Fadulous!

Y’know, I could write yet another update, or I could actually write about something. So here goes:

Lately I’ve been thinking about knitting fashions, and how wierd they can be.

Used to be I’d note that a pattern was appearing on a lot of blogs lately, and that’s how I’d pick up on the latest fad. Generally I prefer to avoid fads just because I hate being a ‘follower’, but I have crumbled occasionally (Pomatomus, Fetching, to name a few). But there’s a big grey line between something being a fad or a really good pattern, and whether a pattern sits closer to the fad or not-fad side of it probably depends on individual taste.

A few years back there was a pattern being knit up everywhere called Klaralund. Noro yarns were new on the scene and this was THE pattern to knit.

But my problem with this pattern was that it was ugly. The stripes went around the body in one big tube, making even the most svelt model look waistless and frumpy. The stripes over the shoulders and around the arms had a touch of the Mitchelin man about them.

I had a fancy to rewrite the pattern with the stripes in both sections going the other way, and call it Dnularalk, but thankfully I was too broke to afford the yarn, and there were no similarly dyed cheaper yarns on the market.

Nowadays the place for fad watching is Ravelry, particulary on the ‘friends activity’ page. This feature is a devilish one, as most of the time my ‘friends’ have excellent taste and my list of favourited patterns keeps growing and growing.

But I’ve been seeing one very ugly garment appearing there a lot lately. One that has shapeless elbow-length sleeves that look like wide cardboard tubes. One that has a plain bodice from shoulder to bust, where a curtain of lace begins right on the widest part of the bust line and hangs down so the wearer looks like they’re that size all the way down. Honestly, if you wanted to look like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, in drag, this would be your perfect project.

But judging from Ravelry, it’s very, very popular. And it’s been favourited among those knitters and crocheters I’ve friended. I don’t want to offend friends, or anyone who might love this pattern, or have made it, so I’m not going to mention the name of the pattern. And heck, I’ve knit some things that were ugly, gave me a wierd body shape suggesting uneven boobs or didn’t realise were meant for supermodels with eating disorders, enormous fake boobs and coathanger shoulders over the years.

Does anyone else look at popular patterns, shake their head and wonder? Any particular one that you just don’t ‘get’?

I may look back and cringe at my love of slouchy tams in the 08s and wonder how I could have spent so long knitting up the Endpaper Tam:

Maybe it was the cashmere yarn fumes. Yes, it must have been that. And that stranded pattern is lovely. (I stand chastised by the girls in the Doubleknit podcast on my misuse of the term ‘fair isle’.)

I’m certainly not immune to pattern saturation in Ravelry. Here’s that Robin’s Egg Blue Hat everyone’s been knitting, sans button.

The end at the crown is hanging out because I wanted to show how much yarn was left when I finished. I’d frogged the Wedgie Beanie to knit this, and it turned out the Robin’s Egg Blue Hat used almost exactly the same amount of yarn.

It just needs a nice button, and I reckon I’ll find one at The Button Lady’s stall at Camberwell Market.

I’ve started another pair of socks:

Froot Loop from Knitty.com. I haven’t abandoned the Spiral Socks. It’s just that there’s a stretch of stocking stitch to do that I’m saving for travel knitting.

I didn’t bother taking a pic of the baby blanket. It looks like the last pic, only with more stripes. But I have snapped a swatch:

For Swizzle. First I tried Bendigo Alpaca doubled, then tripled, but it still wasn’t thick enough. As a last resort I washed the swatch. And it dried exactly on gauge. So I’ve ordered more yarn from Bendy.

I tell you what, at a gauge of 9 st to 10cm, this is going to be one fast project!

6 thoughts on “Fadulous!

  1. I know the pattern to which you are referring. In fact, I’m knitting it! But it doesn’t bother me that you think it’s ugly either. That’s the beauty of knitting – there’s something for everyone’s tastes, whether it be patterns, yarns, colours etc.

    Sometimes I find with fad knits that it takes me a while to catch on – the first time I saw a clapotis (well, a picture of one) I wasn’t that keen on it. But then it grew on me and now I’ve knitted two and a quarter. But other times I’m with you and just think ugh!

  2. Lol! Well, if you’re right and have guessed the pattern, I’m glad you don’t mind and know it’s a taste thing! And I’ll always allow that some things look better in person than in photos.

    I haven’t knit Clapotis, but I suspect that’s more because I’m not a shawl person. I don’t really get the current cowl fad, but that’s because I think anything that loose would be drafty.

  3. LOL – I know the one you mean too, and I am sorta thinking of making it only shaped a little differently… When i decide to make something or that I want to make it, my first problem is what to make it out of, cos I can’t wear wool against my upper body. Scritchy itchy! This stops me making lots of things – finding a substitute non-scritchy yarn is hard! Possibly just as well though cos i might have a wardrobe full of unwearable knitted items that were fashionable at the time…

  4. I’m more likely to jump on the very end of a sock bandwagon. I’m usually at the very end of a fad!! I know the current fave cardi you mention and it wouldn’t suit me at all, but I’ve seen other people looking very cool!!

  5. Adding ugliness to my que is a fun way of tormenting my daughter. Will I make it for her or not? :P

    The reality is I can’t decide if I like that particular pattern or not.

    On some people it looks great.

    On others it looks horrid.

    I am leaning towards it looking horrid on me.

  6. I really wanted to knit that, but I knew it would make me look like a wall. SO I decided on something a little more flattering for those of us that naturally are a little wall like :)

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