Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Pretty as a Picture - Mark 2

A knitting post to share with you today.  A commission piece for a repeat customer who lives across the miles, over New Zealand. 
The piece is a knit that I've done before, a knit very aptly named "Pretty as a Picture" from a Stitchcraft magazine published in November 1936. 
The jumper is a really neat design, slim fitting with an oversized bow.  The bow in the original, as you can see, was knitted in angora, but it wasn't possible to match the base colour to an angora, so the same wool was used throughout.
When I did the first version of the jumper, it was worked in Adriafil Azzurra 4 ply in a gorgeous shade called Bordeaux.  The lady who commissioned this version wanted to go with a finer wool, more authentic to the 1930's, and opted for Fenella, by Susan Crawford.

Fenella is a wonderful wool which has been specifically designed to knit up to the 3 ply tension that is often found in vintage patterns.  It is a 100% British wool which is grown, spun, dyed and finished in Britain.  The colour range is absolutely delightful, with some great vintage inspired shades and glorious names like Porcellana and Phthalo, which is a divine shade of green.  I got a little bit distracted by all the gorgeous colours and ordered some for my stash!

For this knit, Myristica was chosen, which is a really dark chocolate brown. 

The wool comes in 25g skeins, which means you have to wind it into balls, but the wool is so gorgeous to work with that it's no chore, and it gave me the perfect excuse to buy myself a wool winder, and employ the services of Miss C to help me wind it. 

Although the pattern is by no means hard, it has a nice regular pattern repeat across 8 rows, it is a slow knit, or at least I found it to be.  Because I work my commission pieces in the evening, I struggled in the winter to see properly for any length of time, so only managed a couple of hours a night, at best.  Because it was slow going, it took about 5 months to do, but the customer was wonderfully patient and happy to wait. 

Although you can only see two buttons, the design actually fastens at the neck with three, only one is covered by the bow.  I rummaged through my stash and found the perfect buttons to go with the wool.

I had to make the jumper slightly smaller, so didn't do all the increases that were called for in the original, but other than that, it was knitted exactly as per the pattern.  

Fenella was gorgeous to work with.  It took a little getting used to as I've never worked with anything quite so fine, and because it's quite an expensive wool, I was so worried I'd make a mistake and ruin it.

Thankfully it all turned out well, and the customer was really happy with the finished item.  It was obviously worth the wait!!

Wool - Fenella by Susan Crawford in Myristica
Weight used - 10 balls
Time taken - 5 months
Size - 32" bust

If you fancy giving this neat little knit a go, the pattern is available as a PDF in my Etsy shop, which you can find here.



  1. That is gorgeous. I love the clothes of the thirties
    Julie xxxxx

  2. A lovely pattern and beautifully knitted. Definitely something worth waiting for.

  3. It turned out gorgeous! What a nice pattern :) Your knitting always impress me.

  4. What a gorgeous jumper! It has turned out beautifully.

  5. I love this jumper! You have knitted it beautifully. I wish the pattern came in a larger size.

  6. What a pretty jumper! I just love bows! :)

  7. I absolutely adore that pattern! I've knitted vintage patterns in DK & 4ply but haven't tried 3ply yet. I've never heard of Fenella and will definitely check them out, thank you for showing us all the beautiful colours available. You did such a good job on that jumper, congratulations! XxxX