Thursday 18 February 2016

The Knit List - a fantasy wish list

It's about time I did a Knit List - whittling down hundreds of my patterns to just ten of my must-knits. Ten? Impossible. I'll do fifty. More achievable (though not all in one post, of course!).

I've got so many patterns going round in my head, they are getting tangled up in there. It's not a very tidy, organised place my head. Neither are my patterns for that matter. Which is why I need to get down my wish list of knits - the knitteds that I just HAVE to make - so I can easily reference them in a calm and unemotional way. Not in the usual, frantic, just-seen-a-jumper, scrabble-about-for-enough-wool, don't-bother-with-a-tension-swatch and just-dive-in kind of way, which is how I seem to approach pattern choice.

I'm going to have to do a top fifty, because I just can't whittle it down any further. I will spread it over a good few blog posts. although I probably have nearer to one hundred that I just NEED to knit, but who's got that kind of time? Or wool? (Well, I probably have enough of that).

I will begin with Good Needlework magazine, as it is one of the best magazines from the glory years of the 1930s for knitwear design. Not only were the patterns shown in full colour, (often super bright colours), but the patterns often gave alternative colour schemes for the designs - right down to the shade of stockings!

Good Needlework 1933


This is a design in 2 ply, with a very interesting shape. It is in 'bluebell' stitch, little clusters of lace. The garter stitch yoke is most unusual, but the deciding factor is the cap to match! I always try to have a hat to match a favourite vintage jumper.


This jumper is from the same issue, but too good to miss out. In the famous feather and fan pattern, it has similarities with a jumper featured in A Stitch in Time Vol 1, which you can see on the cover of Good Needlework 1937, below. This one is in 4 ply, and has drop sleeves, as the back and front are knitted straight without armhole shaping. 

Good Needlework 1936

This butter yellow jumper has been in my 'queue' since I first saw this magazine.


It ticks all the boxes for me. It is lightweight, in 3 ply, but knit loosely so fewer stitches are needed! Hoorah. I love the look and feel of fine knitting, but I also want it off the needles as quickly as possible. The softly pleated jabot is the finishing touch. And, if that's not enough, you have the option of long sleeves if you are a 'chilly mortal'.

'What colour scheme will you choose?

Jumper. Butter-yellow with white jabot
Skirt. Matching yellow, Angora woolen.
Accessories. Brown and white court-shoes and sun-beige stockings.

Jumper. Cabbage-green with a matching jabot.
Skirt. Sand-beige woollen, cut on the cross.
Accessories. A wide beige belt and beige suede sandals.

Jumper. Oyster-grey with lobster-pink jabot.
Skirt. Matching grey, novelty woollen.
Accessories. Grey coat, hat and handbag, matching pink gloves.

Jumper. Navy-blue with chamois-yellow jabot.
Skirt. Navy-blue mixture tweed.
Accessories. A chamois-yellow belt. Navy-blue and yellow bracelets.
(copied from the magazine itself)

Good Needlework 1936

This is another invaluable long-sleeved jumper, but with a deep cowl neckline, using 2 ply wool, in a lacy, bobbly rib. The buttoned cuffs are a nice touch. And belted jumpers are just so chic.

Three Good Colour-Schemes

Jumper. Chalk-white. Black buttons.
Skirt. Fine black basket-weave woollen. 
Accessories. Narrow back kid belt. Black kid shoes.

Jumper. Aquamarine-green. Brown buttons.
Skirt. Cinnamon-brown woollen.
Accessories. Plaited brown suede belt. Brown suede Oxfordettes.

Jumper. Melon-pink. Navy-blue buttons.
Skirt. Navy-blue tweed.
Accessories. Navy-blue calf shoes. Wide navy-blue belt.
(copied from the magazine itself)

Good Needlework 1937

I couldn't decide between these two (below), so they both made the cut. The one on the left (above) found it's way into A Stitch in Time Vol 1, so I've already made that.


Both in 3 ply, the first has wide cables paired with a ribbed yoke, just right to wear with a 'light spring suit'.

Colour-Scheme No.1
Jumper. Buttercup-yellow. Amber-brown buttons.
Skirt. Linen-tweed, to match.
Accessories. Brown kid sandals. Yellow linen hat with brown Petersham ribbon.

