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the Rudies!

1 March 2011 7,301 views 6 Comments

Probably time that I officially introduced the sweaters I knit for Knitting it Old School, right?


When we first figured out the different chapter themes and names, I knew I wanted to fit in a his and hers set in the Shake a Tail Feather chapter. I’ve always had a love of dance and ska, and since the two-tone movement started in the 70’s, what better way to sneak in my own influences! In case you don’t know what ska or rudies are, I found youtube vid to explain some of it for me.

The sweaters are quick knits, both at 4.5 sts to the inch and the sizing on the ladies goes up to 52″. If you want to upsize it, it’s simple since it’s a top-down raglan. Just knit until it fits under the arms and then put the waist shaping wherever you want.

All the sweaters in the book have turned hems, which was a detail that Stitchy and I insisted on. (I challenge you to find a vintage pattern pre-70’s that doesn’t have a turned hem) Lookit! I put checkerboards in the cuffs!

I knew I wanted to somehow echo the two-toneyness of the sleeve details in the collars without adding a whack of bulk. An applied i-cord was the way to go, and when I was finishing Rude Boy (since I knit him first) I thought, ‘what if I do this in black and white?’ I haven’t seen any two colour applied icords, but I’m sure there must be others out there. I was winging it with the instructions for it, but hey! It worked! Look what I unvented!

rude girl neck two-tone icord

Rude Boy!

When we had the book samples made up, we knit all the women’s sweaters in a size medium intending to have normal medium sized people model them. Turns out, in LA? There are no regular medium sized models (at least in our price range.) I always giggle looking at the photo in the book of Rude Girl. Poor Tommi is positively swimming in that sweater. A few months ago I threw it on Amy (Thanks Amy!) And look how much cuter it is! Book sample photos can be deceiving, as it turns out.

Amy models Rude Girl for me

Check them out on Ravelry!
Rude Girl:

Rude Boy:


  • Carol said:

    Love the whole book! And I think the sweaters rock on real models!

  • ysolda said:

    I’m so curious about where you found so many pre-1970s turned hems, they’re rare in the vintage patterns I have and are generally worked as a picot edge. Maybe this is a UK vs US thing although I do have some older US patterns to and haven’t noticed this.

    Love that you wanted to feature medium size models, but maybe it’s worth reconsidering the terms “regular” and “normal”. There’s no such thing as a normal size and it feels very close to the horribly offensive “real women” as though there’s something freakish and unreal about women who happen to be in the accepted model size range. Is there a problem with a society that sets such a standard? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the women who fit that range.

  • Caro (author) said:

    Hah! And now that I’ve been challenged by Ysolda, I had to go back and look. There are actually a few ribbed hems in our inspiration photos. I stand corrected! The turned hems still outweigh them in the patterns we looked through though. Ski sweaters have the most ribbed hems, but the dressier sweaters all have turned hem. And a couple turned with picot edges. Nothing new under the sun, I guess.

  • Kate said:

    I second Ysolda with the ‘normal’ phrasing. I did wince a bit when I saw it.

    That said, I am glad that you knit a more average size. And sorry that you couldn’t find a model to fit it. I am often frustrated by book photos where the model is swimming in the thing. Knitting Nature is particularly bad for it – I can’t even tell if the sweaters have shaping, or if everything is just sacks. I realise that someone is going to lose out – if all books had models who looked like me, thin women and less curvy women wouldn’t be able to see how the sweaters would look on them. But it’s frustrating when the models don’t fit the sweaters at all!

  • Specs said:

    Hee. Remember at KBC II when you were talking about this pattern and you said to me, “Rudie, as in ‘rude boy’?” and I had no idea what you were talking about? I felt so. uncool.

    (And then I went home and googled it.)

  • Heather said:

    I am such a huge fan of the turned hem, it’s one of things I adore about KIOS. I was a HUGE ska fan in high school and one of my most memorable friend outings was going to the Uptown theater to see ‘Dance Craze’ and winning a special edition poster!

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