It's been a slow burning winter and beyond my private fist-pumping because I get to go out and about town without a coat, it also apparently means piles of jumpers and coats still lie heavily reduced on rails, causing shareholders to quake a little in their expensive boots.  It has also rendered the number of articles in the past few months, dedicated to The Killing's Sarah Lund and the joys of an "ugly" chunky jumper slightly annoying, when it's not been cold enough to wear said jumper.  Perhaps I'm the only one who has only just started to get stuck in to taking knitwear down from their dusty confines.  The below zero temperatures right now (and in Stockholm/New York where I'll be over the next two weeks) call for serious Sarah Lund-gauge knitwear. 



Therefore after the months of media cajoling and coaxing us into thick jumpers with questionable motifs and patterns, does it suddenly seem appealing and season-appropriate.  I have to thank EJ of Style Salvage for once again earning her Queenz of the Internetz crown, by unearthing this Etsy gem.  Amarinalevin Handknits is essentially children's wear but the detail and imagination of her knitwear patterns is such that, it would be criminal to ignore the possibility of wearing them as a legitimate adult-sized sweater, even if it might induce a few sniggers on the tube.  I like her honest bio about her knitting.  There's nothing gussied up about admitting "I didn't think I could handle sleeves!"  There's something gapingly unpretentious about her site and her approach and she probably didn't intend for her Nordic/Scandi motifed jumpers to slot perfectly in to this winter's hailing of the "ugly" jumper.  The high street and higher end designer have all stabbed at similar patterns in their knitwear offerings but none will look half as laboured with affection as these jumpers do. 



It's when nativity scenes, girls on horseback and Moomins show up and that's when you start asking yourself "Is this novelty of the creepy or charming ilk?" I'm going with the latter, but if I'm still wearing it twenty years down the line, when I've inevitably gained weight from all the fried chicken I've huffed, and I cling onto it like a weird safety blanket that stretches over my rotund body, then I think it's time to call time on the novelty knit.



For now though, I've started up an Etsy convo with Kerry, this diligent hand knitter to see how to get Totoro on to my chest before the weather does another upward temperature turn.  As with any other custom Etsy purchase, I'll of course report back on the results, though I'm fairly confident I'll be bearing a Cat Bus style grin at the end of it.



Comments (35)

  1. Joy says:

    i dig how “ugly” they are. they remind me of my boarding school history teacher’s infamous 12 days of christmas countdown sweaters. SO HORRID THEY WERE AWESOME.

  2. I am LOVING these “ugly” sweaters.
    Step into Estherina’s World

  3. Lidia says:

    I love the totoro one!

  4. eva says:

    the totoro ones are so cuteeee

  5. KIRA LILLY says:

    these are all so perfect! especially the totoro one, i love the studio ghibli movies
    KIRA LILLY fashion blog

  6. Maya says:

    Wow, great post. Thanks for telling us about this quaint Etsy gem!

  7. It’s hard to believe the temps in Europe are so high, when here in Canada winter seems unending and -5¬∞C seems warm.
    I think these are much more interesting looking then most of what I’ve been seeing, they do look like the sweaters you desperatly tried to squirm your way out of as a kid.

  8. Those sweaters are so kitsch!! How can you not love them at all!!
    Greetings from Santiago, Chile.
    @cristianpavezd on Twitter.

  9. Those sweaters remind me of my childhood too! My grandma used to give us grand kids matching sweaters and the sweaters in your post bring back sweet memories. Thanks for the great pics!

  10. This is amazing. When I saw the first knit in my little bloglovin window I assumed it was some high end designer knit. The patterns are so much fun (dancing men on the second/third is my favorite). I’d definitely go for one with the waist frill bit though – that’s a shape I’ve currently been drooling over. This is such a great find. Can’t wait to see which one you go for. xx

  11. Kristen says:

    Thanks for this post wholly dedicated to a hand-knitter. I really think hand-knit is coming into fashion in a huge ways. Many high-end companies are now seeking out expert hand-knitters to translate their ideas into loops and stitches because knit is such a beautiful language.

  12. Breast check says:

    wow very sweet sweaters … i bought one for my nephew i love those color ful pictures on sweaters.

  13. becky seager says:

    amazing knits ,eat your heart out kaffe fassett !! x

  14. Mary says:

    I love the little girl jumper.

  15. Celeste says:

    These sweaters are so nice! Loved the colours!!
    I invite you and your followers to visit my blog, a space wich combines fashion+photography+music:

  16. Haidee says:

    Love the colours very pretty 🙂

  17. Gah! These are amazing, I’m in love. And so into supporting someone who has the skills and time to hand make these sweaters…must take forever!!

  18. Denisse says:

    Gotta say, I love the Totoro sweaters! I can’t believe someone can make this by hand, that’s amazing! I haven’t even finished the scarf I started back in November.

  19. Anna says:


  20. Marie says:

    Gosh I’m too hooked on those gorgeous, ugly-motif sweaters. NEED-IT-NOW! Wow. they’re amazing, so… ugly that they have to be worn! Where can I get one?
    Love, Marie

  21. Marla says:

    Love these fun & handmade sweaters! Don’t get much opportunity to wear them much in Florida, but I do keep a few on hand for the couple of below-freezing days we have in winter.

  22. gopro says:

    lovely post. I really enjoyed these unique sweaters. If only I knew where to get one!
    gopro camera review

  23. Sóley says:

    Puking with joy over those Moomin and Totoro sweaters. Thanks for sharing!
    we are purple

  24. Gorgeous sweaters! Beautiful work.
    ryska kvinnor

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