Friday, August 14, 2009

Sure, He Looks Cute NOW...

Bathing Trunks pattern from Youngsters Fashions in Wool, Vol. 67, 1948.

Just five years old, and he’s saying, “See these fishes on my bathing trunks? They’re a Sicilian message. Mess with me and you gonna sleep with the fishes.”

And you think, “Aw, how adorable!”

But that’s because he’s still just a little guy. Give him a few years to grow, and he’ll look like this...

Not so sweet now, is he?

I dare you to ask him if he still has those trunks!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

No. 246 – Bathing Trunks
Size 4 to 6 years


2 balls Nylon Yarn, m. c. (1 oz. ball)
1 ball Nylon Yarn each in 2 contrasting colors (1 oz. ball)
1 pair silvalume knitting needles each No. 2 and No. 3
1 crochet hook No. 3
Silvalume needles are still available! They feature a “velvety smooth aluminum surface in buttery-soft colors”.

Honestly, between the “gently rounded tips” and smooth finish guaranteed by Susan Bates, it’s like reading needle porn.
GAUGE: 6 1/2 sts. = 1 inch


With m.c. and No. 2 needles cast on 72 sts and work in ribbing K 1, P 1 for 1/2 inch. Next row for beading: * K 1, P 1, yarn over, P 2 tog. Repeat from * across row. Work K 1, P 1 until ribbing measures 2 inch., increasing 4 sts at even intervals across last row of ribbing. Change to No. 3 needles and stocking st. Follow chart No. 246 and K the fish design, but at the same time incr. 1 st. at each end of needle every 4th row until 82 sts. are on needle. Work even until piece measures 6 1/2 inch. Decr. 1 st. at the beg. and end of every row until 42 sts. are left.

My 11 year old boy just walked up behind me and looked at the chart. “Bugs?” he asked, sounding hopeful.

“They’re supposed to be fishes,” I said.

“They look like bugs. Like bugs on his pants!”

You know... they do kinda look like earwigs. Not sure what message that would send in Sicily.
Now start crotch and keep decr. as before for legs:

1st row: K 2 tog., K 19, incr. 1 st., K 19, K 2 tog.

2nd row: P 2 tog., P 37, P 2 tog.

3rd row: K 2 tog., K 17, incr. 1 st., K 1, incr. 1 st., K 17, K 2 tog.

4th row: P 2 tog., P 35, P 2 tog.

5th row: K 2 tog., K 15, incr. 1 st., K 3, incr. 1 st., K 15, K 2 tog.

6th row: P 2 tog., P 33, P 2 tog.

Continue in this manner, decr. 1 st. at each end of every row and incr. 2 sts. for crotch every other row, having 2 more sts. between increases until all leg sts. are decreased, and only 21 crotch sts. are left. Put sts. on a holder.
Of course, if you knit the fishes in green, you could say they’re tadpoles. Although, you’ll be sleeping with the tadpoles lacks a certain menacing quality.

Work front the same way as back.


Weave crotch sts. tog. Right side facing you pick up with No. 2 needles 76 sts. and K 1, P 1 for 6 rows. Bind off loosely. K as K and P as P. Work the same way around other leg. Sew up side seams. Crochet a chain using 3 strands of each color and pull through beading. Steam lightly.
Fishes, fishes all around! Except on the sides, where there’ll be wide swaths of plain fabric. In fact, the fishes are oddly clustered together in one central spot...

Should anyone consider inflicting this pattern on a child, I would suggest spacing the fishes a little more evenly.

After all, future mobsters don’t take well to public humiliation.
Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Yikes! Handknit swim trunks with the waist practically at the armpits? That will either give him a monumental wedgie or expand when they hit the water and then fall off... I'd say Junior's First Vendetta might be against whoever inflicted this on him.

  2. I agree - and it'll be well deserved, too! I can just see Junior leaving a decapitated poodle tea cozy on Grandma's pillow.

    Handmade swimwear and water seems like a terrible combination, but for some reason it keeps coming back. If you haven't seen it, here's one from the seventies:

  3. Maybe the fishes are supposed to terrify the little boy? 'Behave, or the fishes will nibble on your peepee!'

  4. Personnally, I would prefer the man now with this "so cute" bathing trunk. This will be a great moment in my life...

    I save the chart because I think use the fishes for future socks.

  5. Lol, Lindsey! If you have children, I'll bet they're *very* well behaved.

    Ysabeau, I'm giggling at the idea of that man trying to squeeze into a little boy's swimsuit. It's a good thing yarn stretches! But he may not be a very happy man.

    Also, if you do make fishy socks, please send me pictures! I'd love to see them.

  6. Sure, I'll send you a photo, but, before beginning this socks I have too many projects to do.