Friday, February 12, 2010

Talk about white-out conditions!

Norwegian Ski sweater from Columbia Men’s Book, c. 1950

men ... Men ... MEN

WE DOUBT all men are just as heaven made them, or even created equal (we quote).
I quote, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” Written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, this statement is considered to be a central creed of the United States of America.

But who cares about all that? It’s the 1950s and you know your white artistically bleached-out man is superior to all the rest.
WE BELIEVE your man, and ours, stands well above the common herd, is worth his weight in gold and, quite confidentially, that clothes DO help to make him.
That’s right, honey, it’s all about appearances. And since your social status is handcuffed to his until death do you part, you’d better make darn sure he looks terrific!
COLUMBIA KNOWS fashions that a man likes to wear, and presents a collection of accessories he’ll want to you knit, approved by a discriminating male jury.
I believe that the discriminating male jury was actually the bewildered husband of Columbia’s pattern editor.

"The sweater’s all right, but why can’t I just wear my regular clothes?"

WHAT TYPE is the man in your life?
● Man about town or country?
● A young enthusiast?
● Man of action?
● A wonderful stay-at-home?
I’d say the handsome fellow above is a “man about town” which was the polite phrase for a 1950s car-obsessed grease monkey.
GIVE YOUR FAVORITE a Columbia Hand Knit (from those heavenly yarns by Lees) and it will be “Orchids to You” from Him.

For the complete pattern (and some flowery snark!):

Besides being the name of an obscure 1935 movie, “Orchids to You” was also a phrase indicating both admiration and congratulations on a job well done.

This vintage photo from the Louisiana State Museum is a mystery. The script in flowers reads “Orchids to you Bob” and it’s signed “WM Helis”. William G. Helis Sr. was an oil baron at the turn of the previous century. But who Bob was, and what he did to earn such a grandiose golem made of flowers has been lost to history.

What? Just look at it! That’s the golem’s head up at the top, and on the right side two orchid-y arms are reaching out to crush Bob’s enemies.
Champions of the great out-doors know the importance of right clothes for active sporting life, when success spells complete freedom of movement with fashion casting its weather eye on “climatic control”.
While women do appreciate a man with “climatic control”, I’m not convinced that these clothes allow for true “freedom of movement”. I think the designer of this sweater had a more insidious goal in mind.

“I know! I’ll send him out into the mountains wearing a thin sweater, a hat that doesn’t cover his ears, and ankle boots. If he doesn’t come back, I’ll be free to marry a man of action with a real sense of style!”
Number 1808

Sizes 40, 42, 44 and 46

This pattern uses tables which tend to turn out badly in blogspot formatting. So instead I’ll be transcribing size 40 and placing any changes for other sizes in brackets, like so: (42, 44, 46).

Remember, this blog is a work of fiction, any similarity to real patterns, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Columbia Knitting Worsted (4 ounce skein)
Seal Brown No. 5033, 6 (6, 7, 7) Skeins.
White No. 5000, all sizes, 1 Skein.

Knitting Needles:
1 Pair “Boye” Size 3 – 14 inch.
1 Pair “Boye” Size 5 – 14 inch.
It’s a Boye!

Because girls back then had too much fashion sense to wear such a tacky sweater.

Whoa, I stand corrected.
5 1/2 Sts. to 1 inch (Size 5 Needles)
7 rows to 1 inch

FRONT: With Size 3 Needles and Seal Brown cast on 100 (100, 110, 110) Sts. Work in Ribbing of K.1, P.1 for 3 1/2’’ (3 1/2’’, 4’’, 4’’) increasing 11 (17, 13, 19) Sts. across last row.

Sts. on Needle: 111 (117, 123, 129) Sts.

Change to Size 5 Needles and Stockinette St. Work 4 rows, then work from Chart No. 1 (below) as follows:

Okay, I see stunted fir trees, deceased deciduous trees, a couple of caribou, and...

Salacious Crumb riding on the carbonite-encased body of Han Solo?

Row 5–Seal Brown K.13 (16, 19, 22), join * White K.1, Seal Brown K.21 (carry White strand loosely across back of work, catching it about every 4th St. by inserting right hand needle in St., place White strand over the needle, the K. with Brown being careful to keep White in back), repeat from * across, ending Seal Brown. K.9 (12, 15, 18).

