WIP Wednesday: Making a vintage moose jacket!
I have been wanting to knit a Mary Maxim vintage intarsia sweater for years. Mary Maxim is a yarn and pattern company based in Canada, and for decades they’ve been publishing delightful knitting patterns with intarsia scenes emblazoned across them. My mom knit me a pullover with a horse head on it when I was a little girl and I loved it.
Well, a few months ago Piecework editor Jeane Hutchins gave me my Mary Maxim chance in the July/August 2017 issue. She asked me to recreate an older pattern in new colors and to write about it for the magazine. I chose a men’s jacket from the 1950’s that felt relevant to me. That is the point of these picture sweaters, after all—the motif is supposed to represent one’s hobbies or passions or nationality in some way. Not only is this moose and forest scene just plain cool, but last year, while hiking in the Rockies, I ran into two moose in the woods and it was one of those magical Nature experiences for me. So I chose No. 552 “MOOSE” from the Mary Maxim archives, and got to work.
I modernized the palette a bit; find my colorway in the magazine. I used Mary Maxim’s Titan yarn, which is a great affordable option for a large-scale project such as this one. I did not get gauge (I have trouble on large needles) and that worsened over the course of the project, so the sweater is a bit oversized, but that just makes it cozier! The original pattern includes instructions for raglan and set-in sleeves; I opted for raglan and we have only provided those directions in this version of the pattern. Also, I added a two-row edging to the front bands to tidy up the selvedges, and I picked up and knitted a garter-stitch collar that I shaped with short-rows, rather than working a shaped collar separately and sewing it on. I had to make a few other minor mods, such as shortening the armholes, narrowing the sleeves, and such, but I think you’ll find the vintage pattern easy to follow and any mods easy to incorporate as needed.
Intarsia can be messy, but following these charts was so much fun! All those ends on the wrong side can be neatened up and woven in during finishing, so don’t be bothered by them as you knit.
Don’t you just love the finished moose jacket? This cardigan is totally wearable today, but has a cheeky vintage flair. Grab a copy of Piecework July/August for the pattern and my color recommendations, plus a lot of other great articles and projects that will broaden your crafting world.