Knitting a vintage sweater: Bernat Style No. 758-66

Bernat # 758-66
 Isn't this woman fabulous? I stumbled across Bernat Book No. 66: The Newer Look in Sweaters, Jackets and Dresses at a thrift store in the Puget Sound area and scored this sweet booklet for a mere dollar, along with a few others for the same price. The most beautiful projects are lined up, page after page, beautiful knitted and crocheted goods just begging to be made. I've slowly been adding the patterns to Ravelry so other people can appreciate them, and am inspired by the projects other knitters have completed.

Although there are projects in this book that I find far more appealing and beautiful than the pretty sweater/cardigan/jacket pictured at top, I decided to approach this one first because I had the perfect sweaters-worth of yarn in my stash for the main body, and also because I'm in dire need of a good winter sweater. My mom bought me a high quality wool sweater for my birthday in 2008 and I've worn it for days on end since then, month after month of cold weather. It has pilled and is ragged, but still has good memories and a sturdy body. I just need something a little nicer to wear out and about. I decided that this would be my 2012 birthday project-- I cast on just a couple days before I turned 27 (which, I lament. I feel old and unsettled and unaccomplished for this age.).
Chuckanut Bay Yarns Perendale 10-ply wool. Colorway: Lichen 300

I'm tracking my project's progress on Ravelry, so feel free to friend me there if you're a user and would like to chat about projects or just connect and drool over yarn-y beauties. This sweater feels like a real jump from the simple projects I've done in the past, things like hats, scarves, and socks. The pattern includes details like facings, hems, raglan sleeves, a shawl collar, pockets, etc, but it all seems very straightforward. Once this project is done I will be glad to say I've finally knit a sweater. My first attempt at sweater knitting went well even with short-rows written into the pattern-- that is, until I lost 50 pounds and 6 inches from my bust. Wrong size, so it has been left unfinished. I've considered frogging and using the yarn for something else, or maybe just knitting it anyway and giving it to someone I love. Back to the current sweater...
The raglan decrease for back of sweater.

Having skills like these make thankful to have been taught to use my hands by a creative and patient mother, and very glad to know that this sweater I'm making, this beauty, is a throwback to a time when hand-made goods were still standard, before we sent the mass majority of our production overseas to underpaid, overworked, and in many cases, underage workers. We all have our priorities, and these are mine. I like looking down at my clothing for the day and realizing that I've put on pants and a blouse sewn by my mom, a skirt by me (yes, I wear pants/leggings all winter long beneath my skirts), and socks that I knitted largely while watching movies or taking the city bus. I'm proud that since I've moved to this city I can count on one hand the number of new clothing items (except for undergarments and rain gear) I've purchased from retail stores. I feel really great knowing that my clothes have had a life before they became mine, or that my mom and I crafted them with our own hands.

Also, I'm frugal.


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