Saturday, May 26, 2012

World's oldest UFO

Breaking news!  Today I am shoveling out the sewing room sorting my possessions, including those stashed carefully in the deepest corners of my sewing room, and I found the colour-work knitted vest I started in the fall of 1985!

The only things missing are the buttons and the garter stitch bands for the arm openings.  I knitted the bands, just didn't sew them on.

I think I stopped so close to the finish line because it didn't fit as illustrated (see below) and the closer fit didn't suit my 80s sensibilities.  I could probably block it a bit bigger, but now the fit seems just fine.

I inspected it with the benefit of additional decades of life (if not knitting) experience during which time I have become far more picky.  
I am impressed by the knitting.  My tension was great and the floats on the back are nice and relaxed.

However, I did a bad job on the assembly.

I wouldn't choose these colours if I was starting this project today, but methinks I'll resew it to meet current quality control standards chez The Sewing Lawyer, and finish it (finally).

The pattern is "A sleeveless cardigan for Sir or Madam" from The Man's Knitting Book - classic patterns from the '20s to the '50s by Jane Waller, now out of print.  If you come across it, it's a really nice collection.

This pattern is from the roaring '20s.


  1. A great vest and it looks wonderful on you. So glad you kept it. It will finally see the light of day!, as it should.

  2. I like it! I'm glad you decided to finish it up.

  3. Now that is old! It will be great to finish it.

  4. Wow that is a long time UFO, and great that it fits how you want now! Things were so oversize back then - I still have a jersey that I knitted for myself in 1985 - it fits DH better than it fits me!

  5. Great project from one of my favorite knitting books ever :-).
    Of course now I'd never knit a band separately, but...
    Did you know it's on ravelry already?

  6. Yes, I can see that the fit would not have been very '80s! Your color work is beautiful -- I wish I could knit colors that well!

  7. This made me laugh, as I know that somewhere, deep in the recesses of my sewing room closet, there is a bag with a front, back and sleeves of a sweater from the mid 80's. It has moved from Minnesota, to New Mexico, back to MN, then out to Colorado, and survived the "purge" when the new flooring went in 2 years ago. Thanks for the reminder to take a look at the surprise packages in the closet!