Thursday, February 21, 2008
Victory Over the Sweater
Originally Published in 'Home Notes' June 2, 1945
Made Available by the V&A as part of the Fashion Collection.
1940s Patterns to Knit
Original Requirements: "Materials: Of " Sirdar" Super Shetland Wool, 3-ply, 3 ozs. in navy, 2 ozs. in red, and about 0.5 oz in white. One pair of No. 10 and one pair of No. 12 knitting needles."
Modern Adjustments to Yarn and Needle Size:
I used a pure wool sock yarn in Red, White and Navy. I believe it was Lanette, (2)(1)and(3) balls 50g balls.
I used the same size of circular needle for both the rib and lace/body portions of the sweater; 2.50mm Addi Lace. In 40's UK parlance, No 12 pins.
My gauge over rib was 8st=1", and each 9st motif measured 2.25" across.
Thoughts on Pattern:
I shortened the sleeves. No reason there but personal preference. I do strongly recommend working both sleeves at the same time-or there abouts. Any decisions you make at the top (decrease) of the sleeve have to be closely duplicated on the second shoulder. The 40's puff of the set in sleeves will look weird if they don't match. You can encourage shaping and style the puff when you stitch in the sleeve. Make these top sleeves boxy for maximum puffage, but round all corners!
Wish I had...
If I re-made this sweater I would extend the ribbing at the waist. I might even double it for a vampy vintage look.
I would also pay closer attention to the state of my motifs at the beginning and end of each row of body pieces. They should always have an equal number of stitches/be at the same point in the motif. If this can't be done, make sure when you knit the second body piece (probably the back) that the end motifs line up symmetrically with the beginning motif of the front piece. This will ensure nice, barely detectable side seams.
NB: For an XS size, try omitting 2 (lace) pattern repeats. (Two happy lips)
Most Importantly: Practice 40s poses.