I've always loved vintage knitting patterns, and used to think that the people who could knit from them must have amazing knitting skillz. That level of knitting would never be attainable for little old me!
Thinking about miles of fingering weight yarn, potentially having to resize a pattern and unfamiliar instructions made me feel too nervous to try.
Let me tell you now - knitting vintage is no different to knitting a modern day pattern! (Don't get me started on how badly written Vogue knitting patterns are, for example).
I'd love to address those concerns, and give you some thoughts of my own for those who would love to try their hand at their first vintage knit.
Hopefully my short cuts and tips will help convince you, as I honestly don't think it's a hard process.
Tip No. 1 - negative ease!
Of everything that i've knitted, the garments that I wear the most are those that are body skimming.
Try for a finished bust size equal to your actual bust measurement, or 1-1.5 inches smaller. Knits stretch, and most vintage styles are meant to be form fitting (with some exceptions like some of the draped 30s styles).
For example, my bust measurement is approx 39 inches, so i'll happily knit this pattern that is sized for a 38-40 inch bust.
|This Victory Jumper, sized 38-40 will be perfect|
If you’re not sure what the finished size is (quite often they say ‘to fit a 34 inch bust’), just skim read through the instructions for the back, until to you get to the point where they start casting off for the armholes – this is your widest point of the garment.
Get the stitch count before the cast off, and divide by the recommended gauge-per-inch. Multiply that by two, and you should have idea of how wide around the bust the garment will be.
If you’re concerned that the waist band will be too tight, use the same size needles on the ribbing that you will use on the body. The rib will still be stretchy but not restrictive.
But what if your bust is just a fraction too large for the knitting pattern (i.e. the finished size is 36 inches, and you want a finished size of 37 inches)?
|Spots before my eyes!|