I’m sure I’m not the only knitter out there who’s been watching hours and hours of the Wimbledon tennis coverage. Wimbledon has been so fascinating this year due to the elimination of so many of the top-seeded players. As I write, Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki will be playing in the Women’s Final; one will win her first ever Grand Slam Singles Title on Saturday. Tennis players are required to wear traditional all-white tennis wear at Wimbledon and I was reminded of the classic white tennis sweater.
Years ago, my mother knit a similar sweater for my father. It was the traditional tennis sweater: cream colored wool, cables, V-neck and navy blue and dark red stripes. Recalling this recently, I wondered about the history of the tennis sweater.
From what I have been able to find out, the tennis sweater gained popularity in the 1920s. There is some question as to whether is was an adaptation of a ski sweater or a golf sweater. Cricket sweaters are also very similar with the colored trim knit in the team colors. Tennis sweaters are generally white or cream colored, wool or cotton with V-necks, colored bands and cables.