20th Century Blues: 1930s Swagger Scarf

Pretty vacant

Pretty vacant

Okay so it’s finally Spring, but the British weather being what it is I always like to be prepared. Anyway, when a vintage love affair begins it doesn’t heed the seasons and this one with my swagger scarf happened accidentally like all the best romances.

So there I was writing a blog post about Stitchcraft magazine when I came across a brief article written by a knitting detractor who used vintage pattern images to illustrate their disapproval, including this 1930s Patons & Baldwins advert for a knitted scarf and I fell in love – so bold, so brave, so ’30s. I ignored the scornful comments and dove in.

The original swagger scarf

The original swagger scarf

I had a search around and posted a few requests on Ravelry but couldn’t find the original anywhere so I’ve knocked up a quick pattern for anyone else who shares my crazy love. It’s really straightforward, all in garter stitch – don’t be put off by the mitred points.

I used Jamieson & Smith jumper-weight yarn as their shades matched the original exactly which was handy. In hindsight I think I’d have made it a little wider – it’s 71sts wide but I think 85 sts would have given it that extra bit of fullness you see in the original. Apart from that it came out pretty well.

swagger_thumbJust one mystery remains – any of you fashion history bods out there tell me why it’s called the swagger scarf? I gather that the swagger coat was a popular style from the early 1900s onwards and the name suggests a freedom of movement, but how does that apply to the scarf? Answers on a faded vintage postcard to Skiff … actually an email will do.

download Download Skiff’s 1930′s Swagger Scarf pattern (pdf)



Tags: ,

6 Responses to “20th Century Blues: 1930s Swagger Scarf”

  1. m says:

    I love this scarf and your picture….what would be an American substitute for the yarn you mention?

    I app-solutely ♥
    my ✄ Fabric U ✄
    iPhone app!
    http://tinyurl.com/242bua9

  2. Jo says:

    Gorgeous scarf (and hat)! Thank you the pattern, this is definitely a pattern that is getting added to the queue.

  3. Sarah says:

    Wait, this scarf was held up as an example of “isn’t knitting awful?” In what decade (and universe) was the detractor writing?

  4. Holly says:

    Lovely piece. I So want to make this. I am not quite sure how one gets the mitre effect at each end though. Where are the instructions?

Leave a Reply

Pattern Sales

Unfortunately I haven't been able to spend so much time on pattern sales recently and the site has suffered as a result, so sadly I've decided not to continue with selling vintage knitting patterns. read more ...

About Me

I've been knitting and crocheting since the age of seven, taught by my mum and nans who instilled in me a love of the patterns they knitted from originally. Over the years I developed a style of my own, adapting these wonderful designs for a modern fit and yarn choice. read more ...

Vintage Tips

If you're new to the vintage knitting pattern game, have a look at these useful tips first - they'll help you decide which wool to use and if the pattern needs adapting ...

My Book (UK Version)

US Version

Blog Categories


By Date

By Tag

© Skiff Vintage Knitting Patterns 2013