Festive Jumpers

posted in: Books, patterns, personal | 15

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and that 2013 will be warm, happy and healthy for us all!

Over the Holiday period I made a determined effort to wear my hand knits on every possible occasion and – for once – managed to get photos of me wearing them. So to welcome in the New Year here is my  Festive Jumper line up:

On Christmas Day I wore my Jan Sweater from A Stitch in Time Volume 2. Mine is knitted in Excelana 4 ply in Alabaster. I knitted to fit 40 inch bust but decreased down to shoulder width for 36 inch bust and then sewed up approx 2 inches on each shoulder. I’m a little ‘shiny’ due to all my hard work in the kitchen immediately before this photo was taken and absolutely nothing to do with the Kir Royale I had just drunk whatsoever! The little brooch that you can just see is a vintage black scotty dog with red and white spots to match my skirt.



On Boxing Day I also wore a garment from A Stitch in Time Volume 2. This is This Charming Neckline, knitted in Drops Alpaca silk. Its such a dressy yet comfy and relaxed jumper to wear. I’ve paired it with my super wide palazzo pants in the same colours. I knit the 38-40 for this one as my uber narrow shoulders would have found the 42-44 just too wide. The Drops yarn is also extremely soft and has stretched after only one or two wears.


In my hair is a gorgeous hair band that I bought as a prop for the Volume 2 photos which worked perfectly with the rest of the outfit and glammed the whole thing up nicely.

A Couple of days later we set off for Edinburgh for our Hogmanay adventure. To travel I wore my Swagger Coat – again from Volume 2! I knitted this in Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran in Slate. I knitted the 42-44 this time as I needed the hip width, but decreased at the armhole shaping narrowing the shoulders quite dramatically which gave me exactly the right fit. There’s a distinct lack of make up on this shot but it is early in the morning! Underneath is one of my favourite dresses which I got about three years ago from Next. It always gets comments and most people can’t believe its not actually vintage. Its stretch jersey cut on the bias and is incredibly comfortable and flattering. The two buttons on my Swagger Coat are original 1930s buttons which I had been saving for when I finally completed this coat. I finished knitting it around nine months ago and have only just finished it off! Dreadful. But I love it. Its going to be such a useful item in my wardrobe.

The first day in Edinburgh we did a lot of chilling and spent quite a lot of time at our favourite cafe – The Chocolate Tree on Bruntsfield. And I stepped out of my comfort zone and wore a combination of two twinsets! Is that even allowed? I’m not sure, but I did it anyway. The cardigan is the 1940s Fair Isle Cardigan from A Stitch in Time Volume 2. Its knitted in Excelana 4 ply as in the book, but with the main colour in French Rose, I then used Ruby Red, Persian Grey, Nile Green, Powdered Egg and Alabaster for my other colours. The buttons are 50s/60s and work so nicely with the feminine colour palette. As always I tweeked the sizing, knitting the 40-42 fronts and 36-38 back and decreasing both at the armholes to the 32-34 shoulder width. I have recently noticed that my right shoulder is actually narrower than my left and this can actually just be seen on this cardigan as the box head sleeve head starts in just the wrong place on my right shoulder (to the left on the photo below) and actually needs to just be a centimetre higher. In every other way though the cardigan fits beautifully. Plenty of bust room to fasten properly at the centre front, but a neat fit on the back without excess fabric.


Under the Fair Isle cardigan is the Princess twinset jumper from Coronation Knits. This is fast proving to be one of my most popular jumpers as it seems to go with everything. I knit it in Excelana 4 ply Alabaster to wear under my Cornflower Blue Princess twinset cardigan but the little touch of Alabaster in the Fair Isle Cardigan above means it looks really good here too. With it being single thickness 4 ply you don’t get over heated either.

You can see the Princess jumper better on the photos below, actually taken on an earlier trip to Edinburgh but left languishing on Gavin’s phone. There’s a bit of a spare tyre going on on this first shot but just pretend you haven’t seen it. I actually knitted the 38 inch bust on this one so that it was a close fit and had a bit of a sweater girl look to it.

The skirt you can just see is from Toast’s sale last year. Its a tartan skirt with a fabulous handkerchief hemline which gives it a bit of a Vivienne Westwood feel to it. However it never dawned on me that wearing a tartan skirt in Edinburgh would have so many people looking twice. I think visitors to the hotel thought I was about to do a Highland Fling to keep them entertained.

So on New Years Eve we went to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party and I finally got the chance to wear my Diamonds are Forever jumper from Coronation Knits. I have knitted mine in Excelana 4 ply using Nile Green as the main colour, with Alabaster, French Rose, Ruby Red and Persian Grey as the additional diamond colours. Persian Grey is also used to cast on and off with. I deliberately went for a more roomy fit with this one as I wanted to be able to wear it over thermals or other light weight top. It was so cosy on the night. I didn’t feel the cold at all. The hotel kindly hung coordinating curtains in our room too!

