Ellen Mason has a fabulous design sense that always knocks my socks off. She has a knack for clever twists on classic concepts that feel both familiar and completely new at the same time. The result is wearable designs that blend seamlessly into an everyday wardrobe, but there is always a whimsical element that keeps the piece feeling fun and fresh.
The Banner Pullover designed by Ellen* for Portfolio Volume 1 is a great example. It is the piece from the collection that I imagine I’ll get the most wear out of (when I get a chance to knit one for myself). I see myself wearing this piece over my weekend uniform of skinny jeans and a tunic. I love layering short tops over a long lean silhouette. Or maybe I will go a size up for a few additional inches of ease and add a couple of inches in length so I can wear it like a cozy sweatshirt, over anything and everything.
Ellen recently finished knitting a second Banner pullover in a great combination of Indigo Mix and Dark Grey Ultra Alpaca Chunky and it got me excited to think about color combinations. From Ellen: “Truth be told, I knit this one a bit too long, but luckily I have a tall friend. I’ll make another one for me, shorter.”
“When I have my own I will wear it with a long similarly colored shirt and skinny jeans, or with a print dress and a great belt buckle. The silhouette is short + boxy, a shape I enjoy styling.
I would love to see this sweater on a gal with boyish plaid wool trousers and a fun belt.”
Ellen’s original color pairing of Salt & Pepper with Winter White is spot on, but we had some fun coming up with alternative color ways for this piece. Here are Ellen’s picks (and amazing drawings):
And these are my picks for a few alternative color ways:
What color or color combinations would you choose?
*Fun fact: Ellen Mason was the inspiration and namesake of the free pattern Ellen Cardigan from Knitbits.