A Dutch 1940s knitting pattern booklet

14:09 Renée 5 Comments

Today I wanted to share one of my new acquisitions with you, a Dutch knitting pattern booklet I got from the Dutch version of eBay.

This is actually the first real vintage paper knitting pattern I own and I love the fact that my first pattern is a Dutch one. It's just a bit more special when something comes from your own country :)

The title "Brei-Ster-Serie" can actually be interpreted in two ways. "Brei" = knit, "ster" = star but "breister" = knitter (in female form). Serie just means series. So on the one hand the title says "Knit Star Series", but it also says "Knitter Series".

There are only five patterns in the booklet for ladies garments, the rest are babies, children and one for the men. But I love every single one of those five patterns. Especially the first two cardigans (cover and below) are just amazing!

What I thought was interesting is that these patterns work a little different from what we're used to. Usually a knitting pattern is designed for a certain size, or sizes, and will tell you to cast on a certain number of stitches and to work so many rows and decrease or increase a certain amount of stitches.

But not these patterns. These patterns go like this (I have deliberately translated it a bit literally to keep in the Dutch archaic use of language) :
 "After measurements have been taken, half the amount of cm of the hip measurement will be cast on (measured unstretched). Hereafter there will be knitted in stocking stitch for 2 cm in white wool after which one continues knitting in chart 15a. When the length to the waist has been reached (15 cm on our model) half the amount of cm of the waist measurement should be on the needle."

And just in case you are wondering: no, I have not left anything out. Those are the actual instructions up to the waist! Basically, their method is that you just measure your work while you are knitting. Seems like a very inaccurate method to me! (They don't mean swatching and then calculating because that is mentioned as an alternative method!).

Doesn't this guy just look dashing?!

Looks familiar

I just LOVE these illustrations of the back views! (click for bigger view)

So knitting one of these patterns will take some work since you basically have to calculate the entire pattern yourself, but I will definitely knit them at some point!


  1. Wow that is an amazing booklet, such lovely patterns and goodness those instructions are vague, knitters back then must have been very skilled indeed!!

  2. What a find! Gorgeous patterns! :-)

    MIss Beta

  3. What a beautiful find, I love the last two sweaters.
    I own some swiss knitting magazines from the 40ies, they do not count either, but give you what looks like pattern pieces in small. You can enlarge them (centimetres are given) on a piece of paper and you lie your knitting onto the paper every now and then and compare the size and proportions. I have only crocheted after this sceme, but it works quite well (at least for me, because I hate calculating patterns)
    Do you already know what you will knit first?

  4. Wow, that's a great booklet! I own some vintage knitting patterns but I have never seen such wonderful and complicated 1940's stuff. I have a 1930's booklet which comes with paper patterns to which you had to match the size of your knitting (no number of stitches given) and some of my 1950's patterns have you determine the number of rows to knit by measuring as go. With your patterns, with their intricate decoration, the measure-and-calculate method seems especially difficult.
    Best of luck with it!

  5. Lovely booklet! I'm jealous, I want it as well! Even though their knitting instructions are sh*t ;-)


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