November 17, 2014


Knitting my “Boring Black Sweater”


I have a love-hate relationship with basics.

I love wearing them.
I hate making them.

This creates a little bit of tension in my self-made wardrobe.

I’ve talked a little bit before about the disconnect between what I love wearing, and what I love making. I love making really complicated & technically challenging, colorful & intricate & interesting things, while I love wearing basics – tank tops, jeans (they’re coming! – eventually…) and straight forward stockinette sweaters.

Sewing basics is pretty boring.
Knitting basics is a nightmare of boredom.

But a nightmare that’s kind of worth it.

basic black sweater

I’ve dubbed this sweater the “Boring Black Sweater.”

It’s a solid black, basic pullover, knit in stockinette stitch, in lace weight yarn on a US size 4 (3.5mm) needle. Which, if you don’t knit, is tiny yarn on a not-so-tiny-but-certainly-not-large needles, in a very basic knitting stitch.

The yarn is “Forest Hills” from Cascade in color #3 “Anthracite” (black). I love this yarn for shawls. But I wouldn’t really recommend it for garments because of how much this sweater is pilling.

The pattern is a basic, yoked pullover, worked from the top-down, with a wide neckline, and turned hems on the sleeves and body.

Knitting it was really boring.

It was so boring, in fact, that I knit the sleeves too way short. And once the sweater was all done I cut off the cuff, picked up the stitches on the sleeve, knit a couple more inches, and graphed the cuff back on.

Even so the sleeves ended up being bracelet length, which isn’t what I had in mind, but works fine.

basic black sweater sleeve

Even though it was kind of a nightmare to knit, I love this sweater. It works with just about everything in my wardrobe, and is the perfect thin layer to wear under or over something.

From now on though, I think I’ll stick to sewing, instead of knitting, my basics.