Home

Weblog

Knitalong

Pattern of
the Month

On the Needles
(...and Off the Needles)

Stitchcraft

Vintage Patterns

About the
Idle Hands


Archive entry for May 2011

« April 2011 | Main | June 2011 »

May 2011

Nautical top with buttoned vestee

NauticalTop2.jpg

Mid-fifities fashion in fresh blue and white summer colours. The stripes and buttoning give the design a slightly off-kilter nautical look. My version used a stronger blue than the original.
If you are tantalised by the ghostly image of the other sweater in the background then look at these instructions - it is not actually that very knitted top (the one in the background of the photo above has beads - you'll have to trust me on that), but it is very similar, and also dates from the summer of 1956.

My own version is now complete so the pattern is "checked out", and I hope to add a photo soon.

Instructions

Knitted in 2 pieces with a V-neck, and detachable vestee.
Since the vestee is detachable and the buttons are attached to it, you could have more than one colour scheme, by knitting alternative vestees.
[Editor's note: "Ringing the changes" is a common theme for vintage homemade clothes, which seems like it stems from the 1940s "make do and mend" era, though personally I think the concept of avoiding waste (and sweating your assets!) is a much older set of values - Victorian or earlier.]

Back

With No 12 (2¾mm) needles cast on cast on 138sts and work as follows:

1st row (right side facing): k2; (p2, k4) 22 times; p2, k2.
2nd row: p2; (k2, p4) 22 times; k2, p2.
Repeat these 2 rows for 4 inches.
[Editor's note: Because I lengthened the pattern at the shoulders by about 2 inches, I compensated by shortened the pattern here - please see "adaptations" at the end of the instructions.]
Change to No 11 (3mm) needles and continue for a further 2 inches.

Start centre shaping:
1st row (right side facing): k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; m1p, p2, m1p; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
2nd row: p2; (k2, p4) 11 times; k4; (p4, k2) 11 times; p2.
3rd row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p4; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
4th row: as second row.
5th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p1, m1p, p2, m1p, p1, (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
6th row: p2; (k2, p4) 11 times; k6; (p4, k2) 11 times; p2.
7th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p6; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
8th row: as 6th.
9th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p2, m1k, p2, m1k, p2; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
10th row: p2; (k2, p4) 11 times; k2, p1, k2, p1, k2; (p4, k2) 11 times; p2.
11th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p2, k1, p2, k1, p2; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
12th row: as 10th.
13th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p2, k1, m1k, p2, m1k, k1, p2, (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
14th row: p2; (k2, p4) 11 times; k2, p2, k2, p2, k2; (p4, k2) 11 times; p2.
15th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p2, k2, p2, k2, p2; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
16th row: as 14th.
17th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p2, k2, m1k, p2, m1k, k2, p2; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
18th row: p2; (k2, p4) 11 times; k2, p3, k2, p3, k2; (p4, k2) 11 times; p2.
19th row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p2, k3, p2, k3, p2; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
20th row: as 18th.
21st row: k2; (p2, k4) 11 times; p2, k3, m1k, p2, m1k, k3, p2; (k4, p2) 11 times; k2.
22nd row: p2; (k2, p4) 12 times; k2; (p4, k2) 12 times; p2.
23rd row: k2; (p2, k4) 12 times; p2; (k4, p2) 12 times; k2.
24th row: as 22nd.

Continue thus, keeping continuity of rib and increasing 1 stitch at each side of centre 2 purl sts on next and every following 4th row until there are 180 sts, remembering that when increasing for purl sts to purl into back of loop and when increasing for knit sts to knit into back of loop,that is: the next 2 sets of increasings will be purl and the following 4 sets of increasings knit.
Continue the increasings in this way until 21 sets of increasings have been done in all and there are 180 sts on needle.
Work 3 rows straight.
Tie a contrast thread at each end of the row at this point to mark the start of the armholes.
Now continue centre increasings as before on next and every following 4th row, and at the same time shape armholes by k2tog at each end of next and every following 4th row, 15 times in all (you will still have 180 sts on needle).
Work 3 rows straight.

With right side facing, change to garter stitch, (that is, every row knit),
[Editor's note: I made an adaptation here - please see "adaptations" at the end of the instructions.]
and work 2 rows straight.
[Editor's note: I lengthened the pattern at this point to match the fronts where I created a deeper V - please see "adaptations" at the end of the instructions.]

