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July 2020

Camisole party frock

PartyDress.jpg

A very pretty strappy knitted dress which is styled for the summer, but, as usual, would work well for the winter, perhaps with a sparkly yarn, and worn with a bolero, tippet, or stole - if we are ever allowed to go out in public any time soon....

Instructions

The pattern panel for the dress is worked over 5 stitches as follows:

1st row: yfwd, k2togtbl, k1, k2tog, yfwd.
2nd row: purl.
3rd row: k1, yfwd, sl1, k2tog, psso, yfwd, k1.
4th row: purl.

Back

**
Using No 7 (4½mm) needles, cast on 135 stitches and knit one row.

Work in Pattern A as follows:

1st row (right side facing): k1, (k2tog, yfwd) 5 times, k3, * (yfwd, k2togtbl) 4 times, yfwd, sl1, k2tog, psso, yfwd, (k2tog, yfwd) 4 times, k3; repeat from * to last 11 stitches; (yfwd, k2togtbl) 5 times, k1.

2nd row: k1, purl to last stitch, k1

3rd row: k2, * (k2tog, yfwd) 5 times, k1, (yfwd, k2togtbl) 5 times, k1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

4th row: as 2nd.

These 4 rows form Pattern A.

Repeat them until back measures 15 inches, ending with 4th pattern row.

Shape as follows:

Next row: k1, (k2tog) twice, (yfwd, k2tog) 3 times, yfwd, sl1, k2tog, psso, * (yfwd, k2togtbl) 4 times, sl1, k2tog, psso, (k2tog, yfwd) 4 times, sl1, k2tog, psso repeat from * to last 11 stitches, (yfwd, k2togtbl) 4 times, k2togtbl, k1. [111 sts]

Continue in Pattern B as follows:

1st row (wrong side facing): k1, purl to the last stitch, k1.

2nd row: k1, (k2tog, yfwd) 4 times, k3, *(yfwd. k2togtbl) 3 times, yfwd, sl1, k2tog, psso, yfwd, (k2tog, yfwd) 3 times, k3; repeat from * to last 9 stitches, (yfwd, k2togtbl) 4 times, k1.

3rd row: as 1st row.

4th row: k2, * (k2tog. yfwd) 4 times. k1, (yfwd, k2togtbl) 4 times, k1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

These 4 rows form Pattern B.

Repeat them until back measures 20 inches, ending with 1st pattern row.

Shape as follows:

Next row: k1, (k2tog) twice, (yfwd, k2tog) twice, yfwd, sl1, k2tog, psso, * (yfwd, k2togtbl) 3 times, sl1, k2tog, psso, (k2tog, yfwd) 3 times, sl1, k2tog, psso; repeat from * to last 9 stitches , (yfwd, k2togtbl) 3 times, k2togtbl, k1. [87 sts]

Continue in Pattern C as follows:

1st row (wrong side facing): k1, purl to last stitch, k1.

2nd row: k1, (k2tog , yfwd) 3 times, k3, * (yfwd, k2togtbl) twice, yfwd, sl1, k2tog, psso, yfwd, (k2tog, yfwd) twice, k3; repeat from * to last 7 stitches; (yfwd, k2togtbl) 3 times, k1

3rd row: as 1st row.

4th row: k2, * (k2tog, yfwd) 3 times, k1, (yfwd, k2togtbl) 3 times, k1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

These 4 rows form Pattern C.

Repeat them until back measures 22 inches.

Place a marker at each end of last row.

Change to No 10 (3¼mm) needles and continue in Pattern C until back measures 4 inches from markers, ending with right side facing.

Next row: cast off 21, k8 (this includes the stitch on the needle from casting off), slip these 8 stitches on a safety-pin, cast off 29, k8, slip these 8 stitches on a safety-pin, cast off remaining 21 stitches.

