March 1960: John’s new pullover

IMG_1550My second project for March — though it wasn’t finished by the end of the month — was a young boy’s pullover with a cute stripe-and-dot pattern.

Sadly, there is no colour photo in the magazine, the two contrasting colours look very similar in the black-and-white photo, and the little chart for the dot pattern doesn’t mention which colour should be used for which row of dots, so it’s not entirely clear what order the dot stripes go in. The main colour is “Moonstone”, the bottom stripe is stripe is “Horizon Blue” and the second stripe “Camel”, so I figured the bottom row of dots is also blue and the second row camel.

In any case, my colour scheme was different, as very light-colored garments for young active children are bound to get grubby, so I picked a sort of heathery grey-beige for the main colour. Camel as a contrast to that didn’t look so great, so I picked a nice shade of plum and a heathery blue. The yarn is plain Regia sock yarn — superwash wool with a bit of nylon for support.

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I though the skeins looked great together but somehow, as I started to knit it up, the colour combination reminded me of jogging clothes from the 1980s. I don’t know why, exactly, but it’s something about that exact combination. I wholeheartedly hate 1980s fashion and am very disappointed to see it having come back in during the last few years, so I wish I had picked something different! On the other hand, nobody else is going to be bothered by it — a young kid won’t be prejudiced and the parents will probably think it amusing if they even make the connection.IMG_1591

The stranding is easy and the main pattern is just stockinette stitch with an extra purl ridge row (K on the right side) every 6th row.

At 7 stitches to the inch, it took a while, and I had to restart once as my gauge was too loose, but I do love the finished look and I hope the wearer will too. I reassured him that he doesn’t need to wear a button-up shirt, tie and shorts with it. Again, if anyone can explain to me why boys of bygone decades had to wear shorts until they were teenagers, no matter how cold outside or how warmly they were dressed on the top half of their bodies, I will be grateful!

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January 1960: Green check jumper

greencheck_issuefoto2My knitting project from this issue was a houndstooth-check jumper, made in double knitting wool in two shades of green. Large checked patterns of this type were popular this year, which is presumably why Stitchcraft categorized this jumper as “fashion knitting” rather than “casual knitting”.

I love the big green collar and the interplay of the two colours. What I didn’t like as much was the pattern itself. It looked fine in the photos but in a swatch, I found it looked too much like plusses or crosses and not like what I think of as houndstooth. Also, the straight vertical placement of the stitches made the fabric pucker. I experimented with a couple of other houndstooth variations and decided on the second one (lower swatch in photo.)greencheck_2swatches

My only other intended modifications were minimal: knitting it in the round with invisible fake “side seams” instead of in pieces with real seams, as I don’t like purling in two colours, and making the sleeves full-length instead of the 3/4 or 7/8 shown in the photos. However, once the body and upper back were finished, it looked as though the upper back would not be wide enough. I suppose the average Stitchcraft reader of 1960 was not particularly athletic, by modern standards… The shoulder width was fine, so the solution was to simply space the decreases from the beginning of the armhole farther apart (at each end of every 4th row instead of every other row). I did the same on the upper fronts and increased the total stitch count on the upper arms by 4 stitches, making the decreases more gradual on the sleeve caps as well.

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The pattern calls for Patons Double Quick Knitting. I got a good gauge (6 sts to an inch in pattern) and a fantastic colour match with Patons Diploma Gold DK, a wool-acrylic-nylon blend. I had plenty of it on hand from a frogged project, but the work in progress was nubbly. I thought it would get smooth again with blocking, but alas, the original project was probably blocked “too well” and the finished product is not quite smooth. Since it’s the same all over, though, I decided to think of it as a design feature.

The fit is excellent, everything worked out wonderfully and I am very satisfied with the final result.