Edwardian Sweater (Vintage 1904)
December 26, 2018
July 19, 2019

Edwardian Sweater (Vintage 1904)

Project info
Columbia Sweater by Anna Schumacker
Needles & yarn
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
US 6 - 4.0 mm
Valley Yarns Northampton
7 skeins = 1729.0 yards (1581.0 meters), 700 grams

Found instructions in a digitized newspaper (Boston Globe, 1906). Sketched out the shape and charted the stitch pattern, and looked at a few other similar patterns to get a sense of how this is constructed. Later found the exact same pattern in the Columbia Book of Yarns, 1904, and again in the 1907 edition. This drawing reflects the behavior of the stitch pattern more accurately. The photo from 1907 really helps to see what is going on in the front.

Stitch pattern is a 10 st x 10 row repeat, established over 72 sts. Decided to work the selvedges as stockinette, to make for easier seaming, and to shift the stitch pattern so that it was centered, with 7 full repeats between the selvedges. Created a spreadsheet to calculate stitches. Interesting to see how the construction and fashion changes each part of the sweater as a percentage of the total.

Construction begins at the bottom of the back and follows the sides of the back, but does not include the span under the arm, which will make the side seams offset. The back will be basically form-fitting. Pattern continues over the shoulders after binding off the back neck, and then down the front, which has typical blousing of the Edwardian era, with a “pouch” formed with the use of short rows. Full amount of underarm sts (about 4’’ worth) are CO off the front. Sleeves are leg o’mutton style.

Back, right front, and left front are each 16%. Sleeves are each 20%, and collar is about 11%

Side seams are not centered at the sides. Full amount of straight underarm span is CO from the front.


Stitch pattern does something really interesting. It’s effectively a ribbing of k5p5, but it zig zags, leaving a column of knits and a column of purls uninterrupted over the course of the repeat. The fabric folds up like an accordion. It will block flat, I’m sure, but in the meantime, it’s a really interesting look. Makes me wonder if that’s why so many extra sts are CO for each front (more than typical for other sweaters of this style from this era, at least of the ones I have examined, so far.) The pattern draws in so much on its own that it helps to create the wanted gathering at the neck. Maybe?


Through Repeat 10 on back. One left to go to get to shoulders. 13.7% complete


Up to shoulders, BO for back of neck, and started on right shoulder. Cast on for front of neck and knit upper shoulder. CO for under arm. 20%


Took a few days off working on this, and am now back at it. Almost ready to begin the short rows for the “pouch.” 28%


Couldn’t understand the reason why the upper back measured 5.5’’ from the start of the underarm decs to the shoulder, when the back neck BO occurred, but 7’’ from that point to the underarm CO sts. There is an inch and a half worked from the back of the neck to when the front of the neck CO sts occur. That 1.5’’ spans the top of the shoulder. It’s a different way of distributing the sts, just as the way the body side seam runs along the edge of the back, rather than centered under the arm.


Finished right front. 33.5%


Through the 8th repeat on the left front. 42.8%


Got to the portion of left front where I was to start working short rows and realized I had CO for the underarm sts at the center front. Had to rip out 70 rows (about 7000 sts).

Switched to working on the neck collar. Worsted weight on 00 ndls. Row 16 of 57.



A couple more rows until I’m back to where I was when I had to rip out. 50%


Finished the front earlier this week. Now working on the first sleeve. Kept making mistakes in establishing the stitch pattern while also CO 2 sts at the end of each row. Once all incs were finished, I realized I hadn’t been working the selvedges as stockinette, so switched, to make seaming easier later.


The ribbing for the cuff is a slog, because the gauge is so tight and it hurts my wrists a bit. 75%


Spent the weekend working on the second sleeve. Increases for the cap, the straight part, and decreases complete. Gradually working on neckband. 45 rows of 57 completed, but may stop now, as it seems long enough. Ordered colored snap tape for front closure from Bias Bespoke, color Celadon Green. 90% complete.


Knitting is complete! The snap tape arrived in the mail today, so tomorrow, I will sew this thing together! 99%


Reknit the cuffs the other day. Almost done re-knitting the neck.


one side seam and one sleeve seamed. Sleeve set in to the armhole. Went better than I thought, given the sleeve cap is so large and the armhole so small. Second sleeve should be easier.


Almost finished! Spent yesterday afternoon/evening doing the buttons and buttonholes on my sewing machine, then hand sewed the buttonhole band in. Sewed in the button band this morning, wove in all the ends, and sewed two pearl buttons on the lower hem. Trying to figure out whether/how to do buttonhole loops, or if I’ll just button through the sts. Probably need a 3rd pearl button between the two there, because the ribbing stretches and causes a gap. Not sure where I want to put the neck button. I can see where it is in the pattern photo, but not sure Sophia will want it there. Waiting for her opinion.

Going to wear it to the guild meeting this morning. Hoping there will be Show and Tell this month, because I won’t have it in my possession after mid-May, since Sophia wants to have it.

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December 26, 2018
July 19, 2019
About this pattern
3 projects, in 11 queues
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About this yarn
by Valley Yarns
100% Wool
247 yards / 100 grams

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  • Project created: December 26, 2018
  • Finished: July 22, 2019
  • Updated: August 26, 2020
  • Progress updates: 22 updates