Wednesday 9 January 2013

Things To Make & Do - Wartime Farm Pullover

As you may have seen in yesterday's post, at Christmas I got my little brother to model my dad's pullover for me, simply so that I could take a few snaps for the blog and also, more importantly, to make sure it would fit its recipient. Whilst he did his modelling turn, my brother became rather taken with dad gift, so foolishly (big mouth strikes again) I suggested that I could knit him his very own if he would like?

 "Yeah OK...a bit longer though" 
"Oh, and while you're at it could you knit me a Christmas jumper too!"  
Yeah OK, no problem... big head gets bigger...ooh....what have I done!

Flattering as it is to have my knitting skills wanted, it was no mean feat knitting my Dad's pullover, and with the addition of a Christmas jumper, with fair isle snowflakes to match a pair of gloves he bought from Primark (or Top Man, I forget which) it could mean I will be knitting solely for him all flipping year! - Though I do have a cunning plan which might save me a few hours on the Christmas Sweater, if it works, but more on that later.

The gloves in question - I just hope they survive till next Christmas!

Anyway as Christmas is another twelve months away I've decided to take on the Fair Isle Pullover first. Now I don't know if it's just me, but once I have knitted a pattern I find it very hard to summon up the same level of enthusiasm for the Mark II version. So I have decided, instead of repeating the pattern again I'm opting for a similar pattern and one that was the inspiration for my Dad's pullover in the first place!

If any of you saw the BBC's recent Wartime Farm series then you will recognise the pullover pattern in question, worn by Alex Langlands.

Peter Ginn, Ruth Goodman & Alex Langlands the BBC's Wartime Farm Team
(Photo Source)
Now it's never been a hardship to stare at Alex, as my mum would say he is rather 'dishy', but in this series, I found it was mainly his Fair Isle Pullover that I was ogling. Naturally the knitter and obsessive clothes watcher, in me was drawn to the intricate fair isle, so I spent a lot of time trying to get a better look at the pattern. This pullover had such an effect -it was in every episode and aptly re-named Stank-Top by the eagle-eyed Mim:)- that even my Dad mentioned how 'smart' he thought it was! Sparking my Christmas knitting frenzy.

BBC's Wartime Farm Pullover link to pattern
Purchase the Pattern Here
So you can imagine my delight when just before Christmas I read on the lovely Charly's blog Landgirl1980 that she had been contacted by the queen of Vintage knitting Susan Crawford to help her gain the necessary permission to re-create the 'Official' Wartime Farm Knitting pattern, meaning that we can all have our very own versions of Alex's fabulous pullover!  It appears that Susan had become just as obsessed as I was by the pullover and had found within her (very envious) collection a pattern from the 30s which was clearly the inspiration for Alex's vintage version. You can read all about her detective work here.

But not only can you buy this fabulous Fair Isle pattern, in every size you could possibly need, but by purchasing it you'll also be giving to a worthwhile cause. The ladies have chosen to donate half the money from every sale to the Women's Land Army Tribute, who are raising money to create a long overdue monument to the Girls of the Women's Land Army!

The pattern costs a mere £5, with a whopping £2.50 of that going directly to the WLA Tribute, so purchasing the pattern should definitely leave you with a warm and woolly feeling inside and out - though the 'out' will certainly take a little longer to achieve :)

I have just downloaded my copy - it's fabulous so many sizes and already converted to round knitting hurrah! So I will be casting it on very soon, well, once I have finished my Custard Cable Cardigan which as of tomorrow will have been a year in the knitting, oh and that pesky Land Girl pullover I started ages ago and have yet to finish, both of which are for greedy old me!
Update: Have a look at my version here!

Wendy x


  1. Hello twinkle! Thank you so much for taking the time to promote this. I cannot WAIT to see the finished product!

  2. Heh, I look forward to seeing the woolly in progress (and finished).


  3. Wow, that's a lot of gift knitting that awaits you! I'm afraid I'm much more of a selfish knitter than you are! I love the wartime farm project that Susan has taken on, and love that part of the proceeds goes to the the Women’s Land Army Tribute Campaign. I hope to start my version soon, if I can decide on the colours that is ;)

    Good luck with knitting for your brother! And do take the time to finish some for yourself! Because the jumpers are lovely ( I love the cabled cardigan in yellow!)


  4. I love that pullover and that Peter too! oooh I love those gloves, could do with them right now, they look really warm. Keep being a super knitter!!

  5. Hi Lovely, Wasn't sure if it was you who posted a comment on my blog about my Walthamstow meet up,
    if it was your more than welcome, please just drop me a line at
    Stevie x

  6. Hi lovely Wendy, thank you for leaving such a kind comment,
    yours is one of the first blogs that I had started following and you were one of my very first
    followers, always very supportive in those early vulnerable days..., I hope we can meet in person one day, would love to revisit London in the near future,
    wish you all the best in 2013!!!!!!!!!!! i like exclamation marks too!!!!!

  7. I absolutely love this design. I just wish I was a better knitter!

  8. Do you know where I could find a pattern for Ruth's sweater? I love it so much!

    1. I am not sure I will, try and get a better look at it and Ill see what I can suggest! :)