Vintage knitting pattern find: Patons Knitting Book No. 294

I need a little break from thinking about my birdies blouse sewing project. (Incidentally it dawned on me when I was cutting out the fabric that the birds are sitting on little bird swings, not in bird cages. Even cuter!) One thing I have a ton of is vintage knitting booklets, and I want to start sharing some of my favorite pictures, I think. There are so many precious gems inside! Maybe a regular feature?

Today’s vintage knitting pattern find is Patons Knitting Book No. 294.

I have a few Patons Knitting Books and love them. Mine are all probably from the 1940s (they made them through a few decades), published in Melbourne, Australia. They are little delicate things, only about 18 pages or so, with a small handful of patterns in each. One of my most often-worn winter knits is a bonnet I knit from another Patons Knitting Book.

I love the sweater on the cover of this one, “Dorothy”. I’m actually using the general contrasting scheme from this in the sweater I’m currently knitting. Mine will have a red body with white yoke and sleeves, with the yoke having fair isle details.

Next up is “Lee”.

Don’t you love the wavy stripes? There are several vintage patterns that feature this, including the 1945 Your Victory Jumper, a free pattern available through the V&A Museum. (I started a version of that in shades of green aaaaages ago. This post is reminding me I really should get back to it.) It also uses a technique that I love for button bands, a vertically ribbed knit-in band. It’s something that was really common in vintage patterns but is fairly rare today. In vintage patterns it was always executed in a more tedious way than necessary, so I tweak it to make it easier. Anyway, this long-sleeved wavy cardigan is something I love but I know I’d never wear it since I seem to own no solid-colored shirts, unlike the fetching lady above. Perhaps as I progress in my sewing I can sew up some solid blouses and then reconsider!

Last but not least, we have “Averil”.

I love the little collar on this one, paired with the lace on the sleeves, yoke and panel down the front. Just so pretty and feminine. I think it could easily be modified to have a normal crew-neck for more practical everyday use, and the painstaking 1×1 ribbing going up the sides after the deep ribbed hem could easily be switched to stockinette.

All of the above patterns call for Patons Azalea Wool and Queen Been knitting needles. Doesn’t that sound rather dreamy?

One of the things that I love about knitting is that there is so much power in knowing your size and knowing how to make garments work for you. If you know your gauge (which is easy enough to determine, and a lot less time-consuming than sewing up a muslin!), with a little basic math you can make something that fits you perfectly, no matter your size. You can re-size a pattern for heavier or lighter weight yarn, re-shape an armhole or shoulder, change the style or length of a sleeve, length of the body, you name it. I do it all the time.

I wonder if there is any interest out there in a vintage sweater knit-along, at some point? I think I’d have fun hosting. I could share the tricks up my sleeves that help me customize my knitting as well as some pointers geared towards working with vintage patterns. And I’m sure I’d pick up tips from others, too! Maybe something like a fingering weight short-sleeved sweater (that could be tweaked or embellished as desired). A good starting point for those who haven’t branched out into garment knitting or knit with thinner yarn much yet, and a good staple for those who have. And the type of garment that would be a great addition to your Spring wardrobe! It would have a fairly slow time-frame. To maybe start in a month or two.

Anyway, just an idea I’m tossing around. I don’t know if anyone would actually be interested, though! So please let me know if you like the idea of participating in a vintage sweater knit-along, either by comment or email me at tasha {at} bybumgybolly {dot} com. I think it could be fun!

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Golly, 15 Comments!

  • I’d love to do a knit along with you, I could do with the motivation!


  • I would love a vintage knit-along but I haven’t tried sizing anything yet. I’ve made modern knit garments but tend to stick to either “vintage for modern knitter” type patterns or vintage accessories.


  • now you have me lost, I don’t knit mostly cos my mum is quick and brilliant so I leave all my vintage knitting up to her! She even knits for friends and sells on ebay too sometimes, although I know one day I should give it a go! I have soooo many patterns too.


  • I want to learn to knit! all of you are showing such adorable sweaters, it makes me want to learn.


  • I’ definitely be in for a knit-a-long. I’m working through Stitch in Time vol. 1, but I’d love to work with some vintage patterns.


  • I’d love a knit-a-long but I am a terribly slow knitter. Maybe the added motivation would help though 🙂


  • Count me in! I’ve been knitting for awhile now, but have not ventured into the land of garments that have sleeves (yikes) and should to fit (ugh, that whole gauge business). It would be great to have the motivation to finally take the plunge. Helpful hints on using vintage patterns would be a huge plus too.


  • I have always SERIOUSLY envied your knitting prowess. For as many years as I have been knitting, I have never even come close to your level of brilliance. If the sweater is bigger than chihuahua-sized, I totally punk-out and never finish it. I would be game for trying a knit-along. Maybe it would keep me going past a Seymour size.


  • I would LOVE to do a knit along! The thought of knitting a garment is rather intimidating, but doing it with others would be make it much easier 🙂


  • Your blog is so cute and fun! Will definitely be back! Zootsuitmama


  • So I just found your blog and I love it and I have recently nominated you for the “stylish Blogger Award”!(:


  • I’m a new reader and I just love your blog (and all things vintage). I’d be all over a vintage knit-along!


  • I just found your blog through Chronically Vintage. I would be up for a vintage knit a long. Right now I’m working on a pair of socks and crocheting a shawl but, there’s always room for another project or two!


  • Another new reader here and I’m loving your blog! I might be interested in the knit-a-long, or might follow along with one of my other vintage sweater patterns, if that’s ok!


  • Heather Boley April 25, 2016 at 3:06pm

    So I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and I have been reading it like a book. Im at your starting days in my sewing life and I have been wanting to pick up knitting for so long. Ive been thinking to myself how did this girl get this far into it and making your own super awesome vintage/inspired peices that Im dying over. 🙂 Loving the blog. You’re a complete doll


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