History’s Mystery Sweater

During a recent jaunt to an antiques/junk shop here in Anchorage, I stumbled onto an intriguing sweater from the past…


I didn’t get the sleeves in the picture, but the word “Alaska” is knit down each sleeve.  The front, which has a zipper and two little knit-in pockets, has an intarsia husky head and an oil rig, the words “North Slope” across the bottom.


The back has an oil rig over a map of Alaska.  I don’t know what that white and black thing at the top is supposed to be – oil gusher?  Attacking polar bears? Clouds?  No idea.

I did a bit of an internet search for the pattern, but came up with nothing.  It definitely has the look of a Mary Maxim kit – big chunky yarn, wool, intarsia pattern, knit in pieces and sewn together.  If I had to guess at a time period, I would say maybe the 70’s or early 80’s.  The pipeline was built and major oil production began here in the mid- to late 70’s.  Maybe these were made as a souvenir for the many construction workers who flooded in to the state in that time period?

There is one final piece to this puzzle – a label in the back collar of the sweater.


I have no idea if this sweater is Bette’s design, or if this is one of those labels you used to be able to order to sew into items you made. I would guess the later, but really don’t have any idea.  If you know anything about this sweater, or have seen anything similar, please comment – I’d love to know more!

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