German TV is terrible.

So, i'm sitting here; it's 10:40am, and i'm watching an advertisement for a new show in which people try to live with live camels (they'll do anything for ratings here). How does this relate to knitting you ask? Well, i'll tell you.

As i'm sitting here, watching the above as well as the German version of "Wife swap", i'm thinking about the project i'm about to start.

I just ordered my pattern for my next project. It's a double-knitted sweater jacket, made from a vintage pattern from the 50's. I've been drawn to vintage patterns simply because the proportions from that time (and earlier) are more tailored to the clothes that look best on me- i.e. fitted. I haven't been able to find any current patterns that are well fit.

This sweater will be, like I said, double-knitted (which I didn't realize until after I'd already ordered the pattern ^^ ), which makes me a bit nervous. It's all a single color, and without overly complicated details, but still i'm a bit on edge. Hopefully it turns out well! I'll be updating and posting pictures on it's progress.

Attached is a picture of the sweater-

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mwkbloom's picture

Good luck. And please keep us posted. From the picture you included, it's hard to know if the "double-knitting" refers to the stiching, the type of wool called for, or both.

Tom Hart's picture

Wow! I do double knit (the texture and feel is awesome) but only flat work (I'm a new knitter). That windcheater looks like rocket science to me. I'm determined, though, to move beyond two dimensions with my knitting. After I finish my current project I'm going to tackle a double knit hat. I'm looking forward to progress reports on this project. All the best of luck with it!

The wording at the top of the pattern says 'double knitting wool' and although it also says 'double knitting' I still think it refers to the weight of the yarn. I can remember these sort of patterns (yes, I'm that old) and often they had the yarn weight printed larger at the side so that you could flick through the pattern leaflets and easily find patterns in the weight you wanted, without having to wade through the whole pattern book.

bekendbrt's picture

Hmm ok. So the weight referred to then would simply be standard British 8ply or Sport weight?

"Art is the triumph over chaos." -John Cheever

"Art is the triumph over chaos." -John Cheever

Yes, sometimes it is referred to as 8 ply. Might I suggest that you carefully read the instructions before starting. They also tended to give measurements for length of rib, then length to start of armholes, then armhole depth, so you may need to make adjustments not just from the bottom to the start of the armholes.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I think knitmaniac probably has the best explanation, especially as it is a British pattern. One of the most frustrating things about enjoying older patterns is that there were often very lax rules and standards as to how you presented the patterns and the materials used to make them. Luckily, there are a few sites and books that do comparison charts to help you translate them to modern usage. That is a very nice design and it has a classic styling that should be very "Now". Good luck. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

rc_in_sd's picture

That sweater looks very classy. And can I just say how jealous I am that "fitted" looks best on you? On me, "fitted" = "sausage casing." Sigh.

bekendbrt's picture

Isn't it cute though!?

Don't be jealous. You can't imagine the stress involved in clothes shopping for me when it comes to sweaters. If it's not fitted, I look like a child wearing adult clothes. I wish I could wear things that hung a little more!

"Art is the triumph over chaos." -John Cheever

"Art is the triumph over chaos." -John Cheever

Two little points:

in a British pattern like this "Double-Knitting" refers to the weight of the wool and not to any particular stitch.
Nowadays we talk of 22 sts per 4 " but at that time they usually wanted 24 sts per 4 "

The Brits knitted fairly tightly.

Also be aware that in most of these patterns there is no ease added. When the pattern talks about 42" they mean a finished 42" not our finished 44".

Finally check the final lenght, I am sure no matter how fitted the sweater is you will probably need to add an inch in length.

Good luck.

bekendbrt's picture

Thanks for your comment!

I was wondering what they exactly meant by double knitting, i'm sure I would've figured it out eventually but i'm glad you could answer that for me.

About the length- i've been planning on that. Pants had higher rises back then and therefore the tops were always shorter than a person would wear today.

Thanks for the pointers! I can't wait to get started on it.
"Art is the triumph over chaos." -John Cheever

"Art is the triumph over chaos." -John Cheever

2manyhobbies's picture

There's a number of things that you might mean by fitted ... if the problem is that sweaters knitted in your size from patterns seem too big for you, that could be because they build in a certain amount of "ease", so that a size 40, for example, will measure more across the body than 20 inches. That ease might be anywhere from an inch to a couple of inches.

My experience has been that most sweaters can grow a bit when they're blocked. If you're not familiar with blocking, basically it's just getting the sweater wet, then using towels (but not wringing) to get excess water out, and finally letting the sweater dry on it's own. So, you might try knitting a size smaller and blocking the sweater. If you need a size smaller than the smallest sweater the pattern is written for, you can try adjusting the pattern. Since the pattern is written with stitch counts in several different sizes, for many patterns you can get a sense for the progression of the difference between the counts each size, and use that to calculate what to use for a size smaller than small. Or better yet, study the pattern enough to know what measurment each stitch count represents, and the use your guage to calculate what would match that measurement taken from a sweater that fits.

The second thing that you might mean by fitted is how the sweater fits at the underarms. There are several different types of armhole shaping, the simpliest of which is a drop sleeve, but these can tend to bunch a bit under the arms when they fit tighter. Traditional Guernsey sweaters add a diamond shaped "gusset" insert to the underarm for ease of movement there. The most fitted sleeve and armhole shaping is the "set-in" sleeve, where both follow a curve. You can read about sleeve types and shaping here:

Finally, if you want a custom fit to your sweater, you can use things called short rows and darts to do that. For example, if you have trouble with the back of a sweater riding up too far, short rows can allieviate that. Or if sweaters fit too tightly across the shoulders.

I have a program called "Sweater Wizard 3" that wasn't very expensive, and you can put in your custom measurements, amount of ease, guage, type of shoulder and neck, how you want to knit (flat or round), and it will spit out a basic pattern. If you're a little intimidated by the math for adjusting a pattern, it works great.