It’s finished! Yes, my second ever crochet jumper is done and it has a hat to match, both of which were created from original 1930s patterns. This was one hell of a mammoth project which initially started at the very end of October and was finished mid February. The hat only took me two weeks, one week on the base and one week on the trim. The jumper in total took about two months, but this was helped by the Christmas holidays where I would just veg out on the sofa and crochet for a whole day.
In this post I’m going to mainly focus on the jumper, not only because it deserves its own post, but also because I plan to feature the hat in a special future post. Keep an eye out for that one!
Despite looking rather complicated, the jumper pattern was relatively straight forward. Each different section of stitches was done totally separately so, as a whole, it was made up of fourteen different parts. You initially start with the main back section and repeat this for the main front section. Then move on to the front and back belt sections, followed by the bottom sleeve sections, the top sleeve sections and finally the two cuffs. I then added the little tab trims and crochet buttons myself, these aren’t part of the original pattern.
The “ribbing” sections were created using a simple combination of double crochet (single crochet in US terms) and chain stitch. The lacey sections, however, were relatively more complicated. These were made up of blocks of treble crochets (double crochet in US terms) and there were four different combinations of these. So, you did four different rows, then continued repeating these four to create the little box shape pattern. This did take a bit of getting used to and at the beginning I kept forgetting which row I should be doing and I had post-it notes plastered all over the pattern to remind me where I was.
The most perplexing parts were the separate sleeve sections. These were the weirdest shaped pieces and I checked over and over again that I was doing them correctly because I really wasn’t confident. You can see their odd shapes here. Creating the point of the ribbing section was really fiddly to start with as you’re working with such a tiny section and trying to increase it with every row. I did initially try to replicate this point in the white tabs but for some reason it just wouldn’t work in the white. I think the tabs look fine as rectangle shapes though.
I did make the main bodice sections of the jumper slightly smaller than the original pattern, literally by reducing the number of block patterns across. The reason I did this, rather than using a smaller hook, was because it was fiddly enough with a 2mm and if I’d gone smaller I probably would’ve just lost patience with it. Also, I don’t have any hooks smaller than 2mm!
The reason it was so fiddly was because of the yarn I used. It’s 75% wool and much more of a furry yarn (if that’s a term!) than I was used to, having only ever used cotton yarn before. This meant that, because the tension was quite tight, the hook kept catching on the furry bits and I’d fight to get the hook out. As I continued through the pattern it got easier and easier to deal with but I do think for a relative beginner this wasn’t the best choice.
The white yarn was one I’d had in my stash for years. It’s most likely a cheap nylon 4ply as I bought a few different colours of this several years ago when I’d tried my hand at crocheting and didn’t really succeed. Again, the white details aren’t in the original pattern but I wanted to make sure none of the mustard yellow was touching my skin. Mustard doesn’t go well with my pale colour and has a tendency to wash me out, but by adding the white it detracts the eye.
I love how it turned out and I’m really glad I stuck with it, despite it being a huge project. It’s a wonderful jumper to wear, although being 75% wool it does make me very hot. It’ll be brilliant come next winter as I only have one other long sleeve jumper I like to wear. That one was knitted by my mum’s friend from an original 1950s pattern, but it has a real 30s/40s look to it.
Yarn: 4.5 balls of Butterscotch WYS Signature 4 Ply Sweet Shop from The Loveliest Yarn Company & white 4ply from my stash
Hook: 2mm for jumper and 2.5mm for hat