Resizing a vintage pattern – Part 2

Welcome back! This is the follow up to last week’s post about taking a vintage sweater and updating it for modern times. I sorted out the original schematic, I picked out some replacement yarn, and now it’s time to do the rest!

La Laine Bairnswear 2214

If you’re interested in where I got the pattern, you can buy it here.

Step 3: Modern Modifications

This pattern is meant to be knitted flat, from the bottom up. Now look, plastic technology has come a long way in the last 70 years and there’s no reason to faff about with such inefficient construction. Circular needles are cheap and plentiful! I’m going top-down and in the round like the 21st century knitter I am.

The yoke also includes an opening at one of the shoulder so you can get the thing over your head. It’s supposed to do up with a zip but I don’t care for that. I’d much rather use some cute buttons. But buttons would break up the fair isle so… how about I just make the neck bigger? My stitch gauge is bigger that the original anyway, so if I knit the yoke as written I get a neck of 20″. Problem solved. It looks like a large stitch gauge might not be so bad.

Now those mods were for ease of construction. I also need to adjust the fit. The difference between my bust and waist isn’t quite as pronounced as it is on the pattern. This just means I’ll do less shaping rows on the body, but spaced out over the same amount of rows as the original.

This isn't exactly what I'm doing but it illustrates the concept

Lastly, I’ll make it longer so I can wear it modern trousers. The plain stockinette of the body ends at the waist and adding 2.5″ extra will make it a good length. The extra stockinette will also include a bunch of increasing rows for my hips. If that’s not included the ribbing will keep riding up to the waist and look ridiculous.

This may all sound like resizing, and the two sort of go hand in hand, but the above is all about changing the design and shaping of the jumper, not about changing the actual dress size. So after all this we come to…

Step 4: Time to make it fit.

The final step of resizing:the actual resizing itself!

With all the modifications and gauge and original schematic taken into account, it’s just a matter of carefully adding or taking away stitches until the pattern measurements match yours instead. Here’s the new schematic I’m working to:

As I’m only two dress sizes above the original,  I can rely on the increased stitch gauge to do most of the work for me. If I was significantly different to the pattern however, I’d probably go down a needle size so as to better match the original gauge, then add/subtract a couple of pattern repeats to the yoke for a more controlled grading.

The main thing to worry about when resizing is whether the armholes and sleevecap match up. The original sleeve would’ve fit me just fine so I have to lose quite a few sleeve increases to make the new gauge work.

Again, ain’t nothing special here but basic maths and my (now!) in-depth understanding of the pattern. There are probably several ways to resize the various parts, but my general strategy is to remove/add stitches at the points of shaping already in the pattern. As this pattern is not free I’m a little wary about going into too much detail for this post, but I hope this is enough to give hints to anyone trying to convert a similar vintage pattern.

Now that I have a printout thoroughly covered in highlighter and pen, I guess there’s nothing left to do but…cast on!

Previous post: Schematics and Yarn substitution

1 Comment

Filed under Guides/How-to's

One response to “Resizing a vintage pattern – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Resources for Beginner Knitters/Crocheters – Flashback Summer

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