Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Lovin'

V-Neck Pullover pattern from Ladies’ Home Journal Needle & Craft, Spring/Summer 1979

It had all started so innocently one Saturday night. A one night stand with a drunk chick he’d just met at the singles bar, same ol’ same ol’.

Ken had laughed off the daily love poems tucked under his windshield wipers, but the wedding magazines tucked into his Safeway grocery bags had been more disconcerting. After that he’d put his foot down and told her to leave him alone. The next day, she’d hung a naked Ken doll from his front door knob, a steak knife stuck in his back.

He thought about calling his friends, but he knew they’d just laugh at him. A big tough guy like him, scared of a little girl?

I’ll go for a run, he thought. Jogging will clear my head.

But she was already there at the park, waiting for him in athletic shorts and a sweater knit out of what he recognized as the remnants of his favorite baby blue afghan – the one he kept on his bed, in his locked apartment, the one place he’d imagined he was safe.

Grasping futilely at a last tiny shred of hope he told himself, “She’ll never be able to catch me in those crappy jelly sandals.”

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


SIZES: Directions are for Size 8. Changes for Sizes 10 – 12 and 14 – 16 are in parentheses.

MATERIALS: Tahki “Creole”, 100 gr. Skein, 100% cotton; 9 (10, 11) skns Lt. Blue, #706...
Tahki – now 15 percent more tacky!
Knitting needles No. 5 (6, 6) and No. 10 (10 1/2, 10 1/2) OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE.
All right, all right, you don’t have to shout at me! Jeez.
GAUGE: 14 sts = 4’’ on No. 10 1/2; 15 sts = 4’’ on No. 10 needles.
And I do check my gauge. Most of the time.
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: Bust – 33 1/2’’ (36’’, 40’’).
Though it’s not like a lot of the older patterns even included a gauge. And somehow our grandmothers managed to knit up garments despite that tragic oversight.
PATTERN: Row 1:– Right Side – P1, *yo, k 2 tog, k 3, p 2; rep from * across ending last rpt p 1.
I tell ya, those needy seventies gals. Always wanting to have their hands held through every pattern.

Rows 2, 4 and 6: K1, * p 5, k 2, rpt from *; end k 1.

Row 3: P 1, * k 1, yo, k 2 tog, k 2, p 2; rpt from *, end p 1.

Row 5: P 1, * k 2, yo, k 2 tog, k 1, p 2; rpt from *, end p 1.

Row 7: P 1, * k 3, yo, k 2 tog, p 2; rpt from *, end p 1.

Row 8: Rpt Row 2.

BACK: With No. 5 (6, 6) needles, cast on 63 (63, 70) sts and work in k 1, p 1 ribbing for 3’’. Change to No. 10 (10 1/2, 10 1/2) needles.

Next row: (wrong side) K 1, * p 5, k 2; rpt from * ending last rpt k 1. Rpt the 8 rows of pattern until piece meas 15’’ in all or desired length to underarm; end with an even row of pat.
I’m impressed by the creative compression of these instructions. Sure, most patterns reduce “knit” to k and “purl” to p, and some even drop all those pesky periods after a shortened word. However, it’s the rare pattern that will reduce “measures” to “meas”.

And they say text speak is a new phenomenon!
SLEEVES: At beg of next row, cast on 14 sts. Work the next row of pat across all sts; then cast on 14 sts at end of row (2nd sleeve). Being careful to keep the sequence of pat rows, work even until 7 1/2’’ ( 8’’, 8 1/2’’) from cast on sleeve sts.

SHOULDER AND NECK RIBBING: Bind off 14 (14, 15) sts at beg of next 4 rows. Change to No. 5 (6, 6) needles and work in k 1, p 1, ribbing on rem 35 (35, 38) sts for 7 rows. Bind off in ribbing.

FRONT: Work same as back until piece meas. 13’’ in all or 2’’ less than desired length to underarm; end with an uneven row of pat.
Why on earth would “meas” be provided with a period now? No other abbreviation (including the other meas!) has had one so far. And everyone knows you can’t just go throwing punctuation around willy-nilly.

Just what did this meas do to wrest this extra “.” out of the editor? Did it involve fruit gift baskets and bottles of booze, or nude girls with strategically placed pompoms and compromising Polaroids?
NECK SHAPING: Work next row of pat across 31 (31, 35) sts. For 1st 2 sizes, p next st and place on holder; for 3rd size, p the bar between the 35th and 36th st and place on holder; work in pat to end of row. Keeping pat sequence, working left side only, dec one st at neck edge every other row 17 (17, 19) times in all. AT THE SAME TIME, when work meas. same as back to underarm, cast on 14 sts at side edge for sleeve. When all decs are complete, work even on 28 (28, 30) sts until sleeve edge meas. same as back.

SHOULDER: At sleeve edge, bind off 14 (14, 15) sts every other row 2 times.

RIGHT FRONT: Work same as left front; reversing shaping.

FRONT NECK: With No. 5 (6, 6) needles and right side facing, pick up 45 (45, 47) sts on left neck edge, k st from holder and mark for seam st, pick up 45 (45, 47) sts on right neck edge.

Row 1: (wrong side)– * p 1, k 1; rep from * to within 1 st of seam st; p 3, ** k 1, p 1, rep from ** to end.

Row 2: Work k 1, p 1 ribbing to within 2 sts of seam st, p 2 tog, k seam st, p 2 tog; work ribbing to end.

Row 3: Work in ribbing as established.

Row 4: Work ribbing to within 2 sts of seam st, sl 1, k 1, psso, k seam st, k 2 tog; work ribbing to end. Rpt rows 1 through 3 once more.
I’m shocked the editor didn’t shorten “through” to “thru”.
Next row: Bind off in ribbing, dec each side of seam st as on Row 4.

FINISHING: Sew shoulder and upper sleeve seams. Sleeve Ribbing: With right side facing and No. 5 (6, 6) needles; beg at underarm edge, pick up 73 (73, 77) sts around entire sleeve edge. Work in k 1, p 1 ribbing for 7 rows. Bind off in ribbing.

Sew side and underarm seams.
Now put on your new sweater – braless, of course! – and lurk behind a tree in the park. Sooner or later a cute victim... er, I mean studly hunk o’ manflesh will come jogging past.

Go get him, girl!

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Jogging in that sweater? At lot of stuff is going to *jog* and probably fall out. Dangerous! (I thought she was holding the tree up).

  2. Lol! Clearly that tree is in desperate need of support (and so are some other things, too)!

  3. OMG I think I might still own those shorts. I am going directly home to find them and throw them in the trash. Or maybe they are back in style?

    Confused in Cleveland.

  4. Bad news, the Eighties are back! Google "nike rival split short" and you'll see what I mean.

    Don't throw those shorts away - there's probably someone on EBay who will happily pay for an authentic pair of 80's athletic shorts.