Vintage sweater knit-along: Preliminary post #1

This is the first of probably a few preliminary posts for our vintage sweater knit-along! (Never mind the fact that I’m having to write this twice, since I accidentally deleted my draft that I’d spent hours working on. Oh no, we won’t talk about that since it might incite rage in me.)

Anyway, I wanted to talk about some of the basics for the knit-along. We’ll be knitting a short-sleeved sweater from a vintage pattern. There will be one main sweater that most of us will work on, but obviously I can’t guarantee that everyone will love the same pattern, and I don’t want to exclude anyone. So if you’d like to join us but want to work on your own vintage pattern, you’ll be free to do so. Just know that I’ll be gearing any advice and tips towards our knit-along pattern. 🙂

Prerequisite skills for the knit-along

Let’s say I’ll be gearing this for advanced beginners or intermediate knitters and up. If you’re an old pro and don’t need any tips along the way, great, just play along with us and ignore those parts of my posts! And if you do need some extra help, I’ll be providing a lot of info along the way.

Skills you’ll need (or not be afraid to learn as you go along):

  • Cast on/cast off, knit/purl, yarn over (has a few different names around the world including ‘wool round needle’), m1 increase (making 1 new stitch), and a few different ways to knit two stitches together (k2tog, ssk, etc.)
  • Mattress stitch or your preferred way to seam two pieces of knitting together

Really, that’s about it! If you’ve never knitted a sweater before you can totally do this with us.

Things I’ll challenge you to do (if you don’t already do them when you knit)

We will be checking gauge before we start knitting our sweaters. No, this is not optional. If you want to make sure you knit a cute vintage sweater that will fit you and not look like you’re wearing either a potato sack or something meant for a five-year-old, you will need to know your gauge. I don’t care if you do a cheaty gauge swatch like I sometimes do (shhh, don’t tell), but we will definitely be doing one for this knit-along.

I’ll also make you think about your actual body size (and how you want the garment to fit you). Now, if you buy vintage clothes online or if you sew you probably know your measurements, but if you don’t, you’re going to need to know. There’s nothing like being disappointed in the finished product because you guessed your bust size and were wrong.

    I will probably spend a lot of time on gauge and sizing, because those are two really crucial pieces to the ‘fit’ puzzle.

    Possible patterns

    Since I want this knit-along to be accessible for everyone, I want to pick a pattern that’s relatively basic. Not too much fussiness, no all-over stitch pattern unless it seems pretty easy, you get the idea. Fortunately there are lots of patterns that fit the bill.

    Here are the ones I’m currently thinking about. I’ve linked those patterns that are available online (you can click on an image to see a little bigger version, too). If we go with something in my stash, I will provide it.

    Double Dates
    Lacy Yoke Blouse
    approx. 1950
    Briar Rose
    Style 2426
    Neat and


    I don’t know about you, but Briar Rose is my favorite of the bunch right now. I love the adorable chevron-shaped pocket and matching collar, how cute is that??

    It also would allow you to show off just a few awesome vintage buttons. You could work the pocket and collar in a contrasting color (or even stripes!), or easily omit either if you wanted. Knit it in a light color for Spring, or a darker green or khaki for kind of a W.A.C. look. 

    Another plus about the pattern is that it would be easy to size up and down (something I will be covering in-depth), and I could provide different sleeve alternatives for those of you who either hate seaming sleeves or who don’t want that 40s-style pleated sleeve cap. And I think the pattern that would be a great jumping off point for customizations by the more advanced knitters in the crowd.

    So, what do you think?  I don’t want to select it if a lot of people don’t like it, so opinions, please!


    Okay, this one I’m not that sure about. We’re just about to hit February, and I want to make sure everyone has enough time to get yarn and supplies once the pattern is selected (along with time for the word to spread a little to anyone else out there who might want to join in, so please feel free to let your other knitty friends know!). I’m thinking perhaps an official start knitting date of March 1st? I want to nail down the pattern soon so I can talk about yarn and supplies.

    And how long should this last? Do you think two months is sufficient, or would you feel comfortable with a little more time? I’ll plan out my posts on the knit-along according to our schedule.


    Okay, I think I’ve covered most of the basics. Are you getting excited? I am! Once some of the details are worked out I’ll create a couple of small ads you can use on your blog for the knit-along if you’d like. Please let me know your thoughts on patterns and the timeframe, anything I’m missing or anything else you want to add! I’m really looking forward to knitting with you vintage lovin’ gals. 🙂

    Filed: Knit-alongs, Knitting

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    Golly, 35 Comments!

    • Hi Tasha,thanks for your comment on my blog. I ADORE yours! I’d love to join your knitalong if I may?? I really like the Briar Rose pattern, but for me it’s a little toooo fitted in the “Mum Tum” area so if I were to choose I’d be inclined to the Songster pattern because of the extra fabric in this area. However, I’m guessing it wouldn’t be too tricky to adapt Briar Rose so there’s a bit more “give”???
      Nice to meet you!


