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Friday, 31 January 2014


Monica Jacket in claret and putty

I am all too often a knitter who falls in love with a garment pattern, dedicates many, many hours of patient work on knitting the garment and then . . . just never wears it. In view of this, I have only recently come to the conclusion that I am a 'process' knitter - someone who loves the actual knitting of a thing, rather than the wearing of it. My wardrobe is testament to my passion for knitting 'all of the things', though you are unlikely to find photographic evidence of my wearing much or any of it.

I blame this in part, on my body shape - the classic pear silhouette that is small in the shoulders and 'broad about the beam' - persuading myself it is a difficult shape to accommodate in knitwear even though I am more than capable of adapting a pattern to make it fit my bartlett bottom, so, in truth that really isn't the whole story. I think it also has something to do with my choice of pattern, which is more often than not dictated by some interesting technique, an intriguing stitch pattern or construction method - or by a yarn that is new or wildly variegated and exciting (though probably not remotely practical). I know that I am drawn in by the idea of interesting knitting rather than achieving a wearable garment that actually suits me, at the end of my lengthy endeavours.

Apart from shawls too numerous to mention and a sock drawer filled with handknit delights which I happily wear, I confess there is only one cardigan in my entire wardrobe of hand crafted garments that I will actually put on.
And leave the house in.

And that is my Monica Jacket from High Society. I love this cardigan because it fits me, and is stylish with small elegant details without being fussy. It is a solid black, sensible colour, warm and incredibly comfortable to wear. That is not to take anything at all away from the beauty and sophistication of this design - it is the genius of simplicity in the design that makes it so wearable.

I admit that the process of knitting this garment was easy - there was no intriguing construction, unusual cast on method or intricate stitch pattern to master but that meant that I could knit it in front of the TV or on the train, and so the pieces grew from my needles at a super-charged rate. Before two weeks were up, I had all five pieces on my blocking boards, and the very next day I seamed it, added the edging and collar and it was finished!

It is testament to the beauty and versatility of this cardigan to suit so many different body shapes that my Mum is currently knitting herself a Monica in rich claret (as shown in the pictures above) and our very own Maja has also got one in storm. We are almost polar opposites in shape and in our personal style but this smart and stylish garment seems to effortlessly flatter us all.

I've had many comments on my Monica Jacket, but not for the reasons you might think. I wear it to all the knitting shows and more often than not, people don't really notice it. I know that this is due in some respects to it being a black cardigan - something we all have as a staple in our wardrobe, but it is also because it doesn't stand out as homemade. When I turn to show the lovely detail on the back of my cardigan and tell the ladies crowding around the MillaMia stand that I'm wearing a Monica from High Society, they nearly always gasp and say 'but it doesn't look handknitted - it looks like you bought it from a shop!!'

As a dedicated and passionate knitter of very many years, you may think that I would take offence at this - but I don't. My simply stylish, wearable cardigan fits me and suits my awkward shape and so I smile inwardly and remind myself that this is high praise indeed.
(posted by Max)

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