SHOPPER

Clockwise from bottom: Marc by Marc Jacobs jumper, $328; Mischa Lampert cashmere hat, $210, both at Barneys Co-Op, 5471-C Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; sweater by Twinkle by Wenlan, $264, at Shopbop.com;
Clockwise from bottom: Marc by Marc Jacobs jumper, $328; Mischa Lampert cashmere hat, $210, both at Barneys Co-Op, 5471-C Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; sweater by Twinkle by Wenlan, $264, at Shopbop.com; "Twinkle's Big City Knits," a collection of designs, $32.50; wooden knitting needles, $23; and Twinkle chunky yarn, $18 (knitting by Rachel Beckman), all at Stitch DC, 731 Eighth St. SE and 5520 Connecticut Ave. NW. (Julia Ewan - The Washington Post)

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

When designers returned to the snuggly softness of familiar fall sweaters, they felt the need to go big. Really big.

London designer Giles Deacon knitted blanket-wide scarves -- created with custom, broomstick-size needles -- that nearly swallowed the models wearing them. Wenlan Chia, whose cult label Twinkle is known for its novelty knits, super-sized her sweaters with yarn as thick as a thumb.

"It's youthful and slightly bohemian," says Chia. "The chunkiness makes it feel less precious, but still very sumptuous and rich."

Like the extra-long "sleepi XL" stocking cap by Dutch designer Mischa Lampert, who specializes in nubby knit scarves and hats from hand-dyed cashmere.

However, much of the woolen wear for fall 2007 seems to have found a balance between fashion and function. More likely to fit into a dresser drawer are pieces by such designers as Rebecca Taylor, whose cable-knit cardigan features cocoon sleeves and vintage-inspired enamel buttons. Or, a slinky waffle-weaved jumper by Marc Jacobs.

Corpus, purveyor of drainpipe jeans, offers a knotted rope that's equal parts crafty necklace and skinny scarf. Even Yigal Azrouel, the Israeli-born New York designer known for his sharp, tailored aesthetic, found a way to be big and bold while keeping the shape sleek.

"You have to wear it in a certain way, pairing it with something simple or unexpected," says Chia, who sells a namesake line of heavyweight yarn and released a book of Twinkle patterns earlier this year -- for those ready to spin their own yarn, so to speak.

-- Cory Ohlendorf


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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