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Resizing Vintage Knitting Patterns – Introduction

Who doesn’t love the knitted sweaters of the 1930ies and 1940ies?  There are so many gorgeous original vintage patterns available on the web – for free or for small money – an endless source of possibilities. We want to knit them all, right? But … wait … what about the size?

Most of the really stunning vintage patterns are written for smaller bust sizes. 30″, 32″, 34″ bust are the most common sizes, unless you content yourself with the so-called “matron” patterns wich are … well … matronly (makes gagging noise).

So, if you’re a bigger girl like me and don’t want to be stuck with boring plain cardigans, you need to resize the smaller patterns and this is what many knitters fear and hate. In fact you have to put in some extra work and a little bit of math. But don’t panic, it’s not rocket science and it is well worth the effort because all those lovely patterns will finally be available to you.

Side note: Some knitters resort to using thicker yarn and larger needles to avoid the maths. I advise against this approach. If there is only half an inch missing you can do that, but for considerable resizing, like going up from 34″ to 42″ it is not feasible unless you want to have a really chunky odd looking garment.

So, how can you approach this magical mysterious resizing then? Let’s get to it in baby steps, ok? In this series I am going to explain every step in depth and you can do the re-sizing straight away using your individual measurements.

We will do our resizing with the famous “Victory Sweater” pattern which is available for free here at the website of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Scroll down a little bit until you reach the pattern. Download it, print it and you are ready for Step 1 tomorrow.


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