I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it, but I’ve spotted lots of people lately wearing jumpers and cardigans that look like their granny knitted it. They probably didn’t, because these people are probably young enough that their grannies are still in full time work and far too busy to be sitting by the fire and knitting. However, I was lucky enough to have a Nan who knitted and was proud to wear my royal blue school cardigans with massive sleeves that no-one else had. (At least I was until I was ten.) Maybe that’s what sparked my love of wearing things just a little bit different to everyone else. (Damn – I wish I’d thought of that argument when I was a teenager “Well if you didn’t want me to wear 1960’s mini nightdresses with Doc Martins, maybe you should’ve just bought me a Woodlands school cardigan with the logo on it like everyone else had!” sort of thing)….
Anyway, I was also lucky enough by chance to get a mother-in-law who knits too, and therefore my girls were supplied with some lovely cardigans when they were younger (also with big sleeves – I wonder what it was about cardigan patterns that made them have wide sleeves?!) and for Christmas 1996 she knitted me this wonderful chunky knitted grey cardigan with big wooden toggles for the buttons.
I love that knitting is cool again. My sister-in-law also knits and crochets and they taught Rain how to as well. My Nan did teach me a long time ago, but I’ve forgotten. I’m sure I could ask any of the knitters in my family to teach me, but even though I quite like the idea of knitting whilst watching YouTube videos, I’m not sure I’ve got the patience for it. You have to be quite accurate don’t you? And really, I don’t need another hobby. Can you imagine if I started buying lots of balls of beautiful yarns? What with my extensive stash of fabric, I don’t think Chris would be able to put up with it.
So yes, this lovely grey hand-knitted cardigan has stayed with me all these years and I treasure it because I’m grateful for all the hours and effort that went into it, and also because I was a teen of the nineties and I can’t let go of my grunge fashion roots. I particularly love to wear it with fancy party dresses. If I still had the same figure as I did then, it would be with a satin slip dress, and yes, chunky boots. Or at least over a vest and cut-off Levi 501 shorts with a battered cheaper version of Converse all stars. Ahh those were the days!
On this particular day, which was an outing to Trowbridge to have a mooch around, I wore it with a sheer chiffon dusky pink blouse from Next, and layered that over a skin-coloured vest. The a-symmetric flowy grey skirt was from Phase Eight (via a charity shop). And this is my favourite way to wear a chunky knit. I like the juxtaposition between the soft floaty chiffons of the blouse and skirt which by themselves would be smart enough to wear to a wedding with the right pair of shoes – but instead with an oversized hand-knitted cardigan the whole outfit turns to something (for want of a better word) cool. (At least, I think so!)
I didn’t wear chunky boots that day, but they were chunky shoes! They’re by the Art Company, and are a bit pricey new, so these were second hand from ebay.
I bought the bag from a market stall in Keswick in the Lake District when I got fed up of my camera plus my vlogging camera not fitting in the one I’d brought with me. This one fits everything.
See how I styled the same Next blouse when I went to the Next blogger network event.
See how I styled the same Next blouse when I was sightseeing last spring.
See how I styled the same grey skirt for a 1920’s theme when I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.
If you’re not a dab hand with the knitting needles, here are some knitted cardigans you might like to buy – some handmade from Etsy, some from a knitting machine in a factory!
And these three are from Asos. (Click each picture to take you directly to the item.)
Are you a knitter? If so, please share pictures or links to your creations in the comments below!