It’s been a while since I reviewed one of my vintage pattern books so here’s a new one.

1-frontcoverWhile most of my vintage patterns are from the sixties this one is from the late seventies, not really my era, although it looks a bit earlier.

Spinnovations 19 was published by the Spinnerin Yarn Company in New Jersey in 1979 and it looks like the photo shoot might have taken place right there. The photos are like something out of the early seventies TV cop show Mod Squad.

I picked my copy up on Etsy for about $4, mainly because it seemed to have several classic men’s patterns — which is exactly what it says on the cover.

Here come the basics — vests and raglans. Always in fashion to complement today’s movin’-on lifestyle. Sizes small to extra large in four yarn weights. Yours…

This is such a clever concept and it features in many American pattern books from this period where every design is available for multiple yarn weights and sizes so you just plug your yarn gauge into the pattern to find the one that will work for you. And, being from the seventies, the sizes work out for those chaps like me who are not built like rugby players although it also caters for sizes up to a 56 inch chest so there’s something for everyone really.


Every pattern is written for yarn gauges of 28, 24 and 20 stitches to 10 cm/4 inches with a couple of patterns also available for chunky weight yarn. The only problem with these American pattern books is that there’s rarely a gauge for standard DK, 22 stitches, which is probably the most common yarn weight in Australia, but with all the gauge and size options it would be pretty simple to plug in the numbers and make it work (as Tim Gunn would say). The photos are really just ideas to get you started and these refer you to the basic pattern that was used and show you how it was adapted.

And isn’t this marvelous!? I have never seen detailed schematics like these in any other pattern book!


vestThere are also tips on adjusting patterns, such as how to adjust the stitch count if you are working with a stitch pattern repeat that doesn’t quite match the number of stitches in the pattern.

I think a men’s vest in a sport weight yarn might make a good first project from this book.

As to actual knitting, I’m not sure that my grey tweed cardigan is really part of a “movin’ on lifestyle” but I am now onto the button band so I’m hoping the next blog post might actually feature pictures of it finished.


2 responses to “Spinnovations

  1. That photo shoot is gold. Worth the $4 even without the patterns!

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