Welcome back to Never Been Knit where we are delving back into our ongoing Your Knitted Wardrobe series. This week we were moving onto tops; cardigans, jumpers, sweaters, tanks, jerseys, vests, jackets, waistcoats. Whatever you’re into (or whatever you call them!) - there’s a project here for everyone!
Deliciously versatile, wonderfully warm and endearingly retro, you really can’t beat a knitted garment wrapped around your upper torso when it comes to assembling a classic and enduring wardrobe.
As far as your CLASSIC KNITTING goes, as in, when someone says to me ‘think of a knitted garment’ a jumper is the first thing that springs to mind. There’s so many styles of jumpers out there, in all different stitches, patterns, and weights.
Me? I’m a big fan of the cardigan. It’s like an easier, more casual version of the jumper. As this Autumnal time of year rolls in, whether we’re at home or going out, we’re constantly needing to grab an extra layer for when the warmth exits the sun in late afternoon. When we’re not quite in coat weather yet, the cardigan is you BFF.
I also love the way that a cardigan can transform a beloved summer dress into one that’s cooler-month appropriate. Pop on some tights, boots and a cardigan ith your favourite frock and you’ve got yourself a totally cute ensemble. Making your wardrobe items work for your all year round though little alterations like this is something I work on a lot with my personal styling clients at New Boots and Panties. Finding ways to make this work drastically cuts down on the need to have massive wardrobes, unworn items, and the pressure to endlessly consume new things. In short, it makes your wardrobe a more streamlined and sustainable place.
But let's not stop at cardigans or jerseys. Vests, waistcoats and the classic tank top are not to be overlooked. They are so often relegated to retro racks, or costume parties, which is a huge shame. Just think about it - a vest worn over a shirt, with trousers or a skirt is such a classic, classy and comfortable way to get all of the benefits of wearing a full sweater without the bulk and commitment. Plus if you’re making one for yourself, you don’t have to knit sleeves, so it’s a fast knit, win win kind of situations!
I caught up with Ethan at Outlaw Yarn HQ and together we have hand-picked a selection of our favourite knitted top patterns - we’ve strived to make these patterns accessible for all knitting levels, and body sizes - with many coming with customisable options to allow you to really make them your own.
We hope there’s something here that you love and that will get you inspired! All of these projects can be made with yarn from Outlaw HQ (either instore or online) and as ever, if you do have any questions or want some advice on any of these projects, or anything knit related, do pop into Outlaw HQ where Deb, Ethan and all of the Outlaw team will be oh so happy to help you!
KNITTED TOP RECOMMENDATIONS:
JERSEY: AGNES by Jared Flood
A dropped shoulder, three colour, jersey with two sleeve options and two colour-blocking choices. This one is really great if you want to have a play with colours and experiment with new combinations, introducing hues into your wardrobe that you might not usually.
Recommended yarn: Rebel Destiny Light
Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/agnes-18
Outlaw's own Ethan can regularly been seen sporting a gorgeous navy blue and maroon version of this pattern, which uses two colours instead of the original three. The variation is detailed and shown here:
Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/ebeforever/agnes
Recommended yarn: Rebel Destiny Light
JERSEY: KINGSTON SWEATER by Tara-Lyn Morrison
This top-down raglan sleeved sweater is made from Super Bulky yarn giving it a deliciously chunky look and feel. Colour blocking options are included in the pattern and again, it comes with two sleeve options. This pattern is easy to customize with your own colour choices and sleeves, and the chunky yarn means it's fast to knit. Spoiler alert - this is going to be my next project!! Watch this space...
Recommended Yarn: The Lissy Cole range for Outlaw Yarn - this range will be available the week of 22.03.21 - tune into the Outlaw Hangover live event on Tuesday 23.03.21 for a full preview!
Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kingston-sweater-2
CARDIGAN: Morrow Cardigan by Orlane Sucche
The classic cardigan! A relaxed-fit boxy raglan v-neck cardigan, that comes in a range of fit options and is plus-size inclusive. Has a modern minimalist feel that suits all wardrobes, and styles - from layered over vintage dresses, or teamed with jeans and boots - this is the versatile, layered piece, that every wardrobe needs!
Recommended Yarn: Bandit DK
Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/morrow
TANK: Ripple Bralette by Jessie Maed Designs
A surprisingly versatile tank top and bralette pattern with a customisable length that could easily become a wardrobe basic and staple. This pattern was made for layering and mixing it up - picture it worn over a collared shirt for a retro preppy vibe, or over a tee for a classic 90's look. Also comes in a wide size range. suitable for all body shapes and sizes.
Recommended Yarn: Sock Bandit
Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ripple-bralette
WAISTCOAT / VEST: Nancy's Vest by Carole Sunday
A classic vest/waistcoat with fully fashioned button bands and a simple construction. A very elegant and cool alternative to a sweater or cardigan when you need that extra bit of outfit depth and warmth but want to keep some breeziness, manoeuvrability and that layered silhouette.
Recommended Yarn: Bohemia Sport
Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nancys-vest-2
What’s your go to pattern for a knitted top? Have you got one that you’ve loved making the most? Or one that you’re desperate to try? Let us know in the comments below and let’s share the knitted wardrobe love!
Until next time,
I'm Lou, an Ōtautahi based personal stylist and craft-lover, and this is Never Been Knit - my journey from complete knitting virgin to...well, let's find out together!