I feel like going shopping. Yes, it has been oppressively hot this week. That said, I’m still looking forward to wearing long pants (to cover my pasty legs and bruised shins) and, of course, sweaters. Like always, instead of heading to the mall as soon as my kids go back to school, I have been planning what I’m going to knit so I can wear when it is finally frigidly cold.
If you read the blog you know that I just finished a Carbeth and I was planning on making myself a Better than Basic Pullover. I finished the latter on vacation, and I’m on a roll, feeling inspired for myself and for all of you.
I always love Eugenia Kim’s exaggerated hats and headpieces. Every year you can see one of her big hats that looks a lot like a Loopy Mango beanie. This year, I’m really into her Elaine hat, which happens to be $245 and some marled version of bright red, pink and metallic. This has me feeling totally inspired and like I can also accomplish some gift knitting. Instead of working with some straight-up Loopy Mango, I’m planning to mix Merino No. 5 with a strand or to of Katia’s Air Lux to add some subtle shine into the mix. I wore my Loopy Mango beanies to bits last year (and kept my head warm, and looked like of some sort of beacon in the crowd at school pick up at the same time). This is a good way to change it up and it also happens to be a great, quick knit.
I also love her Lula Headband (which is $125) and also has a marled version. To recreate this, take a look at the Francine Headband by Amélie Bernier. Instead of just knitting it up in a bulky weight yarn, mix two strands of a DK-weight yarn (or a fingering plus a worsted) to recreate that marled look. I’d wear something like this a LOT, so I’d combine something like Loft and Shelter to get the look. Marl together Luminosa with Air Lux for a headband with some subtle sheen. . Even better, combine a self patterning sock yarn with a solid to get some really colorful bursts of color.
Speaking of color, I have to say, I’m a bit surprised to see some sweaters that look like they’re straight out of a Noro book in the stores. Acne and Novis both have happy, colorful (not to mention beautiful) sweaters. Noro’s new yarn, Ito, is a perfect way to bring these sweaters to life all on your own. Ito is an aran-weight wool with long color runs. It softens dramatically after washing, so don’t let you’re first touch of this gigantic ball shape your impression of this yarn. A simple sweater like Dani Sunshine’s Caramel Latte is a great pattern for this sort of yarn. There’s a lot of room to modify it, in terms of length, then neckline, etc. (I made this sweater and can attest to its user-friendliness!)
Fair Isle is a huge trend for this year – it almost seems like fashion is taking some queues from the knitting world! ALC and Forte Forte have some beautiful sweaters out this fall that incorporate large Fair Isle motifs into their yokes – highly reminiscent of many of Caitlin Hunter’s designs. To mimic these looks, check out solid yarns (rather than hand dyed) and don’t be afraid of a pop of color. Alyeska and Tecumseh are two designs by Caitlin Hunter that could be easily modified (with less color work around the sleeves and torso) to get the look of ALCs and Forte Forte’s sweaters above. Of course, Tecumseh and Aleyska are incredibly popular as written for a reason! Tecumseh is on my own queue, and I’m itching to make my own in Kenzie or Arbor. I particularly like KindredRed’s vibrant version of Alyeska on Ravelry!
I like a good cozy popover a lot like Alexander McQueen’s Ribbed Wool & Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater. It looks a LOT like Julie Hoover’s Kirwin or the our own Easy Does it Poncho knit up in Juniper Moon’s Fourteen. Kirwin has sides that are partially open, a lot like McQueen’s version. Kirwin is written for Shelter and I think that yarn will give it the idea amount of body and shape. For a little more drape consider something like Kenzie or even Falkland Aran.
Chinti & Parker has a wonderful, color block seater (for $700) at Net a Porter – and after taking one impressed look at this sweater, I thought of Agnes by Jared Flood. The similarities are striking and there’s a lot of possibility with Agnes. At this gauge, you can think beyond Loft (although we love Loft) and consider making it in Peerie, Shibui’s Birch or even a combo of hand-dyed yarns like Tosh Merino Light or Baah’s La Jolla. How cool would this be with blocks of hand-dyed wondrousness and solid blocks mixed together?
Another interesting sweater out there is Velvet’s Beverlee cardigan – which reminds me in its shape of Andrea Mowry’s Rose cardigan. If the whole fade thing is not for you, Beverlee gives us an idea of how this sweater would look in a solid. Pick any fingering yarn to knit up this beauty – from Peerie or Loft to Birch or Staccato. Fade it up with Tosh Merino Light and La Jolla.
For a couple of basics, I’m just going to remind you that Churchmouse’s Better-Than-Basic-Pullover is absolutely my jam this year. I keep seeing this shape in the stores and online – from Joseph and Victoria Beckham to this beauty from Proenza Schouler (for $990 no less)
One more amazing basic comes from TSE. This company has been bringing us timeless, high quality fibers for years. I love their v-neck sweater (available at ShopBop for $695) – and it looks a lot like Shellie Anderson’s Tuva sweater designed for Shibui last fall. Tuva is knit up in a combo of Cima and Lunar, making an absolutely luxurious v-neck that would rival TSE’s version any day.
If fall fashion continues to inspire me, there’s no doubt you’ll see another blog or two like this in the coming months. Or – if you see something out in the stores that you’d rather make yourself, let me know and I can help you find a great pattern that will help you bring your own to life!