Follow along as I fit and modernize a 1940s pullover pattern

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my Hedy Tyrolean Cardigan! When I sat down to plan out my next knitting project, I had a brainstorm and I’m rather excited about it! I hope some of you will be, too.

I’ll be knitting myself a pullover from a 1947 knitting booklet, Fleisher’s Campus Classics. And I’ve decided to document the process here on my blog!

Campus Classics 1947

As those of you who have been following me a long time know, I’m an unrepentant knitting tinkerer. I alter, tweak, upsize or downsize practically every sweater I knit.

One main reason is because I have the skills to approach a pattern that might not be quite the right size or shape I want, or might not use the weight of yard I’d like to use. (The other main reason? I secretly find it fun!) These are things that don’t deter me from knitting up a pattern. The skills aren’t mysterious nor necessarily very complicated, for the most part. It just takes time and experience to learn how to do it yourself!

So how about this: as I knit my next pullover, I’ll talk about the process along the way! And I’ll share the pattern, too. It’s the cabled pullover below.

Fitting a 1940s pullover project at By Gum, By Golly

I don’t do the same things with every project of course, but I thought you might like to see how I fit and modernize a vintage knitting pattern, as I knit it. But I use the same general principles to alter modern patterns, too!

This won’t be anything too intense or organized, just a casual peek inside my project as I go along. It’ll be like you have a seat in my living room next to my favorite knitting spot. And hopefully I won’t do anything too bone-headed along the way. (It happens, trust me.) And this will go pretty fast, as I’ll try to wrap it up by early November for some other fun things coming along.

Would you like to promote this project on your own blog? Awesome!

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Sound good? Then let’s have at it. I’ll get started soon with some pre-knitting planning!

Filed: Knit-alongs, Knitting

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Golly, 27 Comments!

  • What kind of yarn are you using? I could use a red sweater (and I’m thinking a cardigan would be just dandy) in my fall/winter wardrobe.

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    • I’ll be talking about that in my upcoming posts. I finally knit myself a red cardigan earlier in the year and I feel like it goes with everything! :)

      Reply

  • What a great idea! Thank you for doing this. I will definitely be following along. I have been knitting for a long time and I am a confident knitter in every aspect except making my own changes to patterns.

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  • YES! *ahem* I’m slogging through a jumper I’ve been knitting through forever (mostly because it’s very grey, very dull and spends months in hiatus), I shall live vicariously through you!

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  • I’m totally not a knitter…yet. I did recently try to take out some yarn and needles and have a go at it, and it was dreadful (I’m not even able to keep the same number of stitches from one row to the next!) However, as I work far away from my home and don’t have much time to sew, I sometimes feel the need to engage in an activity which I can take with me on train trips. Therefore I’m going to follow your posts with great interest, hoping they will at last help me understand what knitting is about!

    Reply

  • This is perfect! I just spent my day trying to figure out my upcoming vintage knitting project. It basically stranded upon size, gauge and yarn weight. I bought some lovely yarn some weeks ago (yes, on a whim….) but it seems it is too lightweight for it to work with any of my patterns. *sigh*
    But now there may be light in the tunnel after all! As I am sure you have a way to make it work ;)
    I am a decent knitter, but I have no skills in altering and adjusting patterns.

    Thanks for doing this!!!

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  • What a fantastic idea!! I can’t wait to learn!

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  • Amazing! I have some vintage knitting books that I’d love to resize to fit me. I’ll be watching this carefully. I can’t wait!

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  • Sounds like a lot of fun :) I have a cardigan on my wishlist… I need to dig out a good pattern and knit along ;)

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  • I WISH I COULD KNIT A SWEATERRRRRREEERRRRR!! I will be following along for future reference :)

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  • This is a brilliant idea! I’ve been knitting for years and am very interested to know how to extend my knowledge. Changing patterns isn’t something I have loads of experience in. I’ll be watching… Thank you in advance.

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  • Ooh, what a brilliant idea, I’ll definitely follow along. I just cast on a new jumper this afternoon so it’ll be good kick up the bum to get mine finished too!!

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  • YYYEEEESSSS!!! The resizing is exactly what I need to learn!!! This will be amazing!

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  • Yay! What a neat idea! You knit beautifully so thank you for sharing :)

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  • Fantastic!
    I’ve knitted since a child, but have only just started to re-size vintage patterns (currently attempting my first up-sized cardigan). Really looking forward to your follow-along, I love cables!

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  • What a terrific idea! I don’t have the skills required to re-size knitting patterns so will love following along with this project and hopefully learn something from it. Can’t wait to get started :)

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  • What a brilliant idea! I love knitting but have only just got the hang of it. I have managed to make a pair of socks and a cardigan BUT as soon as i get something wrong or drop a stitch it leaves me in pieces and I usually end up ripping it out and starting again so I’ll be really interested to follow this!
    Thank-you for taking the time to document this.

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  • Thank you so much for sharing this as I would love to master the skills as well.

    Marie

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  • So fun and exciting! I love knitting vicariously through your timelessly beautiful projects.

    ♥ Jessica

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  • I do so love your website and all things therein. I used to be a dedicated seamstress but teaching ended my sewn life. But following you and some of your seeking friends, Anna in technicolor, Miss P, I am getting my frame of mind going in that direction once again. I love the sewing challenges, and especially the Sew for Victory and Fall for Cotton. The links to pattern retailers is useful and I can spend a couple of hours musing over what I have from the seventies and eighties…and what my mother used to sew for our school clothes in the sixties. The trends in fabrics and the introduction of Celanese Fortrel® painfully makes me remember that first polyester, 60-inch fabrics that were as thick as foam-core board and the embossed designs rubbed your arms raw if the pattern was sleeveless. How I do wish you could tell me how to find a pattern that a girl borrowed from me and never returned. I do have my original top, (ca. 1972). I have no number though. Best wishes on your pullover cardigan. I have pictures of my mother in some of those styles you make; and the handmade button holes directions…thank you so much.

    Reply

  • […] get you started in the fitting a 40s pullover series, today I’m sharing the pattern I’ll be knitting, Cable Pullover No. 3298, from 1947. […]

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  • What a fabulous idea! Can’t wait!

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  • […] everyone! This is the first meaty installment of my fitting and knitting a 40s pullover series. On Sunday I posted the pattern I’m knitting, Cable Pullover No. 3298, so make sure to […]

    Reply

  • Love the idea and can’t wait for you to share!

    Reply

  • […] Intro: Follow along as I fit, knit and modernize a 1940s pullover […]

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  • […] Intro: Follow along as I fit, knit and modernize a 1940s pullover […]

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