This is my completed Knit for Victory Cardigan! Knit for Victory is the 40's themed knitalong hosted by Tasha of By Gum by Golly.
|This skirt, one of the first things I ever made... I need more skirts like this as I paired this with my Miette cardigan too. So unoriginal!!|
When I first wrote about my plans, I had found a version of my pattern from both the 60s AND the 50s, and reasoned it looked very 40s, so I was sure there was a 40s version floating around. And I found it- completely by chance! I got this book out from the library over Christmas, and happened to find not only a version of the pattern from the 40s, but a picture of another modern knitter wearing her version. What an amazing coincidence!!
This vintage pattern was pretty sparse on the details (and I think most vintage patterns are). So I had to spend a while reading it and figuring out how it was constructed. I even drew my own half-baked schematics to figure out what was going on. So from the start I knew it would be a challenge.
I did a LOT of maths for this project:
-Figuring out decrease rates for arm and waist shaping
-Calculating the original pattern's ease
-Altering ALL my stitch counts to fit my different gauge and custom ease (I estimated how much ease I wanted by looking at previous knits I'd made, and also by pulling numbers out of thin air. lol).
-Spacing the buttonholes along the button band
-and the biggest doozy of ALL- Creating my own custom sleeve cap shaping using lots of calcuations and even trigonometry! Yup, busting out the Pythagorean theorum is now what I do for a hobby apparently! That's nuts.
For this bit, I used Tasha's post on sleeve cap shaping, and this resource she linked to ended up being the main information I used. And, it took me forever. And, it was kind of fun actually.
|Cackling "Victory is miiiine!"|
-I changed the front from being knit in one piece with a faux buttonband, to being knit with an opening for a REAL buttonband. This meant picking up stitches and knitting the band once the body was done. I decided to go with a moss stitch button band to echo the texture of the seed stitch body.
-I knit the front and back as one piece, unlike the original pattern which had side seams.
-The original pattern has a seam under the bust connecting the ribbing and the bodice, meaning they are knit as two different pieces. I knit it all as one. This was a little tricky as I slowly transitioned the stitch pattern from ribbing to seed stitch, to mimic the diagonal shaping of the original pattern. As the ribbing was knit on smaller needles, I had two sets of circular needles in my work at once!
-I noted that the bodice piece was slightly gathered into the ribbing. As I wasn't sewing together two pieces, I decided to mimic that by placing increases under the bust in my transition zone. I did this very scientifically by holding it up to my body and eyeballing where I thought I should make those increases.
-I lengthened the sleeves to full length.
-I added decreases to the ribbing from the high hip to the waist. The reason for this was that I have relatively large hips, and I didn't want it to be either too tight on the hips, or too loose at the waist. I realise ribbing is such that it expands and contracts to fit your shape, but that ability has limits.
I tested this up by holding the knitting (placed on scrap yarn) up to my waist after I'd cast on and knitted a bit of the bottom. It still looked a little loose at the waist so I feel like adding shaping was justified. In any case, it doesn't seem to have hurt the garment.
-I changed the shoulder shaping (originally done with bind-offs), to short rows, which meant I could seam the shoulders with a 3-needle bind-off (I know that sounds like gibberish to anyone who doesn't knit, but it's a good technique!). There are lots of tutorials floating around, like Tasha's or the free Craftsy class on short rows.
I know what you're thinking... that seems like a LOT of work, just for a knitting project! And yeah! It is! But I actually really enjoy stuffing around changing EVERYTHING. It's a challenge, and I love customising things for my tastes.
Here are my notes on Ravelry.
This was the first project I've done that involved lots of seaming! Even though I eliminated the side seams, I decided to do the sleeves vintage-style, and seam them. I can see why knitting sleeves in the round is so popular these days, but I definitely found pros and cons to seaming!
+stable: It adds sturdiness to the knitting, and could see how it might stop it stretching out with wear or in washing. I have heard that negative ease garments don't need seams so much, but I can see this being useful on the side seams of a drapey, positive-ease project.
+enjoyable: seaming is kinda zen like hand-stitching. I found it quite fun and satisfying, but I can see how the novelty could wear off, especially with multiple seams on a large garment!
+avoids knitting in the round: I'm not the greatest fan of knitting in the round in a small circumference, as I'm still pretty slow and clumsy, and I can get tension issues too… knitting sleeves in the flat was a nice change.
-time: yeah, it does take a while! I would love to compare which method was faster overall though, as I think the knitting portion of the sleeves went faster.
-fiddly factor: I found the sleeves pretty nice and neat, but seaming in the sleeve cap wasn't as smooth. Still, overall, I don't think you can go too wrong if you have a nice clear tutorial.
Wow, I sound like I'm almost a convert to seamed sleeves huh? It was nice to try out anyhow.
So, I think I see why they designed this as a fake cardigan- it looks much nicer buttoned up I reckon. Otherwise the gathers poof to the sides. Plus, my button band is a skosh wavy, but I was too lazy to sew ribbon behind it (it doesn't look that bad, right? Right??). I had an idea to try stabilising it on the back with crochet, but… it didn't work.
|I quite like it half open though!|
If only I was as inspired about my sewing as I am about my knitting right now!!
In fact, I have the perfect fabric to pair with it, but it has stubbornly remained in fabric form rather than becoming a dress at this point.
By the way, the girdle action on the original models is quite stunning. My waist is gargantuan in comparison, haha!
|This is me sucking in to get that vintage sihouette, lol!|
|"Ahhhh, as long as I don't breathe or move, this is working out great!'|