On the subject of accessories, Coco Chanel is said to have advised that before leaving the house, one should take off whatever was the last item you put on. Now, it’s not everyone who’s a follower of her pared-down aesthetic, but I think we can all learn something from the doyenne of style’s less-is-more mantra.
Take knitting techniques. I never cease to be amazed by the sheer number of fancy stitches and techniques out there. Seriously, a glance through Ravelry project pages can show you tricks with yarn and sticks that seem to defy nature and the laws of physics. I am full of admiration for knitters and designers who can do that stuff, but I do have a little worry that sometimes when a whole garment screams “LOOK AT MY CLEVER KNITTING” it can come across as a little bit try-hard. A wee bit self-conscious in proclaiming the highly skilled, handmade credentials that say this is absolutely not a shop-bought article. The Chanel-influenced part of me wants to whisper “tone it down a little”.
This is the joy of knitted accessories as far as I’m concerned. A small but perfectly formed canvas, you can make them in a luxury yarn without breaking the bank and pepper them with stitchy wizardry without it getting over the top. A fancy-pants handmade accessory worn with a simple outfit quietly asserts your originality and skill but will never end up wearing you.
The point of this little sermon was to highlight the gorgeous techniques that make the items in the Holla Knits Accessories collection so worth you getting your needles warmed up.
Take the beading on Teresa Gregorio’s Knight Service. On an all-over garment not only might you go mad with all the bead threading, but you’d also risk getting a bit too pretty-pretty. On this shrug with its major shoulder shaping it looks fierce and urban on top of the pretty, and totally luxe to boot.
Then there’s the super-smooth colourwork on Katie Canavan’s Scallop of the Sea bag- so elegantly modern retro!
There’s more amazing colourwork (and colour choices) on Emma Welford’s Wallpaper Cowl, but what makes this one for me is the Latvian braid. A traditional technique (though a new one on me until I saw the project-in-development pictures) in beautifully harmonised shades it takes the finishing on this design to another level.
My contribution to the collection, the Snowball Bonnet, challenges you to dust off that old favourite of knits for grandchildren in the 60s and 70s: loop stitch. I’m going to write a little more about that one when the Holla Knits Accessories Blog Tour hits these pages on October 16th- details below.
Meanwhile, I strongly urge you to check out the full collection at Holla Knits.com. You’ll surely find at least one design to beguile you with its wit and originality.
As I mentioned, the lovely Allyson at Holla Knits has organised a blog tour to launch this collection. It’s going to be packed full of giveaways, so be sure to give it a follow. You’ll notice that the Audrey’s Teashop stop has a yarn and pattern giveaway- I’m delighted to say that this is going to involve yarny prizes for not one but two lucky winners! Here are those all-important dates and places.
October 8: The Sweatshop of Love – collection and pattern giveaway
October 9: Under the Red Umbrella – Subscriber exclusive KP yarn giveaway, pattern giveaway
October 10: Rohn Strong – pattern giveaway
October 11: Emma Welford Designs – pattern giveaway
October 12: Knits in Class – Subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway / pattern giveaway
October 15: Bumblebirch Designs – pattern giveaway
October 16: Audrey’s Teashop – pattern and yarn giveaway
October 17: Gynx – pattern giveaway
October 18: Adaly Myles Place – pattern giveaway
October 19: Canary Knits – Subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway, pattern giveaway
October 22: Webs Yarn Store Blog - yarn giveaway
October 23: The Sweatshop of Love Hosts Homestead Heirlooms! – subscriber exclusive purse kit giveaway
October 24: Knitted Bliss – pattern giveaway
October 25: Stash, the Knit Picks Staff Blog
October 26: Holla Knits hosts Tara Shade! – Subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway, pattern giveaway