It’s that time of year again! You know, it’s beastly hot and the magazines and department stores begin to show snuggly sweaters for fall. I love sweater weather, and I’m definitely that sucker is ready to think about sweaters when it’s 105 degrees outside. You also know I don’t think about buying all of those sweaters – I think about making them. I start planning now so I can have at least one of these beauties ready for October.
For this first foray into “You Can Make That” I’m going to focus on basics. What strikes me year after year is how classic shapes are always stylish, and you can make them look current with a few tweaks.
Isabel Marant makes the most classic knitwear shapes feel edgy and new, and I always love her designs. I quickly gravitated to the Heavy Cashmere Turtleneck (via BG) especially because it is so close to the Churchmouse Better Than Basic Pullover that I’m working on right now. The RTW and hand knit pieces are both “that sweater” you can throw on over anything, dress up with jewels or dress down with sneakers. I love the Churchmouse pattern because there is so much room to modify it according to your liking. The pattern itself gives you lots of ways to modify the length. I’m making a sample for the shop using Katia’s Cotton Merino which, for the record, should be everyone’s next choice for sweater yarn. It is sublimely soft and light. It feels incredible next to your skin and is a dream to work with. I’m making the sample in a tunic length (great with leggings and a pair of high heel boots) but I’m planning to make a version for myself as well.
Another similar pattern for anyone who likes raglan construction should take a look at Meyer, a pattern by Veronik Avery written for Brooklyn Tweed. I’m visiting family in Kansas right now and stopped by the local yarn shop, and happened to see this sample. It is every bit as lovely as the Isabel Marant sweater (and the Churchmouse sweater). Meyer is written for Shelter (you know I love it) but there are so many options for yarn choice. Both of these sweaters are worked at similar gauges, so consider any of the following: Shelter, Katia’s Cotton Merino, Woolstok, Tennen (on sale and my personal choice for the Better than Basic Pullover), Madeline Tosh Vintage, Shepherd’s Wool or Kenzie, to name a few.
I’m noticing a lot of cables in fashion for fall and the first one that really caught my eye is a heavily cabled v-neck cardigan from Marc Jacobs (that yellow really caught my eye). I love the bold colors as an edgy take on that classic shape, but a great white version is always classic and wearable (like Philip Lim’s version for fall). Marylebone is a great example of a hand knit project for you to make yourself. Bristol Ivy’s version is knit up in Brooklyn Tweed’s bulky-weight Quarry and that is my first go to, especially given that it is a seamless sweater). A couple other interesting options will be Rowan’s Brushed Fleece, Blue Sky Fibers’ Techno or Extra, or Fourteen (coming soon from Juniper Moon Farms).
Cabled fisherman sweaters are a big look for fall (like Philip Lim’s boxy version) and there are countless options for you to make yourself. Bronwyn by Melissa Wehrle is gorgeous. I saw this finished piece on a customer last year and uncontrollably swooned. Another great option is Cordova by Michele Wang. Both of these are written for worsted weight yarns. Remember all those suggestions I made up top for the basic turtlenecks? The work here also!
Vince always has beautiful, classic sweaters. There are plenty already out there in the stores. One beautiful sweater is the Open Front Patch Pocket Cardigan and it has a perfect ringer out there in the hand-knitting world: Michele Wang’s Palmer. They were separated at birth, right? Palmer calls for Loft (my new favorite yarn) but consider some other fingering weight options like Peerie or Shibui’s Birch.
One more Vince piece I’m obsessed with is an oversized ribbed cardigan. It oozes with comfy vibes and is the sort of thing I want to live in throughout all the cold weather months. I’m still searching for a closer match (which I reckon will be tough) but Regina Moessmer’s Sizou reminds me a lot of this piece. It has that same relaxed vibe, and this pattern has been on my radar for a while. Moessmer’s piece is worked in a clever side-to-side construction. While it suggests that same sort of effortless cool as the Vince cardigan, it has a distinct look of its own. And it’s all good. For this one, my first choice is Falkland from Pure Bliss (which won’t be available much longer). Also consider knitting it up in Kenzie, Shepherd’s Wool, Woolstok, Cotton Merino, Shelter or even a dreamy combination of Birch & Pebble.
You’ll probably see a few more installments of this sort of post before fall actually arrives, and if you see any sweaters out and about let me know. I enjoy the challenge of finding you a project that you can make rather than buy!