Work shoulder strap as follows:
With wrong side facing and No 10 needles, rejoin yarn to 8 stitches on safety-pin and work in stocking-stitch, starting with a p. row, until strap measures 16 inches. Cast off.
Work 2nd strap in the same way.

Front

Work as for back from ** to **.

Next row: cast off 44, place a marker in the last of these stitches, cast off remaining stitches.

Join side seams of skirt.

Bodice

With No. 10 needles, cast on 34 stitches and work in rib as follows:

Next row: k1, * p2, k2; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

This row forms rib pattern. Repeat it until strip, when slightly stretched, fits along upper edge of skirt from outer side of shoulder straps to marker at centre front.
Place a marker in "k3." edge of strip.
Rib 4 more rows.
Place a 2nd marker in opposite end.

Now continue in rib until length from 2nd marker matches length from cast-on edge to 1 st marker.
Cast off loosely in rib.

To Make Up

Starting at outer side of shoulder strap, sew first half of bodice strip in position, first marker matching centre marker of front.
Now fold under upper edge of strip, bringing 2nd marker also to centre marker of front, thus twisting the strip, then sew 2nd half of strip in position, ending at outer edge of other strap (thus leaving back edge between straps free).
Sew side edges Of bodice strips to approximately 4 inches of shoulder straps, then sew straps to front. Face straps with ribbon on wrong side
[Editor's Note: The bodice only goes around the front of the dress; it might be easier to see how you are intended to sew it to the straps if you look at the picture of the back of the dress below.]

Cut lining the full width of skirt but 2 inches longer than skirt when lying flat. Allow ½ inches for seams and 1 inch for hem.
Join side seams, then catch top of lining in position all round top of skirt.

Pin hem in position, then try dress on before stitching, to be certain lining is the correct length.

Materials

Dress: 6 x 50g balls of a light weight double knitting. (See"a word on the wool").

Pair each No 10 (3¼mm) and No 7 (4½mm) needles.

1¼ yards (about 1.2m) of 1 inch (2.5cm) wide facing ribbon.

1¾ yards (about 1.6m) of 36 inch (90cm) wide lining material in a matching shade.

Tension

25 sts and 32 rows to 4 inches measured over pattern on No 7 needles.

Size matters

The pattern is given in one size to fit bust 34 - 36 inches. Length (excluding shoulder strap) measured flat is 30 inches. (The dress drops to 32 inches when worn)

Abbreviations:

k2tog or p2tog: knit or purl 2 stitches together (decrease one stitch).
stocking stitch: one row knit and one row purl, ("stockinette").
tbl: through back loops. [k2tog tbl also known as "ssk" or slip, slip, knit]
yfwd: yarn forward
sl1: slip one stitch
psso: pass the slipped stitch over

A Word on the Wool:

Original knitted in Patons Kismet which which was 80% acrylic and 20% mohair; it was a fairly light weight yarn, and it was the fluffiness that caused it to knit to something like a DK equivalent (on the right needles).

This pattern emphasises the light weight nature of the yarn with an open-work pattern knitted on large needles.

The other thing to note is that it had an exceptional yardage - about 225m to 50g which is about double that of a normal DK, so you need to take all that into account when considering substituting.

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.

Altering the size

Unusually for this era, we have only the one size - perhaps they think those more well-endowed would not suit this style - and maybe they are right - certainly I don't think I could make it work for me.
However, if you did want to make it larger, I really think the only option is to work out the repeats in the pattern and add some extra width in the skirt - then knit the bodice section (it's knitted sideways) longer, and workout where to reposition the straps.
On top of that, if were knitting this, I would try using a delicate lace-weight yarn (there are some lovely ones around), swatching the pattern, and experimenting with different needles to get the right tension.
But then I never did like an easy life.

PartyDress-back.jpg

I'm putting this photo in to show you the back of the dress, but I can't let it pass without commenting that to me it's very vaguely sleazy - I think "come to bed eyes" would be the description. It's almost as if the photographer were more used to using his skills for a different kind of audience altogether...

