Friday, October 12, 2007

rainy, whiney Friday and vintage blouses

Break time has finally come around here at this ancient brick educational edifice, and break time means Tea! and Knit Blogs! and even Ravelry! It is a dark and cold rain day here. Before the bright autumn leaves have even had a chance to flaunt their colour, this rain will have them down to wash away in puddles...But the colours of dyed yarns on knit blogs are even brighter than maple leaves, so that has cheered me up.

I've been wrestling with a few vintage patterns that I want to make up. Charming as they are, it does take some time and thought to gauge them with modern yarns and update the sillouettes. I like my sweaters long and slightly fitted, with longer, 3/4 length sleeves. Puff sleeves are not for me (unless they are on Dotted Swiss blouses). Soon I'll have this sweater in good shape:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI want to make this in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby. The vintage sweater yarns were often fingering weight and that means that we now can use almost any sock yarn for these patterns from the early 1900's - if we're willing to do all that knitting on small needles! This particular pattern takes a US size 5.

Another one in this same 1937 vintage booklet might lend itself charmingly to some updating:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Its made with a bulky yarn - and my current favorite is the Plymouth Alpaca Grande. This would work up into a very soft, drapey, quickly knit winter sweater.

The next old booklet to get some re-design attention will be the 1920 one with the four vintage knitted bras in it!

and here it is!

The Daliet Blouse from Jack Frost Sweaters - pattern 75 years old

directions from


“Feel correctly dressed for any occasion!”

Size 14 (32 bust)


Straight needles US 2, 14” long and Straight needles US 5, 14” long

8 oz Fingering wool

[Grams to ounces conversion chart here: ]

Pattern: A multiple of 7

Row 1 - *K5, K2tog, YO, repeat from *, ending K7

Row 2 – P5, P2tog, YO, repeat from *, ending P7


With No. 2 needles, CO 102 sts. K2, P2 for 4 in. Change to No. 5 needles, increasing to 112 stitches at even intervals across the row. Work in pattern for 7.5 inches from ribbing. Keeping pattern, bind of 7 sts at the beginning of each of the next 2 rows, then K2 sts tog at each end of every other row 7 times. Work 7.5 inches even. Bind off.


With No. 2 needles CO 102 stitches. K2, P2 for 4 in. Change to No. 5 needles, increasing to 105 stitches at even intervals across row. Work to correspond with front. Bind off for underarm same as front. Work armhole same as front. Bind off.

Sew shoulder seams.


With No. 5 needles, on right side of blouse, pick up 35 sts across shoulder. Work back, increasing to 70 stitches. Pick up 7 sts. Continue working back and forth in Pattern, picking up 7 stitches at end of each row until 126 stitches have been picked up from end to end of armhole. Work 5 inches even. Change to No. 2 needles, decreasing to 62 sts. K2, P2, for 2 inches. Bind off.

Sew underarm and sleeve seams.


Updated (modern) Instructions:

There’s no reason why you couldn’t knit this blouse on a circular needle in the round and avoid a lot of seaming. This is how I plan to do it, eliminating the tight waist and the puffed sleeves and making the blouse long and slim but still form-fitting. I may lengthen the sleeves, too.

Size 32 bust

Note: This pattern could be altered for larger sizes with a few changes:

Add 14 stitches per bust size to the cast on (this assumes a 7 st per inch gauge) . Add length by knitting extra rows in the body of the sweater. Increase the depth of the armhole scythe by working additions rows with K2tog every other row.

If you prefer a looser waist silhouette, add stitches to the cast on, in multiples of 7 per inch to be increased, and gradually decrease as you move towards the bustline.


Circular needles US 5, 14” long and 16” long. Size 2 circular 16” for sleeve cuff (optional).

Stitch holders

5 balls (for the smallest size) Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby 55% merino wool, 33% Microfibre, 12% Cashmere approx. 137 yards/ 125m per 50g

Pattern: A multiple of 7

Row 1 - *K5, K2tog, YO, repeat from *, ending K7

Row 2 – Repeat

Front and Back:

With No. 5 needles, CO 224 sts. Join in round. K2, P2 for 4 in. Work in pattern for 7.5 inches from ribbing. Slip half of the stitches onto a stitch-holder. On live stitches, and keeping in pattern, bind off 7 sts at the beginning of each of the next 2 rows, then K2 sts tog at each end of every other row 7 times. Work 7.5 inches even. Bind off. [I think binding off is the best way to go to get the neck to look the way it does in the original picture]. Slip circular needle through the held stitches of the back. Repeat the instruction for the front.

