Friday, August 5, 2011

knitting a sweater, and gorgeous knits of the season

Hey, what's that Rachel?  Oh, just a sweater I'm knitting in my un-air conditioned apartment in August!

A little sneak peak.  Almost 75% done, but it knits up really fast.  Is that a neckline?  An armhole?  You will find out!

But really, knits have been on my radar.  And after a lot of thinking, and a huge revelation that knitting really truly makes me happy, I've decided that for next summer I will take an "entrepreneurial quarter" (in which you develop your own line in place of a co-op).  I'll take the time to swatch my little heart out, design a few pieces, and knit them (in the summer).  I am beyond excited for this.

So, since I always get excited too far in advance (is a year enough?) I've decided I'm going to try my ways at my first knit design.  Because I've never designed a hand-knit piece before, I'm going to do a scarf so I won't have to worry about shaping (necks, arms, etcetera).  Yet the masochist in me is all oh let's combine millions of complicated patterns in cool stripes but one color so you have this textural difference so before I know it, it's not going to be easy at all.  But hey, that's part of the fun - knitting is a puzzle, and that's why I love it.

I have this week off work, so I will take some time to visit various knitting shops and find some yarn for swatching samples.  After years of avoiding swatching, I've finally realized it is somewhat important.  (Funny how it happens that way.  Same as pre-shrinking fabric.)  But because of all this knitting going on, I've become obsessed with how they're being used in high fashion.  Knitwear gets a bad rap for being dowdy or mumsy, or very conservative.  And yes, those patterns exist.  But then you could say that all shorts are inappropriate for work, which isn't true.  It's just about finding the right ones (length is a big factor, no doubt). 

It's fun to browse high-end designer sites to see where knits are.  And as knitwear grows in popularity with the DIY trend, it's easy to see why more and more people are becoming interested in knitting their own things.  Some gorgeous knits at Net-a-Porter:

 Stella McCartney and Rick Owens (look at the similar textures - popcorn stitch)

Rag & Bone and J Crew

Paul & Joe Sister and Stella McCartney

If you can knit, you can make these things.

**Disclaimer** It will not happen overnight.  Knitting unfortunately takes time and patience.  However, it does not come with a $935 price tag!


  1. Love the Rick Owens big-collar sweater/coat. Drapes so beautifully. Your plan to explore knitted designs is exciting! And while August is the least appealing month to look at, much less handle a pile of hot, scratchy yarn, when the cool weather arrives you will be prepared with beautiful new sweaters while the rest of us are just starting to think about knitwear.

  2. I made that realization today too! If I chose to knit sweaters when it was already cold, they'd be done once it is warm. Then I can't wear them til next season!

    I would love to knit a big cozy sweater like the Rick Owens sweater. And I would also love to make an orange sweater like the Stella!

  3. My favourite piece here is the grey J-Crew jumper - really minimalist and stylish but warm enough for cold winter days! I'm SO EXCITED for your knitting adventure! And I can't wait to see how your sweater looks when it's finished! There's absolutely nothing wrong with knitting in August - it's exactly what I'm doing! I have this plan to not buy Christmas presents this year but knit them instead so I'm starting early!

  4. thats so cool, i wish i could knit a sweater!

    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

  5. So patient to knit . . . I tried once . . . and I failed!!! But, nevertheless you're awesome for doing it! :-)



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