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.