Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Teach Yourself to Knit the Easy Columbia Minerva Way

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This week’s pick: Teach Yourself to Knit the Easy Columbia Minerva Way.

Source: Found in my mom’s collection when she moved.

Publication date: 1968.

Status: Out of print and expensive online.

Condition: This booklet has a fair amount of wear and tear.

Craft: Knitting.

Minerva cover

This interesting booklet came into my collection when my mom moved recently.  She found it in with her books but doesn’t remember how she originally picked it up.  I would guess that it may have been a gift to her as a teen, but maybe she just picked it up as a vintage book later.

This is one of those “teach yourself to knit” guides that are usually found in the big box stores.  According to internet gossip, Columbia Minerva yarn company has been out of business since the ’80s and may have been the parent company of Caron.

Two things stand out for me in this book (beside the vintage hair styles and fashions).  Apparently the Columbia Minerva “way” was to avoid pattern abbreviations.

Minerva intro


Part of a pattern, with no abbreviations.
Part of a pattern, with no abbreviations.

And the other thing (you may have already noticed it) is the use of “talking babies” for comic relief throughout the booklet.

Minerva funny baby


Minerva funny baby2

My sense is that the intended audience was young, married mothers, and the book was supposed to include all the beginner projects a hip young mom in the late ’60s would want to knit…

…such as fashionable bonnets…

Minerva chick smiling
Nice mini skirt!

…dog sweaters…

Minerva dog sweater

…matching children’s outfits…

Minerva family
I love the mother’s ‘do!

…a pastel vest for your hubby…

Minerva man vest

… and awesome bonnet and mitten sets for your younger, teenage sisters.

Minerva mittens and headbands

Do you have a favorite “how to knit” book or booklet?

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