Friday, 6 December 2013

Knit For Victory Update

No, I haven't finished my navy jumper, but I've cast off the back! Just the sleeves, collar and front bands to go (plus the eye-straining task of sewing the whole lot together). You're probably sick of photos of bits of navy knitting, especially as the stitch pattern doesn't really photograph very well, so I thought I'd share my next Knit For Victory project with you.

I'm well aware that I won't complete the next woolly in the allotted time, but that's okay. I joined Tasha's knitalong with the aim of completing the navy cardigan, and anything else is jam. Because I got stuck in a wardrobe rut, I've been noting down what I wear every day for a few weeks, and it's been really useful, revealing that I wear a lot of black and grey in winter. I had planned to do something in black yarn next, but I've abandoned that as it'll be easier to see the stitches in the lighter days of summer, and I really need some more everyday colour to wear.

I'm trying not to buy any more yarn next, as I want to run down my stash so I'll have room for a sewing machine. However, pretty much every pattern I found requires a substantial amount of yarn, and aside from the black I didn't seem to have enough 4ply in any one colour for a vintage-style woolly. Then, on a hunt through my patterns, I found the pattern at the top of this page. Isn't it perfect?

The pattern uses five colours. It's a proper 1940s make-do pattern. The grey and white I've chosen will keep it neutral enough to stop me feeling overwhelmed with colour. The toning pinks and berry purple are a gorgeous yarn from a yarn club Fyberspates and The Natural Dye Studio ran a couple of years ago. It's called 'Unicorn' and is 80% baby camel, plus some silk and cashmere. I've had the yarn in a box for ages, and never quite knew what to do with it. Now - well, soon! - it can become something really special. (In case you're wondering, the grey is alpaca and the white alpaca-rich, so they should have a fairly uniform texture when knitted up together.)

I've really been enjoying the knitalong so far, especially the discussions in the Ravelry group Tasha set up. It's been great learning that so many other people do colourwork the way I do, dropping the unused yarn! And seeing other people's use of colour, and the patterns they've found, is fantastic. There's still time for you to join in...

6 comments :

  1. I love this pattern, I have it too! Was looking at it today whilst going through my patterns deciding on a knit for me. Not decided but have narrowed down my options. Lovely colour choices.

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    1. Heh, Susan Crawford's got it too - it must have been a popular design for so many to have survived. (That said, it's on large, good-quality paper, so perhaps a higher percentage of copies stayed in good shape than is common for wartime patterns - most of the others I own are pretty flimsy.) I look forward to seeing your choices!

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  2. I love the colours of the yarn you're using - they will look great together. Looks like a slip-stitch pattern - is that right? They were very popular in the war - don't know whether the average knitter couldn't manage stranded knitting or what.

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    1. It is indeed a slip-stitch design.

      I've never thought about how easy people might have found colourwork, but it's a good idea. Fair Isle designs were fashionable in the 1920s, but I think that was among people who bought their woollies. you could well be right, and it could have been an easier option for less advanced knitters.

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  3. I love these old patterns, but I cannot knit! Well not to this standard anyway, cat blanket is my limit.

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    1. I got into knitting because I'm plus-size, can't sew, and wanted a larger choice of vintage styles. It took me a couple of years of knitting regularly before I hit the point of being able to make stuff i was really happy with. I have a couple of woollies that are really quite badly made - not that other people seem to notice that! It's worth sticking with it. The cat will definitely appreciate it, though perhaps not once you're knitting for yourself and it has to find its own blankets...

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