June 2020

Crochet a Cardi

CrochetCardi.jpg

This looks like a very wearable crochet cardigan (for those who prefer crochet to knitting). Bands of two-row stripes in double crochet are arranged to form a flattering chevron down the centre back, giving the illusion of shaping. You could make it in a single shade, or go totally wild as shown in the photo - or you could choose more muted contrasts in naturals, perhaps greys and taupes with ecru. If you choose brights you could be guided more by Kaffe Fassett's favourite combinations, introducing turquoises with fuschia and poppy.

So .... "Make it plain and simple or bright and stunning"

Instructions.

Instructions for larger sizes are given in brackets.
[Editor's Note: The cardigan is made up of a series of narrow crochet strips which are then sewn together lengthways; the colours in the strips are offset from one another to make the chevron pattern, and they are made shorter to make the armholes and sleeve shaping.]

Main Part

1st Band: With 4mm hook and main shade (A) make 8 chain.
Foundation row: —Miss 1 ch, 1 dc in each ch to end. {7 dc}
1st Row: l ch, 1 dc in each dc.
Repeat 1st row for pattern.
Continue in pattern working 2 row stripes of the 5 contrasts (B, C, D, E, F) and main shade (A) until 40 [42 : 44 : 46] stripes are completed, ending with D [F : B : D] stripe; mark this stripe with contrast thread for centre back.
Beginning with C [E : A : C] stripe work sequence in reverse from F to A for 39 [41 : 43 : 45] more stripes, ending with A stripe.
Fasten off.

2nd Band: Make as the 1st band , but beginning and ending with contrast colour B and with centre back stripe of E [A : C : E].
Join to 1st band.

3rd Band: As 1st, but beginning and ending with contrast colour C and with centre back stripe of F [B : D : F].
Join to 2nd band.

Continue in this way, beginning and ending with next stripe of colour sequence, until the 9th band is complete.

Right Front

Next Band: Begin with contrast colour E and work 16 [17 : 18 : 19] stripes. Omit the first stripe of the previous band; join.

Next Band: Begin with A and work 14 [15 : 16 : 17] stripes. Omit one stripe at each end of the previous band; join.

Next Band: Begin with contrast colour C and work 12 [13 : 14 : 15] stripes. Join as previous band.

Next Band: Begin with contrast colour E and work 11 [12 : 13 : 14] stripes. Omit the first stripe of the previous band; join.

Shape shoulders:

Next Band: With A make 7 [8 : 10 : 11] chain. Work the foundation row and the 1st row as you did in the first band. {6 [7 : 9 : 10] dc}.
Work 2 stripes.
* Next Row: l ch, (insert hook in next dc) twice, yrh and draw through 3 loops - decrease worked - 1 dc in each dc to end.

Continue in stripes, decreasing 1 stitch at eh beginning of every 4th row until 2 dc remain. Work 1 row. Fasten off.
Omit the first stripe of the previous band; join.

Back

Reversing stripes at centre as given for main part continue thus:

Next Band: Beginning and ending B [C : D : E] work 35 [37 : 39 : 41] stripes. Omit 5 stripes of 9th band of main part for armhole; join.

Next Band: Beginning and ending D [E : F : A] work 33 [35 : 37 : 39] stripes. Omit 1 stripe at each end of previous band ; join.

Next Band: Beginning and ending F [A : B : C] work 31 [33 : 35 : 37] stripes. Join on as last band.

Next Band: As last but beginning and ending A [B : C : D]; join.

Shape shoulders:

With B [C : D : E] ** make 3 [3 : 5 : 5] chain. Work the foundation row and the 1st row as you did in the first band. {2 [2 : 4 : 4] dc}.

