Vintage Make – Tie Front Fifties Jumper

Over two years ago, I blogged about going to an auction in Cornwall and coming back with a car full of goodies:

Car full of auction goodies

The boot (trunk) was jammed full – this is with the seats down!

The bulk of the auction appeared to be the contents of a house, where the lady of the house was keen on her needlecrafts. I bought two enormous boxes of vintageĀ knitting wool – both so heavy I couldn’t lift them on my own.

Vintage wool box

Vintage wool box

I know that the wool was vintage as it came in its original boxes, and some even had the original receipts dating back to the fifties.

Still in the original wrapper

Still in the original wrapper!

I like knitting, and so it was only a matter of time before I was looking for a way to use this wool.

Such a great colour

Such a great colour

Of course, being vintage wool, I wanted to use it in a vintage pattern, so I went through my collection of knitting patterns to see if I could find something wearable, in my size, and for the right wool.

Vintage Knitting Magazine

Vintage Knitting Magazine

I found it in this fifties knitting magazine:

The Pattern

The Pattern

The pattern is for a tie fronted short sleeved jumper, and only has instructions for one size (fortunately mine). To make it larger or smaller, the instructions were to use bigger or smaller needles:

Close-up of the original jumper

Close-up of the original jumper

I hadn’t appreciated how different vintage knitting patterns are to modern ones, and I found it hard to follow – I had to rewrite the instructions andĀ knit the front three times before I got it right:

Front of the Jumper (after 3 tries!)

Front of the Jumper (after 3 tries!)

But I think it was worth it. Here is the finished result:

Close up of front detail

Close up of front detail

I’ve worn it with linen trousers and received a lot of unsolicited complements. What is surprising is people’s reactions when they find that I knitted it myself. I don’t know if that’s because I don’t look like the knitting type, or because hand knitted garments are so unusual nowadays. What do you think? Have you ever worn clothes you have made yourself in your workplace, what was the reaction?

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