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An Update on the Gray Sweater Project



I know I have a somewhat maddening tendency to mention projects in the works, then never follow up. This is only because working on said projects means I don't have time to write about them! But in the case of the gray sweater(s), I feel that it would truly benefit me (and possibly others) to document my process. And so I bring you my first update. It's nothing too exciting so far. But basically I have identified 3 core sweaters on which my summer wardrobe pivots, and which I want to replace with handknits. 

The leftmost sweater (and the one shown in my original post), is a medium-gray cashmere-lambswool blend henley. It is 2 years old and the youngest of the bunch. However, it is not in great shape, pilling constantly, and forming small holes near the hem. I love the overall style, drape, size, and colour of this sweater. But the fibre content is too delicate for my boisterous lifestyle, especially in such a casual garment. My hand knitted replacement will likely be in a wool or wool-linen blend, and will retain many of the stylistic elements - though will not necessarily aim for the same shade of gray (only because the colour of the first and third sweaters are very similar, and I want to create a bit of variety).

The sweater at the centre is a slate-gray silk-wool blend cardigan, with a neckline that is a hybrid between scoop and V-neck. Believe it or not, this garment is 15 years old! I bought it as a postgraduate student living in England, and it is still in very decent shape. The main problem with this one, is that I am no longer the same size as I was 15 years ago. And while the cardigan still goes over my body physically, I would prefer a roomier fit. With my hand knitted replacement, I will aim for a very similar colour in wool or a wool-silk blend, while possibly going with a more scoop, less V, neckline, of similar depth.

Finally, the sweater on the right is a wool crewneck pullover, 4 years old. It is from a Danish label, and has a very contemporary fit, with saddle shoulder construction and a wide semi-cropped bodice. It has worn okay for its age, but has quite a few stains on it now, as well lots of pulled-out threads, as it has an annoying tendency for the stitches to snag on things. I love everything about the style and fit of this sweater, except that the neckline is tighter than I would ideally prefer. With my hand knitted replacement, I will probably go with pure wool in a similar colour to the original, and will aim for a wider neckline while retaining many of its other qualities.

All three sweaters will be knitted in either fingering or light-sportweight yarn, from my personal stockpile. And my aim is not to replicate the garments in the same way as I would, say, for the Remake-Along, but rather to let them inform me as to what I tend to wear most, and why - then use that information to create the replacements. I am also going to try very hard not to think of these as potential pattern designs; the main goal here is to make clothes for myself to wear. 

Oddly, the gray colour scheme and the other parameters of this project - which I worried might be too rigid for me to enjoy - have felt liberating and exciting. In fact, I have already gotten started on one of the sweaters! And I will share my progress on that next time.