Is a shawl a garment?


Fun times: I'm having a go at a three-month make stuff challenge! At least I was until about four minutes ago when I debated the validity of my entry. The fun sort of stopped then.

Here's the conundrum...

Fringe Supply Co is my favourite project bag maker (blog post in itself, really - I have gone slightly mad with project bags in recent weeks). They are currently running a three month challenge called Summer of Basics. You knit or sew three garments that you feel your wardrobe is in need of, or that you think you will get lots of wear from. I don't sew yet (another blog post) so I will be knitting my things.

I have already made number 1 (in the first half of the first month - how ace am I?); it is being blocked (incredibly technical and complex knitting term for those of you who are currently looking perplexed - don't worry about it) even as I type. It's a shawl in colours that will actually go with the things in my wardrobe - bit of a novelty for me. My modus operandi when it comes to shawls is to choose awesome yarn, make awesome shawl and fling it over whatever I am wearing, even though the colours I go for rarely coordinate with my clothes or even the other yarns in the shawl. This doesn't really bother me - I don't mind if people think I look eccentric/crap - but I have no idea how my favourite colours to wear - blues and whites, mostly - have never made it into my shawls. Why don't I have a blue shawl? (I am shrugging my shoulders but it is probably difficult for you to tell.). So anyway, made a shawl with blues and whites. Good basics piece for me. Tick. On to number 2. 

So there I was, merrily knitting garment number 2, when I couldn't get something out of my head, namely the word 'garment'. 

I can't help feeling that this means a piece of clothing. And a shawl is more likely to be classed as an accessory. I'm starting to think my shawl will be ruled out of the game for its lack of garmentlikeness. What do you think: is a shawl a garment? Or do you think of garments as things with spaces or enclosures for arms, legs etc? I also thought that, for the knitters, if things such as shawls are not garments, you're not left with much more than sweaters to make, and three sweaters in three months is not a walk in the park. (Also, how many sweaters can be classed as basics? Don't you just need one, really? Aren't the rest for fun and options?)

It's not a big deal, I suppose (in the grand scheme of things, anyway). I decided to take part because

  • I love Fringe Supply Co and
  • I wondered if I could do three pieces in three months.

There's no need to get hung up on semantics, really, is there? Is there?


Hmm. Perhaps I should ask for clarification (way to look like a loser.) 

Right, I actually planned to do a blog post on my excellent new shawl but I have just killed my own enthusiasm about it. Here's how it's looking at the blocking stage, anyway; hopefully I'll manage to post again when it is dry and amazing. 

You'll just have to excuse the incredible Sydney winter sunlight streaming through the window causing mighty shadows.

You'll just have to excuse the incredible Sydney winter sunlight streaming through the window causing mighty shadows.

In the meantime, the awesome Fringe Supply Co has a blog,, so you can see what is going on with this three month challenge thing. If you decide to check it out, pay close attention to the Summer of Basics wording and report back on whether you think my shawl's allowed to play or not, will you? Thanks.