Vintage 40’s Jumpers

While I really have a love of dresses made in the 50’s, I also have a love of sweaters from the 40’s.

I’m not sure what it is but 1940’s dresses, skirts, and blouses don’t behave well on my pear-shaped frame.  But the knitted and crocheted sweaters… they’re absolutely perfect.  Go figure.

For the Colette Spring Palette Challenge, I’m undertaking my first 40’s knitted jumper, which I’m making in a dove grey to go with my hot-pink/dove-grey/B&W scheme.

It was hard to narrow down to just one pattern because I love them all.  But here’s the one I actually settled on, Weldon’s Caledonia jumper:

This image I got from my knitting/crochet website: Ravelry.  There isn’t a pattern posted on Ravelry for this jumper, instead I bought it through Iva Rose, who reproduces the original pattern magazines.  If you click on the image above, it will take you to the magazine on Iva Rose’s website.

I thought this jumper would be perfect in my spring wardrobe.  To me, this jumper looks so classic with all of the best design elements: contour waist line, buttons, and bows.

These little jumpers can take at least one month to make, if not more, since the thread is so fine and the knitting needles are so small.  My goal is 16 rows a day, which doesn’t sound all that bad.  But its about 1-2 hours of work every day.  Luckily, I can knock out 6 rows if I’m able to knit on the train to-and-from work each day.  Which leaves me with 10 rows to complete either on my lunch break or in the evening.  So far I’m on target, and as a result I’m about 1/2 way done with the back of the jumper since starting on Sunday night.

Here’s my progress after one week and 2 days:

I can’t believe how much it’s grown in size.  But the hard part is yet to come since the front of the jumper is a lot more complex than the back.

But, this post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t show you all of the other lovely jumpers that are out there, just begging to get made.

(Click on any of the images for the patterns and/or sources.)

This one is screams rockabilly with the blue swallows and the red accessories.  Isn’t she so pretty?!

This sweater has been in my queue for a while; it’s the famous bow-knot sweater by Elsa Schiaparelli.  I would have made mine in short sleeves for springtime, but I think it’s probably best for a fall project since I’d want to do mine in b&w also.

I love this pretty lace yolk blouse with slighly puffled sleeves.  It’s a bit hard to see the detail on this small version.  But if you have a Ravelry account, here’s a cute mint-green version.

And finally this blouse from 1937 called Dialet which is also perfect for spring with all of the yarn-overs.  (I want her hair too; such cute curls.)

I’m curious now, is anyone else working on some vintage knits they’d like to share?  Or any knitted or crochet project, for that matter?

In: Knitting

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (3)

  1. Oh I do so long to knit! I don’t know how and yet I have bought a few books on learning to start. May I ask, did you teach yourself or learn from someone? Your sweater choice looks fabulous! What a lovely frock it will be when finished! So jealous. OK. Need to buy some needles and at least learn to make a washcloth or something in hopes of one day being able to knit a sweater.


    1. Liz February 9, 2011 — 2:38 PM

      Hi Sunni,
      I first learnt how to crochet (2 years ago) which is easier than knitting, imo. With crochet you only have to deal with holding yarn in one hand and working the hook in the other hand. With knitting you have to hold two needles, one in each hand while also figuring out how to hold the yarn (without having a third hand). heh
      I had someone teach me how to crochet, but from there I was able to teach myself how to knit (I learnt how to knit last fall/winter). I used youtube a lot for all the different stitches, etc. Youtube is great because you can pause and see what exactly is going on with someone’s fingers, yarn placement, etc. But once you get how to hold everything, it’s really quite easy. I personally think that’s the hardest part.
      After learning both, I think knitting (in itself) is easier since you really only need to learn two stitches (knit and purl stitch), opposed to crochet which has at least 5 basic stitches or more.

      Once you can knit a washcloth, you can totally make a sweater! I didn’t ‘waste’ my time making scarfs and other easy things, I just jumped right in and made a sweater after doing one washcloth.

      I highly recommend becoming a member on Ravelry, if you aren’t already. They have so many free patterns posted as well as tons of forums and groups. It really helped having a community out there to help whenever I needed it. :)

      The chicks with sticks books are good, as well as the stitch ‘n bitch(knit) and the happy hooker(crochet) books. Plus they have a lot of cute beginner patterns.

  2. Letty February 10, 2011 — 11:12 AM

    Today i finished my first pair of crocheted socks :) Not a really perfect pair, but nice.
    Next week i will get some knitting lessons by my granny. My first project should something like a little scarf with buttons ( )
    If these is not a disaster, i’ll try one of the jumpers. I’m undecided which is the cutest.. Caledonia jumper..rockabilly..or Dialet..
    i’m curious about yours.

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