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18 Vintage Knitting Patterns from the 1950s

By: Caitlin Eaton, Editor, AllFreeKnitting.com
Updated April 02, 2018
Vintage Knitting Patterns from the 1950s

Put on your red lipstick and take the curlers out of your hair — we're taking a trip back in time with our knitting needles to one of my favorite decades: the 1950s. Defined by its elegant and feminine attire, 1950s clothing embodies a bolder era of style. People took more risks, outfits were tailored closer to the body and dresses were strapless with fuller skirts. It's classic characteristics like this that gives the 50s an irresistible allure that keeps people craving retro-inspired designs every year.

50s influence even extends to the runway. Each year designers are seeking ways to put modern twists on classic favorites, all while keeping the decade's original charm intact. Thankfully, with so many free vintage knitting patterns available, creating your own vintage-inspired wardrobe couldn't be simpler. In this collection of 1950s patterns, you'll discover elegant wraps, mittens, sweaters and shawls — all which will fill your closets full of classic clothing that's rich with fifties style.

1. Capri Cardigan

Wrap yourself in a gorgeous knit sweater that transcends time with the Capri Cardigan. ​If you know how to knit a sweater, you're already that much closer to having this darling knitted accessory in your arsenal.

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Capri Cardigan

2. Beacon Hill Shawl

For times when the weather isn't quite warm enough for your bold, strapless dress, a lacy knit shrug provides an ideal remedy.

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Beacon Hill Shawl

3. Raglan V-Neck

You can never have too many sweaters; they're a staple in anyone's closet. Ideal for both dressy and casual affairs, the right knit sweater makes staying warm as easy and fashionable as possible.

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Raglan V-Neck

4. Women's Pullover Style No. 126

Even though this pattern is from 1958, this classic sweater is still in style. The Women's Pullover Jumper Style No. 126 is a classic top that will take you places.

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Women's Pullover Style No. 126

5. Sonata Shawl

As a variation of a basic rectangle, you don't need to know any advanced knitting tricks to make this shawl. A simple lace pattern offers some visual interest and makes the shawl fun to knit.

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Sonata Shawl

6. Rosie the Riveter Knit Cardigan

The Rosie the Riveter Knit Cardigan is certain to impress, and all eyes will be on you when you wear this pretty knit sweater layered over your favorite dress or pair of pants.

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Rosie the Riveter Knit Cardigan

7. Lacy Shruggy

The thin, fingering-weight yarn gives this knitting pattern a light and lacy look and keeps you from getting overheated under thick, warm yarn when you're indoors.

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Lacy Shruggy

8. Knit Slipover Sweater

The closely knit stitches keep you safe from windchill while the pattern stitch used gives this knit sweater just the stunning vintage look that is sure to turn a few heads.

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Knit Slipover Sweater

9. Armande Cardigan

This bright and colorful cardigan is the perfect vintage knitting pattern to try if you're new to cardigans!

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Armande Cardigan

10. Mad Men Mittens

These cozy, fair isle mittens are sported by Peter Campbell's secretary, Lindy, throughout Mad Men, and now you can make your very own pair.

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Mad Men Mittens

11. Blue And White Afghan

The two-toned knitting pattern can add a colorful flair to any room in the house.

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Blue And White Afghan

12. Allegro Shawl

The Allegro Shawl captures the essence of a time gone by in a classic design that will look fashionable whenever you choose to wear it.

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Allegro Shawl

13. Contralto Shawl

This shawl is perfect for wearing around the house or office; it's fashionable enough to wear out and about.

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Contralto Shawl

14. Mrs. Roosevelt's Mittens

This knitted mittens pattern is adapted from one that the famous first lady created herself. Mrs. Roosevelt’s Mittens is a simple, functional pattern that will keep your fingers toasty and warm.

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Mrs. Roosevelt's Mittens

15. Botany Striped Scarf

Easy enough to be taken up by a beginner knitter, this knit scarf pattern is simple yet absolutely stunning.

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Botany Striped Scarf

16. Little Scarf

The Little Scarf is a manageable, quick project that is wonderfully practical. You can pair this scarf with almost any outfit, and it is designed to keep your neck nice and warm.

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Little Scarf

17. Vintage "Slim Silhouette" Blouse and Skirt

This stunning dress will give you a beautiful, vintage silhouette, and because it's knitted in two separate pieces, it comes together easier than you might expect.

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Vintage

18. Shepherd Tartan Cardigan

To give your man a look straight from the 1950s, try free vintage knitting patterns like the Shepherd Tartan Cardigan.

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Shepherd Tartan Cardigan

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Hi , I am looking for a simple patchwork ladies knitted sweater pattern or a geometric design.

I am looking for a vintage pattern from the late 50s or very early 60s. It's a cardigan blouse-type sweater. I think it had a Shaker stitch rib that gave it the blouse-like look. I know it had a seed stitch button band and wrist and waist bands. And all the seed stitch trim was on a smaller needle than the sweater, which also gave it a blouse look at the wrists and waist. Does it ring a bell with anyone? It was in a regular knitting book like the Brunswick books of that day. Maybe 12 or so patterns to a book. Thanks for your help.

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