Vintage knit

This is a lovely couple – the year is 1947.

ben and Bonny  at train station 1947

They are young, and gorgeous. But they don’t look all that happy – you see, the girl, Bonny, is headed on a train trip with her grandmother, who is scheming to separate the young couple because this young man, Ben – well, he’s a “catch” — handsome, from a good family, with a job in the family business. Grandmother thinks a little separation will make him move on his intentions.

The dress – that is a hand-knit dress, custom-knit for the girl by her grandmother. And you know what? Bonny still owns that dress more than 60-odd years later. See?

Knitted dresses

This is well-knit – you can see that the knitter planned her pleats well.
Knitted dresses

Her waist treatment is pretty ingenious – all you have to do to keep it working is replace the elastic, which probably has happened in the last 60 years.
Knitted dresses

She also added in some cable-ribbing at the shoulders. Still looks great.
Knitted dresses

And those buttons are lovely.
Knitted dresses

There’s another dress like it (And a skirt too – but it’s black and doesn’t photograph very well):
Knitted dresses
Knitted dresses
Knitted dresses

The fiber is wool – probably some kind of bouclé yarn, by the feel of it. The dresses and skirt have stretched a bit, but they are still wearable! I am so impressed with the knitter, and the recipient for saving them all these years. Bonny gave her grandmother’s knitting needles to her niece recently – apparently they were made of bone!

And how about that couple – well, on the way back West, Ben and his father met Bonny and her grandmother in Arizona – no waiting until they got back to Pasadena. Grandmother’s scheming worked! By Easter they were engaged:
ben and bonny Easter Sunday 1947-2

They married, raised three children, had numerous grandchildren, and now a great grandchild, Myles:


Ben died last year at the age of 91 – he and my mom were birthday twins who celebrated their birthdays each year. He was a grand man. And Bonny is still a lovely woman, who can still wear the black skirt and one of the dresses. Because that’s how handknits knit with such love should be treated.

6 replies on “Vintage knit”

What a beautiful couple and an amazing story. I wish I could look that wonderful in a handknitted dress, and she must have a very good figure all those years to still fit into it!

Bonny forwarded me this article and I LOVE it. I’ve known Bonny all my life as my grandparents were friends with Ben’s parents. Our kids are 4th generation friends! I love all the stories of her and Ben’s romance and marriage as they were my parent’s best friends. I do some knitting too but not nearly to the quality and level of these beautiful dresses. Next time I see Bonny I will ask to see the dresses. Thank you for sharing…Debbie

Hi Debbie – that’s great! My parents met Ben and Bonny when they all lived in Temple City and their kids were young, and for many years we celebrated Christmas with the Parkers. They were friends for over 60 years! So great that all the kids in your families are friends too. Definitely ask to see the dresses – they are pretty impressive!

Christine, thanks for your comment – I think we met a number of years ago when you were staying with Sandy. Glad you enjoyed my sharing of their story!

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