Thursday, November 02, 2017

Anatomy of a Sweater

I did a lot of things in the 1970s and 1980s that I don't do quite as often now. I sewed. I painted. I cooked. I went to loud rock 'n roll shows in seedy clubs. I knit. I crocheted. I flirted with lots of guys. I actually drank alcohol. I ratted and dyed my hair. I played golf. I played tennis. I went sailing. My current friends would be amazed at the breadth of my youthful activities.

Simple Sweater Pattern

In the 1980s I knit and crocheted SO MANY sweaters! My basic self-designed slipover was two rectangles sewn together for the back and front, add two smaller rectangles for sleeves. The look was blouson, so I usually knitted a ribbing at the bottom of the sweater and at each cuff edge so that the body of the sweater and sleeves would puff out. It was the style. Then I would crochet a simple edge around the neckline. Done! Add some shoulder pads and I was ready to rock. I could make a slipover in less than a week, especially if I used large needles and chunky yarn!
Here I am below, with my friend Marilyn. This was a sweater that I made in two or three types of burgundy yarn. The yoke consisted of small cable stitches on a garter stitch background in basic 4-ply knitted worsted. The body of the sweater was some sort of a mohair. These pieces were usually knit on size 10 needles. The sleeves were two different yarns held together, knit on super huge needles, usually 15s or 17s. The ribbing for the body of the sweater and the cuffs was knitting worsted on size 7s or 8s.
Click on photo to see notations. Ellen and Marilyn, December 1982.
Detail of Sweater

I do believe I sewed a pair of "velour" slacks to match! 
I was a constant visitor to many branches of the Super Yarn Mart back in the day. This chain store used to carry yarn from around the world as well as making their own. You could buy huge skeins of sturdy acrylic yarn to stretch your yarn budget as well as exotic imports. The sweater above is a combination of different types of yarn purchased at the Super Yarn Mart. I really miss that store!
Check out all of those branch stores listed on the shopping bag!
I happen to have some lovely burgundy heather colorway Cascade 220 in my stash. I may just have to re-create this divine slipover, minus the blouson and shoulder pads!

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