Vintage knitting patterns: the men’s edition

I have been thinking for a long time about knitting a vest or waistcoat for Doug.  This is for two reasons.  First, Doug keeps asking me to knit him a vest or waistcoat.  Second, and this should be obvious – no sleeves.  (I once wrote a post called “Do you love your husband enough to knit the sleeves?”) As a result, I have been keeping a close eye on men’s knitting patterns and specifically on vests.  I will write more about this in a future post.

Today, however, the subject of men’s vests came to mind (for all of the wrong reasons) while I was perusing through some of my rather large collection of knitting pattern books.  I stumbled upon this:


It is vol. 713 of brunswick mostly male.  I cannot believe that these pamphlets were released without dates, but I would guess this one was produced sometime around 1972. In it, one can find some wonders, like this knitted 2-piece pantsuit:


Or this amazing purple ribbed pullover (paired with spectacular swim trunks!):


The photos often include drinking (anyone venture to guess what this manly drink is?):


And smoking:


And smoking and drinking at the same time:


And yes, there are also vests.  I love this blue one.  The pose just cracks me up: look at that hair!  The scarf!  The pine tree he is mysteriously hovering over!


Then there is this tiger-striped vest with the belt loops.  How suave!


My favorite is this one:


“What,” I asked Doug, “is that belt made of?”  “Those are bullet casings,” Doug replies “with one bullet pointing at his d*ick.”  Hmm…..perhaps my long search for a pattern to knit for Doug is over.

25 thoughts on “Vintage knitting patterns: the men’s edition

  1. those are just too… too… those are amazing. I hope you find some different patterns for your husband’s vest. 🙂 Interesting that the booklet was bought in Maine, I wonder if that shop is still around? 🙂

  2. Oh dear heavens, thank you Kelly, for the BEST chuckle I’ve had in I don’t know when!!! Please, tell me that our current “trendy” knitting styles and designs will not look quite so ridiculous in 40-odd years from now…

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if they looked totally ridiculous. Then again, there was something particularly ridiculous about 70s fashion; I was a teenager in the 70s so of course lived through this period. I cringe when I see some of the old photos.

  3. That was too much Kelly! Vintage overload for sure. Goodness the 70’s were out of this world. I knit my cat a scarf and hat with that tiger-stripe yarn. I must have been 5 or 6 at the time, but I remember it so well. I loved knitting with it, watching the colours change from round to round. Barbie and Skipper got matching accessories too. That ball of yarn got me hooked onto knitting.

    That lightning bolt sweater with matching pompom hat though? Unreal. Is he drinking a lava lamp LOL? I think it’s a bloody Mary, or being Canadian, a superior bloody Caesar. After 2 or 3, we call them bloody seizures in our group.

    I’m also holding out for that elusive pattern for Eric’s sweater. He complains he’s always left out. I’ve narrowed it down to Scottish Ale by Cheryl Beckerich, but like Doug’s sleeves, I’m not sure I love my man enough for cables LOL! It’s in the queue though, plus I have the yarn so my excuses are few.

    Hope you are having a wonderful spring!

    • How lovely to hear from you, Ann! And what a great mental image, of your cat in tiger-striped gear. This could be a Caesar, I guess, but I think your lava lamp suggestion wins the prize. I looked up Scottish Ale, and it is a great men’s sweater, but I think I would need to drink a lava lamp or two before knitting Doug one!

  4. I was putting up blinds with my husband and both of us were on the verge of losing our tempers when we took a break to read this. You cheered us both up so much, you might have just saved our marriage! Thank you Kelly (and Doug) x x

  5. Thanks for this awesome trip through retro men’s knit wear. Wow! I actually really like that purple ribbed ‘swimming shirt’ and the lightning rod sweater. And that tiger vest with the belt-loops –
    incredible! I hope you find the vest pattern you are searching for. 🙂

    • It’s definitely styled to look like Roger Moore, from “The Saint” period, including the fancy skiing lodge and the shag carpeting, the cigarettes, etc. Though this isn’t Roger Moore, I remember seeing somewhere that he had worked as a knitwear model at some point.

  6. I think we are buying the same knitting patterns…. I’ve been amusing myself with that book for years. I especially love male knitting pattern poses – I’m still waiting to meet a man in a cardigan staring into the middle distance while hunkering down on one knee, for no good reason. Thanks for the giggle – think I’ll get the vintage patterns out next time I have a dinner party.

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