Instant sweater No.1

Instant sweater No.1: Big Rubble

Last week, my friend Meg and I were at a dinner party at a semi-fancy restaurant. We were seated at opposite ends of a long table and I heard almost nothing of what was said down there all night … except at some point I became suddenly very tuned into Meg saying something about how she never wears the Big Rubble sweater she knitted several years ago (and later modified to a crewneck). You probably don’t remember me going on about this one back then, or more specifically, about how I wanted to be the kid in the kids’ version. Anyway, it was like one of those scenes in a movie where the protagonist is in the middle of some crowded, noisy scene and the camera zeroes in on their ear, which is isolating a single voice from among the din. Or maybe I have some kind of knitter’s sonar. Whatever, I heard her say it. Naturally what happened next is I politely shouted to the other end of the table “CAN I HAVE IT?” Being the best friend a girl could ask for — and a knitter who doesn’t like to see her efforts go to waste — she shouted back “YEAH.” After which I asked for another sweater from her collection, which she also said yes to and I’ll tell you about later.

There had been some drinking, and we’re both pretty silly, so I wasn’t sure whether these sweaters were really going to come into my possession. But when I walked into Fringe HQ a couple of snow days later, there they were on my table. That was Thursday. I got home Thursday afternoon and tried it on. Left it on with my pj pants for the evening. Wore it to work Friday, around the house all weekend, and to work again yesterday. Love. It.

The funny thing is, this is not the sort of garment I would ever have counseled myself to wear, or would ever have actually knitted — the wide elbow sleeves are the sort of thing I might think looks funky and cute on someone else but would expect to drive me bonkers. And this shape on my frame? No. But it’s just so pleasant to have on! Despite not having exactly gotten dressed or made up yesterday, I took a quick selfie (above) and Instagram polled it, and 90% of people chose “wear it everywhere” over “only with pj’s,” so I guess the moral of the story is we don’t always know what’s right for us.

No matter, I’m happy to have this light and cozy thing in my life. I like it even better tossed over my shoulders or wrapped around my neck, which makes it perfect for travel. The shape of it means it can be thrown on over just about anything — including my shapeless black silk Elizabeth Suzann Artist Smock (no longer available?!) — but won’t go under anything other than my ES cocoon coat, which has basically the exact same sleeves. (Maybe an inch longer.) So it’ll be most useful during the thaw, on the sort of days where it’s barely too warm for a coat but you still never know whether you’ll be wearing your sweater, pulling it off and throwing it around your neck, or vacillating between the two. In other words, expect to see me in it at Squam next June, and pretty much everywhere in between.

Instant sweater No.1

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PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Planning: Deep Winter outfits

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30 thoughts on “Instant sweater No.1

  1. Fantastic story! Secretly relishing that you’ve embraced a shape that I would have totally seen you in ages ago, and hoping that a drop-shoulder (caveat: done well) will be the next one to surprise you. ; )

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    • I think it can look great on other people (and agree there’s well done and not well done) but I just find it really uncomfortable! In addition to unattractive on me. And for the record, I’d have voted “only with PJ’s” on my poll if I were a casual observer. I don’t love the way this looks on me, but it is really handy.

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  2. Yes! I love this and I love how it looks on you and works right into your wardrobe. And those sleeves are perfect for actually getting things done. Good for you for speaking up and good for Meg for passing it along to you!

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      • I looked at the Rubble projects and mostly, they are similar to yours, albeit not as wide at the cuff. I had faved one long ago in which the sleeves were a bit past the elbow instead of above, so that’s what was in my head. I do love that square shape and agree with Julie that it looks wonderful on you. 🙌

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      • After looking again at this version of Rubble, and the ones in Rav projects (and reading the comment from Jo) I would guess that the sleeves have not only been blocked wide at the cuff, but they also flare out and fall shorter on you because of your broad shoulders. I think they would work better if they were either shorter (like a boxy popover), or if they drew in a bit at the cuff, like on the designer’s project page. You might try washing it and letting the cuffs dry without blocking, to see if they pull in a bit. If not, then shorten them, ala an Eliz Suzanne boxy top. Nitpicking here, but it could make the difference between a real wardrobe staple, and a pajama sweater.

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  3. So my best friend Jess has been one of the few nonfamily people I knit for AND she’s gotten a sweater I made for myself but just didn’t look good in (I hated her for instantly looking chic and wonderful in it). I have a few sweaters now in my stash that I want to give a good home too because I think they’d fit into someone else’s life better than mine but I’m not 100% sure who to give them too!

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  4. Had Big Rubble in my faves but had totally forgotten it! So thanks to you and your friend for the reminder–looks so great on you! Also, didn’t comment yesterday but love your mitts and totally looking forward to the pattern! Exciting week…

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  5. First of all, free hand-knitted sweater=SCORE!

    Second of all, it’s the sort of sweater I’d wear around the house or on one of those days where you’ve got no more than two errands to run and are planning to mostly do nothing. To me, this is a layer-over-a-turtleneck/Netflix-marathon kind of a sweater. For someone else, it’ll work differently.

    In other words, it might not be the Perfect Thing to wear everywhere with every thing, and it might serve fashion more than function, but it can work. And if you actually like it, even better.

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  6. I find nothing more satisfying than seeing my hand knits being worn by who they were given to or a friend/family member they’ve been passed on to or down to in case of babies/kids. Good job Meg!

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  7. I love the silhouette-ticks all of my nipponophile boxes! I imagine the sleeves would be livable as long as they’re above the elbow. I bet it would look cool and fancy with a pencil skirt.

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  8. Pingback: So long, winter wardrobe: Notes for next year | Fringe Association

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