Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vintage Knitting Pattern: Campus Compliments Cardigan

Hi everyone! Today I have a free vintage knitting pattern to share with you before I jet off to San Diego for my cousin's wedding over the weekend.

It's a great basic cardigan that should easily fit into any Fall/Winter wardrobe!

Don't you just love that photo? It's from a 1944 knitting booklet called Campus Classics for Knitters (one of my favorites!). It's rather unusual for that decade, as it's written in four sizes (34, 36, 38, 40) in two weights of yarn, fingering weight and sport weight. Which gives you a nice variety of options, and makes it pretty easy to resize smaller or larger. It also features drop sleeves and makes use of a technique common in traditional Shetland (and I believe some Scandinavian) knitting patterns, which is picking up stitches for the arm directly from the armhole and knitting it down from there.

While in the booklet it's called pattern #407, I think it's much more fun to call it Campus Compliments Cardigan, from the header at the top of the pattern!

It's a classic boxy style, something I mentioned in my post on campus-inspired vintage fashions for fall that was popular in the 1940s for juniors and women. I'd recommend knitting it with zero ease (knit to your actual bust size), or one or two inches of positive ease for a slightly roomier look. If you have a long torso, simply knit it a little longer than the pattern calls for, as there's no shaping in the body to worry about.

It's such a great basic pattern, I hope you enjoy it! And you'll be hearing more from me about this cardigan soon. :)

Download Campus Compliments (#407) Cardigan (pdf), or find on Ravelry


  1. Cute!! Have fun in San Diego, one of my fave US cities :o)

  2. This is adorable, thanks for sharing! Cardigans are a wardrobe staple and I am always wishing I had more of them. I hope I can squeeze this project in sometime. Oh, and when you say we will be hearing more from you, i hope that means we can see a finished sweater :)

  3. Love that pattern! I really like the use of the button band - a classic wardrobe staple! Not sure if it is just me, but I am having trouble downloading the pattern from the link... tried in both google chrome and firefox :(

  4. The pattern is lovely and so very practical I think. Thank you for sharing it!

  5. @kristenmakes It may have been a server fluke last night. Before bed after our (super delayed!) flight got in I tried it and it didn't work, but today no problems. :)

  6. Thankyou so much for the pattern, it's so sweet! Since I'm a knitting novice, I was wondering if someone could explain how ribbing works? Knit 2 and purl 2, does that mean knit 2 rows or two stitches? Also, I was wondering how you keep track of where you are up to in the pattern. Perhaps it's just something you pick up with practice.
    Also, what is all this business with "slipping" in the armhole section?
    Any advice will be warmly welcomed! Thank you!! xoxo

  7. @Sarah Knit two, purl two refers to stitches not rows. You (knit 2, purl 2) to the end of the row. Then on the next row, you (purl 2, knit 2), basically purling into the purl stitches and knitting into the knit stitches. That forms what people call 2x2 ribbing.

    As for the armholes stitches, this pattern has you pick up stitches around the armholes but under the arm you just on the stitches it tells you to leave on a holder. Alternately you can just cast them off instead (like more patterns would have you do) and pick up around the entire armhole.

    Keeping track in a pattern comes with practice and everyone does it differently. :) For this one, it's mostly about length... About 15" to the armhole, so you could just measure as you get close. Some people use row counters when more complicated patterns or shaping is involved. I just use check marks. Ha ha!

    Hope this helps some! :)

  8. Oh what a lovely pattern! Thank you. Just downloaded it. And enjoy San Diego, it's a fantastic city. (bit biased, because I live here! :3)

  9. Thank you Tasha, that does help a lot! Can't wait to start knitting xoxoxo

  10. Love the vintage pictures! =)

  11. I jut downloaded.. thank you so much!! love love love!!

  12. Boy, I've missed a lot whilst being stuck doing uni assignments! Anyway, downloaded the pattern - I have a kazillion patterns of my own but, surprisingly, nothing like this! Which is what I've been looking for to make my own letter sweater. :) Thanks! :D
    -Andi x

  13. Hi Tasha! I found your blog through your comment on the LWA site and I'm so glad I did-- the knitting patterns you find are great. I've yet to knit a sweater, but this looks like a nice pattern to start off with. Thanks for the fantastic blog!


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