I wanted a comfortable, over-sized vintage ski pullover for winter, and now I’ve knit one!
I have a good bit to say about the construction of this pullover, so I’m actually going to save that for a separate post on Thursday. I knit this from a pattern from a 1956 issue of Bernat Handicrafter magazine. Pretty wonderful look in the magazine, isn’t it?
I didn’t knit the turtleneck quite long enough to double as a hood because it would have been strangling me, and let’s be honest, I doubt that could have stayed on her head like that without being pinned. So it was cute but silly. But I do love the turtleneck. So cozy! I don’t wear them much, but this pullover is definitely helping to convert me to the warm ways of the turtleneck.
The pullover features wide bishop sleeves which I knit only slightly less voluminous than the pattern called for, a relaxed fit in the body (this sweater has 2″ of positive ease at the full bust on me), and a slightly longer torso. Not that you can see the length, since I opted to tuck it in, inspired by the woman featured in the original pattern.
Technically these amazing deadstock 50s pants are pedal pushers, but tucked into knee-high socks, with long underwear and wellies, they certainly work well for a walk in the woods!
While the shape of this pullover isn’t something I typically knit, I’ve realized that it’s exactly what I actually like to wear in the dead of winter. I keep turning to the same few over-sized pullovers that I can wear comfortably with layers and not feel like my body or arms are constricted. I guess I’ve learned that when I’m already cold, I don’t want to feel even slightly uncomfortable in other ways, ha ha!
I actually really like how baggy the sleeves are, since my tendency is to accidentally knit sleeves a tad too tight. Not these ones!
We took these photos at the forest preserve a week ago, where I hoped there would be enough snow leftover to be in the background to make a nice backdrop for a ski sweater. Nope. But who knew a week later we’d have a blizzard dumped on us!
I used Stonehedge Fiber Mill Sheperd’s Worsted for the green and Misti Alpaca Worsted for the natural. I have a vintage 1960s ski pullover that has white angora in the colorwork among the other yarn used, and I love the halo it makes. So I decided to do the same with alpaca. The alpaca does indeed add a bit of a halo, plus extra warmth across the chest and the neck, since the turtleneck is actually white up into about an inch before the fold!
Sheperd’s Worsted surprised me. It’s a very soft, non-superwash merino. I’ll say right off that I don’t plan to use it again on a project that involved ribbed cuffs unless I drastically reduce the number of stitches. After pushing up my sleeves one time, the cuffs (which were knit on smaller needles) were already completely stretched out, and only bounced back slightly during the course of the day (you can see them a bit baggy in the photo above). The yarn just doesn’t have much memory or recoil to go back to the original shape very well. It’s fine on the hem which is thankfully not meant to be fitted, and it’s fine in the 1×1 turtleneck, as 1×1 ribbing is naturally more stretchy than 2×2 knitting. But I might have ended up disappointed if I’d meant for this to have a trim fitted look with the hem and cuffs.
Just one of those things that you’ll sometimes discover and swatching won’t necessarily tell you this. I’ve experienced the same thing happen with Brooklyn Tweed LOFT, unless knit with a bulletproof gauge (which actually makes for quite a lovely knit fabric!). But with two soft sweaters in a row (my last being alpaca), after my bolero project, I’m going for a really hardy yarn next.
Anyway, I’ve named this project Innsbruck ski pullover, after the Austrian ski town that hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, and where I spent my 21st birthday. I am a rabid Winter Olympics fan and in college while studying abroad in Ireland, I got a chance to travel to Innsbruck and visit the location where both of the Opening Ceremonies and the ski jump events were held.
Many years later, I tracked down a little souvenir pin of a gondola from Innsbruck to wear on my pullover, which came to me from England by way of Etsy!
If you like knitting nitty gritty, stay tuned later in the week for a separate post on the technical details, including armhole steeks and the rather unusual construction of this pullover. It just felt like too much for one post. But as a sneak peek, check out where the shoulder and body meet! I think it’s so neat looking.
While I knit the entire body in less than a week, it took me several weeks to finish up the sleeves and the turtleneck, so I’m glad to have this off my needles and on my back. I think I’m going to wear the hell out of this pullover in the cold months.
Starting today in fact, the day after a huge blizzard pummeled us with 19″ of snow! It was a pretty epic storm. I bet those woods look a lot different today! 😉
1950s pullover: knit by me
hat: knit by me pre-blog (pattern is Foliage, this is the bulky weight version)
1950s pedal pushers: BombshellShocked Vintage
vintage Innsbruck brooch: White Magpie Jewellry
earrings: Glitter Paradise
This turned out great, Tasha! I love it!