Next Row: l ch, 2 dc in next dc - increase worked - 1 dc in each dc to end.
Continue in stripe pattern, increasing 1 stitch at the beginning of every 4th row until there are 6 [7 : 9 : 10] dc,
Work 1 row. **
Work 16 [14 : 16 : 14] stripes, reversing stripes after 8th [7th : 8th : 7th] of these stripes. Complete as right front shoulder from *.
Sew on.

Left Front

As right front to shoulder shaping, reversing stripes and shapings, and missing 5 stripes of last band of main part for armhole.

Shape shoulders:

Beginning D [E : F : A], work as shoulder shaping of back from ** to ** . Work 2 [1 : 2 : 1] stripes. Fasten off. Sew on.

Sleeves

1st Band: beginning with A, work as for 1st band of main part, repeating 6 stripes of A, B, C, D, E and F until there are 22 [22 : 24 : 24] stripes.

2nd Band: beginning with B, work as 1st band.
Sew on.

3rd Band: beginning with B, work 24 [24 : 26 : 26] stripes. Omitting 1 stripe each end sew on to 2nd band.

4th Band: beginning with C, work as for 3rd band. Sew on.

5th Band: beginning with C, work 26 [26 : 28 : 28] stripes. Omitting 1 stripe each end, sew on.

6th Band: beginning with D, work as for 5th band. Sew on.

7th Band: beginning with D, work 28 [28 : 30 : 30] stripes. Omitting 1 stripe each end, sew on.

8th Band: beginning with E, work as 7th band. Sew on.

9th Band: beginning with E, work 30 [30 : 32 : 32] stripes. Omitting 1 stripe at each end, sew on.

10th Band: beginning with F, work as 9th band.

Now shape top:
11th Band: beginning with D, work 24 [24 : 26 : 26] stripes. Omitting 3 stripes at each end of previous band and sew on.

12th Band: beginning with F, work 22 [22 : 24 : 24] stripes. Omitting 1 stripe each end of previous band and sew on.

13th Band: beginning with B, work 20 [20 : 22 : 22] stripes. Sew on as last band.

Making Up

Press work lightly.
Join shoulder and sleeve seams.
Set in Sleeves.

Edging:
Using the 3½mm hook join A to centre back at lower edge.

1st Round: l ch, 1 dc in end of each row or dc around entire outer edge, working 3 dc in the corners; slip stitch to 1st ch at the beginning of the round.
2nd Round (make buttonholes): 1 ch, 1 dc in each dc to corner; 3 dc in corner dc, 1 dc in 23 dc, (3 ch, miss 2 dc, 1 dc in 10 dc) 4 times, 1 dc in each dc to end, working 3 dc in centre dc of left corner; slip stitch to 1st ch at the beginning of the round.
3rd Round: 1 ch, now working in reverse from left to right work 1 dc in each dc and ch; slip stitch to 1st ch at the beginning of the round.
Fasten off.

With main shade A work around sleeve edges to match.
Sew on buttons. Press seams.

Materials

5 [6 : 7 : 8] (25 gram) balls double knitting yarn in the main colour, plus,
4 [5 : 6 : 7] balls in each of 5 contrast colours.
[Editor's Note: Crochet works up quickly but does rather eat up the yarn; this cardigan needs a total of up to 24 x 50g balls of DK. The yarn used in the original was an acrylic with a yardage of approximately 150m or 164yards per 50g.]

4mm and 3½mm crochet hooks.

Tension

Pattern strip is 1¾ inches wide and 18 rows to 4 inches.

Size matters

To fit chest 32 [34 : 36 : 38] inches;
length: 23 [23 : 23½ : 23½] inches;
sleeve: 18 inches all sizes.

Crochet abbreviations:

ch: chain
ss: slip stitch
dc: double crochet
yrh: yarn round hook

Remember these are English crochet instructions where dc is equivalent to US single crochet - see "Terminology" in the side bar.

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.

