I hope you all had a good Christmas and a belated Happy New Year to you. I spent mine with a traditional Christmas bug which gave me the perfect excuse to lounge around in my PJs, listening to audiobooks and knitting all day. Inspired by the fabulous “Knitwear Chanel to Westwood” exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London (still on and well worth a visit), and confined to my armchair, I dug out my steadily expanding collection of “VIntage” knitting patterns (my definition of “Vintage” being those that were published before I was born!). I have a particular fondness for the neat silhouettes and intricate stitch patterns of 1940s sweaters and a couple of them have been shouting at me to be re-worked in modern day yarns for some time. After a quick cataloguing exercise and in true Make Do and Mend style, I gave myself a “no purchasing” rule and the challenge was set.
The first to be reworked was this lovely lacy sweater pattern which I had picked up from a University pop up shop a couple of years ago.
1940s knitting pattern
I had previously tried to recreate this in a 4ply but it just didn’t work being too bulky for wear under jackets but not warm enough for an outer sweater. So this time, persuaded by my Stash, I redesigned it for Rowan Felted Tweed, still taking the delicate lace pattern but making it substantial enough for a winter sweater by using a lightweight double knit yarn and adding a roll neck and three quarter length sleeves.
Vintage Lace sweater redesigned in Rowan Felted Tweed
I have written the pattern for this sweater in three bust sizes (34in, 36in, and 38in) and will be making it available for purchase shortly so if it’s your kind of sweater, watch this space.
The second sweater to be re-worked is this 1945 pattern, available for free from the V&A website.
I often think that some of the fabulous variegated sock yarns available are wasted hiding in shoes all day so this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to show off some beautiful Drops Fabel sock yarn which I had purchased last year, along with a couple of balls of the now sadly discontinued Rowan Cashsoft 4ply which I had stashed away. Here is the colourful result as worn by Dora (as I was needed behind the camera for this shot) perfect for brightening up the next couple of months while we wait for Spring to arrive and just enough warmth over a long sleeve T for centrally heated houses. It was a bit touch and go at the end as to whether I’d have enough yarn (I was knitting both sleeves at the same time) but thankfully I just made it!
Wavy stripe sweater in 4ply yarns
So, I am a couple of sweaters richer, my virus is on its way out and evenings are noticeably getting lighter. Welcome 2015! I am looking forward to seeing where you take me this year 🙂