Friday, 4 October 2013

Cricket Sweaters

In my last post I wrote about the Vogue Knitting tour coming to Scholes to see items from the  Knitting & Crochet Guild's collection.  Because we hosted the visit at Scholes Cricket Club, we thought that we should acknowledge the cricket connection, and so I found several cricket sweater patterns and put them on display.   Here are a few of them. 

Growing up in Sirdar 541
Templeton's 1412
Patons 2379
I think the Sirdar pattern dates from the 1950s, the Templeton's pattern is about 1965, and the Patons pattern 1975, but they all look pretty similar to me, apart from the hair styles.  

I don't know much about cricket, or cricket sweaters, and I've been trying to find out a bit about when this style of sweater was introduced.  I have been looking at this website which gives a lot of details about village cricket clubs in this part of Yorkshire, including team photos.  (The things I do for you!)  It appears that V-neck sweaters with coloured stripes around the neck,  and sometimes above the welts on the body and sleeves (if any), first appeared in team photos in the late 1920s.  The sweaters may be cabled and they look to be white or cream, but it's hard to tell from the photos.  Two of the Holmfirth cricket team in 1929, photographed after they won a trophy, were wearing sweaters of that sort. (The others aren't wearing sweaters at all.)  In earlier team photos, any sweaters that are worn appear to be in plain stocking stitch, with collars and long sleeves.  

So far, I haven't found a knitting pattern for anything called a cricket sweater from before World War II, though presumably there were sweater patterns like the ones I have shown.  It's possible that they started out being called sports or tennis or golf sweaters, and were only called cricket sweaters after wearing them for cricket was already common.   (Maybe somebody who knows about cricket could tell me.)

I did find a much earlier pattern for something knitted to wear while playing cricket.  It's a jacket in a Paton's booklet, I think from around 1913.  Although the garment  is described as a "Gent.'s Knitted Sports Coat",  it is shown being worn by a cricketer.  Quite stylish, though I think it would be hard to run in something as long and close-fitting as that.  The "coat sweater" on the front cover, worn by a tennis player, is white with navy trim, and might be a pre-cursor of the later cricket sweater.  Notice the tennis racquet in one hand and the cigarette in the other - he gets fit by playing tennis and then ruins the effect by smoking.     

Gent.'s Knitted Sports Coat

Patons Helps to Knitters XIX


  1. Is that Bob Woolmer in Paton 2379?

    1. Don't think so - the model looks far too kempt ( in a 70s kind of way).

  2. Barbara, have you tried to knit the 1913 knitted sports coat? I'm just about to start it in connection with a WW1 film. I've mastered the brioche stitch but my 32 stitch swatch in brioche is 4" wide and the back requires 172 stitches to be cast on. Isn't it going to turn out to be enormous?! I'm doing it for a 36" chest. Any help would be much appreciated. Jane

    1. I assume this is the 'Tell Them of Us' film? I have supplied copies of patterns for that, from the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection, but I haven't tried knitting of them. The group on Ravelry (knitting for ww1 film) seems to be very helpful in dealing with problems in adapting the patterns, so they can probably advise you better than I can.

  3. Many thanks Barbara. Yes, it's that film and I'll use the Rav help section. I was just hoping that there was someone out there who'd actually knitted this elegant coat. Thanks again.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...