Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Golf club cover pattern from Beehive Knitted Wear for Men, published by Patons & Baldwins Limited, Toronto, c. 1940.

Just look how rugged and active these handsome men are, Mildred thinks. Why all she has to do is knit up one of these sweaters or vests, and Bob will surely take up hunting or yachting. Some manly pursuit, anyway. He’ll become the dreamboat she’d always wanted, a virile, confident man like Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart, who’ll whisk her away to cocktail parties and soirees. Instead of the pushover she married, who got drunk last Father’s Day and spent the night weeping over his lost youth, face first in Mrs. Neely’s begonias.

But then Millie opens the magazine, looks at the live models’ faces, and she’s no longer so sure.

Golf club covers, she decides. She’ll make him some golf club covers for this year’s Father’s Day. Then Bob will have to learn to golf, and he can go out onto the links with his boss, and maybe he’ll finally get that damn promotion.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Golf Club Covers


Beehive Wool String, 2 oz. Blue, 1 oz. each Red, White (or you may use your odd ends of wool string for the stripes)
I have no idea what weight “wool string” might be, but with a gauge of 10 sts to a single inch, it’s probably similar to sock yarn. After all, they do somewhat resemble socks. For men with truly terrible bunions.
Set of No. 14 “Aero” Steel Knitting Needles.


Length of shaft cover, 8 ins. Length of head cover, 3 1/2 ins.
Yeah, they all claim their shaft is 8 inches ...

10 sts. = 1 inch

Check Tension – see page 42.
Oh, all right!
Alas, you can no longer write to Patons & Baldwins as they were bought out in 1961 by J.P. Coats, who are now owned by the Guinness Peat Group. Which means that now “in case of difficulty”, your best bet is to have a wee pint of stout.
No. 1 Cover for the Driver:

With Blue wool cast on 48 sts. (16. 16. 16).
Surprise! You’re knitting in the round!
Work 8 ins. ribbing (K2, P2).

Next row: *K1. Make 1 (by knitting thread between the 2 sts. on previous row). K1. P1. Repeat from * to end of round. (72 sts.). Work 1 1/2 ins. ribbing (K1, P1).

To make Stripe: Join White wool. Knit 1 round plain. Join Red wool. Knit 2 rounds plain. Join White wool. Knit 1 round plain. Join Blue wool. Knit 1 round plain. Continue in ribbing (K1, P1) for 1 1/4 ins. Divide sts., 36 sts. on 1st needle, 18 sts. on 2nd needle, 18 sts. on 3rd needle. Proceed:—
Red, White and Blue. You’d think a Canadian publication could have picked a more Canadian colour scheme. Like the green, red, yellow and indigo of a Hudson’s Bay blanket, surely that won’t clash with his golf pants.
**1st needle: K2tog. through back of loops. Rib to last 3 sts, K2 tog. K1. 2nd needle: K 2 through back of loops. Rib to end of needle. 3rd needle: Rib to last 3 sts. K2tog. K1. ** Repeat from ** to ** to 32 sts. in round. Graft sts. See page 44.
Sigh. For the record, this is what page 44 says...

Divide the stitches equally on two needles. With the wool at one end and with the right side of the work facing, break off the wool, leaving a length of several inches, and thread this with a wool needle. * Inserting the wool needle, as if for knitting, into the first st. of the front needle, draw it through the st. and slip the latter off the needle: inserting the needle as if for purling, into the second st. of the front needle, draw the wool through and let the st. remain on the needle: taking the wool under the front needle and inserting the wool needle, as if for purling, into the first st. of the back needle, draw the wool through this st. and slip the latter off the needle: inserting the needle, as if for knitting, into the second st of the back needle, draw the wool through and let the st. remain on the needle, bring the wool forward under the needle and repeat from * until all sts. are worked off, darning in the end of the wool securely when finished.

Or you could just sew a goddamned seam.
Okay, that last sentence was mine.
No. 2 Cover for The Brassie:
“Brassie” is a historical term for a style of club no one uses any more. It’s similar in purpose to a 2 wood, which you’re unlikely to find in a modern bag. If he complains, tell him where he can stick it. (On his 5 wood, of course! Sheesh, people...)
Work as for No. 1 cover to 72 sts. in round. Work 1 1/4 ins ribbing. Work stripe. Work 4 rounds ribbing. Work 2nd stripe. Work 14 rounds ribbing. Finish as for No. 1 cover.

No. 3 Cover for The Spoon:
“Spoon” is more defunct golf terminology. It’s somewhat like a 3 wood.
Work as for No. 1 cover to 72 sts, in round. Work 12 rounds ribbing. Make stripe. Work 3 rounds ribbing. Make 2nd stripe. Work 3 rounds ribbing. Make 3rd stripe. Work 6 rounds ribbing. Finish as for No. 1 cover.

Make 3 tassels, using all 3 colours in each tassel. Sew one at top of each cover.
All done! For nothing says “Happy Father’s Day” like garish, tassled covers for his golf clubs.

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. The "live models" appear to be actually inhabited by aliens... ;)

    This was a hoot -- thanks for sharing.

  2. You're welcome! And I agree completely about the alien possession vibe. The fellow in the lower right corner appears to be a Thermian. ;-)

  3. hmmm, since this pattern was issued during WWII, I'm wondering if the models were enlisted men but were moonlighting--I'm thinking not. I agree, they must have been aliens.

    A long time ago, I knew a couple named "Millie & Bob." Millie, I am sure, did not own a pair of knitting needles--she did own highball & old-fashioned glassware though, and spent many an hour.... ;D

  4. Some of the models look a bit too sickly to be enlisted men. I suspect they must have been excused from military service - except of course for the strapping serial ax murderer on the upper right (who was obviously rejected on the basis of mental instability).

    Yay for Millie and Bob!

  5. This was quite funny! I do WWII reenacting so this definately gives me a few naughty joke ideas to play on the blokes. The added commentary was wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I don't know who you are, Anonymous, but I think you're awesome! I've been to a few reenactments, though mostly set around and about the War of 1812. They're a lot of fun!

    This summer will be heavy on seventies clothes and fifties housewares, but definitely do keep checking back. This fall/winter I'll be posting more menswear from the 30's through 50's, and on Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day I'll definitely aim for some WWII patterns.

  7. Does anyone have a recommended way to make tassles? Don't think I am a moron but I have never made them. Thanks. Annabelle in Cleveland Ohio

  8. Hi, Annabelle!

    Actually making tassels is surprisingly simple and kind of fun, too. And the way I like to do it, there's no sewing involved.

    1. Cut several strands of yarn - they should be twice as long as the length of your tassel, because you'll be folding them in half.

    2. Push your crochet hook through the edge of the finished work (or where ever you want your tassel).

    3. Fold the yarn lengths (all of them) in half over your crochet hook and pull through the fabric, creating a loop.

    4. Catch the ends of your yarn with your hook and pull them all through the loop you just created. Tug, and tah-dah! A tassel.

  9. Thanks for that tassle lesson and by the way, you are a hooooooot!

    Cleveland winters are long but I plan to protect my "shafts" (hopefully plural this winter as I am a single woman).

    Annabelle in Cleveland

  10. I'm very glad you're enjoying my blog!

    And when you're finished with your shafts... I mean, golf club cozies, please do send me some pictures. I'd be thrilled to write up a DIY for you. :-)

    1. Can you give me a heads up (!) on the needle size?

    2. Hi Anonymous,

      Sorry for the very late reply.

      I recommend using the needle conversion chart from Yarn Forward as your guide.

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