It has been a long time since I last wrote a Wearability Wednesday post. For those of you who are new to the blog, this is a post in which I re-visit a hand-knitted garment and look at it from a wearability standpoint. Does it get worn? If yes, how do I style it? Has the garment held up to time?
In this Wearability Wednesday post, I look at my Viajante, a sort of cross between a shawl, a cowl, and a poncho, designed by Martina Behm. Here is me wearing it, just after finishing it, in 2013:
It is a laceweight shawl, made with one skein of Wollmeise Lacegarn. I knit it over a period of 5 months, which doesn’t seem so long now, but at the time I remember feeling it was endless. The above photo is from my blog post about the finished garment, which you can find here. In that post, I comment that it is actually not an easy garment to wear:
I am extremely proud of this shawl, it is a beautiful piece of knitting, made with fabulous yarn, and it makes for a striking garment. However, I wore it exactly three times. I never received a single comment on it. Not one. I came to the conclusion that it looked silly on me. (I think in the top photo of me it looks as if I have one arm and giant boobs and am wearing a voluminous purple cape. Maybe like a costume shoot for a new Wonder Woman movie? Showing off the purple Kevlar-like battle garments worn by her backup crew of middle-aged, ex-Amazonian battle advisors?) Perhaps, more accurately, I decided that I obviously didn’t have the necessary panache to carry off this piece. So what did I do? I gave it to Emma, of course!
Emma is tall and slim and extremely stylish and could carry off anything from haute couture to a potato sack. If you put her and Wonder Woman in a photo shoot, no one would spare a glance for Wonder Woman. Emma apparently wears this Viajante frequently, and enjoys it. She brought it with her to Sicily in May, and I couldn’t resist taking some photos of her wearing it. Viajante means traveller, and this knitted piece was started in Lebanon, finished in England, given to Emma who lives in Vancouver, and modelled in Sicily; traveller indeed!
These photos are taken in the gorgeous villa we stayed in (see this post and this one for more details on Sicily and the villa). You can see that Emma has styled it in a more casual way, and has bunched up the material more around her neck, making it have less of a fall. On her, it looks cute and pretty and natural. She switched to a pair of heels in the evening and she wore it to cocktails and dinner, and looked elegant.
This is not the first time I have solved a wearability issue by giving away a garment to my daughters. In this previous post (which I must say is a very good post), I showcased a hand-knitted dress which I made for myself but gave to Leah, and it ended up suiting her far better. Luckily, I have two daughters who love my handiwork and wear these garments with pride. It means that if I make a stylistic error, I can always remedy it through the ‘daughter route’ (and earn mom points as well)!
Lovely photos! I think you both suits the Viajante 🙂 …but it is a well know situation; my Mother frequently gives away her knitting to one of us daughters, and my girls are getting old enough to get some from me…!
It’s a gorgeous colour, and Emma looks very elegant in it.
Gorgeous wrap-thing 😉 and doesn’t Emma look stunning – you must be really proud of both your daughters. That colour purple really suits Emma – am now off to see if I can get some (I’m really short of yarn, lol!!). 🙂
Thank you for your frankness. I’ve considered making one for my mom but maybe I won’t. It’s interesting how the designer, if you look at the comment stream for the pattern on Ravelry, encourages women of all shapes, sizes, and styles to make and wear it. In the end, I think it’s about the wearer’s subjective feeling about the garment. I can imagine my mom thinking like you do on the subject so, thanks to you, I’ll make something else for her to wear and maybe I’ll get it right. You look pretty darn good in your Viajante in my humble opinion but my thoughts aren’t important and, hey, your daughter scored a nice piece of knitting!
Thanks for bringing back wearability Wednesday! I’ve missed this column so much. I’m working on a Viajante right now, and should it sit unworn by me, I’ll more than happily gift it. In fact, I’ve given away the sweater off my back several times. There was a Breckon, a Fairfield, a Soubrette, two Simplicity cardigans…the list goes on. It is a very cathartic knit, and just perfect knitting for the many meetings I attend. (I still have no regrets about losing track of my La Gran mohair pullover with the billowy sleeves and tight cuffs and single cable front and center.)
Reminds me of a trunk show a friend and I went to to see the new BT Ganseys. We took pictures of each other and just sighed with regret. There were too many cables down the fronts and our bodies were definitely not tall or thin enough. We were both way too busty as well. We had a good chuckle and decided it was not a style that flattered either one of us. I love trunk shows and they can tell you immediately.
It’s a beautiful piece and the color is perfect.
I, too, love Wearability Wednesday and think it’s a wonderful contribution to the knitting blogosphere. What a beautiful piece, and your daughter really has a knack for making things wearable!
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