• cathy

Convert a vintage pattern

While rummaging through patterns at her local Goodwill, my sister found this groovy (circa 1972) pattern for a fitted mock-turtleneck pullover. I thought it would be fun to show how to use the KnitWiz design tool by customizing printed patterns.

  • If you're not familiar with KnitWiz, we are currently making a series of videos to walk through the (mostly) intuitive process. Watch Part 1 of "how to do do KnitWiz" on you-tube, or watch on the blog . Reading the complementary blog article is another option.

Let's get started!

Here's the pattern we're converting:

The first thing I notice in the photo is the main stitch, which looks like either a 3x3 or 4x4 rib. Fortunately, I had access to the original instructions which call for a 4x4 rib. I recommend making a couple of swatches to decide what you like best. In this case we'll use a 4x4 ribbing, with a 2x2 ribbing for the body & cuff banding and mock turtle-neck collar. Do you see how the sweater appears to hug the body, but not so much that the rib stretches unduly over the bust area? I think the real trick to getting a great fit here is to block your swatch before measuring, keeping just a bit of stretch in the rib stitch.

Baby alpaca, silk and wool from Juniper Moon Farm

This is the yarn chosen for the project. It doesn't have a lot of bounce, so will drape nicely over the figure with just a bit of positive ease. Let's start designing:

  1. Create your design: add 2" (5 cm) wear ease for a semi-fitted sweater

  2. Add swatch info: remember to measure the amount of yarn used in your swatch for estimating yardage later

  3. Add pattern pieces: the default sleeve template has a long sleeve. Let's fix that - in the design details view, click on the sleeve template:

4. Using the Visual Design Tool, we shorten the sleeves.

  • The measurement guides on the right sidebar above. They represent a woman size medium, and are handy for adding ease and refining the shape. When your project is created design ease added here will be applied to measurements used in your project.

I've also increased the taper of the body pattern piece. The final pattern shapes:

5. Next, collapse the Visual Design Tool and open the section underneath. This is where we assign swatches to the pattern pieces (and it's required). You can see that there are two sections already created - let's assign the ribbing swatch, which I named K2P2 - Cumbria for the stitch and yarn combination, to the bottom section and the K4P4 swatch to the main section. Repeat for the other two pattern pieces. Here's the screenshot of the final sleeve:

  • The cuff and sleeve length sections are given as percentages. Thanks to the computer, we no longer need to simplify the math and can automatically create garments which are proportional to the body.

You are ready to knit!

Create a new project by going to your dashboard and click on "Start a project" located in the sidebar menu. Fill out the form, selecting the measurements you desire, and the design we just created. If you've finished assigning swatches you'll be able to save the project (otherwise you'll get a warning to go back and finish the design).

Now that you have a project, review swatch and gauge information. Note that you may change the gauge information at any time and your instructions will be re-calculated. Once you purchase the pattern you'll be taken to a view of your instructions.

It usually takes awhile for the new schematic drawings to be uploaded to Amazon, which means they're not always visible the first time you see your instructions. Reload the page when this happens (you'll be back at your dashboard so click knitting basket -> your-project-name -> view instructions again).

That's all there is to it. Groovy, right?

Happy Knitting, fellow KnitWizards!


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