Thrifted Sweater

When I lived in Maryland, going to Value Village was one of my favorite pastimes. Of course, I preferred to go on SALE days, I mean even thrift store shoppers like me love the extra bargain. I never worried about stuff getting bought out from under my nose because I have pretty weird taste compared to what most folks were buying. I’m usually looking for the forlorn, lost, handmade sweater or pair of socks that someone, for some reason, has abandoned. They’re always there.

Juneau has two thrift stores. Out in “The Valley,” St. Vincent de Paul’s has a knitter on staff who identifies cool knits and makes sure they don’t sell for too cheap. They’re still a bargain. That’s where I found my favorite sweater from last year. The other day I was at our local Salvation Army on a tip that they had some cool quilted military issue snow-pant liners for a dollar. (I did score those, but that’s another story). Anyway, this particular thrift store doesn’t usually have much in the way of sweaters, but I took a quick look anyway, and found one.

This sweater is vintage–I’m guessing from the early 1960s. It’s handmade, but sold commercially. The little label says “100% wool. Made in Italy.” No brand name. It’s constructed in pieces, with raglan shaping and 3/4 length sleeves. The yarn is a bulky, soft two-ply in natural kind of oatmeal color. I’m tempted to dye it, but I don’t have another white cardigan, so maybe I won’t. The cool thing about the lace pattern is that it’s all done in reverse stockinette. The eyelets look much prettier that way. If I were to copy this sweater, I would certainly knit it in one piece from the neck down. I don’t think I will recreate it, but I may play with the stitch pattern in a hat or cowl.

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  • Louise

    Amy, I believe the stitch pattern is called “Eiffel Tower” and I don’t think it can be worked upside down.  My mother made sweaters for my sister and I in this pattern back in the late 1970′s.  I loved, loved, loved that sweater.  Mine was a pull over.  Yours is just adorable.  Jealousy will get me nowhere.  But now I must make one…

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    Hi Louise–I’m so excited that you recognized the pattern… I considered the fact that it might not work upside down, but I definitely want to try knitting it… maybe in a hat or a cowl… Do you remember a book that has the Eiffel Tower stitch in it?

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    Louise–a little googling, and I’ve found two versions of the stitch online:

    http://knitting.about.com/od/eyeletsandlace/g/eiffel-towereye.htm

    and

    http://www.theweeklystitch.com/2012/09/raindrop-lace.html

  • http://twitter.com/WeldrBrat Teresa Schoellkopf

    Lemme’ help you out with your phone photos!  Turn your phone around.  Look at the screen on your phone THROUGH YOUR MIRROR!  You’ll have to step back further from the mirror to get everything in the shot.  Just move the phone around and keep your eye on the screen through the mirror.  Presto!  Everything in the photo BUT the phone!

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    Thanks, Teresa, that’s a good thought. I rarely take pictures this way, but if I do it again, I’ll give that a shot. :-)

  • Annegret Harms

    The sweater looks fantastic. I really like the pattern. Great!

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    Thanks!

  • Louise

    Amy, my mother reminded me that I had made that sweater back in my teens. If I recall, the pattern was in a ladies’ magazine, but I can’t remember which one. It was very much like the patterns you found except there was a little more horizontal space between the little towers. Sorry about the delay in replying. We’re renovating and it’s going to kill me.

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    Sorry about the renovation blues! I did find some examples of the pattern, but I haven’t gotten around to playing with it yet… Soon, I hope!