May 2020

Chic Criss-Cross Blouse

Criss-Cross.jpg

The criss-cross front on this knitted blouse is a new*, exciting idea. It fits close and snug around the waist, and does up With eight buttons - four at the back of the neck, and four at the waist. The main part is in plain k1/p1 rib, while the bands are in a fancy rib stitch.
* New in the autumn of 1938.
... and being from the 1930s, there is only one set of instructions to fit a modest 34-36 inch chest - however, they do suggest using different needle sizes to make a minor adjustment within that size range.

Instructions.

Instructions for one size only; you can slightly alter the size by using different needles as indicated in the pattern materials.

Front

Start with the belt as follows:
Cast on 27 stitches.

1st row: Slip 1,* slip 1 knitwise, p3; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1 knitwise, k1.
2nd row: Slip 1, *p1 into back of slip stitch, k3; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1 into back of slip stitch, k1.

Repeat these 2 rows (which form the pattern) until work measures 13½ inches, then, with right side facing: * work to last 3 stitches, turn, and work back. Work straight across tow rows then repeat from * twice.

Now shape as follows:
1st row: Work 3 stitches, turn, and work back.
3rd row: Work 5 stitches, turn, and work back.
5th row: Work 7 stitches, turn, and work back.
Continue thus, taking 2 more stitches into every alternate row until you work across all stitches.
Work 3 rows straight, then put stitches on a holder.

With right side facing, pick up and knit 46 stitches, commencing 3½ inches in from the holder, and ending 6 inches from beginning of work along upper edge (inside of curve) for right front. [The 6 inch straight piece left should reach to the centre back.]
[Editor's Note: The point I notice most here is that if 6 inches is allowed for on each side reaching round to the centre back, then the implication is that the total waist size is only 24 inches (4 x 6). This is a pretty neat little waist - even for the stated size - so it might be worth checking that the belt reaches round your waist, sitting just above the hips as shown in the picture.]

Work 19 rows in k1/p1 rib over these 46 stitches.
Leave on a spare needle.

Work a second piece to correspond to the first to make the left front, working all shapings at the opposite ends of the needle. (ie: commence picking up stitches with right side facing, 6 inches from commencement, and start the rib with p1).

The two front pieces are now joined together as follows:
Work across the 46 stitches of the left front in k1/p1 rib, then placing the 27 stitches from the first holder (right belt) in front of the work, work across them in fancy rib, and then work across 27 stitches from 2nd holder (left belt) in fancy rib, and then finally, work the remaining 46 stitches from spare needle (right front) in k1/p1 rib.
When joining fancy pieces, work together the last stitch of first piece with first stitch of second piece, and make sure that the right welt lies on top of left. [145 sts].

Now continue over all stitches:
1st row (wrong side facing): (k1, p1) 23 times, work in fancy rib pattern on next 26 stitches, k1, work in pattern on next 26 stitches (p1, k1) 23 times.
2nd row: (p1, k1) 23 times, work in pattern on next 26 stitches, p1, work in pattern on next 26 stitches, (k1, p1) 23 times.
Continue repeating these 2 rows, at the same time increasing 1 stitch at each end of every following 6th row until there are 165 stitches on the needle (keep increased stitches in k1/p1 rib).

Now work straight until front measures 11 inches, or length required; it is advisable to measure yourself here and make sure that the belt fits snugly round the natural waistline.

With right side facing, shape armholes by casting off 6 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows, 5 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows, 4 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows, and 3 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows.
Work ½ inch straight on these 129 stitches, increasing once in the centre stitch of the last row, and then shape left shoulder.

1st row (right side facing): Rib 38 stitches, turn, leaving remaining stitches on a spare needle.
2nd row: Increase in first stitch, rib to end.
3rd row: Rib.
Repeat 2nd and 3rd rows until you have 46 stitches; now decrease at the neck edge on every row until 37 stitches remain, then on every alternate row until 23 stitches remain.
Work should now measure 6¾ inches from commencement of armhole shapings.
Shape shoulder by casting off 7 stitches at the beginning of the following 3 alternate rows at the armhole edge, and at the same time decreasing 1 stitch on the 2 alternate rows at the neck edge.

