This is the first of probably a few preliminary posts for our vintage sweater knit-along! (Never mind the fact that I’m having to write this twice, since I accidentally deleted my draft that I’d spent hours working on. Oh no, we won’t talk about that since it might incite rage in me.)
Anyway, I wanted to talk about some of the basics for the knit-along. We’ll be knitting a short-sleeved sweater from a vintage pattern. There will be one main sweater that most of us will work on, but obviously I can’t guarantee that everyone will love the same pattern, and I don't want to exclude anyone. So if you’d like to join us but want to work on your own vintage pattern, you’ll be free to do so. Just know that I’ll be gearing any advice and tips towards our knit-along pattern. :)
Prerequisite skills for the knit-along
Let’s say I’ll be gearing this for advanced beginners or intermediate knitters and up. If you’re an old pro and don’t need any tips along the way, great, just play along with us and ignore those parts of my posts! And if you do need some extra help, I’ll be providing a lot of info along the way.
Skills you’ll need (or not be afraid to learn as you go along):
- Cast on/cast off, knit/purl, yarn over (has a few different names around the world including ‘wool round needle’), m1 increase (making 1 new stitch), and a few different ways to knit two stitches together (k2tog, ssk, etc.)
- Mattress stitch or your preferred way to seam two pieces of knitting together
Really, that’s about it! If you’ve never knitted a sweater before you can totally do this with us.
Things I’ll challenge you to do (if you don’t already do them when you knit)
We will be checking gauge before we start knitting our sweaters. No, this is not optional. If you want to make sure you knit a cute vintage sweater that will fit you and not look like you’re wearing either a potato sack or something meant for a five-year-old, you will need to know your gauge. I don’t care if you do a cheaty gauge swatch like I sometimes do (shhh, don’t tell), but we will definitely be doing one for this knit-along.
I'll also make you think about your actual body size (and how you want the garment to fit you). Now, if you buy vintage clothes online or if you sew you probably know your measurements, but if you don’t, you’re going to need to know. There’s nothing like being disappointed in the finished product because you guessed your bust size and were wrong.
Since I want this knit-along to be accessible for everyone, I want to pick a pattern that’s relatively basic. Not too much fussiness, no all-over stitch pattern unless it seems pretty easy, you get the idea. Fortunately there are lots of patterns that fit the bill.
Here are the ones I’m currently thinking about. I’ve linked those patterns that are available online (you can click on an image to see a little bigger version, too). If we go with something in my stash, I will provide it.
|Double Dates |
|Lacy Yoke Blouse |
|Briar Rose |
|Style 2426 |
|Neat and |
It also would allow you to show off just a few awesome vintage buttons. You could work the pocket and collar in a contrasting color (or even stripes!), or easily omit either if you wanted. Knit it in a light color for Spring, or a darker green or khaki for kind of a W.A.C. look.
Another plus about the pattern is that it would be easy to size up and down (something I will be covering in-depth), and I could provide different sleeve alternatives for those of you who either hate seaming sleeves or who don’t want that 40s-style pleated sleeve cap. And I think the pattern that would be a great jumping off point for customizations by the more advanced knitters in the crowd.
So, what do you think? I don’t want to select it if a lot of people don’t like it, so opinions, please!
Okay, this one I’m not that sure about. We’re just about to hit February, and I want to make sure everyone has enough time to get yarn and supplies once the pattern is selected (along with time for the word to spread a little to anyone else out there who might want to join in, so please feel free to let your other knitty friends know!). I’m thinking perhaps an official start knitting date of March 1st? I want to nail down the pattern soon so I can talk about yarn and supplies.
And how long should this last? Do you think two months is sufficient, or would you feel comfortable with a little more time? I’ll plan out my posts on the knit-along according to our schedule.
Okay, I think I've covered most of the basics. Are you getting excited? I am! Once some of the details are worked out I'll create a couple of small ads you can use on your blog for the knit-along if you'd like. Please let me know your thoughts on patterns and the timeframe, anything I'm missing or anything else you want to add! I'm really looking forward to knitting with you vintage lovin' gals. :)