knitscene Winter 2018: Benson Top

At first glance, the Benson Top from knitscene Winter 2018 looks modern and sleek, a loose-fitting top with forward-thinking button sleeves that make a striking silhouette. But would you guess that it was inspired by 1920s fashion?

The lifecycle of fast-fashion is relentless, forcing styles out in a matter of months and sending them straight to the trash. It often pulls older styles to bring them back (think bell bottoms and plaid everything) but those too are only available for a short period of time.

Slow-fashion is a bit different. It takes elements from past decades to inspire new and inventive pieces that live outside of the fast-fashion, high-waste cycle. We can explore the definition of slow-fashion a bit more through the Benson Top by Joanna Johnson.

The simple rectangular fashion forms and angular shapes made popular in the 1920s inspire this top. It’s boxy but form flattering with just the right amount of edgy thanks to the slits in the sleeves. It builds upon classic 1920s elements to create a whole new look, one with striking design choices that will last another 100 years.

Slow-fashion is all about thoughtful design choices and your commitment to the piece—that’s why I think all knitters are secretly slow-fashion experts. We all spend a great deal of time planning and making our clothing and once a piece is complete we keep it for years.

To learn more about slow-fashion check out our interview with Karen Templer, the owner of the beloved Fringe Supple Co. And make sure to check out the rest of the issue for more timeless pieces (LINK:lookbook) you’ll love to make and wear.

Pattern Details

DESIGNER Joanna Johnson


FINISHED SIZE 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54)” circumference at underarm. Pullover shown measures 34″; modeled with 2″ of positive ease.

YARN Harrisville Designs Shetland
(100% virgin wool; 217 yd [198 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #49 charcoal, 6 (6, 7, 8, 9, 10) skeins.

NEEDLES Sizes 2 (2.75 mm) and 4 (3.5 mm): 32″ circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

NOTIONS Markers (m); removable m; stitch holders; tapestry needle; twelve 5/8″ buttons.

GAUGE 24 sts and 32 rows = 4″ in St st on larger needles.

Brace yourself against the impending winds and brisk evenings with these issues!

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