I am a knitter, a lot of my time is spend with needles in my hand. I knit stuff intended for wearing. I mean; I love the occasional luxurious item, but by far most of the stuff I knit is for everyday use. I am primarily a cardigan/jumper knitter, I have one of these on the needles at any given moment.
This has resulted in me owning a fair amount of handknitted goods. I’d say that if I’m wearing something knitted, chances are 90% that I made it.
But not this time.
A few weeks ago I stumbled across this cardigan in a vintage shop. In the shop nothing particular caught my eye, until I found this one. I just loved the colour and the styling and it was exactly my size. Then my eyes fell on the label…it was made out of hundred percent Shetland wool by a Scottish company! That was it! Nobody was going to stop me from buying this piece, oh, no…(as if there was a chance before!)
It dates somewhere in the eighties and shows hardly any proof of wearing. I think this is partly due to the material as shetland wool is known as a hard wearing wool. At home I washed it like I would do any other handknit/woolen garment, just to be sure. The colours didn’t bleed, nor did I expect any colour bleeding as it’s a vintage garment.
I’m particular fond of the colourwork on the yoke, the colours are beautiful and I’m not sure if the photo’s do it justice. The patterning is that of a traditional Shetland yoke sweater, which was in fact one of the first things that caught my eyes. I had been collecting inspirational shetland sweater pictures and found some vintage patterns in this style. Especially in the seventies (a little later then the period I’m usually gushing over) these yoke sweaters and cardigans were very popular. For those of you interested to read a little more background on these garments I can reckommend The Art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann Feitelson. The book was originally published in 1997 but Interweave republished it in 2009, I believe.
I’m still in the market to knit my own Shetland yoke sweater at some point, but finding this cardigan has made the urge a little less urgent. The cardigan has however made me even more enthusiastic about knitting with Shetland wool. The fabric it’s knits up with feels the right amount of “wooly” and the colours are amazing, especially if you consider that this cardigan has seen some years already.
All in all I thought the cardigan was nice enough to make a knitter blog about a store-bought cardigan. Next time however I will be completely devoted to handmade again! What about you, ever found something so special that it made your handmade heart swoon? How do you feel about wearing vintage/second hand clothing?