Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bespoke Mustache Cardigan

On days like this, when snow and smog commingle as sludge, adding insult to sub-zero injury, we expats get to wondering just why exactly we continue to live in Beijing. But, it's also days like this, when the call finally comes to pick up my custom hand-knit cardigan, that remind me of some of the advantages to living here.

After Marilyn had her Totoro Cardigan made for a work assignment over at The Beijinger, I got jealous and decided to have my own sweater made, something with a more manly pattern...something a little more "me."

Eventually I narrowed it down to either ninjas or mustaches, or both. I even looked around for mustachioed ninja knitting patterns, but alas, Taft-ian Shinobi was nowhere to be found on Etsy.

Both of them hold special places in my heart, but I eventually went with the mustache. Needless to say, the ladies at the wool store were befuddled by the pattern, but hey, an order's an order, and they agreed to knit it up for me.

I ordered this back in September hoping it'd arrive in time for Movember and the onset of the cold, but apparently some German model had booked up all of the kindly knitting lady's time, so she didn't finish my piece until today.

All told, this woolly tribute to hirsute upper lips set me back 452RMB ($71, or maybe more since the yuan just hit a record high against the dollar). I'm sure some of you would never pay $70-something dollars for an ironic sweater, but I'm comforted by the fact that this dastardly cardigan is lusciously soft and perfectly fitted to my figure.

Unfortunately, I got to the Wool City too late today to order the crowning glory for this sweater: suede elbow pads, so I'll have to head back there for the finishing touch. I might also add a lining to keep it from snagging and make it even more warm. Once I'm done, I'll finally be able to put my feet up by the fireplace with a leather-bound book, a briar wood pipe, and a monocle. Dastardly indeed.


To have your own knit-tacular wearables made, visit (via The Beijinger):

Wool City. Daily 9.30am-4:30pm. Anningzhuang Donglu (west of Qinghe Xiaoying Qiao), Haidian District 清河毛纺城, 海淀区清河镇安宁庄东路(近清河小营桥). Shop 321 (6291 0284)