Sunday, January 1, 2012

Knitting for the Armed Forces, circa 1940s

I was recently given a stack of knitting magazines, including some great vintage patterns.  I thought I would share a few.  They start with a vest and pullover, with the caption "Both the above garments are suitable for Men and Women".  Don't you love their jaunty helmets and tin cups, and the cartoon pictures of tanks?  (Click on each of the four images for a bigger version that you should be able to print to a normal page size.)

These two patterns knit up at a gauge of 13 stitches to 2 inches and 9 rows to 1 inch; the modern equivalent of 26 stitches and 36 rows to 10cm.  They recommend needle sizes 10 and 12 (for the ribbing), which is US size 2 and 3, or metric 2.75mm and 3.25mm.  A fingering-weight yarn should be about right, but of course, check the ball band.  Knitting at this tension should make a very fine, thin fabric that isn't too bulky under a coat, but still provides a nice warm layer.

Two sizes are given for each; size 36, which is 36" around at the underarm, and size 40, which is 40" around at the underarm.

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