Is there a comment that the non-knitters in your life make about patterns that will immediately put you off them? For me it’s “frumpy”. They don’t even need to use that particular word, but if I show them a pattern that I’m thinking of making, or have just commenced, and they start along the route of describing it as frumpy, pound to a penny I’ll give up. Yet, there are very good reasons why I shouldn’t.
1. I’m not exactly the most hip dresser in the universe. I would describe my mode of dress as ‘practical’. I like fashion – and by that I mean couture, not Top Shop’s latest offering – but I enjoy it in the ‘if I was….’ sense. If I was tall/thin/broad-shouldered/rich/living a totally different life… My enjoyment of fashion is cerebral; my wardrobe is practical. So if I knit something and it’s a bit frumpy, it wouldn’t exactly be dragging my outfits down to a less stellar level!
2. Frumpy is in fashion. Most women in their mid-20s are pulling off frumpy with laudable sang-froid.
3. Have you ever knit a garment that looked like the photo accompanying the pattern? That garment may look frumpy because the whole photo shoot has been styled in a sightly old-fashioned way, or the colour of yarn is rather old-lady. I am going to knit it in a different colour and wear it with my own clothes. It won’t look the same.
4. A great photo of a trendy knitted garment, complete with fresh-faced, if rather gloomy, tall, thin, young model posed in rustic splendour on a Scottish heath, or beside a peat fire, gives no guarantee that you will look nice in said garment. In fact, those garments (which I have to admit I love looking at) would often only work if worn on a Scottish heath or beside a peat fire. I don’t have ready access to either.
You’ve probably guessed what’s coming. After working the leg of the striped sock, I realised I was liking it less and less so have abandoned the idea. Last night I cast on my bright red wool for a lace cardigan in an old Martin Storey design for Jaeger and I have one outfit I know it will work perfectly with so some incentive there. I know they will work together because I had the swatch sitting on top of the dress for a couple of days and kept noticing it and thinking how excellent a garment in that colour would go with that dress. I’m not going to show photos of the design, though, because I just know it’s going to fall into the ‘frumpy’ category and I’m 100% convinced my finished version will be in the ‘wow, that’s really nice’ category. Let’s face it, nothing could look frumpy in a yarn this very red! When I’ve progressed beyond the moss stitch welt and made a start on the more interesting lace knitting, I’ll take some in-progress photos. There may be a bit of sunshine at the weekend to make photography easier. Right now, though, the clouds are looming and rain is probably unavoidable. Still, not bad weather for knitting. And when I’ve finished, together with my finished object shots, I’ll try to remember to take a shot of the photo from the pattern book, and you can judge for yourselves if you’d have categorised it as frumpy.