Colour-Scheme No.2
Jumper. Royal purple. Square glass buttons.
Skirt. Eggshell-beige wool-crepe.
Accessories. Beige linen shoes. Matching beige felt hat. Beige gloves. Purple handbag.

The second jumper (right), has the 'New Square-Neck, quite perfect for cruising'. Knitted in a lozenge-like pattern, this issue has outdone itself with suggestions for five different colour combinations.

Colour-Scheme No.1
Jumper. Pale ash-grey. Jade green buttons,
Skirt. Matching grey waffle woollen.
Accessories. A wide jade-green belt. Grey reptile shoes and handbag. Grey hat. Jade-green gloves.

Colour-Scheme No.3
Jumper. Bright parrot-green. Matching green buttons.
Skirt. Ivory-white linen.
Accessories. Green and white kid sandals. Green, white and orange bracelets. 'Cannes' beige stockings.

Colour-Scheme No.4
Jumper. Rust-brown. Brown wooden buttons,
Skirt. Matching brown woollen.
Accessories. Coral-pink belt and scarf. Brown kid shoes. Brown hat with coral trimming.

Colour-Scheme No. 5
Jumper. Misty navy-blue. White 'daisy' buttons.
Skirt. Navy, red and white checked woollen.
Accessories. Checked jacket, to match the skirt. Navy-blue shoes. Navy-blue hat with red and white trimming.
(copied from the magazine itself)

Good Needlework 1938

The last jumper from the Good Needlework series is from 1938. The cut-outs at the neckline were too much to resist. Teamed with leaf-patterned lace and ribbing, what's not to love?

Colour-Scheme No.1
Jumper. Bois-de-Rose Pink.
Skirt. Fine woollen, to tone, mottled with black.
Accessories. Black patent-leather court shoes. Pink hat, black gloves and handbag.

Colour-Scheme No.2
Jumper. Aquamarine Green.
Skirt. Dark Ox-blood red marocain.
Accessories. Matching red suede sandals, belt and pochette. Aquamarine hat with red ribbon.
(copied from the magazine itself)

Seven down, forty-three to go! Jumper Jill is in four of the seven so far. I wonder how she will fare in the rest? And did women ever wear trousers?



  1. Wow what an amazing post. The magazine's attention to detail is stunning. I do love this style but I don't carry it off well. I remember my mum in the 1970s knitting with 3 ply yarn - such patience is required. I've done a 4 ply but not a 3 ply - still with the loose lace - maybe I'll give one a go. I look forward to seeing some finished. x

  2. Theses magazines are fabulous for knits and I love the alternative colour schemes that are given. It really helps put an outfit together. What 2 and 3 ply yarns do you tend to use?

  3. Oh I love these kind of posts, keep 'm coming! So many lovely knitting patterns.. I wish there where more hours in the day!

  4. Oh, good luck choosing between those . I wouldn't know how to make the choice! Though I can definitely picture you in the butter yellow with the jabot.

  5. Wow every pattern is stunning! And the yarn colour choices are just wonderful! I am itching to knit a jumper in Parrot Green or Misty Navy, what attention to detail these magazines had! I am also impress you could whittle it down to 50 patterns, I look forward to seeing more! x

  6. I'll take one of each! :) Seriously though, the outfit combination descriptions are just amazing. The way they describe the colours and types of fabrics allows you to instantly visualise them. I'm going to print this out just to refer back to them when I can't think of what colour to go with what. Fab post!

  7. Ooh, what a lovely choice of knits for your list, each and every one an essential. I love this era of knits and it keeps me trying to be trim! Looking forward to the next batch. Rx

  8. So many pretty knits! I think my favourite is the zigzag sweater... I've used that stitch on plenty of baby blanket so it's about time it gets used in clothing! :)

  9. All darling knits! I can't wait to see them made up. I'm the slowest knitter ever ~ it takes me over a year to knit up a top! :O So I love seeing all the pretty ones you do. ;) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  10. Such wonderful patterns! Would you consider sharing the bluebell pattern with the matching cap? It's sooo gorgeous!

  11. These patterns are all wonderfull ! I have been looking for years for the april 1938 because of th wonderfull jumper in bois de rose. Would you share it on your blog ?

  12. I am serious I am looking for this jumper these past years, I tried on etsy but it was sold, on arvelry I could not find it, and it is not affordable in a reading machine so my last hope is you. Thank you


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