Then, continuing in garter stitch, shape shoulders by casting off 4 sts at beginning of next 10 rows, then 12 sts at beginning of following 4 rows.
Cast off remaining stitches.

Front

Work exactly as for back until there are 172 sts.

Work 3 rows straight, then start to introduce the garter stitch at the centre as follows:

1st row (right side facing): Rib 82, k3, m1k, k2, m1k, k3, rib 82.
2nd row: Rib 80, k14, rib 80.
3rd row: Rib 80, m1k, k5; k2tog, wind yarn twice round needle, k2tog; k5, m1k, rib 80.
4th row: Rib 80, k7; (knit and purl into the two twists of wool to make a buttonhole), k7, rib 80.
5th row: Rib 80, k16, rib 80.
6th row: as 5th row.
7th row: Rib 80, m1k, k16, m1k, rib 80.
8th row: Rib 80, k18, rib 80.

Divide for neck:
Next row (right side facing): Rib 80, k9.
Turn, leaving remaining sts on a spare needle or stitch holder.

Next row: K9, rib 80.
Next row: Rib 80, m1p, k9.
Next row: K9, rib 81
Next row: Rib 81, k9.

Repeat the last 2 rows once more.
Next row: K9, rib 81

Put a coloured marker at the end of the row to mark the start of the armhole.

Continue in rib and garter stitch, shaping the armhole edge only by k2tog at the beginning of the next and every following 4th row, and at the same time make a buttonhole in the garter stitch border on the 2nd and every following 12th row until 5 in all are done, excluding first buttonhole at the centre front.

To make a buttonhole:- With wrong side facing, k2, k2tog, wind wool twice round needle, k2tog, k3, rib to end. On the next row: knit and purl into the two twists as before.

When the 5 buttonholes are done, continue in rib and garter stitch, still continue to decrease at the armhole edge on every 4th row until 15 sts have been decreased at this edge, and 75sts remain.

Work 3 rows straight.

Change to garter stitch over all sts,
[Editor's note: I made an adaptation here - please see "adaptations" at the end of the instructions.]
and work 2 rows straight.
[Editor's note: I lengthened the pattern at this point to create a deeper V neck - please see "adaptations" at the end of the instructions.]

With right side facing, continue in garter stitch and shape the shoulder by casting off 4sts at the beginning of next and following 4 alternate rows, then 14sts at the beginning of following 3 alternate rows.

Cast off remaining 13 stitches.

With side facing, rejoin wool to remaining sts, and work, to correspond with first shoulder, reversing the shaping.

Vestee

With white wool and No 11 needles, cast on 10 sts and knit 4 rows.

5th row: Knit, increasing 1 stitch at each end.
6th row: K4, p4, k4.
7th row: Knit.
8th row: as 6th.
9th row: K3, increase in next stitch, knit to last 4 sts, increase in next stitch, k3.

Work 3 rows straight in stocking stitch, keeping the 4sts at each end in garter-stitch throughout.

Repeat last 4 rows once more. Join in blue.

Next row (in blue, right side facing): K3, increase in next stitch, knit to last 4sts, increase in next stitch, k3.

Work 3 rows straight in blue with border as before.
Rejoin white.
Now continue in stocking-stitch in stripes of 6 rows white and 4 rows blue with border as before and increasing 1 stitch inside the border on next and every following 4th row until there are 42 stitches.

Next row (in white): K4, p34, k4.

This completes the 5th white stripe.

Break white, join in blue and knit 5 rows.
Cast off.

To Make Up

Press work very lightly taking care not to spoil rib.
Join shoulders with a backstitch seam.

Sleeve Edgings: With right side facing, No 11 needles and contrast yarn, pick up and knit 92 sts between markers on back and front.
[Editor's note: The number of stitches you pick up depends on how large you want to make the armhole; I advise you to pin the side seams together and try on the top before finally deciding where the markers should be.
Once decided, a
s a general rule, pick up sts on 2 out of every 3 row ends on rib section and pick up every alternate row end on the garter stitch section.]

Knit 8 rows; cast off.

Join side seams.
Neaten buttonholes with matching sewing cotton.
Press vestee, then sew on buttons to match buttonholes.
Press seams.

Materials

Original materials called for: 7 ozs Patons Beehive Fingering 3-ply in main shade (powder blue) and a small ball (less than 1oz) in white.

A pair each Nos 11 and 12 (3mm and 2¾mm) needles.

11 small white buttons.

