In the past I had hesitated to make sweater because of the cost of buying a sweaters worth of yarn at one time. However, I am realizing that you can make a sweater that you couldn’t buy for the price of the yarn. I showed my mom a sweater I made and she would tell me that you can’t buy a sweater like that. When you think about it, she is right, I don’t know where anyone would be able to buy a handmade sweater that is made to your measurements. I looked around and realized that a nice wool sweater can very, expensive and hard to find. For example, I looked at my dad’s LL Bean catalog and a wool sweater from LL Bean is anywhere from 70 dollars on up.
I recently went to the mall and I saw a sweater at a chain store. It was acrylic, made in China and it cost 60 dollars. For 60 dollars you can buy the yarn to make one that is much nicer and that is made with natural fibers. For 50 dollars I bought yarn for 2 sweaters from Knitpicks when they had a sale. I also looked at the sweaters I had bought and they are all cotton. I looked around the stores at the mall and I didn’t see any wool sweaters for sale. Mind you this is in the fall in a cold climate. All this made me realize that a lot of stores don’t sell wool sweaters for a reasonable price.
If you know where to look, wool to make sweaters doesn’t have to be expensive. The sweater I recently made was made from yarn I got on clearance at JoAnnes for about 3 dollars each. I used 5 skeins of yarn to make the sweater so the yarn cost me 15 dollars. On the other side of this, I think that if you can reasonably afford it don’t be afraid to spend a little extra to make the sweater you want out o f the yarn you really want to use. If you live on a tight budget, you can also find yarn that is affordable and with some work end up with a sweater that is nicer than a lot of the sweaters you could find at the mall.
This past weekend I finished this sweater. I put my log cabin project aside to finish it. I wanted to finish by the end of January so I would have time to wear it before the weather got warmer. I was nervous about doing the sleeves and neckline. I had to pick up stitches to do both and I hadn’t done either technique before. I was especially nervous about the neckline. It was 88 stitches on double pointed needles and I was nervous I would have a bunch of dropped stitches. Thanks to some YouTube tutorial they turned out fine. I am so happy with how it turned out. I have already worn it even though I still need to block it. It is a much needed addition to my wardrobe.
Lately, I have been decided to make more sweaters . When I have been stressed out, I have been looking at sweater patterns on Ravelry to relax. This is a list of some of my favorite pullover sweater patterns. It is a sort of wish list; all of these are either in my favorites or in my queue. If I have time, I really want to make the Margot pullover this winter. The rest may have to wait at least a few months but I still enjoy looking at the patterns.
The For Irene sweater is one o f my favorites. I just love the lace detail on the sleeves and yoke.
I love the bold stripes and how this designer used color in the Camaro sweater.
The Margo sweater has been in my Ravelry queue for ages. If I have time, I mat try to make it later this winter. I like the split him and garter stitch edging.
The Pixilated Pullover uses stranded color work in a very innovative way and I love the effect.
The Breathing Space pullover has a unique design with an asymetrical hem. It uses short rows to a good effect.
I love the garter stitch detail on the sleeves on the Flax Light sweater. Plus if you made this sweater, it would be a solid addition to a handmade wardrobe.
One thing I recently realized is that if I want to make more sweaters, I will have to re think how I buy yarn. I looked at my stash and I didn’t have that much yarn In quantities large enough to make a sweater. I have a lot of smaller amounts of yarn. I also realized that I haven’t made more sweaters in the past because of the cost to buy a sweaters worth of yarn at one time. The sweater I am making now is yarn I bought at Michaels on clearance and the Green Gable I made was a stash buster. Moving forward, I am thinking I may need to be more deliberate about what yarn I buy. In other words, buy enough for a sweater I really want to make instead of several smaller impulse purchases. Earlier this fall I went through my wardrobe to see what sweaters I could use for this fall and winter. The 2 sweater patterns I want to make next will fill the gaps I found in my wardrobe. I need a light weight dark neutral cardigan and lighter colored casual cardigan that is warmer.
It made me nervous to use up the sweaters amounts of yarn I already had and not be able to make anymore garments for a while. Plus, for the sweaters I really want to make next, I didn’t have the yarn for them. Knit Picks was having a sale and I found out I could buy the yarn I wanted at an affordable price so I went ahead and bought 2 sweaters worth of yarn. I bought Knit Picks Palette in dark grey to make the Featherweight Cardigan and I also bought some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport in a lighter grey to make the Belcarra Cardigan. I want to start these projects. I am excited about both of them. I just need to finish up a couple projects I am currently doing.
