Last Updated on February 3, 2020 by Gwen Bautista
Thanks for joining our Second Annual Christmas Countdown. Each day for the month of December we check off a day on our calendar with a free pattern either by Mary Maxim or by a featured maker. Today we are featuring an iconic pattern, the one that Mary Maxim is best known for and easily one of the most customizable patterns in our Collection
Mary Maxim Vintage Sweater Patterns
If you aren’t familiar with the History of Mary Maxim, our family-owned company started in Sifton Manitoba where Willard and Olive McPhedrain purchased Spinwell Manufacturing Co who had been manufacturing and selling spinning wheels. Soon they developed a mail-order company and the Mary Maxim Sweater was born.
The very first Mary Maxim Sweater is our iconic Reindeer Sweater pictured below. The Mary Maxim sweater is also called the Cowichan Style sweater due to the bulky yarn used to knit the fabric and the stylistic design. This sweater has been updated a few times over the years offering new color choices and pattern instructions that have changed as the knowledge base and popularity of knitting changed.
Vintage Knit Sweaters
Over the last few years, Vintage Knit Sweaters have become more popular. As the textile industry has changed with the demand for clothing in the latest styles and with fewer people making their own clothes finding Vintage Sweaters in resale shops or knitting your own has become more popular in recent years. In the article “The Real Cost of Your Shopping Habits” by Emma Johnson, she states
The U.S. apparel industry today is a $12 billion business and the average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The dollar figures are of little significance since it accounts for just 3.5 percent of a family’s expenses, on average. What is significant is whether that money is spent on need or waste. The answer is, largely, waste. In 1930, the average American woman owned nine outfits. Today, that figure is 30 outfits — one for every day of the month.
Our clothes have become disposable with the exception of a few items often handmade and lovingly given. There are good reasons why handmade clothing has become more of an exception than the rule. Our time has become more precious and as we pack more and more into each day, designing or making all of your own clothing has become less of a priority and crafters are making a few special pieces instead of an entire wardrobe. Our leisure time is at a premium. Frankly, buying cheap clothes and throwing them out when they quickly show signs of wear is easy, handmaking your clothing is harder, more time consuming, but much more appreciated.
Unfortunately, with this new trend, a lot of the knowledge that was often passed down from artisan to artisan and to generation to generation is being lost. This is why we feel it is so important to preserve these techniques through these vintage patterns that we love especially when we see crafters who enjoy handmade clothing as much as we do. Mary Maxim has thousands of patterns on our website available for download here and in a variety of styles and techniques.
Free Bulky Sweater Pattern
Today’s Countdown Pattern is the Basic Bulky Sweater Pattern, this is a common pattern used to knit many of our bulky sweaters. This pattern does not include any colorwork but is the blank canvas to either create your own design or to add any of your favorite silhouettes to further customize this iconic sweater. DOWNLOAD IS EXPIRED for free now until January 31st.
Some of our most popular downloads that accompany this sweater pattern are our dog and horse silhouettes. Some of our pattern downloads include instructions on how to knit the bulky sweater but not all of them do. Check out some of the accompanying pattern downloadables below.
We are so pleased to have received such a great response to our Christmas Countdown, we’ll have another featured guest later in the week. Thank you so much for sharing these articles on your social media pages. Stay tuned for more amazing patterns from Mary Maxim and other featured makers. We’ll be starting a new Tutorial Series in early 2020 on Vintage Patterns and Vintage Knits.