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Silk Dresden Sweater

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This 1917 pattern graced the cover of the Corticelli Lessons in Knitting and Crochet Book No. 6. The model is the incomparable Irene Castle (click here to learn more about her).

Their description of the sweater: "A clever combination of many colors in the collar and cuffs of the sweater is only one of the distinctive features. The body is knit in sweater silk of a deep rose shade. The collar and cuffs are crocheted in a finer silk, and duck green, lavender, canary, rose, sand, turquoise and white are artistically blended, the white predominating. These colors are again combined in the fringe on the collar and ends of the sash. Three colors, turquoise, rose and white, are worked together in the decorative rings."


#5 bone knitting needles, one #7 steel crochet hook.

Instructions: Cast on 110 stitches and with two threads knit 9 ridges, break one thread and knit until work measures 5 inches, then decrease 1 stitch every 5th ridge until there are 86 stitches on the needle, then knit until work measures 22 inches from bottom.

Begin sleeves by casting on 4 stitches at ending of needle every time for 17 times, making 68 stitches all together on each side. Knit 20 ridges even, then knit up 103 stitches, bind off 16 stitches in exact middle of work for the neck.

Take off on a safety pin the 103 stitches already knit and on the other 103 stitches knit 3 ridges, then increase 1 stitch on neck side every ridge for 10 ridges. Cast on 10 stitches at the neck and with two threads knit 8 stitches each row for border. Knit 7 ridges, then begin binding off sleeves by binding off 4 stitches at beginning of row on each side every time for 17 times. This completes sleeves.

Knit even for 14 ridges, then increase 1 stitch on under-arm side every 5th ridge until within 5 inches of bottom, knit even until within 9 ridges; join 2d thread and knit 9 ridges, bind off stitches. Take stitches from safety pin and knit 2d front to correspond.


Made in double crochet with two threads of Corticelli crochet silk. Make ch. in Duck Green of 170 stitches.

1st row: D.c. in 4th ch., 1 d.c. in each chain across row, turn, always crochet the extra thread under.

2d row: *9 d.c. in Green, d.c. White; repeat from * across row, making 14 groups of the Green, turn (always ch. 3 to turn).

3d row: 1 d.c. White, *9 d.c. Lavender, 3 d.c. White; repeat from * across row, turn.

4th row: 2 d.c. White, 7 d.c. Canary, * 5 d.c. White, 7 d.c. Canary; repeat from * across row.

5th row: 3 d.c. White, 5 d.c. Helen Pink, 7 d.c. White; repeat from * across row.

6th row: 4 d.c. White, 3 d.c. Sand, 9 d.c. White; repeat from *.

7th row: 5 d.c. White, 1 d.c. Turquoise, * 11 d.c. White, 1 d.c. Turquoise; repeat from *.

Now reverse and work back with same colorings until it is all worked back into the 11 Green and 1 stitch of White, then work one row of Green, break out all the colors and continue with the White alone (always working with the double thread) until collar is 12 inches deep.

Draw in silk fringe on both sides of collar and across top of reverse 3 inches deep, using all of the colors but more of the White.


Work border for top of cuff same as collar, only using half of the points, not reversing the colors, and make large enough to fit loosely over sleeve, and after border is finished decrease one stitch at each side every third row until small enough to fit bottom of sleeve. Cuff should be from 5 to 6 inches deep.


With Rose sweater silk crochet ch. 16 stitches, work back and forth in s.c., taking up both sides of the stitch, until there are 5 inches, then narrow one stitch in center every third row until only 6 stitches remain, and on those 6 stitches work in s.c. until this strip of 6 stitches will go around waist and reach about 6 inches below the waist line, then make the end same as the beginning.

Make fringe 5 inches deep and draw in to ends of girdle, using the same colors as for fringe on collar.


With one thread each Turquoise, White and Helen Pink, crochet together in d.c. over 18 bone rings (1 3/4 inches in diameter) covering them very solid.

Use 12 of these for girdle, drawing the narrow part of girdle through the rings, sewing them at equal distances apart and put snap fasteners on girdle at ending on each end of this narrow strip.

Sew three rings on each side of front, at inside edge of the double border on coat, just fastening them at outside edges of ring. The coat is not intended to fasten, but should be turned back the depth of double border.

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