Reversible Basics

Every once in a while there are still overcast mornings and chilly evenings this far into the summer months. I’m always packing a light sweater or shawl in my bag that I’ve either taken off after things warm up a bit or because I’m ready to pop one on during dinner or in a frigid movie theater. Quenna Lee’s Reversible Basics is a whole collection of knits perfect for layering even in July! Each garment features a delightfully simple silhouette with sweet details.


The Claresta Cardigan is a great example of a garment that is an easy go-to layering piece. The mock cable edging is immediately eye catching and elevates this one from a basic cardigan to one with a little bit of extra glamor. However, that’s not even my favorite part!


I always love what I think of as “secret” details: something that’s not immediately noticeable but contributes to the subtle aura of a garment. In Claresta‘s case it’s the cute eyelet detail that runs up the arms, over the shoulder all the way to the collar. I LOVE this detail. I also love that there are no buttons on the front. I can never get buttons in knits to sit nicely and not gape open because knit fabric is just so stretchy! Quenna instead opted for that lovely mock cable that finishes the edge instead, leaving it up to the wearer to decide whether they want to close it with a shawl pin or just leave it open.


All of the detail on the Ashby Tank is centered around the neckline where it would still be visible if the tank were worn under a cardigan or heavier jacket. Galileo knits up into such a lustrous fabric that this tank almost doesn’t need any other detail, this makes the draped neckline and the panel of mock cabling extra fancy.


Like the Ashby, the Hourglass Tank is a quick knit with all of the detail centered in the neckline. This tank has a nice, lower neckline and walks that fine line between being warm enough for those occasional blasts of air conditioning while still light enough to make walking around town at high noon a pleasant idea. I could absoultely imagine wearing this without a cardigan to the Farmers Market this weekend to shop for veggies AND to work under a light jacket well into the fall and winter months.


Hats are always an easy addition to any outfit. They perch on your head, keep your noggin nice and toasty and act as a cute accessory. The Checkerboard Tam is especially nice because it sits so far back on your head that it doesn’t really interfere with your hairstyle during the day. You can keep your bangs, curls and hair clips in and just pop the tam on as icing on the proverbial outfit cake.


Lastly, and by far my favorite piece in this collection is the Hyacinth Scarf and Wrap in the ever wonderful Shadow Tonal Lace Gypsy yarn. While it won’t protect you from the whistling wind in the winter, it does provide a stunning accent to any outfit. I absolutely LOVE the bright red color and the fluttering lace edge that gives the pieces such a lovely drape and flowing effect.

Quenna’s patterns make me excited to do some summer knitting while it’s actually still summer outside! These are all quick knits that I can wear right away and even into the fall months. Are you always toting around extra clothes “just in case” too? Are you drawn to shawls or are you more of a cardigan wearer these days?


  1. Lisa / July 25, 2013

    I love this book! The styles are so graceful and elegant – yet they look easy to wear. There is also a nice range of sizes.

  2. Kepanie / July 24, 2013

    I am very fortunate to be friends with Queena Lee. I met her at a San Francisco knitting group (Purl & Sympathy) that meets Mondays @10 a.m. She is such a talented designer and a lovely woman. Queena is our go-to for trouble-shooting. I did pick up a copy of this to support her of course.

  3. Jean Rehmeier / July 24, 2013

    these are some very nice sweaters….would love the patterns!