I was excited for this challenge, because I have always wanted to recreate a specific dress that my grandmother wore in the mid thirties. It was a fairly simple cotton day dress with a layered or pleated skirt, but when the time came I could not fin the picture! Someday I will find it again and recreate the dress, but for this month I knit a sweater that, I hope, will become an heirloom.
I used my favorite yarn, Bernat's Blarney Spun, which was manufactured from the 1950s through the 1970s. While not a true vintage or heirloom yarn, it does have a lot in common with earlier yarns, it has a high natural lanolin content, making the sweater both water and moth proof. It is an aran weight 8 ply yarn, I used the colour Chestnut which coincidentally matches my hair perfectly.
My goal was to knit a sweater that looked vintage, and luckily when I wear it that is usually what people assume. I knit the sweater to high hip length with a knit three, purl two ribbing band at the hem and cuffs. I notched the collar band and reinforced the button bands with bias binding. For my buttons I used six vintage 1940s plastic buttons. I made the pattern up, using features that I like from several different patterns. My construction methods are modern, as I cannot stand seaming together knit pieces!
The Challenge: Heirlooms & Heritage
Fabric: A bit under 630 yards of Bernat Blarney Spun yarn in Chestnut
Pattern: My own, but I used bits of Hetty, by Andi Satterlund and Beacon Hill, by Jane Richmond.
Year: Mid 1940s
Notions: 1 meter of cotton bias tape in warm brown, six vintage brown buttons
How historically accurate is it? I'm going to say 45%, my materials are not vintage, aside from the buttons, and neither are my construction methods. However, the overall effect is one of a vintage garment so I'm saying that counts.
Hours to complete: 23ish days, around two hours a day of knitting, so 46 hours.
First worn: On the 29th, because it was finished and I could!
Total cost: In the range of 40-50$.