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Knitting Trends in 2018

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, February 8, 2018

By Stephanie Shiman

A friend of mine always tells me I have an uncanny knack for predicting trends. I don’t mean the over-the-top runway trends—those never cease to amaze and confound me—but the basic “this is going to be fun” type trends. So, with that in mind, let’s see what fun 2018 has in store…and if I’m way off, you can let me know at the end of the year. ;)

Much of what I think we’ll see in 2018 will come from seeds planted last year, growing and changing as the year goes on. In no particular order, here we go:

The wabi-sabi: This is a hot trend in home décor right now. Wabi-sabi is a traditional Japanese aesthetic, based on seeing the beauty in things that are imperfect and accepting the natural aging process—like patina on aged bronze. I think we’ll see this in our knitting through drop-stitches and asymmetry. Another theme of wabi-sabi is the idea of “obvious pretty” vs. “unique beauty.” I think we’re already seeing this with some rather unusual color selections, particularly in many of the “fade” garments that are popping up.  Colors we would have considered mismatched a few years ago are instead working together in a kind of opposites-attract harmony. So, embrace wabi-sabi and accept that one twisted stitch in a panel of stockinette as an element of your piece, and appreciate your garments knowing they are special or perfect because you created them.

The fade: The “Find Your Fade” shawl by Andrea Mowry has begun a huge movement in mixing and matching colors and assembling them together in ways that are entirely unique. 6369 projects have been knit as I write this article, and all so varied. In the description she says this is “YOUR shawl,” channeling Elizabeth Zimmerman’s attitude of making everything one’s own. I think the “make-it-your-own” aspect of this garment is part of what makes it so appealing. Who doesn’t love shopping for yarn and planning colors? In fact, for me, dreaming of what I will knit is almost as enjoyable as knitting it. I think we’ll be seeing many more projects like this—giant shawls (“shlankets”: shawl+blanket) with singular color combinations melding one into the other using various “fade” techniques to truly make it a one-of-a-kind piece.

The neutrals and texture: On the flip side of the color mash-ups, I’m expecting much in the way of neutrals this year. Lots of grays, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with a pale, pale pink in the neutrals palette. These won’t be boring knits. Rather the neutral yarns will allow highly-textured stitch patterns to step into the foreground. I think we’ll see a lot of knit-purl textures, lesser-used ribbings, and asymmetrical cables. I predict interesting hems and edgings as well. This will be the year to break out all your Barbara Walker books and try new things with your needles.

The big cozy:  Another popular trend in home and fashion is moving towards comfortable and cozy—hygge and more recently, cosagach. These trends, which appreciate feelings of well-being, translate perfectly into knitting. Over-sized ponchos, enveloping shawls, loose-fitting open-front cardigans, worsted weight shrugs…these garments are less about the details and more about comfort. Conveniently enough they’re mostly one-size-fits-all garments, making it less important to get the perfect gauge and perfect fit. That fact alone makes big, cozy knits much more accessible to the beginning knitter. These garments will help shop owners and teachers promote larger, more involved projects with confidence that the knitter will succeed.

So, the take-away:

     Asymmetry, dropped stitches

     Mismatched colors and even bases (gasp!)

     Cozy, one-size-fits-all shrugs and ponchos

     Giant, enveloping shawls (not for the short attention span!)

     Heathered and tonal neutrals for highlighting stitch patterns

     Speckles continue in hand-dyed yarns, but I predict more muted and universally appealing (it seems you either love them, or hate them)

     Gradients and ombre yarns will stay popular—particularly when used for colorwork, such as fair isle knitting

     Tassels, tassels, and pom-poms on top of tassels !!

     And, as Pantone says, ultra-violet…who doesn’t love purple?!

Tags:  trends 

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