Vintage knitting patterns: download 300 patterns from 1849 and 2012

The best part of any knitting project is finding a pattern, buying yarn, and getting started.

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Then what usually happens is that the WIP sits with your other unfinished projects, watching you as you go in search of another knitting project.

It’s a vicious circle.

The internet is full of great knitting patterns to choose from, but why not take a trip down memory lane and turn to an online knitting reference library.

University of Southampton Knitting Reference Library

The University of Southampton Knitting Reference Library is now online and free to download. There are 300 knitting books published between 1849 and 2012.

Although we admit the patterns are quite old, it’s still a pleasure to browse through the collection.

vintage knitting patterns


Although the patterns have evolved over the years, the main techniques – knit, purl, increase, decrease, cast-on and cast-in – have remained the same.

What has changed is the style and the type of things people like to knit.

There are patterns for women’s gloves and stockings, there is also information on how to do it slippers made from old stockings, and “Carriage Sock”, which are intended to be worn over shoes. Both wouldn’t pique anyone’s interest today.

There are also many models of sweaters for men, which are definitely worth a look.

The the whole collection can be seen here.

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About Tracy G. Larimore

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