Vintage 50s Knitting Pattern: Knit a Fringed Shawl!

While going through my vintage knitting patterns, looking for a shawl pattern similar to the green frilled shrug Kate Middleton wore grocery shopping, I ran across this beauty.  I guess I could say that it’s a 1950s version of Kate’s shawl.  I love how the model is depicted wearing this over her bathing suit at the beach!  Yup, just the place I would want to wear a warm stole. 😉  Anyway, who knows?  Maybe Kate is wearing a shawl at the beach on her honeymoon?

This pattern calls for all-purpose yarn, and is 28″ wide by 72″ long.  The knitting directions look relatively easy, and it gives detailed instructions for making the attached fringe.  It also gives instructions for those who are tall and wish to make the stole a little longer.

So happy vintage knitting, readers!  Let me know how it turns out if you decide to make it.  And pictures, please. 🙂

~Marilyn Huttunen

Download: Knit a Fringed Stole


Can We Bring Back a Little Mystery…Please?

Well it looks as though William and Kate have jetted off for their delayed honeymoon.  What surprised and pleased me is that I didn’t see any pictures of them waving as they disembarked on their romantic journey.  No one knows for sure, as of yet, where they are going either.  And I, for one, love it!  They seem to be conducted themselves with humble restraint…well, as humble as a royal can expect to be that is.

What’s wrong with a little mystery?  A little of not really knowing what is going on?  If every minute detail is revealed about a person, I eventually find it quite boring.  Celebrities are becoming quite mundane; between all their twittering and media attention, it usually is revealed that they pretty much lead as boring lives as the rest of us schmucks.  Extremely well-paid and probably more ill-mannered, granted, but there is just no intrigue for me to know that a celebrity is getting coffee, taking the kids to school, or schlepping around in sweatpants running errands.  I do and see enough of that in my everyday life.

I like to imagine them doing interesting celebrity things, like walking the red carpet, traveling to exotic locales, being on a great movie set, wining and dining, doing haute couture designer fittings, and supporting humanitarian causes.  Otherwise, leading the glamorous celebrity life that we imagine!

I wish for William and Kate, a private, romantic honeymoon.  I don’t feel the need to to see pics of their secret getaway; I am hoping that they manage to escape the media, at least briefly.  It’s probably too much to hope for, given the way of the world these days; but in any event, a little restraint certainly won’t hurt.

~Marilyn Huttunen



Vintage 1955 Knitting Pattern for Bolero Sweater Jacket

Okay, I found one more 50s knitting pattern for a short bolero jacket!  This one is really cute, with a stand-up shawl collar and cuff sleeves.  It is more fitted than the 60s bolero I posted.  This would look adorable knitted in angora, or some fluffy yarn.

This jacket is for sizes 12, 14, and 16.  These are vintage 1955 sizes which would be a 32″ bust for 12, 34″ bust for 14, and 36″ bust for 16.

I love these styles so much!  Happy knitting, and don’t forget to send me pics of the finished product!

~Marilyn Huttunen

Here is the pattern: Knit Jacket

Vintage 60s Kate Bolero Knitting Pattern

I found another fab vintage knitting pattern for a bolero jacket similar to Kate Middleton’s!  This one is from the 60s and calls for sequin trim – ooh la la. 🙂   I do find the most amazing things in my stash o’ stuff.  I’ll be posting more vintage sweater and shawl knitting patterns in the weeks to come because they are just too wonderful to keep to myself!

Vintage sizing is quite different, so please note that Size 12 is a 34″ bust.  Size 14 is 35.5″, Size 16 is 37″, and Size 18 is 39″.

I’ve heard from several savvy knitters who are going to attempt to make the 50s bolero I posted a few days ago.  This is very cool!  I am hoping that those who actually make these sweaters will send me a pic of the finished product.  Modeling it would be fab too!  So get out those knitting needles and goooooooo. 🙂

Here is the knitting pattern: Download


~Marilyn Huttunen



Princess Kate: A Most Practical Royal Fashionista

It’s been just over a week since the lovely royal wedding of Kate and William.  I thoroughly enjoyed the wedding; thought it was sheer perfection, not over the top with that fairy tale imagination that makes me want to barf.  You see, I think that Kate is secretly a practical fashionista.  But I think that her down-to-earth, decidedly un-fairy princesslike practicality is revealing itself pretty quickly.

They only had a quick weekend honeymoon, and then it was back to the military for William, and back to being a military housewife for Kate.  This was quite impressive to me.  I actually think honeymoons are highly overrated, especially after a royal wedding.  I’m sure with all the pomp, circumstance, and intense media attention for months on end, going back to their small home on the island of Anglesey must have felt incredibly freeing.  I feel that just getting back to some semblance of normal (or as normal as royals can get) is a great start to a marriage.

Then we see the pictures of Kate grocery shopping!  How ‘normal’ can you get?  Yup, pretty much all of us grab that shopping cart (or trolley) every week and do the mundane task of shopping for groceries.  Of course, she looks fabulous, even while doing a decidedly housewifely task.  Dressed in French Sole ballet flats, Hudson skinny jeans, long-line white cashmere sweater (jumper) and a green frilled shrug shawl – she looks incredibly chic.

It will be a delight to follow Kate’s escapades in the years to come.  If they are more of the commonplace variety, all the better.  We need more practical levelheadedness in this world.  And if she looks stylish while doing so, it will give us all a kick in the pants to make an effort to look good while running around doing errands.

Even though you are a royal princess, Kate, I admire your willingness to jump into the daily flow of everyday life with a smile on your face.  And from one Practical Fashionista to another, I say: Good on you!  🙂


~Marilyn Huttunen

That Oh-So Glorious Fluffy Angora!

With all the great sartorial hoopla surrounding Kate Middleton’s (ahem, Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) white angora sweater that she wore to the royal wedding reception, I thought I would talk a little more about angora.  First off, see that big white fluffy bunny rabbit pictured above?  That is an angora rabbit, and its exquisite hair is used to spin into angora yarn and then knit into garments.  Contrary to some who believe the bunny is harmed or killed to get its hair, it is a very gentle, natural process to harvest hair from those adorable bunnies.

Angora rabbits are specially bred for their long fur; they live long and happy lives while they grow their incredible fiber.  Angora rabbits molt about four times a year, and it is during the seasonal molt that hair is gently combed and removed.  They even purr while hair is being removed, so it must feel good to the bunny!

The angora fiber is amazing.  It is 7 times warmer than wool, more lightweight and much softer.  It has a natural fur-like halo and has many insulating and warming properties.  Plus it is just so doggone sensuous!  Nothing else quite feels like angora against your skin!

Since I buy and sell lots of angora sweaters, especially vintage angora, I have a lot of experience in caring for and washing them.  First off; never, never, never dry clean angora!  I know many labels say to do so, but don’t.  Angora is meant to be very gently washed in cool water and a mild washing liquid like Woolite – not bathed in a harsh chemical dry cleaning solvent.  Lay flat to air dry.  Never put it in the dryer – you will ruin it – the horror!

A gentle hand washing will leave your angora sweater sparkling clean and fabulously fluffy.  It will bring out the radiant beauty of the angora and will feel divine.  And so, gentle readers, start seeking out those wonderful angora pieces.  You are in for a delightful experience!

~Marilyn Huttunen