Sunday, 19 February 2017

Adventures In Stitchcraft - Popular Culture In 1937

By early 1937, production, profits, and wages had regained their 1929 levels. Unemployment remained high, but it was slightly lower than the 25% rate seen in 1933. But the American economy took a sharp downturn in mid-1937, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. As unemployment rose again, consumer expenditure declined. This period was often called the Roosevelt Recession.

But people still wanted to have fun!

The 9th Academy Awards was held on March 4,1937, honouring films from 1936.

The winner of Best Picture was The Great Ziegfeld, a musical which still remains a standard in musical film making.

Best Actor was Paul Muni in The Story of Louis Pasteur.

Best Actress was Luise Rainier in The Great Ziegfeld.
On the evening of the Academy Award ceremonies, Rainer remained at home, not expecting to win. When Mayer learned she had won, he sent MGM publicity head Howard Strickling racing to her home to get her.

Best Song was The Way You Look Tonight from the movie Swing Time.

Still a wonderful song - and I cannot get enough of watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance.

In music, Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing was Number One on the charts. What a great Big Band song this is! Whenever I hear it, my feet start tapping and I can just see the swing dancing! Watch this video for some wonderful dancing!

And I was watching the movie Florence Foster Jenkins the other night and up popped this fabulous dance scene with Hugh Grant to Sing, Sing, Sing.
Fantastic movie, by the way - Meryl Streep is always amazing and Simon Helberg as her pianist was just perfect (and he really played all the pieces!)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves premiered at the end of 1937. It was the very first technicolor, full-length animated English language feature film to have been created and captivated audiences from the start.

And if you look in a toy or costume shop now, the Snow White costumes for sale still look like this!

Ronald Reagan made his film debut in Love Is On The Air.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was the top American fiction bestseller in 1936 and 1937. A poll conducted in 2014 found Gone With The Wind to be the second most popular book in the US, behind the Bible.

Some other books published in 1937 include:
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This 44 piece plywood farm set was a popular toy in 1937.

As was the Bottletot Baby doll.

Now, who is wondering which yarn I am using to make my rib jumper?
I think I always had my heart set on the blue yarn, especially as that is the yarn I started my last rib vintage jumper with (and then sadly lost the pattern!).

So Bendigo Woollen Mill's Athena it is!

This is a fingering weight/4 ply yarn, made of 85% wool, 10% bamboo and 5% silk. The colour is called Gunmetal.

For resizing the pattern, I am either following Tasha's wonderfully detailed tutorials, which you can find here.
And do check out the rest of her blog; there is also vintage sewing, hairstyle tutorials and much more. Tasha has even designed some knitting patterns - I just love her Victory beret!
Or, as I do not need to make it too much bigger, just going with a general % increase across the whole pattern. This is probably easier but less precise.

As I previously mentioned, I was able to find a reference to the yarn used in this pattern, Azalea crochet wool. However, sometimes you will not be able to find any information on the yarn used as it is long out of production. That is where the standard yarn weight system comes in handy. Your pattern will give you the needle size used and the tension/gauge required. You can then look them up in the chart and it will tell you the appropriate yarn weight. Also handy for modern patterns where you are unfamiliar with the yarn used.

So my vintage pattern here says UK No 10 (or 3.25mm, US 3) needles at a gauge of 8 stitches to an inch (32 to 4 inches). Using the chart, this translates to a fingering/sock yarn weight. Perfect!


  1. Gone with the Wind is an all time favourite.

    1. Love it - both the book and the movie! It is on my re-read list for this year.

  2. Wow so many great movies and music came out that year. So glad you settled on the blue yarn. With the weather cooling down its the perfect time to knit.

    1. There were so many greats that have lasted the test of time. I do love the blue yarn.

  3. 1937 was a great year for movies and books, wasn't it. I too love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. I saw LaLa Land the other week. It reminded me of a modern Astaire/Rogers movie. So happy the blue yarn won your nod of approval; it is a lovely colour.

    1. I will have to see LaLa Land then - I have been unsure what it would be like. I think I knew the blue yarn would 'win'; just had to audition some others to make sure!