This is the third post in a 3 part series. For the first post I wrote an intro to Slow Fashion October. The second post was about how my focus on what I want to make has shifted to making more garments. This post is about slow fashion in general and what sparked my interest. I follow a lot of knitters who also sew. Through following the knit designer Andi Satterlund, I found out about the Me Made May hashtag because she participates it and posts on Instagram about it. Me Made May is an event each May where people post pictures of themselves wearing clothes they made. From this I found out about the handmade wardrobe hashtag on Instagram. All the pictures of people wearing the clothes they made really inspired me. I also found the slow fashion hashtag and started to read about slow fashion. I was reading more and more posts of people who were being very thoughtful about what they made and added to their wardrobes and that made me think about my own choices in my wardrobe.
At first I was skeptical of the slow fashion movement. When I first read about slow fashion my first thought was, “You mean the way I have been shopping for years because I never had much money?” At certain times in my life, most of my wardrobe was secondhand mostly because of economic necessity. Money was tight for me and it was the only way to have a decent wardrobe.But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the movement encompasses a lot of my values. I don’t like to waste things, I think it is important to use what you have. I like to reuse materials in creative ways. At 15 or 16 I had read advice saying to only buy a piece of clothing if it will fit with 2 other pieces in your wardrobe and I have been doing it ever since. I have always been pretty thoughtful about what clothes I buy mostly because I have a limited budget. I have been concerned about factory conditions for years but wasn’t sure what I could do about it. Years ago, there was a big scandal over conditions in Nike Factories. I don’t think I have worn Nike Since. At the time, it was very difficult to find concrete information on what fashion companies were doing. This was before the Internet was as big as it is now. It was harder find information. For this reason, I am glad to see a growing interest in slow fashion. It is easier now to track and find sustainable brands. While I read the slow fashion October posts, I find it comforting to read about others who have similar concerns. For now, I have been focusing on gradually making more sweaters I need, mending the clothes I have and checking out secondhand stores in the area.
I have been knitting and crocheting for years but lately my attitude about what I want to make has been shifting. I have decided that I want to focus on making to making more garments. I recently looked at my past projects on Ravelry and realized I hadn’t had a new sweater in over 2 years and that was a sweater I made myself. I also realized that I have been knitting for years but have only made a few sweaters. I had made mostly hats, scarves and shawls. I started to ask myself, “How many hats and scarves do I need?” It affected me to realize that I had made myself so few garments when I love to knit and crochet so much. Karen Templer wrote this blog post about doing a inventory of her fall wardrobe and it inspired me to do the same. I realized that I could use a few more sweaters in my wardrobe.
In the past, I have sometimes been pretty random about what I want to make. I would make something because I thougtht the project was cool or to to learn a new skill. I started realizing that I want to be more intentional about what I make. At the same time that I was thinking about this, I made the Green Gable Pullover and really enoyed making it. I am happy with how it turned out and the success of that project inspired me to make more garments. I also discovered the Me Made May and handmade wardrobe hashtags on Instagram. All the pictures of people showing the clothes they made themselves is inspiring to me. So all this has made me realize that I want to be more intentional about what I make and also what I add to my wardrobe.To be honest, I don’t see myself stopping making hats or scarves. I like making hats and they are a small project where I can try out a new skill. However, I also want to make sure I am also making items I can use in my wardrobe. Right now, I am making myself a wool sweater for colder weather. After I finish that sweater, I want to make a cardigan.
Lately I have been starting to get interested in slow fashion. I discovered Karen Templer’s blog on her website and enjoy it. This month is Slow Fashion October. I am just starting to look into this so I decided to participate in Slow Fashion October to see what I can learn from it. I will be posting a 3 part blog series on how I became more interested in this topic. With this first post, I want to introduce Slow Fashion October and include some links for further reading. The second post will be about how my attitude towards what I want to knit and crochet has been shifting and the third post will be more on how I become interested in slow fashion in general.
Slow Fashion October is an online event that was started and hosted by Karen Templer of Fringe Association. It is a discussion on the different aspects of slow fashion and how to have a more ethical wardrobe. The discussions revolve around what it means for various people to practice slow fashion. In a nutshell, Slow Fashion is about being more thoughtful and deliberate with your wardrobe. Most clothing today is made in overseas factories that often have bad conditions. Also many clothes today wear out fairly quickly and are not made to last. Slow Fashion is about making choices to get away from that. Some ways to do that are: making your own clothes, buying clothes that are build to last, mending the clothes you have, buying secondhand, buying clothes from sustainable brands, and being more thoughtful about what you choose to buy for your wardrobe.
You can read about Slow Fashion October on the Fringe Association blog. For this event, Katrina Rodabaugh will be posting an article each week on the blog. You can also follow Slow Fashion October and Karen Templer on Instagram. Karen Templer will be posting weekly prompts on the Slow Fashion October Instaram account. The first prompt is “who” and asks people to introduce themselves. This weeks prompt is “what.” In other words, what form does slow fashion take in out closets, what actions do we plan to take towards this. There has been a lot of discussion on the slow fashion October hashtag on Instagram and on the Fringe Association blog. I have enjoyed reading the discussions and have already learned some things. I have found out about some book titles I want to read.
