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More Vintage Knitting! I know April is a little late to be making plans for 2022 but as most of my year so far has been taken up with the consequences of catching Covid, it’s taken me this long to actually get to writing about. This year I want to do more 1930s things, try some new techniques and I’m also recreating lots of the excellent knitwear from the series Home Fires. Read on for more…
Vintage Knitting 2022
The Year So Far….
I think I’ll have to do a separate post about all my finished objects. Being too ill to sew I’ve been doing a lot more knitting and so have too many things to talk about here.
What I will say is I’ve started work on a project that has been on my mind since the end of 2020. 2 Decembers ago I watched the ITV/PBS drama ‘Home Fires’ about members of the WI at the outbreak of WW2. Being a country girl myself I’m all too familiar with the Women’s Institute as they’ve been a stalwart of village life for as long as I can remember.
It’s just the sort of social history I like and is based on a non-fiction book ‘Jambusters’ by Julie Summers, which I have since read, as well as, the 3 fiction books that follow the (sadly) cancelled TV series.
But what really made me fall in love with this show was the knitwear! There are loads of examples of hand knit garments that have clearly been knitted from original patterns. Many fellow fans have been able to track down some of the patterns available online and so I’ve set to work trying to recreate as many of them as possible. Some have been like for like copies of the ones that appear in the show but with some others I’m giving them my own spin.
Why do this you ask? Just because I like the patterns and the detective work keeps me busy when too ill to knit!
Current Work in Progress
My current WIP is this Lacy Yoke Blouse from Free Vintage Knitting.
I had originally thought that this was the pattern used for a Home Fires jumper worn by Mrs Scotlock. However, on closer inspection the lace pattern is different.
But I still really like this Lacy Yoke Blouse. And as this one wasn’t meant to be a like for like recreation because I’m using a different colour anyway, I’m calling it close enough.
The yarn I’m using is Drops Baby Alpaca Silk in shade Old Light Pink. Pink is not normally a colour I go for so we shall see if I like the finished result!
More Home Fires
The next jumper on my to make list is this one on the far right.
This chevron design is available from Subversive Femme on Etsy*. I really recommend Bex’s patterns. I’ve made a few in the past and they’ve been great!
There are actually two versions of this jumper in the show. I’m going for a colour scheme similar to this one with a red/brown for the main colour. I’m using Cascades Fingering 220 in shade Ember Heather*. For the chevrons I’m going to use odds and ends from other projects. Very Make Do and Mend!
2 More Home Fires Jumpers
I’ve also bought these two patterns that both appear in the show but I don’t have yarn to make them yet. Some of the other projects I want to try will come first.
This design, available from Pretty Old Patterns on Etsy* appears no less than 3 times in the show! Each version is slightly different which I like. It’s as if the women of the village lent the pattern to friends when they’d finished with it.
Mrs Scotlock wears this lace and embroidered jumper. Two things I love in my knitting! It’s available from Vintage Knit Affair on Etsy*. As it’s knit in 2 ply I’m waiting until I want a fussy project to start on this one.
New To Me Knitting Books
I am slowly collecting all the books in the series. The author’s Margaret Murray and Jane Koster published several books throughout the 40s and 50s. They’re full of patterns but also helpful instructions for knitting. I find these books a great help when working with vintage knitting patterns. The vocab can be different to modern knitting terms and these books help me decode it.
This is the pattern I want to recreate from this book. But my current WIP involves a lot of stocking stitch knit flat and I don’t think I can face another one. So instead I want to rework this pattern to be knit seamlessly from the top down like a modern pattern. It’s going to be a bit of an experiment so we shall see if I manage it! I am particularly nervous about the sleeves. I might have to just knit those flat and seam them in.
1930s Knitting Patterns
I am having a real love affair with the 1930s at the minute. I really enjoyed all the 1930s sewing I did last year but I’ve only made one 1930s knitting pattern before. And I didn’t love the way it turned out.
But then my friend Engineering Knits sent me the most beautiful selection of 1930s knitting patterns all the way from the USA! I don’t know where to start! They are all so beautiful!
This is my personal favourite. I’ve seen 1890s cycling outfits before but never a 1930s one. Look at those culottes! I am so curious about this design that I will be making it for sure. In fact I have already made a practice of the beret. The beret is crochet and I am bad at crochet. A practice version also helped me get my head around the US terms and hook sizes.
The next pattern I’d like to tackle is this one. Just because I have never seen a pattern this early use yarn this chunky. I didn’t know they had yarn this chunky back then! Will it be really warm for a blouse? Will it fit underneath anything being so chunky? I have to know. So I’m going to make it.
And finally. When I saw this pattern I fell in love. A knitted 1930s evening dress? I have to have it. I don’t care how long it takes me or how fiddly it is. Interestingly, the pattern calls for boucle yarn. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find one thin enough. Some research will definitely be needed.
I hope this post inspires you to tackle some vintage knitting projects of your own this year.