30
Jan

Steal this Knit: Valentino Fall 2014

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, Steal This Knit

There are a lot of great menswear collections popping up this month. I’m heavily inspired by menswear. I definitely have tomboy style. I love the colors and textures and simple silhouettes. Men can look so handsome in just a simple crew neck sweater, I want to borrow from that minimalism when it comes to my own design.

Anyway, I was browsing the Valentino Fall 2014 Collection (which you can view in full here) and one piece really caught my eye. Of course, there were a ton of great knits under big wool jackets, most of which were very basic: heather grey sweaters, some with stripes and buttons, and a couple with Icelandic yokes. Like I said, boys look stylish in anything. But this piece was certainly my favorite.

valentino fall 2014

So this sweater has really awesome colors but look closely. It’s a reverse fair isle. As in, take your favorite colorwork sweater and turn it inside out. My first thought is that I’m crazy about this concept because I love seeing the “behind the scenes” of knitwear, the knitty gritty seams and button bands and whatnot. Something about the thought process. But I also really love how bold the color work becomes. Instead of delicate dots and careful zig zags and whatnot, there are big, bright shapes.

Immediately when I saw this sweater, my brain travelled right to this cardigan, the Reverse Fair Isle Coat by Cheryl Murray which was featured in Vogue Knitting Fall 2012. (My mind palace is filled with back issues of knitting magazines, I swear!) I loved the coat when I picked up the magazine back then and for the same reasons I love this sweater.

reverse fair isle

Now, obviously reverse fair isle isn’t something unique to this year’s fashion. I actually saw an adorable chunky cardigan at The Gap last winter that was pink and white reverse fair isle that I was a little obsessed with. But I’m really excited about this technique as a new way to look at knitting. If you do want to emulate the runway, though, deconstruction is big right now. While I can’t see myself distressing things that I made by hand, this is a really fun way to be on trend.

What do you think? Would you knit colorwork just to show the wrong side? Are you intrigued?

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09
May

Steal This Knit: Janelle Monae

Written by Sarah. Posted in Steal This Knit

I love music videos. I could watch them all day. I credit this OK Go music video (by the director of the next Hunger Games movie…time flies!) with inspiring me to go to film school. Not sure how effective that was since now I’m stitching more than I’m shooting. But I still have a passion for music videos. They can be over the top or super simple. They can have cinematic plots or just be a collection of images. There’s just a ton of freedom in them.

If you’re like me and you love music videos, you’ll love the new one for Janelle Monae’s Q.U.E.E.N. featuring Erykah Badu. It features my favorite colors: black and white (I’m aware those probably don’t qualify as colors) and some stunning pieces of clothing. The song itself is fantastic and catchy. Monae is all about individuality and it feels so genuine.

I’ve always been really struck by Janelle Monae’s style. I love that she almost always rocks masculine looks like tuxedos and bow ties. I’m a bit of a tomboy when it comes to clothes so I’m glad she’s doing it well and making that look accessible for girls. (Plus her explanation that her clothing is her uniform and she’s emulating her hard-working family is amazing. Love an artist that isn’t afraid a big message!)

Watching the video, I loved the use of these striped black and white dresses. The crazy black and white background mixing with the fabric makes for a kind of brain teaser and cutting between lots of stripes and the stripes in front of a white back drop is really stunning.The way that the stripes are off set really makes these dresses so interesting to look at.

janelle monae queen 2

I’m really glad that the black and white mod look is coming back right now. It’s really bold but also easy to wear.

janelle monae queen

But, hey, those stripes look familiar. Don’t they bring to mind Julia Farwell-Clay’s Albers Pullover that everyone’s been going gaga over? Those cool stripes are perfectly on trend! The pattern featured in Interweave Summer 2013 would look spot on in black and white. I might be putting this in my queue right now…

albers

Will you be casting on an Albers in black and white? Will you be dancing to this song for the rest of the day?

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16
Nov

Steal this Knit: Sheep Sweater Part Deux

Written by Sarah. Posted in famous knits, Steal This Knit, want

I meant to have a proper post for today but this tedious but hopefully awesome project got in the way. You understand. So there is not a cool graphic as I’d hoped. C’est la vie!

After my post about Madewell’s animal sweaters (so hot right now), Amy sent me this photo of Princess Diana rocking her own awesome and famous sheep sweater. Or, I mean, jumper because that’s British for sweater. (Right-o!)

Great color, totally on trend with the animal print. She’s even got a peter pan collar which is the accessory for this season (though I’m sure hers isn’t a separate which is a trend I’m not sure I can get behind.)

And sheep. I didn’t think it was possible to love her more but here she is wearing a sweater that’s covered in sheep.

Are you making your own sheep sweater? Animal sweater? Are you making these collars that are not attached to shirts? Who thought of that? How do we feel about them?

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10
Oct

Steal This Knit: Madewell Sheep Sweaters

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, Steal This Knit, style

While owls, deer, and foxes have often been considered the animal darlings of the Urban Outfitters hipster set, I think that sheep are getting some spotlight this season. These adorable lamb sweaters over at Madewell have predictably caught my eye. They seem like the perfect addition to my fall wardrobe.

While the left sweater is $88, it seems a little disingenuous of me to buy a machine-made tribute to my favorite furry friends. And, as the Campaign for Wool has taught us, it really bothers me that both of these are blends of cotton, nylon, viscose, and, oh yeah, there’s a little wool in there, too. (I won’t pretend I’m as much of a snob for natural fibers as I’d like to be. But is it too much to ask for a sweater that costs over $100 to be made of something yummy? I mean, it has a sheep on it!)

How do I get a sheep sweater of my own? You may be asking, checking the calendar out of the corner of your eye, wondering if you could pull off a whole sweater before Rhinebeck.

Sangmi Lee has a free pattern on Ravelry that is exactly what you’re looking for. I love the similar look. Perfectly on trend. Awesome. The test pattern that’s up now is a 36″ bust test but the charts are there so adjustments could be worked pretty easily. It’s knit on size 2s so it’s definitely not something that will happen before Rhinebeck!

I also love that the pattern is based on a cardigan that’s based on a steal! It’s from a Chloe cardigan that was in stores a few years ago. maybe it’s time for me to whip up a true Madewell steal!

Seeing lots of sheep this season? Want to see more? Plan to cast on some sheep-inspired sweaters?

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