The wool bag lady

Earlier this week, Beatrix discovered the household stash of winter accessories and dove in for an afternoon of dress up.
Oh hi, my mom's a knitter

Aside from illustrating that she is a really big fan of red, Beatrix’s dress up game highlighted a problem I have as a knitter: I cannot seem to knit matching (or more accurately, not clashing) hats, scarves, and mittens. When planning a new winter project, it has never occurred to me to consider anything but the yarn choice. Before selecting yarn, perhaps I should ask myself, “Will this look awful with my bright red coat?”* Chances are, it will. I rarely care.

I wish I didn't have to dig these out already

My favorite pastel orange Kid Classic scarf looks awful with my Winter Sunrise Hat, Pam’s mittens and the bright red coat, but I wear them together because I love them all so much. I realize this makes me the wool bag lady. When spotted out in public, I am THAT woman, instantly recognizable as “knitter”. Normally, I can live with this. After all, everyone knows that people with matching hats, scarves, and mittens are wearing store-bought cotton (or worse, acrylic), and they are justifiably freezing their tails off. I may look a bit eccentric come winter, but I am warm. (Score one for knitting.)

Wool bag lady

Still, it bothers me a bit that I cannot seem to stick with a pattern long enough to eke out both a scarf and a hat. By the time I finish the scarf, I need at least a year’s hiatus from the pattern. And after the instant gratification of a hat, who wants to slog through six feet of scarf? My mission this fall is to come up with a scarf pattern that will be interesting enough to continue on into the hat. It has to be possible, right?

If not, please understand if you see me this winter, wrapped up in my clashing wooly goodness. Just assume I’m only out to buy cat food.

*Hm… maybe Beatrix is not the only one with a penchant for reds.

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14 comments so far

  1. Kat on

    Nothing wrong with being a wool bag lady. (says she who wears a purple hat with a brown or fuschia coat with a green scarf.)

  2. k on

    i usually have an aversion to anything too matchy-matchy, but i can understand the desire to at least get a common colour theme (says she who doesn’t always achieve that goal). maybe you can do different patterns for scarf and hat to keep you interested, but try and pick a common yarn or colour so they still match.

  3. Michelle on

    I think k’s idea is good; different patterns, common yarn. Regardless, there are so many delightful goodies to drool over in those photos! I am not that talented nor that productive, and wish I were.

  4. Eliza on

    I see no reason for accessories to “match.” I think that as long as the pieces complement each other, you’re fine.

  5. Mandy on

    I call myself a ragamuffin. But I finally have matching hat & mittens! Scarf? Hmmmm.

  6. Susan on

    Or you could make one of those hooded scarf things and get it all done in one project. Unless you think those are dorky :)

  7. celticcaston on

    I don’t usually have the same pattern for hat scarf and mittens but i’m a bit of a freak about making sure they all go together, same colours and that.

  8. Janet on

    Matching? What’s that? Maybe a cowl would work?

  9. peacockchic on

    I too don’t believe you have to be matchy matchy, but I do understand that SOMETIMES you want to be. I however will be trying to break the mismatch habit by sewing things to match my knits to break the monotony yet also build a wardrobe…or sorts. Good luck on the scarf/hat combo!! i would say start with the hat because then you finish and get all excited and don’t get burned out my the scarf.

  10. Liz419 on

    I recommend the book “Ann Likes Red” for Beatrix. It was my favorite book as a child and has recently been republished. I just read it to my niece who is 2 1/2.

  11. iknitipurl on

    Too friggin’ cute!

  12. grumperina on

    I’m absolutely and completed with you! I will grab my favorite hat and my favorite scarf (of the moment… those things change), whether they match or not. Honestly, I never even think about it…

  13. Lori on

    I had never really given any thought to this until sometime in the middle of last winter when I realized I looked very much like a wooly bag lady. It doesn’t bother me that much but I too would like to find a pattern that would hold my attention enough for scarf, mittens and toque!

    The picture of Beatrix is priceless!

  14. Abigail on

    I agree, it’s taken me a long time to get over my issues with being too matchy-matchy. I’m only recently dipping my toe into pairing different color shirt and shoes in office wear. (Gasp! How daring!) Yes, I own a huge amount of black and grey. I do think the idea of matching yarn, different pattern is a great one. You could throw a contrast color into one piece but keep the other solid so you can add extra interest and pop.


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