by Michelle Cooper
Believe me when I say, this is my very first blog post, so take it with a grain of salt. Let's start by admitting that I haven't knit in a while, but I'm always fascinated by Anne's incredible projects and love keeping an eye on other knitters' creations through Anne's Ravelry page and social media. It struck me that we don't often showcase a "style guide" for Anne's designs, despite frequently discussing it. Anne will say, "This would look beautiful with So and So," and as a fashion major, I can't help but constantly envision how the designs would pair with different outfits, especially for photoshoots. I have to remind myself to focus on the design at hand, as I'm already brainstorming five outfit changes for the shoot!
So, without further ado, I've decided to create a blog post about styling the Artus & Anne Cardigan, which happens to be one of my current favorites. So, here's my point of view (POV, yes, I'm part of that generation that abbreviates everything #sorry) on the design itself and the yarn.
I love how this photo beautifully captures my perception of the design. The play of light and shadows accentuates the stitches, creating a mesmerizing dance of motifs around the cardigan. I hadn't fully realized the intricate beauty until I saw this image, and it's also thanks to the yarn choice that the magic happens.
I must admit, I have a soft spot for Modern Deco Lace, if not for anything else but the fact that I can easily identify it among the 50+ yarns we have in the Shop (Sorry I'm in the process of learning). There's something about the Tencel blend in this yarn that gives it a silky-like shine, making it irresistibly soft and visually stunning. It's a delicate lace yarn that exudes softness, though it differs from lace yarns containing silk, which might explain why it has such a unique appeal.
As I mentioned earlier, it's been a while since I've picked up my knitting needles, and most of my previous projects consisted of simple stitches. I must admit, Anne's designing process still remains a mystery to me—I can't fathom how she creates such intricate patterns in the first place. But coming back to my point, despite my knitting hiatus, I'm beginning to grasp the tremendous impact yarn choice has on a project.
It's truly fascinating how the selection of yarn can make such a massive difference in the final outcome. The way the yarn behaves, its texture, and even its luster can completely transform the look and feel of a project. I'm starting to appreciate the artistry behind matching the right yarn with the perfect design.
Oh, and guess what? We've got an Artus & Anne sample made in Stone Soup Fingering—how exciting! A big shout-out to Joseé, one of our club moderators and talented sample knitters, for crafting this incredible cardigan.
Now, let me share a little secret I've heard around the office—rumor has it that Stone Soup might just be Anne's favorite yarn. Shh, don't tell the other yarns; they might get jealous! But honestly, I can see why. Although I'm not an expert knitter (yet), I can understand the commotion around this yarn for several reasons: A. The tweedy texture, or as I like to call it, those charming "little balls" in the yarn, adds a unique touch. B. Would you believe it has silk in it? C. Let me tell you, the variety of color shades available in Stone Soup is simply breathtaking. I have no proper words to express how stunning they are. My personal favorite? All the Stone Soup shades—I simply can't choose just one!
If you ask me, I would probably knit one in every single color, just to have one cardigan for different occasions (yes, I'm one of those people that love to have the same garment in every single color).
Let's not lose focus; it's time to dive back into the style guide! Susan, our talented photographer, and I have been hard at work, conducting a series of photoshoots to showcase the Artus & Anne Cardigan in different ways. So, without any more delay, let's begin on our very first style guide adventure! Get ready to be inspired by the endless possibilities this stunning cardigan offers!
Naturally Anne was the first to wear the Artus & Anne Cardigan, and it happened to be on a special day when we attended a Fundraiser dinner. Later, we decided to head for a second dinner at Cilantro Thai & Sushi (we're big foodies, particularly when it comes to Thai or Indian cuisine, but we'll save that for another blog post!). Anyway... we were walking towards the restaurant and couldn't resist capturing the beautiful contrast of Anne's outfit against the painted orange wood across the street. She even playfully posed beside a sign that read "open," cleverly hinting at the fact that her cardigan was unbuttoned—pun intended!
Anne has this effortlessly casual style that always catches attention. It was hot that evening, so she paired it with loose linen pants and a sleeveless tank. At the fundraiser and even at the restaurant, everyone couldn't help but rave about her cardigan. I might have played a part in it too, enthusiastically telling everyone, "Do you see her Cardigan? She made it!" I simply can't help but cherish and brag about handmade items.
