- Mary is a recreation of a mid-twentieth century sweater located in the Shetland Museum archive. Mary was originally created by Mary Abernathy of Lerwick and is a design heavily influenced by the elegant and embellished garments of the late 1950s and early 1960s, worn by movie stars such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Doris Day. Beads are cleverly used as decoration within a traditional OXO motif, replacing a multi-coloured yoke with highly decorative beads, to create a necklace-like effect, framing the wearer’s face.
Mary echoes fully fashioned shaping, a technique used in machine knitted knitwear to shape individual pieces before being joined together. Instead Mary is knitted in one piece to the armholes when shaping is introduced. The yoke is then knitted in the round with beads knitted in at the same time. Yoke decreases are carefully placed to avoid spoiling the beaded pattern. The sleeves are picked up and worked downwards finishing just above the elbow.
The pattern includes instructions to knit Mary in a range of sizes to fit from 32-54 inch (81-137cm).
The same sample is shown in the photographs is the first size worn with 5cm (2in) of negative ease to give a ‘sweater girl’ fit. Alternatively for a slightly less fitted look, choose a size with approximately 3-6cm (1¼–2¼in) of positive ease.
Mary is knitted using Fenella, my 2 ply vintage weight yarn, in Limoncello, the same shade of yellow as that chosen by Mary Abernathy to knit her original version, but would look spectacular in any colour. Choose beads of a contrasting colour to ensure the pattern stands out.
A yarn kit is available to accompany this pattern.
The pattern contains charts for the beaded yoke plus comprehensive written instructions as well as a clear schematic diagram.
Susan Crawford Fenella 2 Ply (vintage 3 Ply weight), 100% British wool (129m / 141yds per 25g skein)
7 (8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 15) skeins, shade Limoncello
1556 (1556, 1756, 1756, 1756, 1956, 1956, 1956, 1956, 2156, 2156) Toho seed beads, size 8/0 in shade transparent grey (sold in 10g bags with approx 400 beads per bag)
30 sts & 40 rounds to 10cm (4in) over stocking stitch knitted in the round and after blocking. We obtained this gauge using 2.75mm (US 2) needles.
- Knitting in the round, following a chart; knitting in beads; Picking up stitches; Decreases; Blocking to shape