Retro Monday – Lux Book 1936

Lux Book 1936 is one of my favourite editions of the Lux Knitting book series, and it's not because I'm in love with the patterns (although they are lovely).

Inside the front cover of Lux Book 1936 is a little article about "hand knits abroad". It's a brief fashion update for the Australian reader and knitter about what's hot and what's not in London, Paris and the US.

The text is a bit hard to read from the image so I've typed it out below.

Hand Knits Abroad

The swankiest London fashion artists have issued a decree!  

Finely ribbed basques and cuffs are to be banished from woollies indefinitely. If you want woolly jumpers (and you must if you're going to be smart) then make blouses and tuck 'em in or continue the body rib down to the hip - and if you're truly, truly smart you won't wear a belt! You'll use wide rib and stocking-stitch, garter-stitch and moss , and you'll forget you ever heard the word lacy.

In America they use 2-ply wool and huge needles and turn out the most dashing garments in only an evening.

Of course - "cut" is still the most important thing - your woollies must have line. Necklines are still on the up and up and fairly simple at that. Embroidered monograms, wooden buttons buttons of bone and clear glass are also in the news; and Paris favours rich colours like earthy browns, warm greens, rust and wine shades. 

The Editor of this book has been in consultation as regards the latest aspects of knitting and crochet mode with the Knitting Editor of Vogue, the world-famous authority, whose new 7th Book of Knitting and Crochet has recently been published and is now obtainable throughout Australia.

That little bit of fashion news inside the front cover pretty well sums up the ladies' knitwear in Lux Book 1936. 

The front cover picture illustrates the outlined trends beautifully. The bottom has no band or welt, the fabric is made of wide ribs and the neckline is high with a fringed collar. I'm not a great fan of the fringes on the collar and cuffs though.

The picture in the top row on the right initially confused me. The caption is "Of course you can't take off your coat, but this is for the occasions when you don't really want to. Most economical, we think, and distinctly fetching". 

Initially I thought it was a dickie-front sort of knit but the pattern suggests you knit a complete neck and front as one piece and then put a fabric back on it. There are no sleeves so its basically a vest. I think I'd rather save up enough to make a the whole top out of angora so it could be worn without a jacket.

The three designs in the bottom row all feature (or consist of) neckline details. Bottom left is a jumper in a knit and purl chevron with a garter stitch scarf collar. This is the plus-size pattern from the issue, with a 38 and 1/2 inch bust! 

The bottom middle knits are both scarves of a sort. The kerchief and matching cuffs are very simple triangles made in bands of stocking and reverse stocking stitch, and the folded collar is more elaborate. 

The last picture I've included here (bottom right), has the high neckline approved by the fashion experts but it ignores the warning against ribbed waistbands.

There are 19 patterns in the Lux Book 1936, and they cover men's, children's and ladies' wear in garments and accessories. These books were so popular in their time, and I think the variety of patterns may have had something to do with it.

If you like the Lux Books you can see more of them on my Lux Books Pinterest board here.