Have you ever had a project that begin with trepidation, knowing you aren't quite sure how you're going to pull it off? Well, this cardigan was such a project for me. The pattern is from Sunglo No. 40, Design 2291 called "Streamline." (If you'd like a TLDR description of the pattern, scroll down to the bottom!)
The knitting itself wasn't hard, but I didn't initially know how the decorative stripe bits were attached, and I wasn't sure how to create such a strong shoulder silhouette out of a knit.
To make things even more complicated, I wanted to use my deadstock 1960s Spinnerin yarn. Vintage yarn is delightful to have on hand, but the trick was finding a project that would definitely not require more yarn than I had because I obviously couldn't go out and buy more!
As I began knitting, my estimates showed that I should have enough. Glory be, by the end of it... I did indeed have more than enough, phew!
The Making Up
After knitting up all the pieces, I had to deal with making the stripe detail. The tricky part with the stripe details on this sweater is that they all require being sewn on by hand. In parallel lines. With correct placement. On a shifty, stretchy knit.
It was difficult, but after much anguish... it was done! I worked on the buttonholes and reinforced them with grosgrain ribbon to prevent them from stretching. I did the same on the button side.
The last step was figuring out the shoulder pads. The sleeves are box sleeves with two seams that create the right angles. I did a knit/crochet combination and made cheese wedge-shaped shoulder pads that were about an inch thick at the shoulders and tapered down toward the neck. They ended up working quite well, but I realized I should have narrowed the shoulders of the sweater a bit for them to be properly supported. As a fix, I went back and ran a ribbon across the back of the neck to keep it from stretching across my shoulders. It keeps everything a bit narrower so it fits.
I paired the new sweater with one of my Christmas skirts! December is the time when I get them out, and I joyfully wear them until Christmas! This particular one features a retro Santa riding a train print. I made it using my tried and true dirndl skirt process. Happily, the sweater stripes ended up being lined up with the waist as they should be, and the way the dirndl skirt layers under the sweater makes for an almost 1950s padded hips look. The stripes at the shoulder and waist create a flattering optical illusion, too, particularly for someone pear-shaped like me!
Yarn: Spinnerin Ski Sprint in shade "Innsbruck Ice" (19% mohair, 75% virgin wool, and 6% rhovyl-vinyon, worsted weight)
Pattern: Sunglo 40, design 2291 "Streamline"
Notions: 9 buttons, grosgrain ribbon, batting (for shoulder pads)
How historically accurate is it? Pretty accurate. I don't think some of the yarn fibers were around in the 40s, but everything else (the buttons and ribbon) are 40s accurate
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Yes, sewing on the stripe details is tedious and tricky. The wedge-shaped shoulder pad shape required is also quite unique.
Did you change anything? I did not! Next time I will narrow the shoulders.
Time to complete: I never count this while knitting. Too depressing.
First worn: 3 December, 2016
Total cost: Everything was from my stash (given to me) except the pattern, which cost $3.82 for the whole booklet.
Notes: There are no instructions for making a shoulder pad. I found a combo crochet-knit, wedge-shaped pad worked best. The actual knitting of the pieces is quite simple and only requires a knit and purl stitch with a crochet edge.