Nickey Robo says
This is just gorgeous! I’m so impressed. I just started knitting my third sweater ever, I’ll be lucky if it’s even 10% as nice as this one. 😉
I’m sure it’ll be lovely, good luck! 🙂
You are so cute I just don’t even know what to do with myself sometimes.
YOU too, mwah!!
Natalie @ Threads & Bobbins says
I cannot believe you have actually made this! It looks amazing and you’ve completed it just in time for the snow! 🙂
Thanks! Yes, definitely in time for the snow! 🙂
This turned out great! The construction at the shoulder looks quite unusual and interesting compared to the average sweater. I’ll have to check back and see you notes on it later in the week.
Thanks, Michelle! Yes, I wouldn’t necessarily do the same construction again, but it was interesting!
The Pullover is wonderful, i like the Pattern
I love it! The yoke- and sleeve-styles aren’t things you see very often on modern designs, but they look great! I really love the color transition at the top of the sleeves.
Thanks, Andi! I really liked that extra little bit of the colorwork pattern on the sleeves too, it’s a nice touch!
Wow, you’re a fast knitter – I on the other hand need more than a year to finish a backside of a pullover (still have to do the front and the short sleeves – maybe it’ll be done in 2017 XD).
I love the colour and the pattern on this lovely pullover – and it looks gorgeous on you^^
It looks amazing. Really great colour. I have just finished a jumper in a Sport merino and I found the sleeves to be baggy. I look forward to your construction post. I hope you show a shot of the inside!
I will! 🙂
Rochelle New says
This whole outfit is so fantastic and I LOVE how the sweater turned out! The colors looks amazing with your red hair 🙂 Yarn recoil is something I never thought about before (being a noob and all) but it makes total sense now that you mention the Shepherds Wool stretches out easily. I knit a hat with it and the brim stretched out super quickly, but I thought it was because I knit it too big. I guess I need to start searching for super-recoil-y yarns for future hats!
Thanks! Totally something to keep in the back of your head. 🙂
Harlee Cole says
Man, you are one spectacular knitting lady! Very lovely sweater….great vintage style and colour!
Natalie from White Magpie Jewellery says
Wow. The pullover is gorgeous and the brooch looks fab. So glad you like it 🙂
Thanks Natalie, I do so love it. Thank you for finding such a little treasure!
Deborah Garretty says
Love the sweater! I’ve just bought a vintage ski-jumper pattern off e bay and after seeing this post, can’t wait to start. The cable-car pin is adorable. We’ve had quite a bit of snow in my region of the UK so warm and cosy jumpers are the order of the day. Really enjoy reading your blog-posts, thank you.
Thanks, Deborah! It’s definitely easier to envision wearing skil pullovers when you have a bit of snow, isn’t it? 🙂
What a fun sweater! I really, really, really like it! OK, weird question, but regarding the baggy cuffs, would it be possible to weave some elastic thread into them to tighten them up? I tried that with a hat once and it worked pretty well, but not sure if that would feel funny in a cuff!
Thanks! I don’t see why that’s not possible, good thought. I know plenty of people do it for too baggy socks cuffs and hat brims. I’ll see if they stretch out worse over time and may consider it! Right now they’re just in the comfortably baggy zone, not the ludicrously stretched out zone. lol
Shannon P says
Beautiful! I am so impressed by your knitting skills!
Anarii Hakala says
What an awesome outfit. Love the pants, I love plaids. And the color of your sweater is fantastic. You did a great job!
Thank you! I love plaids too! It was a great chance to pull these pants out since it’s not spring yet, so I just used a little wardrobe deception wearing them with the boots. 😀
If you could send some of that snow down here to Memphis, that’d be great 🙂 I have that same magazine with that pattern! I just found it again in a box of my knitting books! Now, I will have to make it. Thanks so much for all of your awesome ideas!!!
Oh this is perfect! I wish I had the patience (or the time) to learn to knit. Loving the little cable car brooch – a fab touch!
Jessica Cangiano says
And a classic, delightful charmer it is! Great choice of colours. Green and white naturally suit Christmas well, but (lacking red in the mix) don’t scream December 25th only by any means. Your knits are always so pretty and timeless – and totally the kind that I love to sport, too.
Wow, I’ve been waiting to see this beauty finished and completed, I looks fabulous on you! I love the colourwork but I’d have to be silly and do the hood but maybe make it slightly looser in fit I’m not keen on being strangled by my own handknits 😀
Silver Cat Tea Party says
Wow! I can’t believe you knit this yourself! So amazing!! <3
Your jumper is fabulous and just perfect for winter weather. Love the colour.
Goodness, this is a fabulous outfit and the fact that you’ve knitted this pullover yourself— wow. Just wow. And I love that Innsbruck brooch, so cute and so perfect for this ensemble.