Wit Knits

Wit Knits coverWit Knits: Lively And Original Hand Knitting Designs
Hostler and Brandreth

Submitter: While weeding out the craft section I came across this absolutely dated yet lovely gem. John Iman modeling of sweaters? Is the public still being served by this book? Probably not – but it will do well on the sale cart.

Holly: This. Is. Amazing. And by “amazing,” I mean “awful.”

Mary: This is beyond precious! I have never seen so many people happy about wearing sweaters.

Wit Knits cat

Wit Knits frog

Wit Knits birds

Wit Knits weather

Wit Knits trains

Wit Knits teddy bear

Wit Knits rooster

Wit Knits piano

Wit Knits panda

Wit Knits egg


  1. I also want to add – as a Brit – that all of the people are well-known tv celebrities of the era. It adds to the awfulness.

    1. I was thinking that the woman in the cat sweater looked like Mel from Doctor Who! Guess it is her!

  2. in the 80s i would have saved all my afterschool money to buy those star earrings!!
    and i love Mr. Humphries!!! many memories of watching him with my mom “I’m freeeee.”

  3. If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’d pay serious $$$ (or would that need to be serious £££) just for the adorable John Inman photos, let alone the fun color charts. Put it up for online auction and have a local knitter with a Ravelry account drop the link in an appropriate discussion thread there.

    Thanks for the reason to smile on a Monday morning!

    1. Or donate it to your local PBS station as a pledge prize for people who got all their British TV at this time from there.

  4. Ugly sweaters aren’t just for Christmas, they’re for life!

    The red-head with the teased mop-top was a companion of Dr. Who: Bonita Melody Lysette “Bonnie” Langford played Mel of the sixth and seventh doctors or at least she looks a lot like her.

    AND! AND! AND! is that not on the cover lower right: the Monarch of the Glen and Good Neighbor (funny but dated show in it’s approach to BIPOC) Richard Briers?

    OH! ANDANDANDAND! is that not on the cover upper left, Purdy from the New Avengers and the Absolutely Fabulous Patsy “Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau Stone” Stone?!!!
    I watch too way too much English teevee shows.

    1. I’d forgotten Bonnie Langford – she was early McCoy before Sophie Aldred (Ace) showed up, and I didn’t care AT ALL for Colin Baker so I missed her there.

      1. I MUCH preferred Ace (and hated C. Baker’s Doctor, although he’s a good guy), but Bonnie looks very cute here.

  5. Purdy from the New Avengers and the Absolutely Fabulous Patsy “Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau Stone” Stone?!!!
    both played by: Dame Joanna Lamond Lumley DBE FRGS

  6. What is John Inman doing in there? Are the others actors/celebrities as well?

  7. Oh, and I just caught the submitter’s “being served” comment–ha ha! I see what you did there.

  8. Not just John Inman, but a whole raft of funny British people, including Joanna Lumley, Richard Briers, Jane Asher, Bonnie Langford, Roddy Llewellyn, Anne Diamond, Christopher Biggins, Floelella Benjamin and Matthew Kelly.

    1. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize Joanna Lumley and Richard Briers! I blame the extreme hideousness of the sweaters for distracting me from the people’s faces. (Okay, I honestly like several of the sweaters)

  9. Just. No. Even for 1985, those sweaters are hideous.

    And the guy in the sweater vest with the hairy chest? EEEEEEWWW. If I saw him today, I’d be tempted to call the cops if I saw him on the playground by himself.

  10. I want to knit EVERY SWEATER IN THIS BOOK. The fact that they are all modeled by British actors makes me want the book even more. At least 1985 was more interesting than the all gray everything that is 2022.

  11. I need this book, but a quick search of Abe Books tells me that it’s going for $100+ a copy. OP needs to earn their library some fun money!

  12. Even for the 80s, this is a bit… well…

    They all look SO HAPPY AND PERKY! Was cocaine involved, or just overacting? Did the publishers have incriminating footage of all these people to get them into this book?

    The sleeveless frog sweater and white glasses (and pose) are not doing whoever that is any favors. I agree with Persia, he looks sus AF in that. The banana one isn’t much better.

  13. Amazing that Gyles Brandreth was responsible for this classic, but doesn’t appear in it himself… Interesting too, to see that Bill Gates was one of the models (on the cover with a pineapple), presumably before he started that Microsoft business? And whatever happened to Joanna Lumley? Isn’t the older blonde woman with the rooster jersey the late Faith Brown? She used to do a good Thatcher impersonation when Mike Yarwood was Callaghan.

  14. Note to the author – British TV star & famous sweater wearer Gyles Brandreth. For those who haven’t heard of him, look for the podcast “Something rhymes with purple” – if you love language you’re in for a treat.

  15. These are fun, inventive (and loud) designs. They just look very homemade. Put them on T-shirts and children’s tops.

  16. Wow, these are choice! The short-sleeved, v-neck toad sweater on the cheerful hairy-chested man is my favorite. The women look so classically ’80’s – giant star earrings, belted sweater, ha ha! Kudos to these actors for managing to look so chipper in these “fashions” LOL.

      1. I think the tassels are only on the matching scarf. So easy to omit.

        I agree it’s the only one that would still be acceptable today. Also the chap wearing it doesn’t look way! too! happy!, unlike the others.

  17. As if sweaters didn’t feel terrible enough, they have to make them look terrible as well.

  18. I bet Beverly Goldberg (of the TV show) has worn each and every one of these sweaters.

  19. If we’re talking about people looking way too happy while doing mundane things, this has been haunting me for a week: check out the guy in the thumbnail image of the video about LibKey here: https://thirdiron.com/downloadnomad/
    Now, listen, that guy .. umm, the only thing he can possibly be doing is downloading an article. WHY does he look like he just won the lottery?!

  20. I would just like to point out that the pictures in this book have been very popular on Tumblr for years now. There’s a slew of millennials who’d love this book JUST for the Tumblr connection.

      1. Yep. The pictures from the book were published on another website, I believe Bored Panda, and they migrated to Tumblr from there.

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