Pretty Summer Woolley
Summer jacket from 1935 has an unusual design that is quite fun to work. It was given only in one nominal size, but has some flexibility for your own alterations. I simply love the way this has turned out; the bamboo yarn is so soft and comfortable. On finishing, I immediately wore it all the next day.
Diagonal Rib Pattern
Sleeves and lower part of jumper are knitted in a k2, p2 rib, with the rib carried one stitch sideways on each row.
The following 4 rows form the pattern, worked over an odd number of stitches.
Row 1: (k2, p2) repeated to centre
stitch; knit centre stitch; (p2, k2) repeated to end of row.
The yoke of the jumper is knitted in cable ribbing, where the stitch
between the cables is subsequently dropped to form "ladders".
When the sts are dropped, pull them back to where you started the cables,
above the diagonal rib, and secure the stitch by running a thread through
and stitching on the inside.
Using No. 12 needles and main colour (blue), cast on 104 stitches, and
work 3 inches in k1, p1 rib, (approximately 25 rows), increasing one stitch
at the end of the last row.
Work the 4-row pattern 10 times, then the first two rows again, (42 rows).
[Editor's note: The origonal instructions were to work the 4-row pattern 14 times as it was intended for a thinner yarn. For my version, in the bamboo yarn, I worked 16 rows fewer up to the start of the cables, as well as 16 rows fewer in the armhole section (see notes below) which brought the welt up to sit on my hips as shown in the photo.]
Row 43: (p2, k2) repeated to centre
stitch; knit centre stitch; (k2, p2) repeated to end of row. (ie
pattern row 3 with 5 sts knitted in the middle).
Now start the striped pattern:
Row 55: K38 sts in pattern as set
in blue; join on white: k6, cable C4B, k1, cable C4F, k6; join on another
ball of blue and finish row in pattern.
Continue as on last 2 rows. increasing number of white stitches for 5 more rows (i.e.. finally 31 blue; 43 white; 31 blue).
Row 63: Work in blue right across
row: 30 sts in pattern; k5, (C4B, k1) twice, (C4F, k1) twice, k4; 30 sts
Continue thus for 6 more rows in blue, still taking 2 more into stocking stitch in each row (23 pattern sts on each side).
Row 71: Pattern 22 sts blue; join
on white: k4, (C4B, k1) 3 times, (C4F, k1) 3 times, k3; join on blue pattern
Continue thus for 6 more rows.
Row 79: Work in blue right across
row: 14 sts in pattern; k3, (C4B, k1) 4 times, (C4F, k1) 4 times, k2;
14 sts in pattern.
Repeat from ** with alternate colours 4
times, then repeat row 87 row in blue.
Work 3 rows in stocking stitch.
Row 131: Cast off 2, drop 1 st, leave
big loop (to cover dropped st), and cast off 1 more; knit to end.
Using No. 12 needles and main colour (blue), cast on 66 stitches, and
work 3 inches in k1, p1 rib, (approximately 30 rows), increasing one stitch
at the end of the last row. [67 sts].
Row 1: k15; (p2, k2) repeated to
end of row.
Repeat these 8 rows 4 times.
Row 41: k15; (p2, k2) repeated to
end of row.
Row 61: All blue. K4, (C4F, k1) twice,
C4F, k5; (p2, k2) repeated to end of row.
Row 69: Join in white: k4; (C4F,
k1) 4 times, k3. Join in blue: (p2, k2) repeated to end of row.
Row 77: All blue. K4, (C4F, k1) 5
times, k2; (p2, k2) repeated to end of row.
Row 85: Join on white: k4; (C4F,
k1) 5 times; k9, k2tog.
Work 2 more cable stripes alternately
in white and blue, working only 3 rows in stocking stitch after the cable
row on the second blue stripe.
Row 113: Cast off 2, break wool and
pull through last stitch; drop 1. Join on again.
Cast on and work in ribbing as for right front; change to No. 9 needles and purl one row on 67 sts.
Row 1: k2; (p2, k2) repeated to last
13 sts, k13.
Continue with these rows in pattern as set, reversing the shapings and
making the two fronts correspond.
Sleeves (work 2 alike).
Cast on 62 stitches on No.12 needles.
Next row: Increase once at each end
Cast off 3 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows.
[Editor's note: The instructions above are as I worked the sleeve but are completely different fom the original. Below are the original instructions in case you are working in the fine fingering weight wool.]
Here are the original
instructions for the 3 ply weight yarn:
Work 7 rows in pattern.
[My sleeve length is to the elbow. The original sleeve was made much shorter and a different shape.]
On No. 12 needles, pick up 104 stitches
round neck: 33 sts from each front and side neck, and 38 sts across the
Drop stitches between cables. Catch these stitches (and sew in) on the
wrong side to prevent running into the diagonally ribbed pattern.
Original pattern calls for 6oz of main and 1oz white in "3 ply".
One pair each of numbers 12 (2¾mm) and 9 (3¾mm) needles.
One cable needle. One No 9 (3½mm) crochet hook.
Seven buttons, approximately 1 inch. The original shows rather larger buttons as part of the styling.
Original states 32st to an inch over diagonal rib on No 9 needles.
No size given originally - knitted example measured 36-38 inches. My version is knitted with fewer rows than stated in the original pattern (my deviations noted in red); this is - as intended - to keep the cardigan waist length like the original, but with longer sleeves. The result is a good fit for me (a chubby UK size 12), shaped to be fitted around the bust, under the arms, and into the waist, but with a good degree of ease.
See the section on sizing.
A word on the wool.
Rowan Bamboo Soft, is a light weight DK which knits to a tension of 25sts
and 30 rows to 4 inches; 102m/112yds to 50g.
The original pattern seems to be intended as a neat fitting jacket in a fine yarn, knitted on larger needles.
I calculated the chest size (one size only given) as working out to only 28 inches, which even for the era seemed a bit small, so I felt confident in moving to a thicker yarn, based on the needle size. What I had failed to take into account, is that when you drop the stitches between the cable, the chest size expands a lot. Purely guessing I would say the original size using fine yarn was intended for a 33 to 35 inch bust.
The design of the cables and ladders, means that the cardigan is in fact self-shaping. In my version, the measurement for the back just above the welt is about 16 inches, and this increases to about 18 inches by the time you get to armholes. This gives you a nominal 36-38 inch bust size as the fronts are slightly larger and you can choose, within limits, to have fewer or more rows of crochet to form the front closure bands.
To increase the length of the cardigan, you can follow the areas marked in red where I have altered the rows. Preferably stick with adding or subtracting in chunks of 8 for simplicity.
To make tweaks to the bust size you can add in crochet rows at the front.
To make a significant alteration is slightly more difficult; in order
to keep the symmetry of the cables you really need to add in two cables
on the back and one each on the front, which would make a difference of
36 sts, and in the yarn I used this would be about 5½ inches.
But please note: This cardigan fits me well, and still looks as shown in the pictures; however the bamboo yarn has eased considerably with wear - I now think I could easily have removed an even 4 cable patterns (5½ inches) and still have a nicely fitting cardigan.
Finally, you can of course make overall size changes by using substitute yarns of other weights. This design is pretty tolerant of such changes, as I discovered, but you risk ending up with a different look - anything from the tiny figure-hugging waist length jacket of the original to a longer altogether looser cardigan style. If you are up to it, you can of course check your tension and work it all out beforehand, but remember the effect of the ladders is to much increase the finished size above that implied by the tension.
Here is a popup of the original picture for comparison with my version: