Brushing Off My Knitting Needles

I’ve brushed off my knitting needles and am attempting to knit my first sweater! Not just any sweater, though, this sweater pattern is from 1917.

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“Knitted sweater of Angorina” from the Star Needlework Journal 1917.

This most recently started project has me going in a slightly different direction than in my previous knitting adventures. I taught myself how to knit in college (it was a popular thing lots of my friends and I did). I would often knit in class (and I had awesome professors who realized that I actually paid more attention while I was knitting because it kept my brain engaged during lectures and discussions). Mostly I knit scarves… so many, in fact, that I ran out of people to give them to. Then I started on afghans and pillows. I loved to figure out complicated patterns and cabling… But I never could figure out how to knit in the round (to make hats and such) and I never wanted to deal with sizing and non-rectangular patterns to create a sweater. I’ve since been taught how to knit in the round, though I haven’t tried it yet, but this is my first attempt at a sweater!

I decided to knit a sweater for an event I’m likely to attend in November for which we’ll be wearing WWI era clothes. That’s what sparked my interest in looking for knitting patterns from that period. I found the pattern I’m using through Ravelry, but in searching the internet for other patterns I came across other resources for period knitting that I’ve included at the end of this post. I also came across a pattern for a 1922 sweater that I’m hoping to try eventually (and assuming this one isn’t a complete failure!). It’s a more complicated pattern that uses two colors, so that will be new and exciting… some day.

I was further spurred on my knitting mission by coming across knitting needles and skeins of yarn for 50 cents in the bargain attic at our local fabric store. The yarn is a lovely cream color and super soft. I’m guessing it’s acrylic, but it had no label and I haven’t bothered burn testing it, so I’m not certain of the fiber content. I figured that for about $3 I could take a chance on knitting a sweater. If it works out I can always buy more expensive (or normally priced, haha) yarn later and make another sweater. Oh, and did I mention that the pattern I’m using is free??? Love that price!

Here’s my progress so far:

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The back of the sweater. I’ve still got about 6″ to go, but you can see that it’s starting to look like something!

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Here’s a close up of the basket weave pattern. It’s just knits and purls in sets of 5 stitches.

I’ve been  knitting rather than sewing for the last week or so and it has been a nice change, plus it’s really neat to see the sweater starting to turn into something. As I get further I’ll post more about my progress.

Here are some other early 20th century knitting pattern sources I came across:

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5721 (a history of knitting related to WWI, specifically in Washington State: it’s quite interesting!)

http://blog.caseybrowndesigns.com/2010/10/vintage-knitting-resources/ (links to vintage knitting patterns from the 1900s-1950s)

http://freevintageknitting.com/women.html (vintage 20th century sweater patterns: looks like mostly 1930s-1960s patterns but they don’t have dates, just images)

http://www.hjsstudio.com/patterns.html (has a variety of patterns from WWI and WWII)

Oh hey, and wordpress just reminded me that this is my 200th post on this blog! That’s pretty exciting!

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One response to “Brushing Off My Knitting Needles

  1. Gorgeous! You’re so talented!
    This sweater will keep you warm in autumn/winter, perfect project for this time of the year 🙂

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