Knit Sweaters (and more!) for Every Day
I put on a store-bought sweater yesterday and proceeded to work in the garden and clean out a storage room. I got to thinking about whether I would wear one of my own knit sweaters for that kind of activity. My instinct would be no, but then again, why not?
The sweater I wore was a thin-ish cotton number with bracelet-length sleeves. I’ve worn it a lot lately, for all sorts of things, and it’s not holding up as well as I want it to. And it was kind of expensive, too.
My handknit sweaters are all neatly folded in a wardrobe, and this store-bought sweater was in my dresser, close at hand. So, the conclusion I came to is that I’m treating my handknits as too precious. There are plenty of sweaters in that wardrobe that I could use for everyday wear! And I think they would be far sturdier than my cotton sweater. I’m going to move those into my dresser so I reach for them rather than the store-bought variety.
Andrea Rangel’s new book, Rugged Knits, subscribes to the theory that handknits should be worn in all settings, for all activities. I agree! Here’s Andrea to tell you all about it.
Knit Sweaters and Accessories for Every Day
I’ve lived—and knit—in a lot of different climates. When I was in southern Arizona, light shawls and tanks came off of my needles. In Jordan, where my husband and I were Peace Corps volunteers, I knit heavy mittens and bulky sweaters, as Jordan is surprisingly the coldest and snowiest place I’ve ever lived. And in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve made myself countless sweaters, shawls, leggings, socks, and almost anything else you can knit. Maybe that’s why I decided to stay in this part of the world—it’s excellent for knitting.
I want my knitwear to work with all my pursuits, so I’m drawn to knitting functionally for an active lifestyle—think hiking, cycling, and camping. But if you look over my portfolio, you’ll notice a whole lot of very pretty things, too. I knit lace in every weight and in many different shapes. I love bright, eye-catching colors and revel in fine details. While I strive for utility, I also want to infuse each piece with beauty and luxury.
This collection is an expression of my design philosophy. It’s full of garments and accessories that are made to be functional (I really do envision you wearing that sweater while doing farm chores), but they’re strongly inspired by the visual richness that knitting can offer.
Why not add some beautiful colorwork to that rustic sweater coat? Why not add a bit of luxury to your favorite sweatshirt by knitting it in a silk/camel/alpaca blend that you’ll never want to take off?
All of these garments and accessories are designed for you to wear in your everyday life. Please take them camping, hiking, and biking. And when you get home, wear them to your fancy New Year’s party, too.
—Andrea Rangel, Author, Rugged Knits
I’m so excited to go through all of my sweaters and reorganize them for everyday wear. I’m also really looking forward to seeing them all again! They’ve been holed up in that wardrobe for far too long.
Even though warm weather is here (or approaching for some of you!), I have plenty of cotton and linen knit sweaters and tees to put in my drawers.
And I’ve fallen for the cabled beauty of the Braided Brook Pullover, shown at right and in the collage above. I’ve already looked at yarn for it. What a beautiful sweater!
P.S. Where do you stand on the everyday knitwear idea? Leave a comment below and weigh in!