I could make that…
Why did you start to knit or crochet? We all have different reasons that led us down this path. I was strongly encouraged by my grandmother (who tried to teach me a few times… unsuccessfully) and then prodded by a friend (with whom I finally learned the basics from a class at our neighborhood LYS). I really had the urge to make when I was working as a stylist/personal shopper – and I was buying gorgeous knits for my clients. Granted, I had very fortunate clients, but they were spending thousands of dollars on sweaters from the likes of Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana and Hermes. The hats and mitts that they were picking up on a whim were hundreds of dollars. While I wasn’t pining for the pieces I bought for my clients (they were out of my price range), I constantly thought to myself “I could make that.” Not only that, I’d enjoy the process of making it and I’d appreciate wearing the piece so much more after putting in that time.
After my son was born, I went from “I could make that” to “I’m going to make that” and finally “I actually made it myself!” While I’ve never tried to replicate something I’ve seen in the store (although my talented aunt is a pro at this), I often find a pattern very similar to a gorgeous sweater I see in a magazine and modify according to trends or my fit preferences.
And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year again – you know – when department stores and magazines start showing sweaters and accessories for cold weather – all while it’s beastly hot. Rather than be annoyed that they’re pushing seasonally inappropriate clothes on us, I start planning my knitting for the cold months ahead. Here are a few things I’ve seen that I love (and instead of buying them, I hope to make them!)
The Row’s Violina Sweater –
Look to The Row for tons of sweater knitting inspiration. I think part of all of us wants to put on a ginormous sweater and look like a tiny, chic Olsen twin. Really truly, when I saw this piece I immediately saw its likeness to Mayu, which was on my queue with yarn in hand. Now, I’m almost done with my Mayu and I’m just lamenting that October isn’t here yet! The Row’s gorgeous version is $1790, which makes all the yarn you’re buying for Mayu (up to about $200) seem like an absolute bargain.
Vince’s Sleeveless Turtleneck –
Who doesn’t love Vince? They use gorgeous fibers and their aesthetic says “I look chic as hell without trying too hard.” They are a go-to of mine, but I’d rather replicate their sweaters than buy them. This year, I love the Sleveless Turtleneck – just tried it on at Bloomingdales. But I decided I could make a better version by knitting up Debbie Bliss’s Sleeveless Turtleneck from the Lhasa collection. Making it in Lhasa, you won’t scrimp on luxury. I love this piece to wear sleeveless or layer, over jeans or slacks, skirts or even over a silk slip dress.
Acne’s Dramatic Mohair Sweater –
You’ve heard me talking about fuzzy yarn lately. Acne is one of many that’s bringing us mohair sweaters for fall. I just love the soft pink hue of this one, and its simple shape is easy to wear with some skinny jeans or leggings. But stead of dropping $340 on this one, I think it’d be fun to knit up in Rowan’s Brushed Fleece (which will be arriving to Wool & Grace soon!). Go to Margeau Soboti’s Boyfriend Sweater to make this sweater your own, and don’t be afraid to play with ease or the length of this sweater to make it perfect for you!
Isabel Marant’s Chilton Ribbed Beanie –
I never buy anyone a hat anymore! A handmade version is always better – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look to designers for inspiration. A straightforward, ribbed beanie is always chic, and Isabel Marant’s is another version that is great for all the ladies and men in your life. Rather than spend $160, buy a skein of yarn and knit this one up yourself. Great patterns to consider are Roku by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Harper by Julie Hoover or the Erie Hat by America Original. Ribbed beanie patterns exist in all yarn weights, so find the yarn that moves you, and let us help you find the perfect pattern. Feel free to change up the length of the hat, depending on whether you want the brim to have a deep fold or none at all!