Beauty and grace in utility run through the designs presented in Filament No. 1. The design offerings well capture the decade which inspired the designers. When I think of the 1930s, utility is a key word–there wasn’t much to spare so everything needed to be useful–but beauty wasn’t absent. The designs show the grace within wonderfully practical and wearable pieces.
Beauty & Grace
Filament No. 1 is the first collection issued by Kathleen Dames and Anne Podalesk. You will be glad that they followed their hearts and put their heads together to create a small collection of knit-able and wearable pieces inspired by the 1930s. You’ll find yourself thinking about every 1930s book and movie you can recall, and imagining how these modern classics would be at home in them. Then you will find yourself wanting to know more.
The construction of each piece is straightforward and un-fussy, which seems appropriate. There is seamless construction in garments and accessories, featuring interesting stitch patterns and detailing in each design. There is a bit of nostalgia in these designs, but take them from the lovely pages of Filament, and they will be wearable today.
Filament No. 1 has eight designs: 2 pullovers, 2 cardigans, a shawl, socks, a cowl and mitt set, and a tam and glove set. There are cables, twisted stitches, wrapped stitches, lace, stockinette, and knit and purl patterns. You could be happily knitting for the next several months from this Filament No.1 volume.
Once inside, after the style photos, you will find patterns with nice detail photos, good information, written instructions, and charts. Each pattern has a line illustration by Laurel Johnson, accompanied by a list of measurements. Each pattern has what you need.
The yarns used are “tweedy” or tone-on-tone hand dyes. The designs are not showy and so it is easy to picture yourself wearing them. It is also easy to picture them in a 1930s-era story, and it was easy to conjure just how they might have been worn.
Give Me More Beauty & Grace
What is missing here is some of the backstory. I wish Kathleen and Anne had filled us in on their process in creating these beautiful things. I wanted to know each design’s stories: the utility of a moss stitch and lace shawl, the versatility of a cardigan that can be buttoned into a pullover, how polished an everyday coat would look with a matching accessory pair. I am fairly certain all of this was given the utmost consideration and I just want a little something to think about while I knit.
I have made a small version of Copperfield–the first two pattern segments plus the finish. The blocked measurements are 19″ at the center and a 38″ wingspan. That makes a nice neck wrap. Worsted weight yarn.
I have been working on a half-size version of Bittersweet. There are always some compromises when working half-size, but I have enjoyed knitting this, and I think my half-size mannequin will love it too once I finish. I did the shaping exactly the same, just compressed rows/stitches between. I decided to make a smaller button band, but my mannequin is busty, so I didn’t want the buttons in a position where they would pull. I’m making the left sleeve now.
Update: I’ve been assured that blog posts are coming! Look here in the upcoming weeks for more background on the Filament No. 1 designs.