Return to the main work, and complete the right shoulder to correspond.
Then work on the centre panel as follows (right side facing):
Work 27 stitches in pattern, turn, leaving other 27 stitches on a spare needle, and work back.

1st row:Work 3 stitches, turn, and work back.
3rd row: Work 5 stitches, turn, and work back.
5th row: Work 7 stitches, turn, and work back.
Continue thus, taking 2 more stitches into every row until you again work over all stitches.
Work back and then ** work 4 rows straight.
Next row: Work 17 stitches, turn, and work back.
Repeat from ** 3 times.
Now work straight for 10½ inches and cast off.
Work remaining 27 stitches to correspond, reversing all shapings.

Back

Cast on 114 stitches and work 28 rows in k1/p1 rib.
Now increase at each end of the next and every following 6th row until there are 134 stitches on the needle. Work straight until side seam equals that of front to underarm, then shape armhole by casting off 6 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows, 5 at the beginning of the next 2 rows, 4 at the beginning of the next 2 rows, and 3 at the beginning of the next 2 rows.
Continue straight until work measures 4¼ inches from commencement of armhole shapings.
Next row: Rib 42, cast off 14, rib 42, and continue on these last 42 stitches only, leaving remainder on a spare needle.

Shape neck by casting off 2 stitches at the neck edge on the following 5 alternate rows, and then k2tog at this edge on the following 9 alternate rows [23 sts].
Now shape shoulder by casting off 7 stitches at the armhole edge at the beginning of the following 3 alternate rows, and at the same time decreasing 1 stitch on the 2 alternate rows at the neck edge.
Work the remaining 42 stitches to correspond.

Sleeves

Cast on 91 stitches and work 1 inch in k1/p1 rib.
Change to fancy rib as for belt, and increase at each end of the 4th and every following 3rd row until there are 125 stitches on the needle.
With right side facing, shape top by casting off 6 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows, then k2tog at each end of every row until 29 stitches remain.
Cast off.

Making Up

Press very lightly only with a warm iron under a damp cloth.
Join side, shoulder and sleeve seams; insert sleeves, gathering all fullness to the top of the shoulder.
Take the loose end of the fancy band from the right front, underneath that of the left front, and stitch to the left front edge of the neck round to centre back.
Take the left front band over that of the right front, and stitch to the right front edge of the neck round to centre back.
Stitch bands into position at bottom of front, and also across back, meeting at the centre.
Work a row of double crochet all round neck and bottom edges and both back openings, making 4 button loops for neck fastening and 4 for waist fastening. Sew on buttons to match.

Materials

8 ozs 3 ply.

According to size: Two pairs of No 10 (3¼mm) needles for 34-36 inch chest.
or
Use two pairs of No 11 (3mm) for 33 inch chest.
Or
Use No 9 (3¾mm) for 37 inch chest.

Eight small buttons

One No 12 (2¾mm or 2½mm) crochet hook.

Tension

34 sts to 4 inches on No 10 (3¼mm) needles for 34-36 inch chest.
Or
36 sts to 4 inches on No 11 (3mm) for 33 inch chest.
Or
32 sts to 4 inches on No 9 (3¾mm) for 37 inch chest.

Size matters

One size to fit 34-36 inch chest; length from top of shoulders 18 inches. Options to slightly decrease or increase the size by using different needles to achieve different tensions.

Abbreviations

k2tog or p2tog: knit or purl 2 sts together (decrease one stitch)

stocking stitch: one row knit and one row purl, ("stockinette")

A word on the wool.

Original yarn was Patons Super Crêpe.

Susan Crawford, who specialises in vintage knits, offers lovely Fenella wool which "knits up to that elusive vintage ‘3 ply’ tension".

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".

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.

Criss-CrossFancyRib.jpg

© Christina Coutts 2007

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