Saturday, April 17, 2010

Old Books

The Judge is a real bibliophile, and he haunts bookstores much like I haunt yarn shops.  He has an endearing habit of picking up books for other people, and here are a couple by Barbara Abbey he gave me.

This small book was first published in 1949 by The Studio Publications, Inc., and revised by The Viking Press in 1962.  The price on the dust jacket is $2.00. It's still available here.
It has lots of good instructions in it, two sock patterns (one plain and one argyle) and a sizing chart for men and women.  The sizing chart has not changed for men, as whoever made it was sensible enough to go by chest size.  The women's sizing, however, is a horse of a different color.  For instance, a size 34 bust equates to a size 14.  It's possible that the sizing people (whoever they are) figured women could quickly calculate and remember the sizing.  But more likely something else was going on there and I won't even begin to suppose what it was. Anyhow, size is just a number.  It's the fit that matters.

Here's another book by Barbara Abbey published by Viking Press in 1971.  It's a book club edition, so there is no pricing listed.  Recent pricing at Amazon is around $50 and up
I didn't find a lot of information about Barbara Abbey online.  The dust jacket says she received a Bachelor of Music degree from Yale and played violin in symphony orchestras before pursuing knitting as a career.  This book is filled with information, such as knitting terms and abbreviations, with translations from French, German, Spanish and Swedish.  About a third of the book is devoted to a gallery of stitches with black and white photos.

Neither of these books is listed in Ravelry's library, alas, but her book, "Knitting Lace" is there.

Still knitting...


Andrea Vlahakis said...

Can you believe it, but I have a copy of Abbey's Complete Book of Knitting--Viking Press, copyrighted 1971, but not a book club edition. I picked it up a long time ago, used. Someone cut off the original price, but there's $9.95 on the back cover (it's also what I paid for it). I'm not sure that's the original price, though. Old knitting books are a great find. Thanks for this post.

Kym said...

What great finds! :-) I collect vintage sewing patterns -- and they line up size-wise with what you've described in the knitting books. I guess we've "down-sized" ourselves over the years!