Day 61: Cameo by Kim Hargreaves
Variety is the spice of life. And warm weather has arrived just in time to allow me to pull my spring knits out of storage. The lighter colors and fabrics have lightened my outlook already! Of course, I will miss the sophistication of my winter knits:
Day 62: Alder Wrap by Kaffee Fassett
Perhaps the best are the versatile pieces one can wear all year round, such as a classic white tweed
Day 63: Coco inspired by Jean Frost
But the greatest fun of changing seasons is the change in style. When the rosebuds in my garden are unfurling their first petals, I want to wear clothes that make me feel the same I am shedding the darkness of winter as well. And nothing mirrors the delicate awakening of spring like a translucent lace knit top.
Day 64: Lydia by Sarah Hatton
Unfortunately, not all lace knits are finished as beautifully as they might be, with an eye to long-term wear and modern tastes, so many of my lace pieces end up becoming camisoles underneath a work jacket:
Day 65: Delphine by Kathleen Griffin-Grimes
And the fabulous, vintage-inspired lace patterns that we historians love are not always easy to pull off in a modern work setting, so they are confined to weekend wear--in this case, idly fantacizing in front of a car dealership with a display that matched my outfit. :-)
Day 66: Blossom by Martin Storey
Here is one of the only lace tops that I feel really confident wearing in any setting because of its modern style:
Day 67: Eerie by Sarah Hatton
The truth is that it is very difficult to find lace knitting designs that are modern enough to become an effortless part of our wardrobes. So many lace pieces come off looking too young (toddler) or too old (grandma). Using a sophisticated color scheme helps—white & cream lace can often look antique just because of associations, so bold colors are often best, such as cobalt blue or red or neutrals such as grey or khakhi. And as a general rule, I stay away from ribbons, bows and any other retro finishings that threaten to give a lace top a “saloon girl” style.
Here are my five top favorite modern lace designs that are perfect to wear in warm weather without sacrificing your style
Design 16 from Fatto a Mano Magazine 205
There is something very sexy about this simple lace cardigan-- the raglan construction perhaps? I think this would look amazing in navy or cobalt blue.
Design 17 from Fatto a Mano Magazine 205
This has a fun safari vibe that I love. The buttoned pockets are what make this cardigan fabulous!
Smoulder by Kim Hargreaves
This pullover is the essence of chic. And yet it is so simple! I think the dark grey really makes this understated and elegant but I could imagine it in other neutrals like cream.
Design 8 from Lana Grossa’s Classici 5 Magazine
This lace pullover on the right is one of the more practical patterns I’ve seen. How many lace camisoles have we seen with tiny, spindly straps that destroy the look of the whole piece? Lace camisole knits with thin straps are problematic for many reasons, not the least of which is that we need enough shoulder coverage to be able to wear a bra and camisole underneath without having to constantly fiddle with the straps. Also, anyone who has broad shoulders or upper arms will appear to their worst possible advantage wearing a camisole with thin straps—the thin straps make the upper body look even wider than it really is and creates an extremely unflattering shape. However, a lace camisole with a broad shoulder strap like this minimizes any upper width completely, and all you see is the beauty and delicacy of the lace design. The button up closure provides for a lot of customization—depending on whether you choose big modern buttons or smaller vintage-style ones, you could completely change the look of the top.
Prudence from Rowan Magazine 55
This little, versatile top made from kidsilk haze is one of my favorites. The lace pattern is simple enough to prevent this from being mistaken for “old lace” even in white, but there is a fabulous version of this top in deep blue on Ravelry already, which I have been eyeing. I think the V neck is so flattering, and if this were knitted in a deep jewel tone you could wear it at any season. I would just lengthen this to make it more figure flattering and define the waist, but this is definitely in my queue for 2014!
Well, there it is, my top five picks for lace knits this spring. I am looking forward to freshening up my wardrobe with some new, warm-weather knits. In the meantime, I am continuing the 100 day challenge wearing the knits I already own, so here are the rest:
Day 68: Covet by Kim Hargreaves
Day 69: Checked Cowl inspired by Dhurrie
Day 70: Chevron Lace Top by Kim Hargreaves
To read the next installment of the 100 Day Challenge, click on the link below--you will see photos of my hand knits in Paris as well as a review of Sherry, by Kim Hargreaves: