I am no stranger to a brilliant charity shop bargain, but when I spotted these 1980s knitting pattern packs for just 50p each I couldn’t believe my luck! Each pack contains 12 different patterns and a magazine with handy tutorials to guide you through new knitting stitches and processes that you may need.
I don’t feel like I’ve experimented all that much with my knitting – I tend to stick to small projects (knitted hearts anyone?) or straight lines! But after picking up these packs I was just too excited to contain myself and got straight on with choosing my first project to tackle. As I’m a keen lover of a crop top and high waist combo, the first pattern I chose was a simple cropped vest – the front and back are made exactly the same, and it’s mostly in stocking stitch, so I thought I’d be fairly safe with it! Armed with the pattern, some light blue wool, my much-used 4mm needles and a brand new 3.25mm circular needle (eek!) I was ready to get started!
I found that the main pieces for the back and front were relatively easy, with a little knit one purl one rib, a lot of stocking stitch and some casting off/knit two together for the decreasing around the armholes and neckline. The difficulty, it seems, came from edging the neckline and armholes. The instructions make it sound so easy – “using a 3.25mm circular needle, knit up 184 stitches evenly around the neck edge”. Excuse me? First of all, what does knit up mean? And secondly, how am I supposed to know what size gap will make 184 stitches even? Yup, I felt well and truly out of my depth! However, there is always a way to persevere, and my motivation came from this fab YouTube video which helped me nicely along my way!
I still struggled with trying to make the stitches even (they definitely weren’t!) and developed an awful headache from the deep concentration, but once it was all finished I was actually really pleased…
For a first proper project, I’m happy with how the vest turned out – it’s a little tighter on me than it looks in the picture on the pattern, but I think that’s because I’m not as small as they were in the 1980s! I can’t wait to get started on my next knitting challenge from these packs, but I have a couple of other projects to finish first!