Daisy Monsters in the Closet

Swatching the Summardaar Cardigan stitch pattern, aka Daisy Monster

While no one was looking, I performed another clutter clearance. Goodbye odd paperback books I will never read again, saggy baggy shoes which I fell out of, and assorted beyond-redemption tattered / faded / poorly-fitting clothing. It was a good feeling. And Oxfam thanked me.
In the midst of it, with all my clothes in a multi-coloured heap on the bed, I suddenly realised that the reason I never have the hand-knit I need to complete an outfit is the relative speed of knitting and sewing.
For example, at least two years ago (it was probably three) I decided to knit a turquoise laceweight silky a-line cardigan. It would look lovely with my wide-legged aubergine trousers and my magenta ankle-length linen skirt. So I bought the yarn and set it aside while I finished whatever it was I was knitting at the time. And now here we are, X years later. The trousers shrank in the wash / wore out, while the skirt felt out-dated, was too large at the waist, and went to the charity shop many seasons ago because it made me feel frumpy.

Using Alba Yarn, doubled, on 6.5 mm needles

Luckily, I never cast on the laceweight cardigan. It would go with nothing I own nowadays, and when I look at the pattern I see “mother of the bride”. The yarn is lovely, and one day I am sure its prince will come. But what I realised – dun dun duuun! – is that my starting point has been upside down. I can sew a skirt in a weekend, in fact in a day if I really need to. But knitting a cardigan takes me weeks, if not months, if not years. Instead of knitting to match my current clothing, I should make clothing to match my completed knits – duh!
And if I take that approach, I might finally have the chance to knit the things I really really like, and really really want to knit, instead of dragging myself through the torture of knitting compromise garments that “should go with everything” and never do!
This approach worked with Betty Jean McNeil. Even now I am planning an orange skirt so that I can wear Betty Jean more often – hooray!

Two strands green, or one strand yellow with one green?

So instead of looking at the Summardaar pattern and thinking “Oh how lovely – I had better knit it in navy blue so it will work with my jeans”, I have the option to look at the colour-chart and think “OMG – sizzling mustard! Grass green! Ruby red! Oh wow – which one of those do I like best? I could make a whole pile of skirts to go with my new cardigan!”

Held up to the light – lacey!

What’s your approach to wardrobe planning? Do you make the things you want to make or the things you want to wear?

P.S.  The above swatches were just an exercise in working the stitch pattern.  I concluded that it is hell on my wrist and produces a fairly stiff, thick but airy fabric.  Perfect for a blanket!  But if I am going to make a cardigan, it had better not be in a baby colour and it needs to fit closely.  Still thinking!