Saturday, 6 October 2012

Mountain Maid wools 1940s jumper

I initially picked up this pattern because I loved the colours used in the picture and the fantastic hairstyles. When I looked at it more closely I realised that it featured two fabulous early 1940s jumper patterns. The green one is called 'ribbed sweater with fancy yoke' and the red one is called 'jumper in fancy stitch'. I like that a lot, not much detail given but 'fancy' conjures up a good image.

I seem to have managed to expand the width of this poor woman when I took the picture! I was just trying to get a close up that showed the fancy yoke and the jumper as a whole.

I love knitting from vintage patterns, especially those from the 1940s and 1950s so when I was asked to knit this jumper I was really pleased and excited. Knitting from vintage patterns can be an interesting journey as they often assume a certain level of knowledge, use techniques or stitches that are no longer common and often do not write out the full instructions, leading to a certain amount of educated guesswork! However, this is what makes it interesting. Also, nothing beats a hand knitted jumper which keeps as close to the original pattern as possible if you are after an authentic vintage look.

The jumper pattern is written for 3-ply wool for a 34-36 inch bust. I needed to knit it in a marginally larger bust size using a 5-ply wool from It was a gorgeous bright red and lovely, soft merino so it was really a pleasure to knit with. Because of the change both in size and weight of yarn I had to knit up a number of tension squares on a range of needle sizes to be sure that the jumper would come out correctly. If you are changing between a 3-ply and 5-ply (or other wool weights) you need to remember that it will change the look or feel or both of the garment from how it was originally intended. Using the 5-ply for this pattern has produced a very dense, close rib, especially as I had to use very small needles (vintage14s) for much of the rib. In the 3-ply it would have come out as a finer looking, lighter rib.

The completed back showing back opening.
The back opening is closed with four buttons. A row of single crochet
is worked down one side and loops are made to fasten the buttons.

The jumper looks really tiny which caused the odd panic but as it is a purl 2, knit 2 rib it has a fantastic amount of stretch! A friend kindly gave me a crochet lesson so that I could manage the back fastenings. It has definitely put crochet on my crafts to learn list.

The front, showing the armhole shaping.
A close up of the fancy yoke!
The sleeves were very interesting to knit and construct as they had shaping that is quite different to modern sleeve shaping in order to create that particular 1940s look. At the shaped end the side stitches of the centre panel are stitched to the cast off edges which lie beneath them, creating a kind of box.

The sleeves showing the shoulder and top of sleeve shaping.

As the jumper came together it was very exciting and I am really proud of the end result. It is definitely fancy and I like that!

The finished article.


  1. It looks amazing & can not wait to see it in the flesh!

    1. Thanks! Hoping to add a picture of the jumper on it's owner soon!