I've been delving into the world of flat lays and experimenting with outfit combinations, and let me tell you, this particular one is absolutely adorable! Although I don't have a photo of myself wearing it, I thought the flat lay would give a cute representation of the look.
Now, before you say anything, I must confess—I'm a 30-year-old woman who falls into the fashionista demographic, always seeking to exude style in every outfit I wear. Just ask Anne and Barb; I never repeat outfits at the office. Well, to be fair, I only go to the office twice a week, so it's not that challenging to avoid repeats.
But let's get back on track! This outfit is one that I wholeheartedly recommend for a casual and chic option. The real magic lies in the accessories you choose. With just a change of purse, shoes, and jewelry, you can completely transform the entire look. It's fascinating how such small details can make a significant impact!
And here's a little style food for thought—the same outfit could take a completely different direction with a different pair of pants. That's the beauty of neutral colored shades; it allows us to play with endless possibilities and express our unique sense of style!
Let me take you behind the scenes of our fabulous photoshoot, set in the midst of a scorching June sunset. Yes, it was undeniably hot outside, and you'll notice most of the photos feature the cardigan unbuttoned. After all, it's summer, and who wants to be all buttoned up unless you're indoors with a blasting air conditioner?
When I think of summer, besides flip flops, denim shorts, and melting ice cream, it's the perfect time to showcase all those beautiful light and casual outfits you simply can't wear on a winter day. Sure, jean shorts are a popular choice, but when you have such a stunning design like the Artus & Anne Cardigan, you want to make it worthwhile, right? That's where monochrome colors come into play—they're a go-to that complements this cardigan beautifully!
Moreover, depending on the shade you've knitted this piece in, you'd want to contrast it with your inside garment. For instance, if your cardigan is in the range of Marble to River rock tones, contrasting it with the opposite color will truly make your ensemble pop!
During my in-laws' visit to town, we had the perfect opportunity to showcase the new Stone Soup Fingering sample. We thought my mother-in-law would look absolutely stunning in it, and boy, were we right! For those curious, this sized M sample was crafted in the elegant Granite shade.
We asked my mother-in-law how she would style it, and I must say, her choice of color tones was impeccable. She paired the cardigan with a silky solid-color cool-tone blouse and chic slacks. And as a Latina, she wouldn'y be caught dead leaving the house without her stunning collection of earrings and jewels.
Selecting a color pop undergarment is an excellent choice for styling underneath a cardigan like this. Not only does it create an eye-catching visual contrast, but the open colorwork design of the Artus & Anne Cardigan allows that vibrant color to peek through and reflect its hues. It's a delightful way to add an extra dimension to the overall look and make the cardigan truly stand out.
And last but certainly not least, let me introduce you to the original and first photoshoot we had of the Artus & Anne Cardigan, where we decided to showcase it with a dress. Let me tell you, a short and lightweight cardigan is ALWAYS the perfect option to wear over a dress. Whether it's a formal event, a sun dress, or a wedding guest attire, this cardigan will be your best friend! Especially when it's knitted in a delicate yarn like Modern Deco Lace. Trust me, you'll never regret wearing this piece as part of your night out!
Those summer weddings always crank up the air conditioning inside the venue, and during dinner, I find myself shivering uncontrollably. Oh, how I wish I had a lovely light cardigan to wear during the reception. I guess I took the term "Bare Naked" a bit too literally! Lesson learned; a chic and practical cardigan like the Artus & Anne would have been a lifesaver during those chilly moments. From now on, I won't underestimate the power of a stylish cover-up for those summer soirées!
Oh. and here's a cool Bare Naked secret: the natural shades of our yarn with the Artus & Anne Cardigan will complement any dress beautifully!
Just remember the contrast rule when styling with your dress: if your dress is a light tone, opt for a dark tone cardigan, and vice versa. The same applies to floral or patterned dresses; it's all about finding the right shades. A solid color cardigan will effortlessly contrast with the array of colors in your dress, creating a stunning and harmonious look.
Don't forget to bookmark this blog post as your style guide for the next time you create an outfit with your Artus & Anne Cardigan. Whether you've already knit your own masterpiece or are contemplating starting this delightful project, I hope I've provided you with valuable insights and inspiration.
As you experiment with different outfits and occasions, I would love to hear about your own styling tips and how you've adorned this garment in the past. Even though I might not knit as much, I must admit that I absolutely LOVE seeing everyone's creations and the unique ways they style their masterpieces!
Happy knitting and styling, everyone!