The Ravelled Sleeve.

By Alison July 16, 2006 No Comments 3 Min Read


By Angela Milne.

The Women of Punch 1961.

Scrap that cumbersome old knitting machine, wives and Mothers! Knit the modern way, with bare hands! Buy one of those ingenious sausage bags with a zip to catch the wool in, look for the amazing row-counting gadget now reaching the shops and integrate your knitting with the busy life of the modern woman!

Here to begin is a simple pattern:



Casting on. Choose one of these methods:

(a) Unmake bed, surround with shoes, budgies, recorders, galley proofs, dead hats. Take hank 5-ply khaki wool, without winding, chuck a likely number of st. on any two old needles, K1, P! till the telephone rings*, shove in a drawer, leave 6 months.

(b) Make all beds, dust, sweep, cook, re-cover sofa, make handy firebox. Wind wool, sit down, look at clock, come to senses. Repeat from*,

19th Row, i.e. 1/4 in. up rib and getting sooty. K1, P1 for 7 rows, pausing to give date Armada and laugh antics cloth spaceman, continue up to 1/2 way next row, see U.S.A.F. hutaments flying past window, realize train due seaside any minute, do not K to end of row but merely drop needle, stand on wool.

38th Row, i.e. row counter now fixed. With approach of winter and end of rib, wait till fireside evening when husband and friend are discussing a tv star you’ve never heard of , and get cracking with a bovine half smile to indicate you’re not intellectually up to the talk. This is of course, the only talk a modern woman isn’t intellectually up to, so make the most of it.

55th Row, Test for non shrink properties by washing where wool got fried- along with the no-trouble paella chihuahua you were stirring miserably for your simple little dinner.

60th Row, Open handbag, look furtively around B.B.C studio where are waiting voice test Womans Hour talk "Heligoland Holiday", decide as have been abandoned 90 minutes, can risk it. Take out knitting, get caught in act of pulling off now fluffy wine gums.

53rd Row. Unpick another 5, reflect on (a) breadth modern education trends, (b) how in hell do you reach left handed boy to knit?

54th Row, *K to end of row, P next row, rep from*1018 times, cast off neck, rise, join fellow passengers for plane.


Casting On. Fewer stitches than front as are now knitting the thing for a friend’s child in compensation taking bookshelves (own) off friend who returning from F.O. job abroad must let house so as pay to live. Child growing fast remember.

35th Row. Being now on treadmill with a deadline, why not learn to read and knit together? Choose for double profit some book you would not otherwise have got near, e.g. 1000-pager American Civil War Renaissance Resistance, Howard Spring. P1, glance 1st sentence, rep. pattern. rep. glance. Drop knitting, sieze book, tear meaning from word-tangle with gritted teeth. Rep. process for 1st 4 pages. roll knitting neatly, place in drawer.

214th page. Persuade husband to start book, return to household duties, buy friend’s child latest synthetic twin set, buy self do., divide wool among family for pea-sticks, egg-cosies, toy harness and just winding round the garden.

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