Celebrate the holidays with an ugly sweater!

I've never owned a holiday sweater (unless you count a plain red or green sweater a holiday sweater!) but I have a friend who finds a cute new holiday sweater each year and wears it on Christmas for all to see and admire. I think she gets them at Nordstrom. This year, I've gotten ugly sweaters in the form of photos from people who think I just have to see them, and I thank all of those people because there are some truly hilarious sweaters out there.

One of my favorites is the doggie Christmas sweater at left. What a trooper that guy is to model this beauty! I especially like the non-traditional use of blue and red plaid instead of green and white plaid. That really elevates the fashion quotient of this sweater!

My other favorite, at right,  is from UglySweaterStore.com, which is your one-stop shopping resource for the ugliest sweaters on the planet. The description on the website says "Black mesh sweater with beaded "necklaces" on it. Try this one with some leggings." Just think about it—no more looking through that pesky jewelry box! The necklaces are sewn right onto the sweater. Convenience + beauty = holiday style.

Ugly sweater parties have become the new retro, tongue-in-cheek cocktail party or office party theme this season, so we're seeing these classic sweaters more and more. It's not as easy as it used to be to find an ugly holiday sweater at the thrift store anymore! because so many people have snatched them up for parties.

Here's a video from UglySweaterStore.com to make you laugh. Fair warning—this is really hilarious, so shut your office door so you won't disturb your colleagues!

And Now, Some Totally Non-Ugly Sweaters!

As funny and kitschy as ugly holiday sweaters are, they sometimes give Fair Isle knitting a bad rap. Take "Kjersten," from The New Stranded Colorwork, for example; how about we make this the new holiday sweater?

The designer, Mary Scott Huff, recently made an appearance at one of the LYSes in Spokane and I had a chance to see many of her pieces in person. They are truly gorgeous. Mary was wearing Kjersten, and it's stunning. (See below left for a photo of Mary and me. We had so much fun together—it snowed a little for us, too, you can see the sprinkling behind us!)

Or how about Eunny Jang's Ivy League Vest done in a darker, more wintry colorway? It would be gorgeous on Christmas morning or on any winter morning. If you're new to Fair Isle, this vest is featured as a progressive project in season three of Knitting Daily TV.

Throughout the episodes, you'll learn all about stranded knitting, including tips on managing yarn, choosing colors, reading charts, and joining new colors. This vest is so versatile, too—I know a couple people who've knit more than one!

 Do you have any ugly holiday sweater to share? Please post a photo to the reader gallery! Maybe you knit a holiday sweater in the 90s, inspired by The Cosby Show sweaters?(I don't know about you, but I loved Cliff Huxtable's sweaters!) While it was oh-so-hip and groovy then…now? Not so much. Your photo doesn't have to be of a handknit sweater—just holiday and ugly!

And while you probably don't have time to make your own holiday sweater at this point, you might be able to fit in some fancy appliqué work like the Santa-dog sweater above. Just take any green or red sweater, find a holiday image you like, and sew it onto the sweater! Insta-cheer for Christmas.

On a serious note, I hope your holiday preparation is going well and that you're finding time to enjoy some knitting here and there.




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