Those Swell Vintage Mary Maxim Hand Knitted Wool Sweaters!

Vintage Mary Maxim Knits CatalogI’ve always had a hankering for those wonderfully kitschy, yet amazingly stylish Mary Maxim knitted sweaters.  I cannot pass one up if I see it in a thrift store; they are like magnets pulling me toward them!  It’s so fun to see a bright, bold design on an incredibly warm and functional item.  I got this great vintage 50s/60s Mary Maxim knitting catalog that shows a lot of the fab and funky designs of the era.  How neat to pick out your yarn, pick out your style, and knit it up yourself!


Vintage Mary Maxim SweatersMake a statement!  Knitted with Mary Maxim Northland Wool that was made in Canada from the best blends of New Zealand and Canadian virgin wools.  I especially love the Hockey Player, the Jet Plane, and the completely awesome Archery Target!  (The pics don’t seem to be showing fully on my post, so just click on the pics for a full view.)


Vintage Mary Maxim Sweaters 2These are quite fabulous too – love the Curling, Totem Pole, Reindeer, and the super cool Bowling one!


Vintage Mary Maxim Sweaters 3For the ladies, it’s a little more subdued (drat!).  I do like the Snowflake and the Dancing Ice Skaters.  If it were for me to chose though, I’d actually chose one the men’s designs.


Vintage Mary Maxim Wool Yarn SamplesYou got to pick out the wool color with these groovy yarn samples.  Too cool!


Maybe I’ll find the fab Bowling or Archery one at a thrift store.  Wish me luck!  😀

~Marilyn Huttunen


7 Responses to “Those Swell Vintage Mary Maxim Hand Knitted Wool Sweaters!”

  1. Marie

    Love the article! I have the “Reindeer” pattern and would love to knit it. To tell the truth, I’ve had the pattern for about 5 yrs now, so I’ve run out of excuses, ha ha. Actually, I have to find a substitute for the Northland Wool yarn, which Mary Maxim no longer makes.

    I loved looking back at how this was marketed to the crafters – thanks for that!

  2. Connie Hesher

    My Aunt and Mom used to make those sweaters when we lived in alaska in the 70s and 80s. And I’ve made a few. The adult ones we made of wool, the childrens we did in an acrylic yarn. I’m substituting with a Lion Brand acrylic yarn, that has the same bulkiness. Working out great so far. Just not as many plain or solid colors to choose from. Thinking I’ll have to order from a Canadian company to get the thicker bulky wool for some of the adult ones I want to make.

  3. Joyce Harland

    I want to knit 2 bulky Mary Maxim sweaters. I have knit many in the 50’s and realize Mary máxim doesn’t produce that yarn any more. Where can I buy the patterns. I like the Saranac 507 pattern and where can I buy the wool for this. I live in Manitoba Canada. I want to make 2 adult sweaters for my son and daughter in law.

  4. finnfemme

    Hi Joyce,
    I think your best bet for finding vintage Mary Maxim yarn and patterns would be searching for them on eBay or Etsy. Good luck!

  5. Selena

    My husband’s grandmother was a single mom in the late 50s/early 60s. She earned side money knitting and knitted sweaters for all 4 of her kids, grandkids, and even some great-grandkids before passing away 2 1/2 years ago. She taught me to knit as a newlywed nearly 18 years ago so when she passed her daughter gave her stash to me. I have about 2 dozen or so patterns for children, teens, women, and men from the 50s to the early 90s. Nearly all of them are Mary Maxim. I also have boxes of yarn and a couple of UFOs.
    I’m trying to find comparable alternative yarns to knit up new sweaters for my kids who have outgrown her knits for them and can’t wear their dad’s old ones (they’re getting pills) and I stumbled on your post. Love the photos! I’m hoping to use the yarn to make the Reindeer sweater for my son, but as was said earlier, Northland is discontinued. 🙁

  6. Paul Long

    Mary Maxim patterns These old Vintage Cowichan Jackets are available as downloads on the Mary Maxim site

  7. Darlene

    Can anyone tell me how to clean a Mary maxim bulky knit sweater from the 80s…..I think it’s wool ….can it be hand washed or only drycleaned

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