My version is knitted in 5 x 50g balls of Adriafil Avantgarde 3 ply using Nos 13 and 12 needles.

Tension

Ribbing is difficult to measure, but it is equivalent to a basic tension of 8 sts and 10 rows to an inch over stocking-stitch on No 11 needles.

Size matters

Original sized for bust 34-36 inches;
length from top of shoulders: 21 inches.

See "adapting the size".

Abbreviations

m1p: pick up loop lying before next stitch and purl into back of it.

m1k: pick up loop lying before next stitch and knit into back of it.

A word on the wool.

I have so many words on the wool I am not sure where to begin.
I started to knit this sweater using the Adriafil Avantgarde 3 ply. I bought 4 x 50g balls at 220 metres each but the back took more than 2 balls and so the project was on hold; I finally acquired another ball in a different dye lot, hence the huge delay in publishing as I had to make adaptations to blend it in. Luckily this will not be the case for you.

Jamiesons have an excellent range of colours in "2ply laceweight" which states: This yarn can be used in vintage patterns which call for "3ply yarns".

I can suggest looking at Susan Crawford's new Excelana range from John Arbon textiles. I have great hopes of this venture solving my knitting issues in the future: 4 ply available now and hopefully 3 ply in the future.

I have not yet experimented with either of these two latter yarns.

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

Adaptations:

I made quite a few casual adaptations to "improve" the design for my figure - but as usual this had a knock-on effect in some other areas - so I describe what happened here.

Adaptation 1: When changing to garter stitch the ribbing pulls at the garter stitch section and causes puckering. You can see this happening slightly in the original photo. To compensate for this, on the first knit row of the garter stitch (right side facing) I knitted across the 4 knit sts and and the k2tog for the 2 purl sts. This changed the number of sts for the casting off.

So for the Front sections I worked k2tog 10 times on the p2 sections of the rib; I then shaped the shoulder by casting off 3sts at the beginning of next and following 4 alternate rows, then 13sts at the beginning of the following 2 alternate rows, then 12sts at the beginning the final 2 alternate rows.

For the Back, I worked it slightly differently without decreasing across the back of the neck. So I worked k2tog across the first 11 p2 sections of the rib, but incorporated the centre 7 p2 sections into the garter stitch as k2, then k2tog across the last 11 p2 sections of the rib.
For the shoulder shaping I cast off 3 sts at beginning of next 10 rows, then 12 sts at beginning of following 4 rows.

Adaptation 2: I lengthened the garter stitch sections by about 2 inches to make the V neck lower. This was to avoid "waist boobz" (please see Kate's blog, "needled" ** on the subject).

Adding 2 inches at the shoulder, lengthens the whole sweater, so I knitted 2 inches less at the start of the sweater - as it is not overly short in the first place.

Having done this, you may find the armhole markers are (up to 2 inches) too low, so check this before you do the sleeve edging and sewing up the side seams. In my case, I have chubby little arms so wanted the armhole slightly larger in any case.

** Unlike Kate I have a large bosom with a low bust point, so need no assistance in producing waist boobz - in fact I seek to reverse the effect.
Plunging V necks are very flattering for large busts - and this pattern has the advantage that the vestee ensures that the plunge does not lack the appropriate level of decorum for daywear - not that large and revealing bosoms ever seemed a problem in the 1950s - though thinking again I am probably way past the age when women were allowed out to flaunt their figures.

See Kate's lovely design "by-the-sea-shore" where she reverses the "waist boob" effect. It is also an off-kilter nautical design in a way so sits nicely with this entry.

Adapting the size:

The original pattern is for one size: 34-36 inch bust. The sweater is designed to fit snugly, but is ribbed which allows some leeway on the exact fit.

It is designed to be knitted in 3 ply at about 30 sts to 4 inches. I have used a 4 ply at about 28 sts to 4 inches, and the size would have been acceptable for me - a UK size 12 or "medium".

I think this may be suitable for using a thicker yarn with larger needles and getting a larger result.

© Christina Coutts 2007

Helpful Stuff

Pattern Archive

Categories

Yarn Links

Fabric etc

Stuff to do

  • Little rabbits
  • Bayerische sock
  • V&A 1940s Patterns
  • Darlek Toy
  • Cashmere Cowl
  • Monkey Socks
  • Necktie Bag
  • Posh Gloves
  • Criss-cross coasters
  • Yesterknits
    (free patterns)