I Was a Mid-Century Look Away Knitting Pattern Model

Knitting pattern cover models were often distracted. But what by..?

A while back we introduced readers to the University of Southhampton’s online Knitting Reference Library, a treasure trove of knitting patterns, knitting journals, ‘stitchionaries’, knitting magazines and knitting books from 1849 to the present day. But before you get to the patterns, take a while to appreciate the cover models. And one trend among them features large: they are looking away from the camera, distracted by something more important. What? We can only guess…


knitting model

The Starsky and Hutch of knitwear modelling. Hutch drinks on the job while Starsky uses the same sound judgement that caused him to wear that cardigan to eye a possible crime scene.



This one was most likely repurposed from an evangelical Christian magazine.


This one’s interesting because of their differing reactions. Two seem worried, while yellow knit seems positively delighted.



Is he getting in or out of the car? Is someone else in the car – and if they are, what’s he about to do to them? If you notice your driver looking at you like this, get out and walk briskly away.



The knitwear is soft and comfortable. But the fist is clenched as he tries to block out the pain in his hips, knees and elbows.


Daytime drinking did this. But who is he looking at?


Father and son have got together to look at the negatives from last summer’s scout camp. But they’re not smiling at the same picture. The way dad’s slipped his hand in his pocket suggests he’s something else on his mind.



Goldfinger approaches. But Bond’s left his Walter PPK in his suit pocket.


This is what happens when you can’t get Richard Clayderman in time for the shoot, and aren’t prepared to delay things. Someone is shouting ‘Coo-eee, Richard’, but cynicism makes Steve reluctant to wave back.


What price he’s wearing knitted shorts and knee socks and checking out his reflection?


He’s enjoying the look of total inspiration in the bright eyes of a young Mike Myers.


Another in the father-and-son style. Real men tuck their thumbs into their knitwear. “Like this, son.” “This ok, dad?”


Our model could be a Cold War spy waiting for a knock on the door. But would Our Man in Havana really ask for the “Candytwist’?



This one features the rare presence of a woman, albeit a very small one so as not to alarm knitwear cover traditionalists and their union. She loves his playing. He loves something more. But what?


Yeah, he’s smoking. They banned that when more flammable manmade fibres took over from wool. He can see the future coming. And he’s unfazed by it.


Could be trouble. The local toughs have invaded the squash club. The one on the right is amused. His partner says ‘bring it on’.


A dollar says the one on the left is holding up a mirror. The one on the right can’t bear to look.


The local heartthrob captured during his performance as Baron von Trapp in the drama society’s production of the Sound of Music. He’s looking at Maria on the mountain top, which for reasons of budget and ceiling height is represented by a tall-backed wooden chair.


Photographer: Look left! No! My left!


Man on left: “This clue will be the death of me”

Man on right: “Did you ever get that crack in the ceiling looked at?”

Previously:  distracted male knitwear models.

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