Row 6–Seal Brown P.5 (8, 11, 14). * White P.3, Brown P.1, White P.1, Brown P.1, White P.3, Brown P. 13, repeat from * across, ending Brown. P.9 (12, 15, 18).

Continue to work in this manner until design is completed, then break White strand, with Seal Brown work even until work measures 16 1/2’’ (16 1/2’’, 17’’, 17 1/2’’) from start (or desired length to underarm), ending with P. row.

To Shape Armholes: Bind off 10 Sts. at side edge, join White and start design from Chart No. 2 (see below) in 19th (22nd, 25th, 28th) St.
What do you mean, you can’t see the resemblance to a Star Wars creature? Why, just check out these skiers!

Clearly, Oola and Bib Fortuna are enjoying a well-deserved ski vacation!

Bind off 10 Sts. at beginning of next row, then decrease 1 St. each side 4every other row 3 times. When design is completed, break White strand and continue with Seal Brown until armhole measures 7 inches (measured straight from bound-off Sts. at underarm).

To Shape Neck: K.56 (59, 62, 65), slip these Sts. on St. Holder, on remaining 29 (32, 35, 38) Sts. work Right Shoulder as follows: Decrease 1 St. at neck edge every other row 5 times.

When armhole measures 8 1/2’’ (9’’, 9’’, 9 1/2’’),

To Shape Shoulders: Bind off 8 (9, 10, 11) Sts. at armhole edge every other row 3 times.
Leaving 27 Sts. at center on St. Holder, work Left Shoulder to correspond.

Neckband: With Size 3 Needles pick up and K 48 (52, 52, 56) Sts. across neck edge (including Sts. on St. Holder). Work in Ribbing of K.1, P.1, for 1 1/4 inches. Bind off loosely in Ribbing.

BACK Work same as Front until armhole measures same as at Front (working design from Chart No. 1 only and omitting neck opening).

Sts. on Needle: 85 (91, 97, 103) Sts.
But why, you ask, would Salacious Crumb be transporting Han Solo’s body across a frozen wasteland?

Obviously because Jabba the Hutt needed a new coffee table for his mountain top ski lodge.

Sheesh, do I have to explain everything?
To Shape Shoulders: Bind off 8 (9, 10, 11) Sts. at beginning of each of the next 6 rows. Change to Size 3 Needles and work remaining Sts. in Ribbing of K.1, P.1, as for Neckband on Front.

Right Sleeve: With Size 3 Needles cast on 48 (50, 52, 54) Sts. Work in Ribbing of K.1, P.1, for 3’’ (3’’, 3 1/2’’, 4’’) increasing 12 (14, 12, 14) Sts. across last row.

Sts. on Needle: 60 (64, 64, 68) Sts.

Change to Size 5 Needles and work in Stockinette St., increasing 1 St. each side every 10th row twelve times.

Sts. on Needle: 84 (88, 88, 92) Sts.

Work even until Sleeve measures 21’’ (21 1/2’’, 22’’, 22’’) (or desired length).

To Shape Cap of Sleeve: Bind off 10 Sts. at beginning of each of the next 2 rows. Start design from Chart No. 3 (below) on next row as follows: K.2 together, K.19 (21, 21, 23), join White K.5, Brown K.2, White K.6, Brown K.3, White K.13, Brown K.12 (14, 14, 16), K.2 together.

Oh no, it’s a Mugato!
Okay, technically Mugatos are from Star Trek and couldn’t possibly appear on a Star Wars sweater. But I wouldn’t argue about it with him.
Follow Chart for design and decrease 1 St. each side every other row 9 (11, 11, 12) times more, then bind off 2 Sts. at beginning of each row 12 times, bind off remaining 20 (20, 20, 22) Sts.

Work Left Sleeve the same, but reverse Chart No. 3, starting Row 1 of Chart as follows: K.2 together, K.12 (14, 14, 16), join White K.13, Brown K.3, white K.6, Brown K.2, White K.5, Brown K.19 (21, 21, 23). K.2 together (Dog on each Sleeve facing Front).

Sew shoulder seams. Sew Sleeves in place, sew underarm and sleeve seams.
What do you mean the creature in the chart is just a dog? It’s bigger than the skiers!

I certainly hope there aren’t any giant Mugatos roaming the mountains of British Columbia. That would add a whole new element of anxiety to this year’s Winter Olympics!

Ski, kid, ski! As fast as you can!

Click here for the printable pattern.

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