    • @Miss P Thanks Portia, and nice to meet you too! So glad to have you join along.

      You’re right, it’s all about how you knit it. Any of those patterns can easily be made so they have more ease in the ‘mum tum’ area as you called it (hee!), the bust or anywhere else for that matter. I will definitely be covering that in the early stages of the knit-along, so we all get a unique fit we’re happy with! 🙂


    • I love Double Dates, but I don’t know if the ribbed body would work on my large rack. Briar Rose is a close second.


    • @Andrea Really good point about the ribbing. I have the same problem with ribbing over my (big) girls too. I do think Double Dates could be worked in stockinette up to the yoke, with ribbing only at the hem.


    • I think Songster would be my favourite of the patterns. And March 1st sounds good (gives me time to finish my current knitting project). I am a terribly slow knitter so a little more than two months would work best for me. I am really excited to get started! 🙂


    • Should I be afraid of that collar? I’m a bit on the apprehensive side about that, which leads me to prefer Double Dates. Really though, I’m so excited about finally getting around to learning to knit a sweater, and a vintage one at that, that I’m open to anything!


    • @Kate I have to finish a knitting project first, too, and at least a couple of sewing projects. The more I look at Songster the more I realize it’s really like Briar Rose, just with a more lacy pattern and no pocket. 🙂

      @Moxie Tonic Afraid in terms of the construction? If it makes you feel better I’m working on a somewhat similar applied collar right now, so I will have just finished that up before the knit-along starts. Meaning I should have good advice fresh in my head. 😉 Plus, you could always work it with no collar!


    • I agree with Andrea…I also love Double Dates, followed by Briar Rose. I think it’s the neck opening that I’m drawn to. Otherwise, I’m excited and ready to go. My birthday is in March and I promised myself that it would be all selfish-knitting in March, so that’s a perfect start date where I’m concerned, lol. I just need an idea of yarn weight and then I can get started with my prep.


    • Oh, dare I try?? I’ve currently got a 1/4 finished sweater that’s been sitting around since October, but these are awfully cute. Double Dates is my favorite. Ok, I will give it a try. I may never finish a sweater (other than chihuahua-sized ones) unless I have a social obligation.


    • Hi Tasha, thanks for visiting my blog today! I actually came by yours last week after Mary Deluxe featured you, but I didn’t comment for lack of time.

      I wish I could join in all this fun, but I’ve yet to learn how to knit. Which is really a shame, since BOTH my parents knit and crochet; I really have no excuse! But I’m going to check in to see how this works, and to get some inspiration to learn!

      By the way, I love your style. It looks like we have a lot of the same taste in decor (starburst clocks, souvenir plates, and where did you find that wonderful dinette table?)


    • I won’t be joining but I will be watching!!


    • I am with Kate in that I’m a slowish knitter but the start date is great. Do like Songster, the more i look at it…What stitch is it in??


    • Hi! I’ve just finished my first knitting project which was the 3 hour sweater, and I think I can do this! Well I’m going to attempt it anyway. I like Allegro but that pocket on Briair Rose is darn cute. Yay! x


    • @Cambria Perfect, that will fit in lovely for selfish birthday knitting! Though I admit… I’m a selfish knitter about 99% of the time. 😉

      @Moe YES, you dare! You can do it, for you and not for Seymour! I promise!

      @Tikimama Oh that’s so wonderful that both your parents knit and crochet! You really should take a stab at it. I’ll be doing a kind of knitting primer post for vintage knitting at some point, so hopefully that will help inspire you too. 🙂

      @Miss P My main concern with Songster is the fact that it does have an all-over pattern. It’s a slipped stitch, 4 row pattern. I will do a swatch to make sure it wouldn’t be too frustrating to work.

      @Yesterday Girl Hi there! Thanks for stopping by, I love your blog. 🙂 If you’ve done that 3 hour sweater you’re definitely ready to try one of these! They are all so cute it’s really tough to decide. Glad to have you join us!


    • It’s the construction of the collar: most of my experience is in knitting what basically amounts to tubes. So I’m thinking of the sweater as one big tube with two smaller tubes attached, lol. The collar I just haven’t quite gotten my brain around yet, hence why I should be more open to it 😉 Not to mention, I can’t think of one modern sweater I’ve ever seen with a collar, so I’m totally into the unique factor.


    • @Tikimama I’m sorry, forgot to reply– the dinette table was a recent find at a thrift store (albeit one that knows when it has good stuff, so prices can be closer to antique store prices) out in the far suburbs of Chicago. I love it so much, I do almost everything at that table. 😉

      @Moxie Tonic Yes, collars on knitted things nowadays just doesn’t seem to happen! Basically I think the collar is one or two flat pieces that mold around the neck (two pieces if the sweaters buttons up at the back, one if you slip over your head), but you’re right, it’s hard to visualize. It’s definitely a uniquely vintage element!


