How to knit a timeless sweater.

“Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.”  – Jean Cocteau

In going through the stack of 60s and 70s Workbasket magazines over the weekend, I found that this is not universally true.  Granted, I’m a sucker for vintage clothing and decor, but  a classic knit sweater can become an heirloom.  Simple good taste never goes out of style.  Considering the time and cost of hand knitting something like a sweater, it’s a good idea to consider whether it’s something you can enjoy for years to come.  Here’s what I learned during my stroll down knitting memory lane.

1.  Stick with basic shapes.  A button up crew neck cardigan is timeless and very versatile.  Just make sure the proportions are right. Cropped styles and long sweaters go in and out of style, but a cardigan that hits at the hip bone is flattering to almost everyone.

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2.  Add a belt.  It gives you two different sweaters – a long open jacket or a fitted cardigan.  Whether it’s around the house or out and about, you’ll reach for a belted sweater jacket over and over again.

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3.  When in doubt, go with neutrals and solid colors.  You can always add colorful accessories, but you can’t wait around for that teal, pink and gold color scheme to come  back in style. 

And lastly,  leave the fur to the animals.  This sweater may be fun to wear with your go-go boots to parties, but if you’re going to spend months making it yourself, be sure the style has some sticking power.

Sustainable style means bucking the fads and going for timeless.  So cast on carefully and you can keep the ugly sweater skeletons out of your closet.

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