Vintage Knitted Vests

A couple of years ago my mother found a selection of vintage (c.1930s) knitting patterns in a local charity shop. They are a treasure trove of knitting delights, from 1930s jumpers and traditional baby bonnets to an astonishing full length knitted petticoat! Knitted underclothes were clearly a popular knitting choice with the original collector of the pattern books, as there is an entire booklet on 'Knitted Vests for Ladies and Men'.

The knitted vest book is a delight, and not only for the patterns - there are some fantastic period pieces of adverts as well.

I love the idea of vest wool, especially supervest wool - do vests made of it have special powers, aside from being daintier that other vests? I imagine superwoman's vests are made out of supervest wool!

And its not just knitting supplies the booklet advertises, it also covers that delicate area covered by the  euphemistic phrase of 'women's troubles'

Anyway, back to the vests. I've been considering knitting one for a little while, and so when going through my stash I came across some 3ply wool I thought I would give it a go. I picked a pattern, which I hope I have enough yarn for, called 'Another pretty style'. Its a simple ribbed v-necked vest, with a crochet collar and sleeve edging.

I love the way the patterns are written - no messing about with tension square, or different sizes or, in fact, any indication of finished size - just very straight forward instructions assuming the reader has a good knowledge of straightforward knitting skills! The only measurement the pattern gives is a finished length, which is a slightly staggering 27 inches. That's a good long vest, no danger of drafts around the mid-rift. I think I might make my version just a little bit shorter.

I realise this is a slightly peculiar knitting choices - especially as I have no idea if it will fit when I have finished. The lovely ladies in my knitting group obviously think its a crazy choice - but then they have never quite recovered from the knitted trousers I made a couple of Christmas ago.



    how scary does that sound?!

    How is the vest looking now?

  2. It certainly sounds a bit grim!

    The vest looks, to be honest, like 10 inches of rib and not much else! :)

  3. Those books look very interesting


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