November 29, 2020
Sweaters, ah. It’s probably obvious that we love them, and if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere it’s probably a safe bet that you’re wearing one right now. As we head deeper into sweater weather our hand knits start to feel more like friends, that we reach for over and over. A hand knit sweater is a truly wonderful thing, and is a quick way to feel like you’re getting a hug on a cold day. Just in case you’re not convinced, here are our top five reasons to love a hand knit sweater:
This has got to be one of the most wonderful things about making our own clothes - you get to decide on the exact fit you want in your sweater, in each part of your body, and make it happen!
In a world of fast fashion marketing that relies on convincing us that both our bodies and our existing clothing aren’t good enough knitting a sweater for yourself can be a radical act. Taking the time time to note your own measurements, carefully choosing yarn in a colour and texture you enjoy, swatching, slowly making something that will last not one season but many, are all ways of saying that your body, in that moment, is worthy of love and time and attention. Our bodies deserve that.
We all either have particular a style, colours, or clothes that we feel comfortable and good in, and being able to make your own sweaters means that you can create the exact garment that fits in with your existing wardrobe. It might be a sweater that you can layer over a flannel shirt and jeans, or a maxi-dress or dramatic trousers… or simply one to throw over pjs on long weekend mornings! One handy knit sweater can do all of these things. We also think it’s more than fine to make another!
Making clothes is a form of expression, of our personalities and identities, our styles, what we love. Do you love to be outdoors and enjoy showing that by knitting and wearing seasonal colours? Maybe your knitting choices are inspired by places you visit, people you have a connection to, or by traditions that you value. Expressing ourselves is important, and part of who we are, and knitting sweaters can be part of that process. For many, connecting with deep rooted cultural traditions is a healing act of decolonising personal fashion and hobbies too. It’s a powerful tool.
Understanding the origin of your clothes is important to many of us, and there’s no better way to appreciate the process of garments creation than by making them ourselves. Sourcing our own materials is a key, and satisfying step in knowing the origin of your makes and with every stitch we’re making something of good quality, that will (hopefully!) last more than one season. We stitch love into our garments when we make by hand, and it’s a warming thought to feel that love as you wear your hand knit sweater.
There are so many parts of the process of knitting sweaters that are most definitely, well, fun. It might be watching the pattern emerge in a colourwork yoke or stopping every row on a cabled sweater to squish them. This just makes the whole process take longer, but if you can cope with that - squish away! For many knitters the best it is the moment when you join the body and sleeves together and those random piles of fabric that you’ve been staring at suddenly look like, well, a sweater. Do a dance at this point if you wish, it’s fine. It’s expected. (Just look at Tom Daley joyfully sharing his knitting and crochet on social media if you want to see how it’s done.) There’s fun too in the community of knitting, whether you take part in an organised knit-a-long or knit along with a friend. Knitting connects us.
So, now we've got you in the mood for sweaters, are you ready to knit your next favourite one? Whether you’re looking for a colourwork project, some cabling, or some lovely soothing texture we’re got you covered with our range of size inclusive sweaters, cardigans and vests.
What’s more, if you’re unsure about a new technique or just need to refresh your memory, we have a library of tutorials ready and waiting. Our Glenmore and Granton sweaters have in-depth tutorials on getting started, picking up stitches, shaping, joining in the round and finishing, so there’s help at every stage to get your next favourite sweater out of your mind and onto your body. If you fancy a community of like minded knitters, we've got a Brunstane Sweater club in our learning community The Knitwork too.
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3 Easy Stretchy Bind-offs (p2tog bind-off; k2togtbl, k1 bind-off; Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off)
How to pick a garment without a model for you (specifically addresses finding garment patterns when your gender identity isn't represented and the styles you want to knit might not be sized to fit your body)
Find out the latest news from the studio such as sales, pattern releases, and new workshops or KALs our learning community, The Knitwork. We also share helpful tips and exclusive subscriber discounts...