Vintage Knitting – 1950s Sweater with Variable Neckline

Another finished vintage sweater! This one in record time too. (Only 8 months as opposed to 4 years. Huge improvement.) I purchased the pattern last year from Nostalgia Rules on Etsy as soon as I saw it. It was so unique and I loved the collar with matching cuffs. I don’t have much black in my wardrobe so I decided to make it up in the suggested color way using Knit Picks Palette fingering weight yarn in Black and White. vintage knitting - 1950s variable sweater

I rescaled the pattern a bit in the bust as my waist measurement matched the smallest size but my bust required a larger size. After I made the front and back my arm scythes were much larger than planned so I had to adjust the sleeve cap pattern to fit a bit better. I still had to do some stretching during blocking but they fit pretty well in the end. 

One thing that I did not think too much about when I chose this pattern was just how many individual pieces were involved and how much seaming they were going to require. Always that awful, dreadful seaming in vintage knits! There’s ten pieces to this sweater: front, back, sleeves (x2), sleeve cuffs (x2), collar, collar tab, right dickie, and of course the left dickie. This is another reason I’m really proud of myself for finishing this all in less than a year while working on so many other things at the same time. Usually if there’s that much seaming it sits for at least a year before I even start to do any sewing.

Here is the finished sweater complete with black rhinestone buttons! vintage knitting - 1950s variable sweater vintage knitting - 1950s variable sweater vintage knitting - 1950s variable sweater vintage knitting - 1950s variable sweater vintage knitting - 1950s variable sweater vintage knitting - 1950s variable sweater

Vintage Knitting: 1942 Red, White, and Blue

This sweater has been a labor of love for four years now. As soon as I saw the stripes and the Peter Pan collar I was sold. knit it in flag colors smart jumper

The pattern is from Australian Woman’s Weekly on June 13, 1942, “Knit It In Flag Colors Smart Jumper.”

It was supposed to be knit in fingering weight yarn but I was a little scared of that idea back then so I did some math and re-wrote the pattern for sport weight wool instead. (I used Knit Picks Stroll yarn.) It fits really well but I had some trouble initially with the collar. First, I made it way too large and then when I made a new one in the right size my pins rusted during blocking and left horrible orange stains all over! I removed the collar and hung it in the closet for the past two years. I finally decided I had to finish it before starting any new sweater projects only to find out that my white yarn had turned into cream on the sweater! And of course my saved skein of white yarn was still white. What is going on?! Something doesn’t want me to finish this. But I did it anyway. Hopefully over time my white collar ages to match the rest of the sweater. You can’t tell it in the photos but the collar is bright white and the body of the sweater is almost a creamy yellow. 1942 red white and blue 1942 red white and blue 1942 red white and blue 1942 red white and blue 1942 red white and blue


Me Mades: 1960s Sewn Beret & More Knit Hats

Last week I had mentioned that I was working on sewing my first hat and I am proud to say that yes, this happened and no, it wasn’t awful. I used fabric scraps from my stash: vintage pale blue velour, purple satin that was already partially made up into a vest à la Aladdin (not by me), and the only grosgrain ribbon I apparently own in grass green. I used Simplicity 7213 from 1967 for the pattern and found it to be easier than I imagined. I don’t own a tailor’s ham so pressing the rounded seams and darts wasn’t exactly an option but I think it looks alright without that super important part. I also marked everything on the wrong side and when it came time to gather the body of the hat, all the markings were already hidden! Grr. Now I know for next time. I did mention I’m not the best at sewing, right?

The pom pom may be the most depressing part of the whole thing (see my face below for evidence of extreme sadness) because I’ve made them before and this is a pathetic excuse for one. I will not be sharing any closeup shots of that today. Or ever. I think the yarn was wrapped up in the skein funny because one whole side looks sort of wilted though I made it only yesterday.

Overall, I love it! I can’t wait to try another one in more coordinating colors and to take the time to press it properly and mark out my gathers. I’m actually wearing a me-made pumpkin cardigan under my coat but I’ll have to share that another time.

I also made up several different variations of vintage hat patterns that I have already knit and have available on Etsy. I made berets in white, navy, turmeric, and a navy and cream middy cap. I love making these tiny 1930s hats because even though they’re simple berets, they are so versatile in how they can be worn. You can almost make it look like a different hat for every day of the week.

My friend Stacey had requested a navy 1920s-style cloche awhile back and I was finally able to hand it over to her last weekend. I used crochet cotton, doubled and just kind of eyeballed it while working in half double crochet in the round. I wish I had paid more attention to what I did exactly because I would really like to make more of these even if crochet cotton is very slippery and makes the time spent making a hat stretch into sweater territory. But it was worth it!

I think my next knitting endeavor will involve finishing up some vintage knitting projects. I have a 1940s sweater I “finished” several years ago but the collar never looked right after three attempts so it is still sadly hanging unworn in the closet. There’s also a lace 1930s sweater that is sleeveless but finished otherwise. Collars and sleeves are sometimes the most daunting tasks of making a sweater. I know it sounds crazy because they take much less time than the body but they can be finicky and often prevent me from finishing a beautiful piece…for years. I might also try sewing up a 1950s blouse or a 1960s dress if I can convince myself to cut into this beautiful vintage bed sheet. Maybe.


Knitting Pattern: 1930s Style Scarf -The Volstead

I am posting my new 1930s-inspired scarf pattern up here on the blog for free (Sorry! I have completed the new version of the pattern and they are both for sale at the link below!) until I put together the pattern for the multicolored version. I decided to name it The Volstead after the Volstead Act which helped establish prohibition here in the United States from 1920-1933. The pattern uses fingering weight yarn and short rows to create the wing-like shaping.

The Volstead

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I would love to see any photos if someone makes the scarf!