Here’s the difficulty about knitting your own sweaters — for me, anyway: If I’m spending the time and money to make my own sweater, I want it to have as much longevity as possible. To not be anything trendy or that will look dated in a year or two, or that I’m likely to fall out of love with for whatever reason. This is true of purchased and sewn clothing, but infinitely more true of handknits. So I try to keep it classic. However, a closet full of classics is in jeopardy of being boring — both to make and to wear.
Take this black cardigan I’m working on, for instance. I’m at the point where I need to decide which direction I’m going with the shaping and then the edgings. The pragmatic thing to do is to keep it simple and basic (especially for a black, wear-everywhere cardigan!) — like the sketch on the right up there. But I have an overwhelming urge to make it more of a kimono shape. Wide sleeves, wide garter-stitch edgings, probably even a belt. Little kimono jackets are so trendy right now, and I LOVE them, but how long will I feel that way? Will I be on the blog a year from now lamenting the fact that I still don’t have a basic go-everywhere black cardigan that will be with me for a decade or more? Can I not knit the classic and sew a kimono jacket? In addition to the timelessness factor, there’s also the fact that I don’t really enjoy wearing garments with wide sleeves. They’re always dragging things across the table with them, and there’s no way to push them up out of the way when you need to. Clearly the Right Thing To Do is knit the sweater on the right — the sweater I want to wear. But what I want to knit is the sweater on the left.
Yes, I can also rip out those edges and sleeves and transform sweater A into sweater B at any future point in time, but will I? Maybe I will …