Knitting

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Ah, spring. When a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of nifty geometric short-sleeved cardigans from the 40s. The pattern suggests wool, but given the crisp nature of the design and snug fit, I think this could work up especially well in cotton or bamboo. As an additional benefit those yarns are a lot cooler to wear in summer heat than wool or wool blends.

Patons 171 03a

Springtime Ahoy!

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When it comes to knitting I have a soft spot for the ridiculous, and this fitted cardigan toes the line nicely with a lovely shape and It’s A Small World imagery plastered on the front. Knitting worldliness must have been popular at the time, as other patterns from the Australian Home Journal (where this pattern is again from) feature London and Paris imagery.

Interesting note about this pattern, one of the colors called for is ‘nigger brown’. Yep, right there in print like it’s no thing at all. It’s a measure of how far the world’s come that today this is a slap in the face to see written so casually. I wish I could say it was uncommon, but numerous vintage patterns from the UK and Australia also call for ‘nigger black’ along with ‘rose red’ or ‘sunshine yellow’ as basic color descriptives. This is yet another reason vintage patterns are fascinating- many of the differences between yesterday and today are perceived only when something runs contrary to the modern mentality, when something we take for granted smacks into something previously taken for granted and there’s dissonance. I could write a whole essay on how media and linguistics influences us in ways we can’t even perceive day-to-day and yet make arguments against stuff like introducing new gender-neutral pronouns into the English language, but this is Free Pattern Friday, not Discourse On Media Perception and Causality Fridays. Much less catchy. Enjoy the pattern, but do muse on the history.

dutch mill

Knit the land of windmills and tulips!

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Seamless! Not just the jumper but what I thought to myself looking at the second image in Photoshop. Cue rimshot. In any case here’s a cute lil’ pattern that is indeed worked in one piece, though you’ll still have to set the sleeves in (unless you pick them up and knit them, which is totally feasible as they’re knit top-down). The band’s an interesting point- it’s knit ‘diagonally’, creating squares in miter style. If you’d prefer a tunic to a blouse-y look, simply omit the elastic band used to pull in the back.

Square Necked Jumper 1

Square Necked Jumper 2

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I wanted to save something this elegant (and time consuming) for after the holiday season. At first it seems counterintuitive; somewhere out there a knitter’s cursing me for not posting this 2 months earlier so she’d have the perfect 30′s screwball romantic comedy outfit for the office Christmas party. But on this first day of the new year, as we blearily rub our eyes and stumble over half-empty champagne glasses, what do we see before us? A dull stretch of winter before the cluster of February holidays hits us like bizzare, irritating PC bricks (I’m looking at you, combination Presidents’ Day & Ash Wednesday). So in that time so grey Lewis Black said, “you want to slit your wrists just to see some color”, why not work this dress up in a lovely jewel tone? If you’re not up for the full-length number (for sanity or budgetary reasons), it would look just as elegant as a longer tunic/dress going just above the knees or ending a few inches below the belt for a blouse.

Several commenters pointed out the tininess of the images in the column below- rest assured they’re actually quite large. Just right-click and save or drag-and-drop them to your desktop, and you’ll have the full-sized (and more legible) pattern.

HandicrafterSS34 10

HandicrafterSS34 11

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Kids, when you plan to publish something online on a semi-weekly basis, don’t depend on your neighbor’s internet connection. Sigh. In any event, here’s a lovely vintage jumper that would look fine knitted as-is, or could be lengthened for the ‘tunic and tights’ look so popular of late. What with guys’ pants ever-increasing in snugness and women giving up pretensions and wearing straight-up leggings as the bottom half of their wardrobe, I predict it will be a short step to the return of the codpiece and medieval-style tunics. Get a jump this holiday season and knit in some intarsia heraldry on a field vert!

Popular Knitting Book short sleeved jumper 1

Popular Knitting book short sleeved jumper 2

Somewhere a paper preservationist is weeping at my hacky Photoshop skills.

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