It’s definitely sweater weather. Somewhat soggy sweater weather for those of us in London. Apparently it’s been the wettest October on record here in the Capital. Another fantastic stat to add to all the wonderful things that have happened so far in 2020. I for one, can’t wait to see what special surprises this winter brings us… (can you hear the sarcasm from over there?).
This post could have gone on for a lot longer as knitwear is one of my favourite things about the colder months. Cosy jumpers, Open Fires, Pub Lunches, Halloween Parties, Family Christmases. Seeing as I don’t have an open fire and all my other favourite things have either already been cancelled or are more than likely to be off this year, then I can fully justify a nice new jumper or two this winter.
I’ve narrowed my sweater choices down to just 5 different types for today. There’s an extra emphasis on Fairisle, just because I am unusually drawn to it. I could quite happily dress like I’m from the Archers all winter long. Barbour, Wellies, Fairisle, Cord Trousers, Rain hat, Dog in a field. Although saying that, we never ever see people on the Archers as it’s audio only. It’s just what I imagine they look like down in Ambridge. I also imagine I’d be great friends with Monty Don, but that’s a whole other conversation. Let’s just stick to the knitwear for now…
I could, and might still do, a full post on Cashmere, but I’ll stick to the basics for today. I know it’s expensive, but it really is the Queen of all winter woolies. Once you’ve tried Cashmere all other jumpers will pale in comparison in the comfort stakes. You don’t need to go for high end Cashmere, the high street now does a great selection.
My favourite place form Cashmere is Cos. I mentioned this last week, but this jumper is my all time favourite. Also look at Whistles, John Lewis, H&M and M&S. All decent and I think most of them now also do recycled cashmere for an eco friendly option. I always wash my cashmere on a very low heat wool wash in the machine. Not had a problem or any shrinkage yet. Use a special wool/delicates liquid and try to dry flat if you can.
I’m not sure why I am always drawn to stripes. Particularly Dennis the Menace style thick stripes. I think it stems from Kurt Cobain. Now that I think about it, I can trace back a lot of the things I still love to the grunge era. Overshirts, Dm boots, ripped jeans, a love of boys with long hair…(although regular readers will be pleased to know that my husband has finally got around to getting a haircut so he no longer resembles David Lynch/Ballamy)
My dream knit is the slouchy oversized striped jumper. Ideally with sleeves long enough to cover your hands and for you to pick artful yet insolent holes in. Just like Kurt. God I miss the 90s. To be honest I miss everything pre March 2020, but we are not dwelling on that right now. Get this All Saints Sweater and put on Nevermind and try not to think too much about the fact that the baby on the cover is now 29.
ZIP FRONT SWEATER
Is this the knitwear equivalent of the ‘Dad Trainers’? I think it possibly is. Once the domain of ‘Blue Harbour’ at M&S, worn by men over 60 attempting to be a bit casual at weekends, the zip front sweater is now acceptable for all. It’s definite;y a ‘look’ for this winter. I’m on board with it. My favourite is this one from Reiss, not a shop I’d normally go to for casual wear, but as there’s not much call for smart these days, I guess they are branching out nicely. Sidear, these Boden trainers are back in stock soon. Look at Boden being all cool this year!
FAIRISLE & SCANDI SWEATERS
Now we move into my favourite winter jumper territory, the Fairisle knit. I know many of these picks are not traditional Fairisle style, I’m using a bit of artistic license here. If it’s absolutely traditional styles, handmade in the actual Shetland Isles, that you are after then check this company. Not cheap though, as you’d expect for commissioned items. Also worth checking out Ebay for Fairisle, on a quick search there’s a lot on there at various price points.
But the high street, and the higher end designers, have a lot of choice this year too. Weirdly the other week there was barely any, now most of the shops have their full winter range in there’s a lot more to choose from.
MORE FAIRISLE & SCANDI SWEATERS
For me, Scandi and Fairisle are in the same bracket, basically any jumper with a traditional style knitted pattern are the way to go. The Scandi Sweater love stems from the one Sarah Lund wore in the Killing. I asked my mum to make me one for Christmas about 6 years ago. I’m still waiting. Might have to revisit this now she’s got more time on her hands. If you’re reading Mother, the pattern is in the little book at ‘The Killing’ that is in the bookshelf in your living room. Now your traditional pre Christmas Antigua holiday is looking unlikely, you can use your time wisely and knit me that jumper.
If you don’t have a knitting friend or relative, then the original jumper is still for sale from Gudrun and Gudrun here.
CABLE KNIT SWEATER
Finally, I couldn’t do a winter warmer round up without a mention of the cable knit sweater. I think you’d have to be a real seasoned knitter to make one of these yourself. But saying that I found this company, Lauren Aston Designs that do full knitting kits for seemingly easy sweaters.
As the nights draw in and another lockdown looms even I might try my hand at some knitting. It could be calming and therapeutic, you never know. At this point I’ll try anything to take my mind off the news. But if my own knitting skills fail me, I might just throw money at the situation and buy this navy roll neck from Baukjen.
I almost forgot to add, get a sweater shaver. I have this one from Amazon. It’s USB charged which I like better than batteries. if you’ve never shaved an old sweater and restored it to its former glory, you haven’t lived!