I wanted a comfortable, over-sized vintage ski pullover for winter, and now I’ve knit one!
I have a good bit to say about the construction of this pullover, so I’m actually going to save that for a separate post on Thursday. I knit this from a pattern from a 1956 issue of Bernat Handicrafter magazine. Pretty wonderful look in the magazine, isn’t it?
I didn’t knit the turtleneck quite long enough to double as a hood because it would have been strangling me, and let’s be honest, I doubt that could have stayed on her head like that without being pinned. So it was cute but silly. But I do love the turtleneck. So cozy! I don’t wear them much, but this pullover is definitely helping to convert me to the warm ways of the turtleneck.
The pullover features wide bishop sleeves which I knit only slightly less voluminous than the pattern called for, a relaxed fit in the body (this sweater has 2″ of positive ease at the full bust on me), and a slightly longer torso. Not that you can see the length, since I opted to tuck it in, inspired by the woman featured in the original pattern.
Technically these amazing deadstock 50s pants are pedal pushers, but tucked into knee-high socks, with long underwear and wellies, they certainly work well for a walk in the woods!
While the shape of this pullover isn’t something I typically knit, I’ve realized that it’s exactly what I actually like to wear in the dead of winter. I keep turning to the same few over-sized pullovers that I can wear comfortably with layers and not feel like my body or arms are constricted. I guess I’ve learned that when I’m already cold, I don’t want to feel even slightly uncomfortable in other ways, ha ha!
I actually really like how baggy the sleeves are, since my tendency is to accidentally knit sleeves a tad too tight. Not these ones!
We took these photos at the forest preserve a week ago, where I hoped there would be enough snow leftover to be in the background to make a nice backdrop for a ski sweater. Nope. But who knew a week later we’d have a blizzard dumped on us!
I used Stonehedge Fiber Mill Sheperd’s Worsted for the green and Misti Alpaca Worsted for the natural. I have a vintage 1960s ski pullover that has white angora in the colorwork among the other yarn used, and I love the halo it makes. So I decided to do the same with alpaca. The alpaca does indeed add a bit of a halo, plus extra warmth across the chest and the neck, since the turtleneck is actually white up into about an inch before the fold!
Sheperd’s Worsted surprised me. It’s a very soft, non-superwash merino. I’ll say right off that I don’t plan to use it again on a project that involved ribbed cuffs unless I drastically reduce the number of stitches. After pushing up my sleeves one time, the cuffs (which were knit on smaller needles) were already completely stretched out, and only bounced back slightly during the course of the day (you can see them a bit baggy in the photo above). The yarn just doesn’t have much memory or recoil to go back to the original shape very well. It’s fine on the hem which is thankfully not meant to be fitted, and it’s fine in the 1×1 turtleneck, as 1×1 ribbing is naturally more stretchy than 2×2 knitting. But I might have ended up disappointed if I’d meant for this to have a trim fitted look with the hem and cuffs.
Just one of those things that you’ll sometimes discover and swatching won’t necessarily tell you this. I’ve experienced the same thing happen with Brooklyn Tweed LOFT, unless knit with a bulletproof gauge (which actually makes for quite a lovely knit fabric!). But with two soft sweaters in a row (my last being alpaca), after my bolero project, I’m going for a really hardy yarn next.
Anyway, I’ve named this project Innsbruck ski pullover, after the Austrian ski town that hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, and where I spent my 21st birthday. I am a rabid Winter Olympics fan and in college while studying abroad in Ireland, I got a chance to travel to Innsbruck and visit the location where both of the Opening Ceremonies and the ski jump events were held.
Many years later, I tracked down a little souvenir pin of a gondola from Innsbruck to wear on my pullover, which came to me from England by way of Etsy!
If you like knitting nitty gritty, stay tuned later in the week for a separate post on the technical details, including armhole steeks and the rather unusual construction of this pullover. It just felt like too much for one post. But as a sneak peek, check out where the shoulder and body meet! I think it’s so neat looking.
While I knit the entire body in less than a week, it took me several weeks to finish up the sleeves and the turtleneck, so I’m glad to have this off my needles and on my back. I think I’m going to wear the hell out of this pullover in the cold months.
Starting today in fact, the day after a huge blizzard pummeled us with 19″ of snow! It was a pretty epic storm. I bet those woods look a lot different today! 😉
1950s pullover: knit by me
hat: knit by me pre-blog (pattern is Foliage, this is the bulky weight version)
1950s pedal pushers: BombshellShocked Vintage
vintage Innsbruck brooch: White Magpie Jewellry
earrings: Glitter Paradise