• Blog,  Upcycling

    Resizing Vintage Knitting Patterns – Step 1: Analyzing the pattern

    Welcome to our little resize-along for vintage patterns. In case you haven’t already done so, read the introduction if you want learn what this is about.

    The first step is to analyse the pattern. What information about gauge and sizing can we obtain from the pattern? Sometimes you get nice little schematic drawings with measurements on them – this is perfect and saves a lot of time. But most of the time we only have the text. In most cases there is an indication of gauge and I recommend to use only patterns which give you a gauge. This will make the analysis way easier.

    1. Highlight all information in the pattern regarding sizing and measurements

    2. Gauge and Conversion Formula

    The most important information we find in the pattern is the gauge (tension):

    7.5 sts x 9 rows = 1″ x 1″

    We can use these numbers to calculate the measurements from stitch or row counts indicated in the pattern. To calculate inches from number of stitches or rows you have to divide said number by the gauge value.

    Example formula to convert 100 stitches to inches:


    3. Required measurements

    Now let’s make a rough sketch of the sweater and mark all the required measurements:

    4. Calculate Measurements

    Now go through the list of measurements and match them to the indications in the pattern.

    A. Width at bottom edge of body

    Pattern says: Cast on 108 sts ->
    A = 108 sts / 7.5 sts per inch = 14.4″

    B. Width at bust

    This is the width before you start the armhole decreases.

    Pattern says … until there are 130 sts on the needle ->
    B = 130 / 2.5 sts per inch = 17.333 ”

    C. Length from bottom edge to armhole

    Pattern says: until front measures 12.25″ from the beginning
    so conveniently we don’t have to calculate anything here ->
    C = 12.25″

    Instead of continuing with Measurement D it is easier to look at two other measurements first:

    H. Depth of Neckline

    For this measurement we have to count these rows from the pattern text (beginning with the first row of neck/shoulder shaping):

    Pattern says:

    next row: Ptn. 39, turn. -> 1 row

    Cont. in ptn. on these 39 sts., dec. 1 st, at neck edge on every row until 27 Sts. rem.

    “at neck edge” means every other row

    39 – 27 sts = 12 decreases every other row -> 24 rows

    Work 3 rows without shaping

    Next row: Cast off 9 sts., work to neck, Next row: Work to end of row. Rep, these 2 rows once. -> 4 Rows

    Put it all together: 1 + 24 + 3 + 4 rows = 32 rows
    D = 28 rows / 9 rows per inch = 3.55″

    G: Length of front from armhole to neckline

    This is where the division for neckline / shoulders begins.

    Pattern says: … until work measures 17″ from the beginning ->
    G = 17″ – 12.25″ (length up to armhole) = 4.75″

    D. Armhole depth

    This is the length from the beginning of the armhole shaping until the beginning of the shoulder shaping.

    D = G + H minus the 4 rows for shoulder shaping.  (4 Rows / 9 rows per inch = 0.444″)
    D = 4.75″ + 3.55″ – 0.444″ = 7.86″

    E. Width across upper body

    This is the width after the armhole shaping.

    Pattern says: ...until 96 sts remain ->
    E = 96 sts / 7.5 sts per inch = 12.8 ”

    F. Shoulder width

    This is the width of one shoulder after separating for the shoulders and front neckline.

    Pattern says: … until 27 sts remain ->
    F = 27 sts / 7.5 sts per inch = 3.6 ”

    I. Width of sleeve at bottom edge

    Pattern says: … cast on 72 sts ->
    I = 72 sts / 7.5 sts per inch = 9.6 ”

    J. Length of sleeve from bottom edge to armhole

    Pattern says: Cont, in ptn. until sleeve measures 5.5 ins. from the beg ->
    J = 5.5″

    K. Width at upper arm

    This is the width before the shaping of the sleeve top begins.

    Pattern says: … until there are 88 sts ->
    K = 88 sts / 7.5 sts per inch = 11.733″


    So, that wasn’t so hard up to now, was it? The next step will be to take your own measurements.





  • Upcycling

    Upcycling: New Project Bag

    This year I take the pledge not to buy any new textiles. The world is full of perfectly wearable and useable stuff, so I want to abstain from buying Fast Fashion and new clothing in general – at least for 2020. But now shopping is no fun, so I am browsing second hand stores an swap shops every now and then.

    At the end of this month I go to a knitting retreat by the Baltic Sea and it will be a long train ride to get there – lots of quality knitting time, yay. I wanted to sew myself a little project bag so I have my knitting gear ready at hand during the journey.

    But this morning I found this little grey bag in a second hand store. It is a perfect color match for my handbag, so it went home with me for 1 Euro. At home I found that it really needs some TLC – it is homemade by a person who obviously was no genius at sewing and had some serious technical problems with their sewing machine.

    So I took it apart almost completely, fixed all crooked and loose seams, redid the loop and added a button. And while I was at it and it was in pieces anyway, I embroidered my claim on the backside.

    And here she is: 1 Euro, 2 hours of work, 1 shiny new project bag and I am all set for my long train ride. :D.


    Live. Knit. Love.