Friday, March 30, 2007

Retro Knit Friday!

I am almost finished with the Simple Shrug. My gauge is spot on, yet I will eventully have used 6 balls of yarn instead of the 3 or 4 called for in the pattern. What were they thinking? In the large size the sleeves are very long, 66" across the whole thing, not counting the 3" cuffs. Is that the reason the mannequin has her wrists hidden in the pattern photo? Luckily, my daughter has long arms and likes the arms of sweaters on the long side. If you make the decreases and increases full fashioned (3 stitches into the garment), the resulting seam looks a lot better than that shown in the picture on the pattern. I also added some short rows to the collar area. The bind off on the ribbing must be very loose or the garment does not work. I ended up using a single crochet bind off which is very stretchy and gives the collar area a nice flare.

I really like the old 'Blouse' pamphlets put out by Jack Frost in the forties and fifties. Back then, women knitted a lot of sweaters to be used as blouses. I suppose this was a way to expand your wardrobe in a time of fabric shortages. The booklets are full of good design ideas, even though the patterns are only offered in one size, usually a size 16. They must have assumed that all knitters were skilled enough to draft out the patterns to fit themselves. In addition to the cute short sleeved pullovers, the booklets also have some interesting cardigans for the Rosie the Riveter of the time. Lots of them use bulky weight yarn, because the new working woman had less time to knit a tiny gauge.

The color pictures are from a booklet from the fifties. Tiny gauges and chic styling!

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