Handmade Wardrobe Pipe Dreams

I have been following lots of excellent bloggers’ post about planning handmade wardrobes, and I have been following enviously, because I rarely apply that level of thoughtfulness to planning my own knitting projects. But it makes sense, right? Handknits don’t live in isolation, and they should be dream garments that integrate easily into our wardrobes and lives.

So, in August I will be returning to school, and that means back to school preparation, one of my favorite reasons to both craft and consume. With the exception of two, I have the yarn for all of these in my stash, so all that’s really left to do is knit. They are, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. Amanda 2. Emelie 3. Cardamom
4. Bellows 5. Gable 6. Exeter
7. Quadrillion 8. Cordova 9. Nori

A little ambitious, for sure. I am actually currently knitting Amanda, and just have one front panel and the yoke left to finish it up. Obviously, I’m looking toward mostly oversized cabled pullovers and cardigans that have the feel of a jacket. My Ravelry queue is literally over 20 pages long. There are hundreds of projects I want to knit. But these are the ones that have the most immediate appeal. My eye is definitely wandering toward garments that are incredibly easy to wear, and sweaters that look a little more square than rectangular, with lots of positive ease. It makes sense – starting in on a new and challenging academic and professional adventure, I want getting dressed to be as simple and stress-free as possible. The above dreamy selection of sweaters would certainly accomplish that.

Sadly, all of this sweater planning does come with one casualty: the Stonecutters cardigan that I let languish for three years, and finally picked up to finish this spring, is officially too small. It technically does fit, but a little more snugly than I want (see previous note about positive ease), so rather than let it sit unworn on my sweater shelf, I’m going to frog and repurpose for the Nori cardigan.



  1. Kepanie says:

    That is some queue you have. I don’t really queue projects unless I really know I’m going to make them some time in the future. But I totally understand the appeal of a handmade wardrobe. I want to get some jumpers under my belt.

    1. Chelsea says:

      My queue has been steadily snowballing since sometime in 2009. Occasionally I remove things as my tastes change, but mostly I use it as a sort of pre-filtered search pool of patterns I know I like and am interested in knitting at some point. I should probably try to reign it in more at some point though, it’s awfully big!

  2. Chelsea, I’m so eager to know if you’re entering a PhD program or going back to school for something else?! I can’t believe how much you’ve done in the years I’ve been reading your blog. Congratulations on everything!

    1. Chelsea says:

      Thank you so much – that honestly means a lot! Sometimes I don’t really know, or can’t tell, how much I am or am not doing, and I feel stagnant, in all honesty. I am entering a PhD program, still in library & information science. I’m excited about this new thing, but also of course really nervous about making such a big change. We will see how it unfolds!

  3. Nancy Winness says:

    are you the nolla behind the socks

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