Big sleeves and bobbles

I have issues with big sleeves.  Two to be precise: they get in the way (for example, when trying to eat) and they don’t fit under a coat.  When I balance these two practical concerns against fashion, practicality usually wins.  I am also not a fan of bobbles.  Again for two reasons: they are a pain to make, and they look funny.  So, mark me surprised when the new issue of Pom Pom Quarterly came out today and I found myself intrigued by two sweaters which have both big sleeves and bobbles.

The first is Osmunda by Boadicea Binnerts:


© Laura Morsman

I think this is super cool.  It’s sleeves will get in the way of everything, it is full of bobbles, and furthermore I would roast in a sweater this heavy; nevertheless, I think it is great.

And then there’s Willowwood by Caitlin Hunter:


© Laura Morsman

This sweater is so not my type, and yet…’s rather appealing.  This issue of Pom Pom is edited by the incomparable Norah Gaughan and contains some great designers.  My first thought on seeing the sweaters was that they looked like armour.  And then I read Pom Pom’s description of this edition:  “The knits in this issue are imagined for the modern heroine. Create your own knitted armour with swirling cables and sculptural stitch details; it’s time to celebrate texture and sumptuous colours!”

By the way, even though I am not a big fan of bobbles, I do think that they look great with the right project.  Here is a photo of Emma in a pullover which I knit for her in my pre-blogging days, Camden, by Ashley Adams Moncrief (from Knitty, Fall 2008):


And a final note on the blog: perhaps you noticed a new banner?  Emma isn’t involved much in the blog these days (except as general muse and sounding board), but she has always done my banners (the photo splashed across the top).  I have been bugging Emma for months to make a new one.  She wrote me last night to say that she had created a new banner, and had set it up so that all of the banners (from seven years of this blog) will rotate randomly each time you visit the blog.  Cool, no?  I keep pushing the re-load button but have yet to see the new banner! I wonder what it is?  Hope you like looking at these snapshots of my blog history as much as I do.

15 thoughts on “Big sleeves and bobbles

  1. The first banner I saw was a cropped version of one of the photos on your Ravelry 100 post. Would that be the new one? I have to admit that although I always read and enjoy your blog, I’m not the most observant person…

  2. I am completely with you on both sleeves and bobbles. So often I see a delicious pattern but avoid it because of impractical sleeve design. And as for bobbles – ugh! I once made my niece a gorgeous red riding hood cape, with about 4 inches of bobbles around the hem and the edge of the hood. It looked fabulous when finished but it was such a pain to do! Meanwhile, I am looking forward to my edition of PomPom – I have a digital subscription so am hoping to receive an email about it very soon….

    • I bet your neice loved her cape! It sounds fabulous. I have a couple of blouses with little decorative metal buttons going up the cuffs. They look so pretty, but when I eat they keep hitting the table and making lots of noise! And then there are the ones that drag in the soup! I don’t like fashion that gets in the way of my food!

  3. I just saw the preview of the new PomPom issue, and I am in awe of these beautiful patterns. Then again, I love Norah Gaughan. I think this is clearly THE issue I cannot miss this year. I would knit big sleeves, not hugely big ones but as long as they fit into a coat, why not? There are certainly trendy these days. I see more and more patterns released that feature bigger sleeves. I think they work best in lightweight yarn though.

  4. I fell immediately for Osmunda and its parade-uniform appearance (Binnerts calls it Hussar-style). Yes, I want to make it for myself, though I intend to reduce the number of bobble-rows on the cuffs. I also love Joji Locatelli’s, Xandy Peters’, Linda Marveng’s, and Norah Gaughan’s designs for the issue. Pom Pom has really been on my wavelength with this and the Fall issue.

  5. I love big sleeves. But in my humble opinion they are destined for coats and other types of outwear. Not so much for pullovers in terms of practicality, as you mentioned. But this pompom magazine is interesting, many ideas and trends in one place.
    ” I am also not a fan of bobbles… they look funny.”
    They do look funny on a mature women and look great on a young and hip, like your daughter. 🙂
    = Lora

  6. “Big sleeves and bobbles, and tigers, oh my!” I agree, they are lovely designs. But for me it’s sort of like the difference between theory and reality. I don’t understand how those bobbles and sleeves could work into any life that is moderately active. I could imagine, for instance, wearing those huge sleeves and trying to do office work, repeatedly getting caught on the desk somehow. Maybe snagged on a desk corner, jammed in drawer. But to prance around in, they’re great!

  7. These sweaters looks lovely, but I don’t know about the big sleeve trends. Being in NY, we need our jackets hahaha. These are a beautiful novelty, but I’m wondering if its just a fad.

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