Best laid knitting plans…

I’m sorry to those of you waiting for my kickoff post for the Vintage Knitting College! Sometimes the best laid plans go awry, which has been the case for me. I wanted to use my new video camera that I bought, however once I finally had time to sit down and play with it, I realized it won’t do close up without being blurry. Of course, I realized this after the return policy expired.  I’m trying to figure out if I can accurately capture in photographs what I wanted to show in a video.  I’m still sorting some things out as a result, unfortunately. So I wanted to let you guys know what was going on! Thanks for being patient. 🙂

In the meantime, I’ll show you a bit of another project I’ve been working on, since I can’t work on my VKC project until my posts catch up to my knitting. (Now how’s that!) So I started a cardigan, another colorwork pattern from the 1940s, Bestway B2637. You can buy the .pdf from Retro Knitting Company here, and I added it to the Ravelry database here.

I decided to stick pretty much with the original colors, and I’m really happy with how the color scheme has worked out. (Except I need to order a couple more balls of yarn!)

I’m knitting it in the round, with a 9 stitch steek up the center. You can see the steek as the area of stripes that breaks up the rest of the pattern in the photo below. Once I’m an inch about that orange stitch marker towards the top, I will work the bind off for my armholes, but will then cast on steeks for each armhole, continuing to knit in the round. At the end, I will reinforce the steeks, cut them, and I’ll suddenly have a cardigan body instead of a tube. And I’ll have pretty much avoided purling in colorwork entirely.

This all means the colorwork just flies off the needles! You can certainly purl in colorwork (and I do it plenty), but it does slow you down quite a bit. The added benefit of working a steek in the center of the cardigan is that I’m changing my colors there. This means I’ll cut away all the ends when I open the steek, saving myself hours of weaving in ends. Big bonus in my book!

Sometimes 40s patterns require several “oddments” of colors. I actually used one less than was called for, because I didn’t have two greens I liked, so I just used one. But there’s two yellows, two reds, two blues, a green, white, and the oatmeal background color.

When you think about it, this is a great way to use up leftover yarn from other projects. In a time of rationing and making do during the war, highly patterned jumpers may have looked like a luxury item but could have conceivably required no purchase of new supplies at all! And with all the colors in them, think how easily they would have paired with a variety of wardrobe staples. It’s really quite clever.

Anyway, I hope to sort out my technical difficulties and get the Vintage Knitting College on the road very soon!

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Golly, 17 Comments!

  • Looks like it is going to be a truly lovely sweater. I’m impressed! If you don’t mind my asking, what’s the gauge like on it?


  • Oh wow- this came out REALLY nicely! I think the colours look so much better in person than on their rendering 🙂
    I am also anxious to hear more about the steeking- the premise sounds simple but I so rarely see it ‘in action’ as it were, that I am very interested in how this one goes!
    Lovely, lovely, lovely!


  • My word, I love the pattern you’ve chosen and your work in process looks gorgeous. Such vibrant colours. I can’t wait to hear from the Vintage Knitting College either – I know it’s going to be so useful!


  • Tasha, this is looking so amazing! I love how vibrant the colors are. Please do share as you cut your sweater – this one thing that I do not have the guts to try. I’ve heard over and over that if done right, there’s nothing to worry about. Yet, to me, the idea of making a cut in your sweater to turn it into a cardigan is the equivalent of putting it in a food processor. Please prove me wrong on this!


  • It’s looking gorgeous!
    Great colours, too – very nice. I’m looking foward to see how it goes with the steeks … I’ve yet to dare use one, they scare me 😀


  • Thanks everyone!

    @looloolooweez I’m knitting it at 7.5 spi, though the original pattern is 9 spi. I’ve already knit with this same yarn at that gauge and knew I liked the fabric it made. 9 would have been a bit too bulletproof, and 7.5 worked out well with my size and not cutting the pattern repeat off at a funny point. 🙂

    @Annabelle Ha ha! It does seem a bit like that. I will make sure to document the process. It’s really only scary until you practice, then it’s not that weird. I mean you still have to be careful of course (I’m even scared to cut out some fabric when I sew!). It’s kind of hard to screw up, because you plan where you’ll cut, so it’s not like you will just randomly take scissors to your knitting without knowing what you’re doing. But I will show you all my steps as I do it, I promise! 🙂


  • Oh wow, this is absolutely fabulous! You are such a neat and brilliant knitter that I am quite in awe of you. How long has it taken to do that much?

    K xx


  • How fantastic!! You are just so talented!


  • That is fantastic far isle colour work. I’m keeping my eye on your Vintage knitting college from now on.


  • Oh my !!! You are amazing ! I don’t know where you find patience do doing awesome things like this !!! Congratulations Doll.

    Big Mama Introspection


  • So beautiful! I love the vibrant colors, and you are so incredibly fast, amazing!
    I’m looking forward to your first “College Class” btz. Bought lovely yarn on the weekend and I’m all set.


  • This is wonderful!!
    I’m in awe.


  • Thanks! ♥

    @keshling I started the ribbing on my way to San Diego last weekend, so about 11 days. But I’ve been knitting like a fiend on it. 🙂


  • Your fair isle is amazing!! It makes mine look like a 3 year old has done it!! Keep up the amazing knitting!! XxxX


  • What a gorgeous pattern! I can’t wait to see this when it’s finished!


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