There was an explosion of knitting patterns released in the 1930s, and with it came a huge array of yarns to go with them. When one thinks about knitwear from the 1930s and 40s, it is 3 ply that springs to mind. That is not strictly the case though. I was reminded of this by a good knitting pal, Simone, who has a collection of vintage knitting patterns that I am in awe of (although, I may get a peek at them someday soon). Yarns named Kwiknit, Speedknit, and Zephyr, just in case you had any doubts as to their claims. Aran or worsted weight yarns were really quite popular, and chunky and super-chunky yarns were used predominantly for jackets to achieve that 1940's silhouette, like the Box Coat from A Stitch in Time vol 2.
This is the first time I have attempted a vintage jumper in this thickness, though. I dived in on a whim, but I am sorely lacking in chunky weight wool, being more of a 3 and 4 ply gal. I did manage to dig out four balls of - wait for it - Robin Chunky ACRYLIC. 100% acrylic. I was convinced it would turn out to be a beast of a thing, but I have to admit, it didn't behave at all badly.
(Mostly phone pics, I'm afraid.)
I went down a needle size to 7mm, to achieve the required tension, but now wish I hadn't, as it could have done with a tad more ease. It does not have the same fit as the original, but then again, I thought that looked a little too shapeless.
This pic was taken by my 5 year old son!
If you are going to attempt this, take care when knitting the sleeves. I came unstuck on the right sleeve and had to re-knit it from the beginning as I had cast on 11 sts after the turn-back cuff at the wrong side, putting the cuff at the back! The armhole depth was pleasingly deeper than I expected, too: usually it is six inches and you can't lift your arms, but this is about seven and a half. The neck is deeper, too, which means I can get it over my head without undoing the buttons.
Camera pic by hubby
If I were to knit it again, I would certainly use wool, or a wool mix. I have already swatched it in Drops Nepal (aran/worsted weight), which I used for Quick Work In Thick Wool. It will work, but only if I go up a needle size to 8mm, even 9mm, and then it will be snug, and possibly too open and airy. Hmm. But I cannot buy more wool!
I have plenty to be getting on with. My (or, rather) Your Victory Jumper is coming along nicely, but I musn't rest on my laurels, or I'll never finish it.
I haven't had much time this week. My little girl has been off nursery with chicken pox, poor little mite. Hence my hasty pics. She will be better for Easter, but my son might have it by then!
Here is the free pattern, along with its friend on the same page: 'Jumper with a Turreted collar'.
I hope you have fun with them.