You Can Make That… Demylee Edition
A very few of you may now about my weird New Years Resolution I made in 2015, in which I didn’t buy any clothes for the entire year. Aware of our culture of consumption and our tendency to treat our clothes as a disposable item, I wanted to use the year as an opportunity to think about what I need (versus what I want), and to only add items to my wardrobe that I truly love. My experiment was easier than it sounds, in part because I did allow myself to MAKE clothes. My previous life as a stylist/wardrobe planner gave me insight into the incredible world of haute couture and custom clothes, and I learned to truly appreciate the skill, beauty and longevity that goes into making clothes by hand. I tried to learn to sew – I was pretty bad at it. So, I knit a bunch of sweaters that year!
That experience (which I would repeat again in a heart beat) is the reason I look at beautiful hand knits and think “I could make that.” I know I have the skill to make almost any sweater. I savor the process and the finished result is so much more valuable to me than anything I could ever buy. I am not trying to be preachy, but that is where all of these thoughts are coming from.
I still love shopping, and I love fashion, so I’m constantly perusing magazines and shops. So today as I was perusing new arrivals on Shopbop, I couldn’t help but look at a beautiful new group of sweaters from Demylee and think “you could make that!” These sweaters are gorgeous, but they are so similar to some newer patterns I’ve seen pop up lately.
The Lex cardigan is an oversized, cabled boyfriend cardigan. Designers keep bringing these to us because we always wear them. It’s the right thing to throw on in an overly air-conditioned office or for casual weekend wear. Demylee’s version is pretty basic, with wide, diagonal cables. Michele Wang’s Celyn cardigan takes this up a notch. Her piece was featured in her capsule collection for Brooklyn Tweed, and is knit up in Shelter, and it offers a subtle edge with her cables running in opposite directions like a mirror. Shelter is a worsted weight (which will be featured during our Brooklyn Tweed Pop Up in October), but also consider making a slightly softer version in Shepherd’s Wool. Other great yarn choices include Falkland (arriving soon in heathered colors) or Blue Sky’s Woolstok. There are too many options to name, so come in, touch some yarn, and let us help you make the perfect choice for you.
The Elliot Sweater is chunky cabled turtleneck, and it resonated with me in the same way Loopy Mango’s Cropped Urban Fisherman Sweater did when that pattern was released a couple weeks ago. Loopy Mango’s version is not a mirror image of Demylee’s, but it is enticing with its bold color choices, impactful chunkiness and quick-to-knit qualities. If you are crazy and want to choose a yarn other than Loopy Mango, let me know and I can give you handful of other suggestions!
We’re seeing a lot of ruffles lately – like in the Henrietta pullover from Demylee. It is so much like Erika Knight’s new pattern Molly (designed by Emma Wright) that it’s mind-boggling. Both sweaters are dreamily feminine. Molly calls for a DK weight yarn, so try out 365 Yak, Criative DK or Aymara (a dreamy new arrival from Debbie Bliss that comes in a gorgeous color palette and is crazy soft).
The last eye-catching knit I saw today was Ryen, a classic pullover with a simple Fair Isle design. Once again, it is eerily similar to Michele Wang’s Schulz (which was published as a part of Brooklyn Tweed’s Yokes Collection). Schulz is made with Shelter, which is soft and perfect for Fair Isle. Demylee’s version has a soft fuzz to it (courtesy of raccoon fur), and if you want to try to add some fuzz of your own, try combining Shibui’s Silk Cloud or Kidsilk Haze with a fingering weight yarn (like Shibui’s Stacatto, Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal, or even something like Baah’s La Jolla) to get gauge. Either way, this is a timeless look that is worth it to be knit up by hand!