Fashion is a fickle friend and what’s in style one month may by the next season be a distant memory. It’s for this reason that many designers strive to include aspects of classic design in their latest pieces. We’ve talked to designers and those in-the-know about how they incorporate the best of classic knitting into their newest projects, and how you can too!
Browsing classic patterns can provide marvellous inspiration in terms of novel stitch patterns to incorporate into your next knit. “If you come across an unusual stitch pattern, try making a sample swatch to see how it works,” suggests LK designer Betty Barnden. “Don’t over-egg the pudding though! If you’re working with fancy yarns or decorative stitches, keep the shape simple.”
“I think the shape of vintage garments is what inspires me most,” Betty continues. “Fitted waists, puffed sleeves, square shoulders, unusual collars; studying how these shapes are formed in knitting is a lesson in what is possible. Today, I include several more sizes in a knitting pattern - before the fifties, any design for a bust measurement larger than 36 inches would be relegated to the ‘older woman’ section!”
Designer George Strood believes that old knitting patterns appeal to modern knitters because of the classic design elements contained within them. “If you pick up any vintage knitwear pattern book you are almost guaranteed to find at least one simple yet classic design that you would instantly want to adds to your wardrobe whatever the current fashion trend is in the shops,” explains George.
“Classic designs bring out classic beauty and every girl wants to look beautiful!”
“Many vintage designs are broken down into different elements, which is a great way of drawing attention to the areas you’d rather emphasise,” says Gerry of Skiff Vintage Knitting Patterns. “You might have a crocheted yoke, an attractively stitched body, and a long ribbed waistband. Matching jackets and skirts, glamorous dresses and jumpers are also suitable for today’s figure and so could also be incorporated into modern design.”
Have any of you ever tried to make a vintage knit with a modern twist? How did it go? Let us know!