Monday, January 27, 2014

The Magic of the Swants

Have you heard about swants?!  The can't-help-but-stare, gotta-try-for-myself trend coming out of Europe?!  Born from his sheer love of sweaters, Stephen West, of Westknits, is the mastermind behind this recent trend. Originally hailing from Oklahoma, Stephen currently lives in Amsterdam, and I suspect the change in scenery really affected his creative arts.  He has written three knitting books, offers patterns on his website (some free, too!), and heads up a FunSquad that hosts online knit-alongs.  Talk about building your passion into an enterprise!  But enough about his business savy, let's talk swants.

Quite simply, swants combine two of my most favorite things: (1) a restyle project involving (2) sweaters.  I had to be part of this movement.  And I'm not kidding when I say movement.  Swants were showcased on Good Morning America shortly before Christmas (if that's any barometer on cool).  I have never been so trendy as I am in this moment.

So here's how it works...

Start with a sweater of your choice.  Put it on wrong.  Feel the magic.   Ponder the possibilities.  I would recommend a sweater that is several times larger than one you have ever bought before.  I used a women's large, and I would have preferred a bit more room.  The sleeves/legs were a bit tight and short (even on 5' me) and there was just enough room in the seat. 

The official tutorial from WestKnits is here.  He includes many photos and does a better fitting job than I did.  I also found this tutorial helpful for the diagrams.  If you search, you will find many more how-to's on youTube and blogs.  For my waistband, I simply turned a large hem and ran a satin ribbon drawstring.

The neck and shoulders is cut away from the sweater, allowing you to wear a fabulous coordinating dicky.  Haven't worn one of these things since sixth grade!

The more time and attention you give to the fit, the better derriere you'll end up with.  The key to making swants street-ready is to fit the crotch and seat properly.  Pairing swants with heels and glamorous accessories can also improve their overall look.

And for those nay-Sayers out there who are pishawing the wear-ability of swants, I'll have you know that these were showcased at my in-laws Christmas party.  Granted it was as an Ugly Holiday Outfit entry, but I WON! 

I was marginally happy with this pair of swants, but know I can improve.  I'm on the look-out for a men's XL in cashmere.  I'll be sure to do a follow-up on that beauty!  And to truly understand the magic of swants, you should probably watch this video which launched the phenomenon.  It's two minutes and twenty-five seconds of your life that you'll never get back, but I betcha you watch til the end.


  1. wow!
    this could be the solution for my hunt for real warm wool leggings!
    i would wear them under my usually winter skirts of cause.......
    danke für den tip!

  2. I want some swarts! And warmer weather of course!


Thanks for your thoughts! Come back to visit again soon!