This is a question some of us, as knitters, ask ourselves. Are we wearing our hand knits? We ask that question for the sole purpose of giving ourselves a reality check. If the idea is to be adding a beautiful hand knit to our wardrobe, truly are we? This is essentially the honesty factor as to why we do what we do and whether we are succeeding in pulling off the look that we were after by knitting these garments in the first place. We all know, no matter what the creative process or how capable we are in our craft, some projects ‘work’ while others do not.
One such knitter has taken this particular topic to task and back in January of 2019 offered an opportunity via a thread on Ravelry to post what she calls ‘street-wear’ photos. Street-wear photos are candid shots of us in our hand knits, in our every day lives, doing whatever it is we do, at work or at play. And, then to post those photos on the thread.
I was smitten with this question because I have always thought and have said . . . yes, I do wear my projects and very much consider them a part of my wardrobe. I have even been known to say, I shop very little for clothes because finishing a garment is like adding a new piece to my wardrobe. So, I remembered this sort of self-monitoring opportunity and as I traveled through this last year, thought, I am going to test my own statement. Not sure on how I was I going to get the photo, I figured I could lean on selfies as a last resort. Of course, I was thrilled when I found some candid shot that had been taken of some activity or function I was at and found that I just happened to be in the background . . . with a hand knit on!
The below is a one year effort. The photos are not necessarily becoming (boo) but they do illustrate that my hand knits are my wardrobe. I have paired the ‘every day shot’ with a photo that was taken during the original photo shoot so you can more clearly see the garment. The top photos or photos on the right are from the ‘posed’ while the others are the recent, candid ones. All of these projects can be found on my Ravelry page and are discussed in full length on my website.
Much like Facebook’s posts and ability for friends to comment and/or like a post, Ravelry, a knitter’s online paradise, has a function called forums. Forums are generally written and like-interested people comment, share, like, or otherwise support the theme of the post. Reading these threads is as interesting as posting on them. Groups on Ravelry generally have many such forums going on at once and of course, there are people in all ranges of activity on them. Some are so active, they have become moderators and those moderators are now posting what we affectionately call challenges. This is true within the Vogue Knitting Group, at least. This is where the inspiration came, or maybe an excuse, to go all the way back to my complete VK magazine collection dating Fall/Winter 1982 (easy access here on shelving).
Pretty much my entire life, I’ve knitted alone. Happily, on the couch, in a relaxed state of mind, figuring out the pattern stitch or the possible mistake in the pattern or in my thinking, always knitting alone . . happily. The main advantage of that is the ease of stealing an hour here or there between the hustle bustle of family life, after a school day (whether a student or teacher or both), in between the piles of homework and/or housework, there were always those precious hours.
Well, at this point, this project has been knitted twice. Not by choice, of course, but to eliminate too much shelf time, aka, not be worn. I knit to wear so if there is something about a garment that doesn’t feel right or comfortable, I know its future is doomed. I must say, the fabric that was created by this stitch was the conundrum.
The honeycomb stitch is a type of cable that is dense, especially when using Lion Brand’s fisherman wool . . held double. Not so much dense in weight as the pulled stitches create a kind of air hole behind it. Maybe, you can make this out here, but dense in body.
I think it is interesting to hear of what inspires each of us. For my inspiration, I can’t think of a time when I reached for any Vogue Knitting publication that I didn’t end up wanting to make at least one item from it. Oftentimes, more. This has remained true for over 40 years. Now, currently on Ravelry, such magazines, publications, designers of well-known fame as well as fledglings have ‘groups’ one can follow. From there one can drill down and find things like KALs (knit alongs) and surprise KALs (just that, clues per week to lead to a surprise garment in the end). These things are found in ‘forums’. These niceties are all meant to inspire or motivate the knitter in us. Well, the Vogue Knitting Group is no exception. It offers challenges, and I am right in line to accept them.
I am talking about a recently finished garment, my first of 2018. First due to the nature of my newly single life (adjusting/managing/accepting) but also first due to the intricacies of what was on my needles. In all fairness to the publisher of Vogue Knitting, the pattern was marked as ‘expert’ which means a high level of difficulty to knit, so I guess I was warned.
It begins as a knitting project but somehow each garment ends up having a more involved back story. This project was all about finding the right yarn or should I say, the right yarn combination.
Fur varsity jacket. As quickly as I could say those words, fur varsity jacket, I was smitten. Vladimir Teriokhin never disappoints and again here I was ready and willing to embark on another one of his designs.
I love pink, especially pale pink. Inspired by Rebecca Taylor‘s color palette as seen in some of her recent collections and the fact that I am making every attempt coordinating the pieces I knit with my existing wardrobe, I thought I would knit myself a kind of mini collection. With my eye on a knitted modern baseball jacket pattern (foreshadowing), I wondered if the other pink yarn I had in my stash might make the perfect complement as a hoodie.
I have been very grateful for a little online thread on Ravelry set up by a fellow knitter and avid fan of Vogue Knitting, coilycurly. This knitter, to honor Vogue Knitting’s 35th anniversary, has set up what she is calling the “Anniversary Challenge”. According to the ‘rules’, contestants are to knit one project from the VK magazines, from each decade since the publication’s start, from the years ending in 7. That would be a total of four projects to fulfill the challenge and at the same time, honor the magazine for its longevity in bringing high fashion and current designers to the forefront.
Topic: Wardrobe Planning. YES, I plan my wardrobe! I never thought to write about it. This question of wardrobe planning came up in the blog world and I am only too happy to answer. In short, I believe wardrobe planning, like everything, takes a certain amount of self-control and focus. The process for me begins with retiring belongings, otherwise known as cleaning out or donating, for the obvious purpose of organizing but in a knitter’s case, this careful consideration informs [knitting] project choice. Ravelry acts as a record-keeping system. What does this mean?
Last year, The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo brought in designer, Heather Lodinsky, to teach a skill on one of her designs. The pattern was her two-tone slip stitch cable pullover and the skill was using slip stitches in cable work. In my experience in knitting, I had not encountered slip stitches to be used for the design of a garment, only to be done along the edges of knitted pieces. So, I was quick to take on the pullover with the Guild and it led me to do a self-investigation of slip stitches, in general.