I wore the jumper again the next ‘morning’ when we ventured out for brunch. When I first designed this jumper about this time last year I wanted to create a jumper that I would always be able to throw on, feel relaxed in but also feel nice in at the same time and it really delivered on this.

Next we had a bit of a gathering when we got back from Edinburgh and for a bit of a change I wore my Rose Jumper from A Stitch in Time, Volume 1. This is knitted in the original Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in Wheat and is another of those jumpers that are comfortable yet make you feel good.

I did this one with the original ‘pointy’ sleeves as shown in the pattern. I’ve had this jumper for around three years now and I still love wearing it. The flowers are crocheted and there are clever gathers under the flowers to provide bust room.

With the square neckline its also not too hot to be worn indoors. In fact I was able to wear a t shirt underneath on this occasion.

This is a completely gratuitous extra shot because I actually like me in this photo which certainly makes a change.

And finally, this is actually how I spent most of my holidays – with my pinny on! But hopefully this post shows just how wearable ‘vintage’ garments actually are. I never felt overdressed or underdressed but just right!

A Stitch in Time, Volume 2 is now also available in e book format for the bargain price of only £20 for the entire 400 page book containing 80 patterns. A Stitch in Time, Volume 1 sold out on the run up to Christmas and is currently classed as out of print, but I should have news in about a week’s time as to the plans for forthcoming republication of what has become a bit of a classic.

for now,
Ruby xxx

All photos copyright Gavin Crawford or Charlie Moon 

15 Responses

  1. Vera Amos
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your lovely garments they look amazing, I particularly love the Swagger Coat. How lucky are you to spend New Years in Scotland. Happy New Year.

  2. .x.Helen.x.
    | Reply

    One of my New Year's Resolutions is to wear my handknits more often instead of saving them for best.

    I particularly like This Charming Neckline – it is so flattering. It is in my Ravelry queue, as is the Rose jumper!

  3. Felicity Ford
    | Reply

    Absolutely love this post – how brilliant to read about how all the garments actually wear and I love how everyday and yet glamorous your beautiful jumpers looked over the festive season!

    Happy New Year and thanks for writing this xxx

  4. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing Susan. Those handknits look great and this post will hopefully inspire me to stick to my New Year's resolution of knitting more wearables! Hope u had a good festive period.

  5. Jenny
    | Reply

    Everything looks so lovely, I can't choose a favourite. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  6. tales from a handmade home
    | Reply

    You look fabulous in all your vintage hand knits, they all look so easy and comfortable to wear too.

    Happy New Year to you.

  7. Jules
    | Reply

    All look very beautiful! I especially love the Rose pullover and you look so happy in it!

  8. Nisse
    | Reply

    Dear Susan,

    I'm so happy you shared this post.
    I can see that you had a lovely holiday period. The jumpers and cardigan look wonderful on you. I particulary like the Princess twinset jumper with the fair isle twinset cardigan. I like them in the soft pastel colours!

    Wishing you the best for 2013!

  9. Granny Knits
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this post with so many photos of yor wonderful knitted garments. I have spent some time each day of the Christmas break reading through my 1972 copy of A Stitch in Time trying to decide which piece to start knitting first. Each day the piece has changed and after spending hours this evening looking at your great photos, it has changed again. It is a treat to see the items in colour too! I love the Swagger coat and seeing yours, I've placed it on my to-do list. I also love the Fair Isle Cardigan and Jumper, although I see the cardigan has a vee neck in my book. I think the adaptation on your one is really attractive and think I will have to buy the new book before I make this one. This poses another problem because I so love your Princess jumper from 'Coronation Knits'. Which do I go for first? Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. Thank you for giving me so many hours of pleasure with your great designs, that is just thinking about making them, how great will it feel when I actually start making them! …. And then to wear them…..!!

    Wishing you all the very best for 2013.

  10. Mim
    | Reply

    Those knits all look really lovely, and the mix-and-match twin set is great. One of the things I love about the garments from both Stitch in Time books is how wearable they are – I don't think I've ever seen anyone look bad in one.

  11. Mancunian Vintage
    | Reply

    I am in awe of your knitting prowess – love them all!

    Looks like you had a great time 🙂


  12. thesheepshop
    | Reply

    Your photos just go to show – if you knit it yourself you can make clothes which fit fabulously. You look lovely in all of them.

  13. Hazel Tindall
    | Reply

    Good to see you wearing all the hand knits. Best wishes for 2013.

  14. Sandy
    | Reply

    Love all your knits! I SO want to knit up the Swagger Coat even more now too.

    I have knitted up quite a few of your jumpers/sweaters (I'm ukbarbarella on Ravelry!) so I usually end up wearing them most days. I have a few that are for "best" (Cryselle and summery in 2 colours! LOL!) but most I wear day to day.

    Currently reknitting The Jan sweater as my first one was too big so I've unpicked and started again…2 sizes down!! Hope it fits actually. LOL!

  15. Hélène Magnússon
    | Reply

    The red dress with white spots? I have the same! And Sylvia was wearing it fro Xmas! Beautiful sweaters!

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *