Friday, 6 February 2009


I thought I'd be writing about something else today but then I came upon a very interesting discovery and decided to change my plans. My philosophy is to always change the plan when I think I have a better idea. You should try it sometime. It never works! The first idea is always better! :)))

But I intend to include a few extremely precious love advices in this post (free of charge!) so I think you'll be just fine!

Now, seriously- as I have mentioned in one of my previous post, I have a huge knitting magazines «library» and that pile of old charts and pictures is one great source of inspiration. I believe that this very moment, I could drain enough fun (and funny) material from it for the next at least 10 posts. And I will surely talk about them often! But this post is about something “NEW”, even for me.

Besides searching for patterns and explanations (at least in magazines printed in languages I can actually understand), the most amusing thing in turning these pages over and over again is the possibility of meeting with The Past- one on one- and seeing how rapidly things change! But also - how easily they are revived with time. It's almost like a time machine. One year I open the "year 86.” and I can't help but laughing out loud to what people back than used to think was actually cool. I wake up a year later and suddenly all these funny ladies from the ’86. issue are running into me in the street; their sweaters, legwarmers and bows are screaming that the OLD funny ’86.- is back! It’s IN again! It usually takes these garments about 4 years after they’re OUT (one more time) to gain the “can that be???” label in my perception again. It’s interesting, actually, that I generally never find blouses from, say, 70's or 60's to be funny- it’s always the 80's that make my day! Which is funny because I quite fancy that 80's hysteria and Cindy Lauper style. I was a kid when these things were IN and anything I’d see grown up women wearing at the time looked beautiful. I guess I still have that code hidden somewhere in one of the trunks in my brain. Pink eye-shadow, yellow lipstick, haircuts higher than the Eiffel tower....not the plastic earrings, though. I'll never digest those.
Of course - the suggested garments were, more or less, always the same; sweaters, shawls, hats, dresses, cardigans…only, each time they were “rediscovered”in the spirit of the present time, “re-painted” into more fashionable colours, “redrawn” into more acceptable designs; baggy, stretchy, loose, tight, bell-shaped, narrow, round, square (SHOULDER PADS!!!!!)…

So- this is how it generally goes- things from my magazines are either IN or temporarily and momentarily OUT. The first category is then divided into two subcategories- NEW IN (rare!) and RETRO IN which, translated into plain words, means- OLD and revived. Only now MODERN.

Well known "old" garments but a bit changed and adjusted. All but one! The one that has managed not only to survive but to preserve its authenticity and original shape (and drape) AND to stay IN regardless of the fashion era it is currently walking through.

Do you know who the mystery survivor is? Mr. YOKE Sweater (and his friend Mr.YOKE
Cardi, naturally!). I'll never know how HE does that but no one changes Mr. YOKE!
It is not, of course, always AS popular! In the 70's - everything was pretty much "yoke, even dresses and skirts, shawls and totes. In the 80's there were at least 2-3 patterns in each magazine plus I believe it was then that they invented yoke socks. I don’t think you'll find more than one Yoke sweater per issue now days but – Mr. Yoke sees absolutely no reason not to show up as a priority guest in a 2000.-something Vogue knitting winter issue. Or to be made from pure cashmere by Debbie Bliss. Still alive. And still original! Mr. Yoke!
Let' me share some of the pictures with you!
(You can enlarge each picture by clicking on it)

I'm starting with the late 80's, a bit upside-down but it doesn't really matter. The book was called "Master Knitting- 59 Most Beautiful Sweaters in the World" (+100 stitch pattern samples), nothing sensational, very "shoulder pad-ISH" , yet- among 59 most beautiful sweaters of the era, I have found 10 Mr.Yokes! My book is from the '88. but I think that the first edition was published earlier i the 80's.

If it weren't for these purses, I could swear this picture was taken only two or three years ago.
A.N.D. here come pink plastic earrings!

And a cardi, of course! This girl looks funny, doesn't she? And so does my finger in the bottom left corner of the picture!

A ribbon? In hair? Didn't I tell it was like travelling in a time machine?!

They don't come in black very often, that's why I like this one- especially the white dots! And this lady is so beatiful if I may notice.

As for the second one- that's my favourite! The colours are outstanding! So lovely!
The year is 1986.

What could the two of them possibly be looking at?
(Earrings again!!)

They had those too! "All inclusive" packages! A Yoke sweater plus a pair of legwarmers and a hat with the same pattern!

Year 1982.

Don't know how to find THE MAN OF YOUR LIFE and you're a passionate knitter? Just put your favourite hand made YOKE sweater on (cardigan will do as well) and go out for a walk! What you're looking for is a man in a yoke sweater (similar combination of colours - preferable!). Once you spot him- smile at him- he will surely approach you and ask the following question :" Did you make that sweater yourself?". Answer him with a plain and loud "YES!". To that and to any other question he may (and will) ask you in the future.

Just look at these two! Isn't that just the perfect example of what I have just been telling you?

She hasn't had her hair done in over a year and she couldn't care less! She is in love, he is in love with her and they're wearing Yoke sweaters! (Didn't I also say how important a similar taste in colours is? )
Year 1986.

Now, look at these two! He hasn't had a decent hair-cut in a year and still- she loves him. (Though I'm not really optimistic about relationship given that she was obviously not paying enough attention to the matching colours "rule"! But this is another evidence that cardigans work as well!)
I like these two youngsters (who are now probably 70 years old!).
The picture is from a magazine published in the 1977.

And, finally, it's 1990. and the yoke cardi is still in the game.

I'll skip the modern part of the history, you probably have enough evidences of the presence of Mr.Yoke in the contemporary fashion yourself.


1. It's timeless
2.It has won more battles with the fashion changes than any of my neighbours will ever win with me (I don't care people could not escape from the building in case of fire because of my plants)
3. It's a great thing to wear when you want to be dressed casually
4. You can make a tight yoke sweater and look sexy
5. You can make a tight yoke cardi and unbutton it (just a bit) and everyone will tell you you're sexy
6. You can make an over sized yoke sweater and still look cool
7. You can wear the over sized yoke sweater when his mother invites you over for dinner
8. Every mother would want her son to marry a girl in a yoke sweater
9. You can always wear the tight yoke sweater when his mom is not around (the unbuttoned version)
10. You can't really call yourself a Knitter if you still haven't made your first yoke cardi/sweater
11. Barbie and Ken wear Yoke sweaters

I believe my point has been made!

I'm taking my Yoke sweater out of the closet right away. No, I didn't make it, my mom did, somewhere in the 80's and it was for her. (It's got hearts!) She made a small cardi version for me and my best friend- I remember they had dears on the bottom and they were brown-white-pink. We LOVED them- they looked reminded us of black&white chocolates with strawberry filling. I'll find mine one day, it's still somewhere in the house. (I don't think I'll fit into it any more, though! :) )

These sweaters really do last for ages, don't they?


  1. OK, you've won me over. I've had a yoke sweater in my RAvelry queue for a little over a year now. I might just cast on. How could I not, with all the reasons you listed? ;-)

    I really like the one your mom made, especially the design around the sleeves and the collar.

  2. Lol :DDD What a post! I don't know where mine is (from early 80s, child size) but my father-in-law wears one as his home outfit all the time! Regardless of the weather (except for the really hot summer months) or the occasion. The sweater is in such a state that you can't really tell its age - due to such heavy wear, it seems older than him :)

  3. Auuu, koliki post !
    I to na engleskom, lele majko moja, dok procitah..... :)
    Nego, zar ovakvi dzemperi ne sire ramena, pa ih mogu nositi samo mrsavi ?

  4. Thanks, girls, and sorry about all the mistakes in the first version. Word check is of no help for dyslectyc mistakes.And I was obviously severly dyslectyc yesterday! (A doubled paragraph!!!??? )
    I've seen a man wearing one very old yoke just the other day (beautiful shades of blue)- some parts are now basically felted but it still looked ok. it's a great thing to make when you're a bit short on yarn- use that yarn for the main part and leftovers for the collar and, edgings.

    (Honeysuckle- keep that list in mind the next time you decide what to knit!) :))))

  5. Eeee, što ne volU fotografi da čita'u!!! pša, što nisi gledala slike?! :)))))

    Pa, nemam pojma, pravo da ti kažem, za ramena- meni nekako malo izgledaju spuštena više nego široka u tim džemperima ali moguće da ima neka estetska caka zbog tog kruga. Ja znam da su me smao malo nervirali kad sam bila mala jer je šara manje elastična zbog prenošenja vunice iza rada a tu najviše treba da bude elastičan kad si decov pa da možeš svašta da vataš rukama! :))))

  6. Ja sam ovakav džemper imala kao klinka, tada su u modi bili "Sirogojno" džemperi i bili su skupi, užas jedan. Moj je nesrećenim slučajem završio u mašini za pranje veša (htela sam da pomognem mami i iznenadim je!), pa se skupio k'o za lutke. Eh, da sam znala za filcanje:)!

  7. SirogoJNci su još skupi. Oni nisu normalni! Još ih prodaju nekad na betonu ispred Beogradjanke a koštaju ko oni Krajsleri iza u izlogu! :)

    Mama je jednom ženi vrata do nas isplela fantastičnu končanu bluzu (100% pamuk) dvobojnu a boje su se ukrštale u sredini u pletenici. I ova je momentalno oprala na 70 st. i iscentrifugirala!
    QQ!!! Mi smo imali kuhinjskih krpa koje su izgledale elegantnije od te bluze!

  8. Nemam volje pisati komentar na engleskom ... dok si ti bila dijete u 80-tima, ja sam već bila djevojka, tako da su 80-te godine moje mladosti. Kad se samo sjetim mode uhvati me smijeh - prve džempere sam upravo u tom periodu oplela i možeš si misliti sada pun ormar džempera vrištećih boja s napuhnutim rukavima i podignutim ramenima ... Ipak, džempere s norvečkim uzorkom nikada nisam imala ambicije plesti, moja ramena su dovoljno široka i bez da dodatno privlačim pažnju na njih pletenim uzorkom ;-)

  9. Adorei seu blog!!! I'm from brazil and a friend of mine show me your blog! Very good! In brazil we also have this, but it's not so common because we have a hot country... i like it! Take care!


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