, but not full colour. Someone who know about printing will probably tell me what process this was. They are identified by the "R" prefixing the number, and by their size. These are tidges at 13.5 cm x 21cm.

The craft series, identified by the "C" prefixing the pattern number are also small, initially. 13.5 cm x 21cm at first, they change dimension at the same time as the main pattern run does. So in the late 60s that are 18cm x 23.5 cm.

I have not included the Classics series. They begin in the late 1960s and are still published. Most of the more recent ones are reprints of earlier publications. The numbering and the patterns remain the same but the photography and leaflet size change.

The pattern-spotter's natural habitat is the op-shop and garage sale. She can be identified by the hand-knitted cardie, sensible shoes and woolly hat. She has been known to snoop in the craft cupboards of elderly relatives, capacious knitting bag gaping open at her side. She carries a notebook containing details of her pattern sightings and seeks out others of her kind. They congregate in coffee shops and bars where they share stories of their adventures and knit together. The more technologically advanced of them create blogs and websites to document their obsession collection.

They are mostly harmless and to be deeply pitied.


Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Knitter or Historian????? With a post like that, it's hard to decide.

I've got my mom's copy of McCall's Treasury on Needlecraft 1955. When I look at the sizes the pattern's come in I have to shake my head and say..."You've got to be joking!"

Keep up the good work and enjoy the hunt.

Taphophile said...

Ah, FF, it's an occupational hazard, this collection, appraisal, arrangement and description. Of course the next step is access. I'm tempted to make the out of copyright ones available on the Knit-wiki.

TinkingBell said...

Will get the patterns off to you shortly - will also keep my eyes open for myself!

Jejune said...

Way back when, restricting your printing to two colours kept costs down a lot - those reprints were probably duotones.

I keep wondering when more modern patterns will start to hit the op shops! I am old enough yet?! LOL :)

Enjoy your collecting - maybe you can feature on ABC's 'Collectors' one day!

Taphophile said...

Thanks for the info Jejune. I figured it was a cost-cutting measure but wasn't sure what the name was (and couldn't be arsed looking for the info!)

The modern patterns are already in the op-shops. I keep seeing patterns I've knitted in the bargain bins.

I seriously doubt I'd go on Collectors. They were not very understanding of the last knitters they had on.

2paw said...

I love the spreadsheet to organise. I have most of my books organised by author/type etc. And I have them in a little book to carry about with me too. I think it is eminently sensible!!!