Friday, March 28, 2008

Retro Knit Friday!

I finished the button border of the Ranch Red cardigan in garter stitch with stockinette on the under side and a purl turn row. Right now I am working on the buttonhole side. Since I am usually knitting a pattern I made up myself, I have no instructions to tell me how many stitches to pick up and where to put the buttonholes, so I have to design it myself. When I figure out the buttonholes, I first pick up the stitches (5 stitches to 6 rows for ribbed border and 3 sts to 4 rows for garter stitch)and do a few rows. When I see that the number of stitches is correct and will be nice and flat, I get a piece of paper and figure out the spacing of the holes. I usually leave 4 sts at the top and the bottom in worsted weight, then decide how many stitches to bind off for each one-row buttonhole. There are many places on the internet that tell how to do a one-row buttonhole, and they are mostly the same way I make mine except that on the next row after the buttonhole is completed, I knit (or purl depending on stitch being used for the border) into the back loop of the stitch where the buttonhole was started, closing up the little hole that can develop. After I know if the buttonholes will have X number of stitches, I figure out how many stitches are left for the spaces by dividing the stitches left by the number of spaces. It helps to draw it all out.

Now, for Retro Knit Friday, some more fashions from the 1940 Bucilla booklet, American Fashions in New Hand Knits. The woman in the turban hat is wearing a blouse-sweater called 'Sophisticate'. This sweater is knit in pure silk yarn with the design at the yoke and sleeves embroidered when the knitting is completed. There is no picture to show what the short sleeves look like at the cap. I am fascinated by that huge piece of costume jewelry on the jacket.

The shape of this cardigan appears in many knitting pamphlets of the 40's. Typical of the period are the close fit, heavier yarn (4 sts/inch), and emphasis on the shoulders. It is the kind of sweater Rosie the Riveter would wear. I think it is still very attractive today.

This jacket is a fast knit at 3 sts/inch. The Materials list says that it is Barley Beige, Yellow, Brown, Almond Green, and Capri Rose. The sleeves have a stipe pattern that matches the pockets. At the end of the instructions is another suggested color combination: Colonial Navy (probably the background color), Millitary Red, Queen Blue, White, and Cruise Blue.

Called a 'flattering, hip-hugging sweater', this cardigan features a zipper front closure and a cute cherry pin that I would like to have. The sleeves are knit from side to side. It is knit on size 6 needles at 4 1/2 stitches/inch.

'Double Chic' is described as a tailored sweater for town or country. It is knit in a rib pattern at 6 sts/inch of pure silk yarn with a smocked panel at the top of the bodice. Usually the smocking is created by embroidery after the knitting is done to pull the K rib stitches together, but this is a pattern stitch with YO's which are then pulled over a group of 4 sts to create the smocked look.
All of the patterns in this booklet are written in size 16, but nowhere in the booklet is there a size chart to tell you what size 16 is. The patterns usually contain the measurements for the finished garment. Double Chic is 17 inches across the back width at the underarm and 13 inches for a back shoulder width (which is a very small sweater). It was up to the knitter to enlarge the pattern as desired.

I have knit one front of the apple green cardigan and am about to hang the other front from the machine.

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