Now that knitting season is upon us (and given all I feel like doing is knitting), I thought it was high time that I begin my weekly Friday pattern scans for you all!
Kicking off Autumn, I have a pattern from the October 1933 edition of Stitchcraft magazine titled: A Slant on Autumn Chic.
Click on the following link to download the pattern as a pdf: A Slant on Autumn Chic.
First of all can I just say how lovely I think this model’s hair is?! I’m going to have to try for a style/set like this sometime soon.
I think you all know me well enough by now that I have a serious weakness for bows, and when you add a tie collar to a knit it’s perfection.
This is a very simple jumper but it gains that elusive thing called chic with a striped tie-collar introducing a dash of vivid scarlet to contrast with the black-white ‘tweedy’ mixture of the rest. A distinctly slenderizing diagonal pattern lends interest to the knitting.
This pattern is drafted for a 34″ bust, with a sleeve seam of 18″ and the length of the jumper is also 18″. While it looks tricky to fit – it’s the stitch pattern that creates the diagonal look. So you can re-size this pattern like you would on any other knitting pattern: Adding width at the size seams where you need it or casting on a larger number of stitches throughout.
The tension is stated as 13 stitches to 2 inches ( 6.5 sts per inch) using VINTAGE No. 9 knitting which is similar to a US size 5 or (3.75 mm) needle.
What’s confusing to me is that the source I generally use to check about the standard tension of the yarn types states that the Paton’s Super Scotch Fingering 3-ply produces 8 stitches per inch with a US size 3 needle.
Looking into this some more, I calculated the actual measurement at the bust of the pattern using the original stated tension:
The stitch count for the front of the bodice has 108 stitches as does the bodice back, totaling 216 stitches. Subtracting 4 stitches (for seaming) this gives 212 stitches. Dividing the 212 by 6.5 stitches per inch yields a bust measurement of 32.6″.
This tells me that if you simply get the exact tension, you’ll have a bit of negative ease if you’re a 34″ bust ( ~ 1.5 inches of negative ease).
This whole issue is the trickiest part of working with vintage knitting patterns. Once you pick a suitable yarn, you just have to keep swatching until you get the correct tension.
When in doubt: Swatch!
Swatch on some scrap yarn you have at home. Try a sport weight with the US size 5 needle and see where that gets you. Go up a needle size, go down a needle size, try a different yarn, etc. This exploratory phase is great to do when starting any new sweater project no matter if its a modern or a vintage pattern.
Not only does this allow you to get the correct tension, it also allows you to check the drape of the fabric you created which is essential also.
Swatching is a perfect small project you can stuff in your purse and do anywhere: The daily commute, during quick car rides, waiting in the doctor’s office, etc.