Casually Italian

P&B woman's 1950s knitting pattern

Shelf Appeal doesn’t knit much but likes lots of knitting-associated bits and pieces. This pattern has long been hanging around because of the niceness of it. Also because it seemed it would be possible to identify the textile or wallpaper in the background.

Yet despite the onerous task of going through lots of different textile books on my shelves I can’t identify it. It looks like some of Henry Moore’s textiles. It looks like some of Ashley Havinden’s textiles. Then again it is probably a wallpaper, not a textile. And my days of having access to wallpaper books from the 1950s are sadly no more. So this remains simply a pretty thing.

The jumper to knit is also a pretty thing. Here in red, worn with a great red lipstick, black trousers and heavy bits of costume jewelry. It is, says the text: ‘Casually Italian – this easy-fitting sweater betrays its continental origin in the neckline, the new shapings and the deep hemline.’

This is rather apposite to the opening of the Italian Fashion exhibition at the V&A. Mind you, those big V&A exhibitions make me tired before I even go in. Two huge rooms of things as far as the eye can see and further than the feet can manage. Never mind the brain ache of trying to read and take it all in. I call this phenomenon ‘museum fatigue.’

I do, in my dotage, suffer more and more from museum fatigue. I prefer a smaller exhibition and a smaller museum. Just enough to raise a twinkle in the eye and an intrigue in the brain. Leaving enough energy to buy a postcard, a cup of tea and mayhap a slice of cake.

And also (to complete the chunter) those V&A exhibitions have a no photography, no nose scratching policy. Where is the fun in that?



Can’t help with identifying the background either, but I suspect we have the same choice books. There’s something a bit abstract-dentures about the design.

simon robinson

Well at least you have the option of visiting them without it costing three figures! Let’s spend the HS2 money on some more nice Northern outposts I say!


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