Sunday, September 18, 2016

Work-in-Progress: Status of Ty Cobb and ECL Sweaters, September 2016

Before I post any more entries, I figured it was only fair to show you how far along I am with the Ty Cobb and the ECL Sweaters.

Top: Ty Cobb Sweater; Bottom: ECL Sweater
For all you non-knitters out there, I know what you're thinking:

"That's it? Where's the rest?"
Closeup of hem and pocket opening

Yes, this is the boring part. I've done the hem and the pocket openings on both, but now I've got another foot or so of stockinette stitch (that's jargon for "it looks like normal knitting") before I hit the collar and the sleeves.

Believe it or not--and I promise you will believe it after a few more blog posts--working hundreds of stitches of stockinette at a tight gauge on heavy yarn is both laborious and time-consuming. In other words, these aren't the sort of projects you finish in a hurry.

For those of you who thought I was farther along on the Ty Cobb're right, I was. Notice the past tense there. One of the problems with trying to create accurate historical replicas is that you're unlikely to get it right on the first try. Or the second. Or... The construction, the techniques, and even the use of yarn are so different that reverse-engineering a garment requires a lot more research and "testing" than you'd think (as I've learned the hard way.) Expect to see a lot more detail on my trials and errors (mostly errors) in upcoming posts.

The good news is that I'm doing all the grunt work for you. Ultimately, these will lead to patterns that will allow you to knit your own sweaters. And, unlike me, yours will be right on the first try.


  1. I'm curious. What a labor! Were the originals knit by hand or machine? Can't imagine how long even one sweater would take.

    1. While some of the work might have been done on hand-cranked machines, by and large the sweaters must have been knit by hand. I'll go into more detail as to how one can tell in future blog posts.

      By the way, don't forget that machine-made "off the rack" clothing--or at least clothing that wasn't intended to be altered--didn't become a staple until after WWII. Virtually all women knew how to knit and sew, and many made their own clothes. I made a lot of my own as a student, and still do when I have time. I certainly alter my own clothes.

      This sort of thing is rapidly becoming a lost art. That's a big part of why I'm making these sweaters.