Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Betty and Jean, 1948

My mother is perplexed by my vintage-inspired stitching. With so many cheap, easy-care fabrics available in the shops, ready-made into clothes, why do I bother with all this cotton and wool and "old-fashioned" designs?

However, it did mean that when she was spring-cleaning and found this photo of herself and my Aunt, taken the day before Aunt Jean's wedding in August 1948, she sent it to me for safe-keeping.

She knew I would be interested in their dresses. They were made of "lovat green" wool by a dressmaker in Edinburgh, with covered buttons as a decorative feature down the arms.

Not difficult to guess which one is my mother!

It is hard to look at that shy young woman in her Sunday Best and think that she became my mother. No wonder she finds my choices so bewildering!

So... from Betty and Jean to Betty Jean!

Here she is, posing with "Practical Mathematics For All"(my father's textbook from a similar era) which was pulled out of the cupboard in an attempt to make sense of parabolas. Fail.

Progress is slow, but I have reached the shoulder -shaping. There are steeks everywhere! The centre front, the armholes, the neck: every one a steek - eek!

I love knitting this cardigan. It is a celebration of my inner geek.

I fancy making this plaid skirt (top right) to wear with her.

Oh there I go, mixing my eras again!

It's funny how the 40's and the 70's seem to collide in my style imagination.

I will leave you with a piece of advice from "Practical Mathematics..." concerning the need to stick at it:

"As it were almost cricket - as it were even your play,

Weighed and pondered and worshipped, and practised day and day"

Uh huh.

I'll keep on knitting...


didyoumakethat said...

What a wonderful photo and story. Yes, your family likeness with your mum is very obvious!

Sigrid said...

Great photo. Isn't it funny looking at old pictures of our parents and cursing them for ever getting rid of their great old clothes?

I don't think the 30 and 40's are so out of synch with the 70's. It seems there was a big influence from those decades on 70's fashions as well as the outrageous mod look. And the quote: more perplexing than math.

Scruffybadger said...

Not that I stand the faintest chance of knowing if a steek is good or bad, I am assuming it's good because Betty Jean looks perfect to me. I can't wait for you to finish !! Can't you hurry up? And as for the plaid skirt - I know what you mean as a match for the cardi. I'm rifling through my wardrobe memories & feel certain it must have been a childhood memory of mine from the 70s- but am not totally sure if my memory is accurate ..... perhaps I am thinking of photos in Ladybird books?

Gabrielle said...

Have you considered making a dress or blouse like your mother's for yourself...?

Something with decorative buttons down the sleeves to wear with your vintage inspired work trousers.

It could be amazing!


feresaknit said...

Well I'm not surprised that book was no help with parabolas - that wouldn't have helped with 2 + 2! ;D

Segwyne said...

I seem to recall your successfully conquering steeks a few years back, with Manon, I think. If you did it once, you can certainly do it again. Stop letting them intimidate you. You are the knitter and you are in charge. :)

Jane said...

Oh I love their jumpers with buttons down the arms! And yes, there's no doubt whatsoever which one is your mother! x

christinelaennec said...

What a wonderful photograph, and yes no prizes for guessing who Roobeedoo Sr. is! I love the buttons and also the name of the colour of the wool: Lovat green. I'm glad you're enjoying all the steeks.