Shoulder seams: seam shoulders using a fairly loose whip stitch.


With 16” No. 5 circular needles, on right side of blouse, pick up 35 sts around shoulder (this should be a complete circle after seaming the shoulders). Work around even for 5 rows, establishing pattern as in front and back. Increase slightly by adding 1 stitch at beginning of pattern on 6th row, as in: K6, K2tog, YO, repeat from *, ending K7.

Work 5 inches even for short sleeves. For ¾ length sleeves, Knit until sleeve measures approximately 12 inches from shoulder.

Cuff: Change to No. 2 needles. K2, P2, for 2 inches. Bind off in rib pattern or use sewn bind-off.

© 2007 Unraveling Sophia for Silver-Apples Designs; all rights retained by author. This pattern may not be duplicated in any form, including electronic, and may not be re-posted on the internet, without express permission from the author. Links to this original pattern may be posted. It may not be included in any collection of patterns, for sale, without individual and written permission from the author. One hard copy may be retained for personal, non-commercial use. For use in charity or teaching purposes, please contact the author.


CanarySanctuary said...

Good lord, I love that vintage sweater with the puffed sleeves! So pretty.
I agree about the sock yarn - I used it with success on a vintage top. Lorna's Laces (but I wouldn't use the variegated again because it pooled a little oddly).
Can't wait to see your progress on it!

Unraveling Sophia said...

thank you! I'm almost finished with my sock gifts and then can start on some fall sweaters... I'd love to see a photo of your vintage top with Lorna's Laces yarn! I have some LL candy apple red that might be great for this pattern...

Queen of the froggers said...

Thank you for the comment. I love vintage patterns, those look nice x

Unraveling Sophia said...

Hi! I'm happy to see a comment on my blog too :) I loved your stash photos - they kept me searching the 'net for hours! So many yarn finds from indie dyers are small runs though and when you go looking, they're all sold out. Hello Yarn for instance, and Dashing Dachs... {sigh}...

Nad said...

Hiya there! Well, I am still knitting on your socks but I have reached the foot of the second one so........there's hope! LOL To keep you entertained I just mailed off the "I can't call it Halloween box for lack of Halloween things here" box for you- to arrive sometime next week, provided no elephant sits on it. Knowing what is inside makes me hope no animals will sit on this. Or postal workers. I wrapped it extra tight in blue tape- I hope nothing escapes! :)

Unraveling Sophia said...

hee hee! Thank you! I always love your packages!!

Chez Tine said...

hello miss,
merci pour ton commentaire
tes modèles de tricots vintage sont magnifiques
n'étant pas bilingue, j'ai du mal à comprendre toutes les explications ...
mais comme çà me plait, je vais faire des progrès
encore merci

Hello Miss,
thank you for your comment
Knit your vintage models are beautiful
not bilingual, I have trouble understanding all the explanations ...
but like that pleases me, I'll make progress
thank you again (by google)

Lindsay said...

Love this vintage pattern, will definitely be making my attempts at it soon.

jen said...

adorable sweater! thanks for posting it. have you worked it up yet?

and do you have plans to post the pattern for the other sweater pictured? so cute!

Chez Tine said...

ces modèles de tricot sont ravissants et tout à fait rétros
j'aimerais trouver ce genre de fiche en français car je suis fan des années 30/40
à bientôt
Tine, Paris

Rachel said...

Lurverly! But you already know this!

Thanks also for the modern instructions which are v helpful, especially to beginners.

Have taken the liberty of adding a link to this page / pattern at:

where the Daliet was being discussed.

Please feel free to come over and join this lovely little vintage social club btw. I have also just begun a vintage knitting chit chat group on there myself if you'd care to join and share your enthusiam for all things vintage + knitted

Please also stop by my own brand new website:

which is a 'museum' for vintage knitted patterns from my collection. You can download most of the patterns for free, but if it is my own pattern and rather rare, it's a quid for a pdf scan (which I'm hoping will cover my website costs)

Hope to see you all there


Cardiwrap said...

Lovely vintage blouses. It may seem as if trends 70-80 years ago in blouse styles would fit in with today's fashion. Good post.