Marjorie by Emily Johnson


March 2008
Sport (12 wpi) ?
28 stitches and 34 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 3 - 3.25 mm
US 2 - 2.75 mm
1182 - 1683 yards (1081 - 1539 m)
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This pattern is available for free.

Whenever I look at photographs of my grandmother from the 1950s, I am struck by the aura of poise and classic feminine grace that pervades them. At mid-century, she was a very busy woman: a young mother raising four small children (two of whom were rambunctious twin boys) on not many resources, I know that she often felt harried and overwhelmed. Yet in the records that survive she always manages to look beautiful, whether photographed in an evening dress at a cocktail party, or playing with my mother on the sandy beach. I set out to make a sweater that was an homage to the period in general, and to my grandmother in particular.

“Marjorie” is the result. The wide neckline was one of my grandmother’s favorite styles, and the dusty pink alpaca is the epitome of mid-century femininity. The fitted shape emphasizes the wearer’s waist and bustline, creating a classic 1950’s silhouette, and the delicate lattice cabling flows organically into, and sets off, the smooth stockinette surrounding it. Wear it with a small amount of ease (as shown) for a typical period fit, or make a smaller size for more of a “pin-up” look.

Because she is a busty lady, my grandmother has always had a hard time finding clothes that fit. With her travails in mind, I intentionally designed this pattern so that it is easy to mix and match bust and waist measurements. If your waist and bust fall into different size categories, simply increase or decrease the number of k2tog’s when transitioning out of the cabling and into the stockinette. It is relatively easy to jump down or up a bust size in this way – hopefully a relief for those whose beauty, like my grandmother’s, defines its own path.

Note: yarns specified are alternate choices, as the Filatura Di Crosa one has been discontinued.