“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” Clairee Belcher, Steel Magnolias
I am very happy to announce a blog collaboration with Holly. When Holly (who is a very talented knitter, baker and blogger) approached me with an offer to write an article highlighting all the fantastic ways to re-charge your wardrobe with hand knits….well it was simply an offer I couldn’t refuse! Now, I will leave the rest of this post to her. Take it away Holly!
Year after year, we see recurring trends in fashion. Many staples of a decade have been consistently recurring over the years; trends that were once popular, quickly become a cliche — an outdated icon of a generation — and then return with widespread, mainstream popularity (leggings, anyone?). However, there are plenty of examples of the exact opposite. Every season, every year, there are a few classic items that stand strong, despite the constant changes in fashion trends. These pieces are often apart of everyone’s wardrobe, despite our own personal style or taste, and these are the items you are likely to wear the most… none of which are more prominent than knitwear.
Knitwear goes beyond sweaters, today it is all about the accessories: scarves, cowls, hats, wraps, shrugs, mittens, leg warmers and more, most of which can be worn all year around, not just in the dead of winter. Revamping your entire wardrobe is sometimes just a matter of adding in some season-friendly accessories. For example, pair these stylish “Some Cloudy Day” leg warmers by Tiny Owl Knits (featured here in Plucky Merino MCN http://www.ravelry.com/projects/nancykane/some-cloudy-day) or Mirry Dancers by Gudrun Johnston (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mirry-dancers) with boots and add some warmth for those chilly Autumn days. Wear with ankle boots and extend the life of your summer shoes into even the coldest weeks of winter, or wear under mid-calf and knee-high boots for ultimate warmth.
As for scarves, there’s been a strong comeback for the cowl. Instead of a traditional scarf, a cowl is knitted in a loop, or knitted flat and then seamed to form a ring. The best part? Versatility. Choose a cowl that is the proper length to allow you the option of either looping it around your neck twice, or just once. Check out the Plucky Curacao Cowl (shown here in Plucky Merino Superwash Worsted http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/plucky-curacao-cowl), offering the perfect shape to fit near your neck, without adding bulk inside your coat. Keep it close to your neck by wrapping it around twice, or wear it all year around with just one loop. The elegant cable pattern makes it formal enough to match even your most fancy coats. Looking for something extra chunky? Keep it simple with the Millwater Cowl (featuring Plucky MCN Lite http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/millwater) which can easily be dressed up, or down, with it’s simple garter borders and single, focal cable down the center.
If you’re more for shawls, an absolute must is the Color Affection shawl kit, an amazing collaboration between The Plucky Knitter herself and Veera Valimaki (who brought you the ever famous Stripe Study shawl among others), and what a heavenly pairing it is! Combining 3 stunning Plucky Primo Fingering colorways and the Color Affection pattern by Veera, this shawl has amazing composition; with juxtaposed stripes, blocks of color, and a drapey shape that’s perfect for wrapping up this winter. The kit comes in multiple colorway combinations and will be available for pre-order later this week (week of December 26th).
When it comes to keeping your head warm, you have plenty of options, no matter the time of year may be. There seems to be two kinds of people in the world: those who prefer tight fitting beanies, and those who like some slouch. Mint and Basil (shown here in Plucky Rustic http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mint-and-basil) is a fantastic pattern, that offers not only one hat, but two. One is a snug beanie with an adorable button detail, and the other is a slouchy hat with an elegant, cabled border. Knitted in a warm, squishy and comfy worsted, they will both be sure to keep you warm this season. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, go for the Skinner Hat (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skinner-hat) or Cecily (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cecily) by Melissa LaBarre (both knitted in Plucky Primo MCN) Whether it’s the delicate lace pattern of the Skinner hat, or the airy chevrons of Cecily, these berets will keep you warm with plenty of style to spare. And, with the light weight yarn, they can easily be worn in spring and summer as well.
Skinner Hat – Photo courtesy Melissa LaBarre
It’s safe to say that knitwear isn’t going anywhere, and with so many accessories to knit up for every season, it’s likely you’ll get plenty of use out of them. Some of us may be lucky enough to have knitted heirloom pieces, whether it’s a shawl or a blanket, it proves that knitwear survives the decades, and is just as popular now as it has ever been.
Holly is an avid knitter, baker, sometimes writer, and of course a die-hard Plucky fan. She documents all things creative over on her personal blog: Lucky You, Lucky Me, and is known on Ravelry by the username Shinetastic.