I wrote a post about the fall projects I wanted to do but since I wrote that, I changed my mind on what I want to make. I listed some patterns I wanted to do but decided to do other projects first. I finished the Green Gable pullover and enjoyed working on it. Since then, I have started I have started making the Ladies Classic Pullover by Jane Richmond. I had wanted to make it in stripes in 4 different colors but it was harder than I thought to get gauge with 4 different colors. When I did gauge swatches, each color had a slightly different gauge. I realized that I wanted a project that would be a stress reliever and this sweater would be harder to make than I thought and using stripes would make it even harder. So I decided to use some light blue yarn that I bought a clearance a few years ago. I had planned to make a cardigan with that blue yarn but I was never convinced that light blue was a good color for a cardigan for my wardrobe. However, I think this blue would make a very pretty pullover.
I am also thinking about making this cardigan. I found out that my favorite black cardigan has a hole in it and I am seriously thinking about making one to replace it. I looked through my Ravelry queue and am thinking about making this sweater in black. I was nervous that knitting a sweater using fingering weight black yarn may drive me crazy so I asked for advice on a Ravelry forum. Most people said that the pattern shouldn’t be too difficult if you can do stockinette stitch by touch. I can do stockinette by touch so I decided I really want to do this sweater.
I am also eyeing this crocheted cardigan. I found this pattern when I was going through old crochet magazines looking for inspiration. I saw this sweater and immediately loved it. It would also fill a gap in my wardrobe. I really want to make this pattern but I would need to order yarn to do this sweater and it would use a lot of yarn. I haven’t decided if I want to go ahead and order yarn and do it or make something using yarn in my stash. In the spirit of using what I have, I am thinking with making this top instead using some Patons Grace that has been in my stash for years.
Lately, I have been thinking about what I have been making this summer and what I want to make this fall. As I wrote earlier, it is summer here and the weather has been hot and dry. However in a month and a half it will be fall. Lately I have been inspired to make more garments. I am really enjoying working on the Green Gable. I have realized that for my next project, I need to take into account how long it takes me to make a sweater. I had initially wanted to make a couple of summer tops but I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would. I am thinking I should finish the Green Gable in early fall. I have already been thinking about my next sweater project. Because of time constraints my next sweater will be a fall/ winter weight project.
I saw a post on Instagram where someone made a sweater out of scrap yarn. It made me realize that I have almost enough skeins of Patons Classic Wool in maroon, grey and beige to make a sweater. I have had this sweater in my Ravelry queue for a while and it recommends the same yarn. For once I have the yarn the pattern recommends. I want to make this sweater with stripes. I may add another color but I haven’t decided yet. I am also thinking about making this cardigan. These two projects will get me to the end of the year at the rate I knit. How about you? are you thinking about fall projects yet? Let me know in the comments.
Right now, I am making a lace scarf, a shawl, a tank top and a blanket. After I finish some of these projects, I want to make more garments. I have recently realized that I make a lot of accessories but not that many garments. The tank top I am experimenting with is the first garment I have made in 2 years. I feel like that is a long time to go without making garments. I also want to make sure I am making pieces I could use in my wardrobe. Here is a list of some of the items I want to make to round out my wardrobe.
First up, I want to make some summer tops. Once I finish one of my knitting projects. I want to make this top. It uses yarn I bought for another project that didn’t work out. I really like how this top looks and I am looking forward to making this. The style of this top and the color should work well with other pieces in my wardrobe. I have had this yarn for years and I am happy that I found a use for it. I already did gauge swatches and made gauge. The above photo shows the yarn I am going to use and a picture o f the pattern.
I also want to make this top by Andi Satterlund. I love the lace paneling on the top and I have some cotton/linen yarn that should work well with this pattern.
After summer tops, I want to make a cardigan to wear over skirts. and dresses. I don’t really have a cardigan that looks nice with my skirts and dresses. I think it would be nice to have a sweater I can wear over my dresses and skirts for when it gets colder at night. I am eyeing 2 more of Andi Satturlund’s patterns, either the Miette or Mary Mead. She makes a lot of cardigans that would look nice to wear with skirts and dresses.
I also really want a cardigan to wear with jeans and pants in colder weather. My favorite cardigan is wearing out and I am thinking I want to make a sweater instead buying one. I am eyeing this pattern from Knitty if I can find yarn that works. It calls for a heavy worsted and the yarns I looked at were either too light or too heavy. I am also eyeing this cardigan by Lion Brand. I am not sure I like the recommended yarn. I may have to substitute yarn if I decide to make it.