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.


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4 Responses

  1. Susan Beer

    I imagine that straight stockinette (or garter stitch) can get very boring, but the end product is so elegant in its simplicity–and in the case of stockinette, its smoothness. There is just something about a stockinette stitch sweater that is elegant beyond words.

    1. Holly

      You’re totally right Susan. I adore the way stockinette looks, I think it’s so elegant & understated, and (for me) that makes the boring knitting worth it.

  2. I have the exact same dilemma. I love knitting complicated and also colourful patterns, but in my day to day life I tend to wear really basic patterns and colours. I’m trying to change it by wearing more varied things, rather than boring more knitting patterns. Not sure yet if this will work out however.

    1. Holly

      Yep! It’s a hard dilemma. I’ve found that I’m more likely to wear colorful & patterned clothes if I’ve made them, and that I’m more likely to make basics if I have to wear them. 😀

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