Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Re-sizing Vintage Knitting Patterns - Can I Do It?!

And so begins my first attempt at re-sizing a vintage knitting pattern, using the wonderfully in-depth help from Tasha's Briar Rose Knitalong.

You can find my project on Ravelry here as it progresses.

The yarn has arrived - Bendigo Woollen Mill's Athena. This yarn comes in 4 and 8 ply (I am using 4 ply) and is 85% wool, 10% bamboo and 5% silk. The colour is Gunmetal.

It has a lovely feel to it and at only $15.00 per 200 gram ball, it is a real bargain. But unfortunately, it seems to have been discontinued or maybe they are just out of stock, as it no longer available on their website. This is a real shame as I think it will knit up beautifully. 

I have knitted the gauge swatch (or tension square as they are referred to in the UK and Australia), which should be 8 stitches to 1 inch, 8 rows to 1 inch.
As I am a tight knitter, I started by going up 2 needle sizes than the pattern and I hit gauge! Yay! That makes it way easier.

Now just to re-size the pattern from a 34" bust! Using these very detailed instructions, you can use your gauge and measurements to re-size the pattern.
I won't bore you with all the maths as you can read how it all works in Tasha's post. Let's just say my previous life as an accountant/number cruncher came in handy! 

When altering stitch numbers with a repeating pattern, just make sure you keep to the correct multiples. For example, the 'fancy ribbing' pattern on this jumper is a 4 stitch repeat plus 1 stitch. So my new stitch number of 161 was OK (40x4=160 + 1=161).

The fancy ribbing pattern is very simple to do. I'll share it for anyone who wants to give it a try. It would look lovely on a baby's cardigan or jacket.

1st row: k1, *k3, p1, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4.
2nd row: * k1, p3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
3rd row: as row 1.
4th row: as row 2.
5th row: as row 1.
6th row: as row 2.
7th row: k1, *sl1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over (psso), p1, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, sl1, k2tog, psso, k1.
8th row: k1, * (p1, k1, p1) all into next stitch, k1, repeat from * to end.

And now to start the knitting! I will post more progress on Sunday in Adventures In Stitchcraft.

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