Knitting gauges

Knitting gaugesKnitting needle gauges
made in England, 1940-50s

I am a knitter – and a collector – so naturally I have started to collect knitting needles gauges.

It’s sort of an amalgamation of my interests in the domestic arts- knitting- and technology. Here we have two aluminium gauges: the first is a bell gauge made by Emu, in England in the 1940s.

It’s a lovely anodised aluminium green: the Emu logo is a ball of wool with knitting needles for legs. It’s unusual in that it sizes needle gauges internally- rather than externally, which was the practice up to the 40s.

The second gauge is a ’D-shaped’ gauge by Stratnoid Aluminium – this being the brand name of Stratton & Co, Birmingham. The gauge is unusual in that it indicates imperial and metric sizes.

I have just discovered that collecting needle gauges is a thing: it’s not just me! I have collected a few since this image was taken….

The two gauges are for sale: $AU40

1925 children’s reader

Tommy's Ride on the Emu, 19251925 children’s reader
published in Melbourne, Australia

Tommy’s Ride on the Emu, written by J.A. Fletcher, is for children 8-9 years old. It’s number 311 in the Whitcombe’s Story Book series.

It is illustrated by ‘Prae’, which shorthand for Hans G. Praetorius. I haven’t read the story- I bought the book for that fantastic cover illustration. In the twenties, Australian’s were just starting to embrace nationalism – and this book cover exemplifies the new found confidence in our own flora and fauna – albeit with the startling idea that Tommy RODE an emu!

I have quite a collection of children’s readers- mostly due to pure nostalgia- these are the ones printed in the 50s through 70s that I read as a child. So when I came across this tome, written in 1925 – I had to collect it too. The book is in good vintage condition, and is still marked with the 1 shilling [1/-] price on the front!

It’s now for sale: $AU25

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Knitting gauges

Knitting gaugesKnitting needle gauges
made in England, 1940-50s

I am a knitter – and a collector – so naturally I have started to collect knitting needles gauges.

It’s sort of an amalgamation of my interests in the domestic arts- knitting- and technology. Here we have two aluminium gauges: the first is a bell gauge made by Emu, in England in the 1940s.

It’s a lovely anodised aluminium green: the Emu logo is a ball of wool with knitting needles for legs. It’s unusual in that it sizes needle gauges internally- rather than externally, which was the practice up to the 40s.

The second gauge is a ’D-shaped’ gauge by Stratnoid Aluminium – this being the brand name of Stratton & Co, Birmingham. The gauge is unusual in that it indicates imperial and metric sizes.

I have just discovered that collecting needle gauges is a thing: it’s not just me!

The two gauges are for sale: $AU40

A collection of 40s Australiana

Fowler Ware jug, tortoise shell knitting needles, Emu knitting pin gaugeFowler Ware jug
Tortoise Shell knitting needles
Emu knitting pin gauge, made in Australia 1940s

This collection was made in Australia in the 1940s.

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWII, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their graduated pudding bowls and jugs were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand. Here we have a 2 pint jug in yellow: it is marked as such in relief on the base.

The vintage tortoise shell knitting needles are much prized by knitters and artists alike : very collectable. Knitters like them because they are super flexible and so easier to work with, and artists refashion the needles into art / jewellery : see Etsy and Pinterest for examples. Because the material is so pliable artists use hot water to mould the needles into new shapes/patterns. This collection has twenty pairs of needles, up to needle gauge 6mm, which was the largest gauge made in this material.

And the Emu gauge is a classic bell-shaped gauge: its anodised aluminium in a fantastic green colour. It’s different from previous bell gauges in having the gauge holes in the middle, rather than the on the edge of the bell – and includes a tiny 1mm diameter hole for a size 19 needle. The logo of the emu as a ball of wool, with needles for legs at the top of the bell is a classic!

All three items in this collections are for sale separately:
The Fowler Ware jug : $AU40
20 pairs tortoise shell needles: $AU200
Emu knitting gauge: $AU25

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30s Australian tea spoons

30s Australiana tea spoonsAustraliana tea spoons
made in England 1930s

These 30s tea spoons are by turns nationalistic, kitsch, and utterly adorable.

The spoons are silver plated [ESPN] and very unusual- I haven’t found anything like them in my retro hunting travels.

Each spoon is unique- very unusual for the 1930s; the spoon heads feature different Australian animals- koala, merino sheep, kangaroo, lyre bird, kookaburra and emu; – and the handles are asymmetrical, fashioned to resemble a branch and being adorned with boomerangs and either a kookaburra or a koala.

And then the spoon bowls are all the same, as if the crazy handle was quite enough. Nationalism is all very well, but one must have a precise measure of sugar for one’s tea!