    • Maybe a “slipped stitch 4 row pattern” is a wee bit ambitious then!I’m happy to have a go at any of them really, and adjust the fit around mum tum.
      Do you mind if I use some of the photos in this post to re-blog this knitalong, see if any of my readers fancy joining??


    • @Miss P I don’t mind at all, you’re welcome to! 🙂

      And while the slipped stitch pattern looks fantastic, having swatched it a bit I do think it might be a bit ambitious for some. It would require extra care to get the tension right so you don’t end up making the lovely inverted V ‘stripes’ far too tight.


    • Yes, that makes sense! (Thank you!)


    • Hi, I’d love to join the knit along, all the patterns are lovely and I’d be happy to go along with the majority vote. A march start seems good too, though 3 months might be a more realistic time frame.


    • I love the “Double Dates” sweater. And March 1st sounds great! Can’t wait to get started!!


    • Oh wow! this would be AMAZING! I haven’t knitted anything in my life but I was actually thinking of signing up for a knitting class in March so this might go alongside that perfectly! hmmmm…the pattern is so great and it would be fantastic to knit alongside everyone else!


    • Sorry for posting this twice! The first one posted from a blog I no longer use. I’m at Ivory Pumpkin now. Here’s the re-post. Sorry about that!
      This is very exciting! I’m up for any sweater but, I like Briar Rose. I seem to have the same issues as some of you – getting something that fits over my big boobs. So I’m very, very glad you’ll be going over fit in a detailed manner. March is a great time to start for me as I’m finishing up a couple of other projects. Would you be able to give details as to what type and how much yarn to use? I’m attending Stitches West in February and, if possible I’d like to purchase my yarn for the sweater there. If not, no worries. Heaven forbid I have to make another trip to a yarn store!!! Thanks for doing this. It’s exactly the type of project I’m looking for.


    • @Little Miss B I think I’ll probably shoot for about 3 months, and we can always adjust as needed.

      @Emily Great! Even if we go with a different pattern than Double Dates, if you don’t want to knit that you can do Double Dates along with us. 🙂

      @Debi Yay, you should get yourself out there to a knitting class for sure! Once you master the basics of knitting there’s really no reason you can’t jump right into a sweater with some help!

      @Joane I can’t say for certain yet, but I believe all of these patterns require fingering weight yarn. I see Stitches doesn’t start for a couple of weeks, so I will definitely have discussed yarn by then and have the pattern selected. 🙂


    • Hey Tasha, just in case you want to check out what I’ve done with your photos…



    • I just found your blog via Miss P and would love to join this knit along. I simply adore the Briar Rose patter, fingers crossed that this one’s chosen 🙂


    • I would love to join in. Love the Briar Rose. Look forward to the whole project.


    • I’m so looking forward to this! I like all of the patterns, and hopefully my current project will be off the needles by March 1.

      Yay! Knitting!


    • This is very tempting. Just bought myself a copy of “A Stitch in Time: v. 1: Vintage Knitting & Crochet Patterns 1920-1949”, and might join with a different pattern. Is that cheating??! I have a lot to learn about gauge and sizing.


    • I love Briar Rose and Songster – its the collars! 3 months would be good and March is great. Would need details early Feb tho, as i often buy wool online, from the other side of the world. Cheers


    • I’d love to join please! I love all the patterns but I think my heart is calling out to 2426 the most. But I’d really just be happy to knit-along with whatever is the most favoured option 🙂 Thanks!


    • I’d love to join too if that’s okay! Briar Rose and 2426 are calling out to me, although all the pictures posted are lovely.


    • Definately the Briar Rose for me 🙂 x


    • Please, please, please, let me join your knit-along. I love the Briar Rose and your blog all over.


    • Hi Tasha,

      First off I’d like to say that I usually NEVER subscribe to any blog! But, when I stumbled upon yours when looking up “how to resize a knitting pattern” I was blown away and was amazed by all your knitting.

      I’ve learned knitting when I was 8 and have only picked up knitting again for about 9 years now. I’ve lots to learn to say the least. I’ve always wanted to knit a garment but, as it is there are no patterns out there in my size! I shop in the PETITE department just to give you an idea of my small frame.

      So you see why I stay clear of any garment patterns. I’ve collected many patterns but, they’re just for inspirations. I knit quite a bit of accessories and socks! But, I am ready to try my hand at garments and when I read your blog on resizing, I am more confident now to go ahead and try it!

      A BIG “thank you” for taking the time to post the article on resizing!!! I truly am grateful for that. You have a great Sunday and I look forward to getting your email on updated blog articles. And possibly the next KAL (I’ve never done one). Thanks again! -Jennifer


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