building my slow wardrobe


I've decided it's time to build myself a "slow wardrobe" of thoughtfully handmade sweaters that will last for years, and maybe even become family heirlooms of sorts. I'm tired of buying terrible clothes that don't last, that have no humanity, no soul. I want to take the time to make things that matter. I kind of always want to be wearing one handmade thing, to hold the rest of it together.

I started with a very easy top-down pullover, which took me from October to February to make. That's pretty slow, but at least I finished it. I set it down for a while at one point, blaming the holidays for lack of time, but really because I was afraid of it. I was two inches from finishing the body and starting the sleeves. Sleeves freaked me out. Until I made them. (Fear of yarn is kind of silly, says me now, until the next scary yarn monster shows up in my bag.) I love this sweater in spite of its very many mistakes, and I wear often.


The pattern is Tea with Jam and Bread, by Heidi Kirrmaier, and available on Ravelry. I made some changes - lengthened it, left out the stripes, did different hem/cuffs/neck, and left out the pockets. It's a well written pattern that's easy enough for a hesitant knitter like me. The yarn I used here was Cloudborn Superwash Merino Worsted Twist in Shaela Heather. (Yes, it's wool. Yes I'm still vegan, but I guess "between yarn stores" is more accurate. I'll talk about that some other time.)

Finishing this first piece of my slow wardrobe gave me a lot of confidence. I jumped straight into the next big project - a beautiful gray cardigan, which took about a month to make. I finished it a few days ago, and have worn every day since. In fact, I'm wearing it right now as I type this, and will wear it when we go out tonight. I love it that much.


This is also an easy pattern, although it looks kind of fancy with the pretty yoke increases. It's made top-down, which is my favorite way of making a sweater. If I have to sew side seams and set in sleeves, there's a very good chance that the nicely knitted pieces of any given sweater will end up at the Goodwill eventually, hoping someone else will want to finish it. Yeah, I did that once.

The pattern is the Tealeaves Cardigan, by Melissa LaBarre, also available on Ravelry. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios, in Tormenta.

As I looked up the names of these patterns a few minutes ago, I just realized that I have a tea theme going here. I guess it makes sense, since I drink buckets of tea while I'm knitting. In fact, I have a cup brewing right now. I think I'll go drink it while I settle in with Ravelry in search of my next sweater pattern. This slow wardrobe idea feels really good.

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