Sophisticated Knits … or, when I’d like my hand knits to not necessarily look “hand made” …

Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with home made, and I struggled with what to call this blog post, and how to go about writing it.

Do you ever have a moment when you look in your closet, at all your hand knit sweaters and accessories, and sort of wish there were at least a couple that didn’t look … well. Hand made or home made is not really the phrase I’m looking for, because, like I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with either, and I love my comfortable, homey knits. But there are times when I look in my closet and none of my hand knits work for the outfit I envision and desire.


Siena by Shellie Anderson (all photos on this blog post are from the linked Ravelry pattern pages). Knit in DK weight yarn, I love the simplicity and line of this design.

I’ve been struggling with this idea for a while: with both the concept of it, and the writing of it. My hand knits are all GREAT. I love them. I love the patterns; I love the designers who’ve created them; I love the ones I’ve designed myself. But every so often, I want to wear something more sophisticated, stylish, elegant, modern ~ perhaps even a bit trendy.  And most of my hand knits don’t fit that description, or at least the image I have in my mind of how I want to look that day.


Boxy, by Joji Locatelli. Knit in fingering weight yarn, I didn’t love this pattern at first, because I wasn’t sure a roomy sweater would look good on me. But I’ve seen quite a few knits and they look really great. The snug-fitting arms are an interesting detail, as well as the garter detailing on the shoulders and arms.

Wardrobe issues mostly arise when I’m going to a meeting of my local arts organization, or having an open house at my studio involving art instead of knitting and yarn. Or meeting up with friends in the city, or going out to dinner or another event in the evening when I want to look elegant and sophisticated. Up until now, I’ve gone for the store-bought items in my wardrobe, but I always think, wouldn’t it be great to have some handknits that would work for these dressier, social occasions, too?


Cloud Cover, designed by Heidi Kirrmaier. Knit in DK weight yarn, the design is simple bu really interesting. I love the collar and front band detail.

I’ve gone in search of some patterns that might suit what I’m after, and figured I’d share them because, hey, maybe some of you are feeling like I am and want to shake up your hand knits a bit. When I went looking for patterns, I really thought I’d find all the designs knit in lightweight yarns ~ lace and fingering, and none in heavier weight yarns ~ DK and up. Surprisingly, a number of the patterns that I liked a lot are actually knit in DK weight, which is super nice.


Hatcher, designed by Julie Hoover. Knit in DK weight yarn, this cabled sweater transcends the traditional cable and is an elegant design with a great silhouette and styling.

It made sense to me that the sort of look I was after would be knit in lighter yarns: lighter weight is drapier; it’s easier to make a slinky, elegant piece in lighter weight yarns. Most of my own sweaters are DK and Worsted weights. Adding some lighter weight tops would be a nice bonus for my hand made wardrobe, too.


Soubrette, by Mary Annarella. Knit in lace weight yarn, I love this design with it’s fitted waist that flares. I’d knit it in a longer ¾ length sleeve, since sleeves that end at my elbows are not the most flattering for me.

Also not a surprise was that most are shown knit in neutral colors. Black, of course, is the “supreme” modern and elegant color. But I don’t think black, or gray, or beige are the only colors that can work for the elegant knits I’m looking to add to my wardrobe. Non-neutral neutrals, colors that would go well with black, creams and grays, would also work well. Which is what I’m planning to do.


Birch by Helga Isager. Knit in lace weight yarn; I’d probably leave the pockets off of mine, if I knit this pattern. I love the kimono styling of it.

Gimme an elegant sweater knit in Retro, which would look phenomenal with black or cream. Or a sweater in Glacier or Eggplant. Of course, colorways like Fog and The Witching Hour would be perfect, too, of course, since they’re varying shades of neutral gray. But I rather like the idea of using a non-neutral neutral for this knit.


Gadina by Tian Foley, knit in DK weight yarn, this is such a cool design. I can see it over a black camisole, knit perhaps in one of the new speckled colorways I’ve been working on.

What about you? Have you come across other elegant, sophisticated designs? Share them in the comments! I’d love to have more to choose from when I finally decide what to knit.

8 thoughts on “Sophisticated Knits … or, when I’d like my hand knits to not necessarily look “hand made” …

  1. I am loving the patterns of Heidi Kirrmaier. I just finished a Peasy and Fine Sand, and will probably knit at least one more of each, plus a Quick Sand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I work in a bank, and wear my Ravi as well as my Vodka Gimlet to work on a regular basis in the winter. Both serve as “soft jackets”. No pictures of me wearing my Ravi, but here’s my Gimlet ( I wear it with white tee or white shirt, and black pants. Also, I’ve blocked out that wibble in the front band since this picture was taken.

    Liked by 1 person

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