Wednesday, 16 January 2019

New year resolutions for crafters

As well or instead of making new year resolutions about exercise or diet, many knitters and crocheters use this time of year to set out an ambition or target for their yarnie activities.
Usually these fall into three categories – learning something new, organising yarn or patterns, or setting out a big ambition.

Learning something new
This can be to try out at least one new stitch pattern each month or to master sock knitting. In some way adding  to our crafty repertoire. 

Our followers made some great suggestions on social media
Claire Boyd: "I'd like to learn to do brioche knitting. Been knitting for 30 years and forever learning new techniques."
Lisa Scott: "I would like to learn to read charts."
Nicky Jackson: "I am going to learn to knit with double pointed needles and how to crochet a ripple blanket."

Lots of people decide to go “cold sheep” in January. This is a resolution not to buy any yarn and only use their existing stash for the whole year.
We reckon this is pretty tough, so how about trying to use mainly stash but allowing yourself to supplement it when necessary so you can actually use stash yarn in patterns you really want to make.
The other big organising resolution is to not cast on anything until all projects are finished. If you are a serial caster-on this can be a tough challenge, so we have a suggestion here as well. If you have five or more live works in progress, you could resolve to only start something new when you have completed (including sewing up or blocking) two projects. That way over time you will reduce the number of live projects but not be stranded with only large projects when you actually need a handbag sized project for when you are on the move.

You could use this time of year to set out a big project – a major charity knitting plan or designing your own sweater for example. Follower Marjolein Kooiman has a plan to design a Tunisian crochetalong in 2019.
Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to achieve your ambition rather than cram it into the first couple of months.

For all these types of yarnie resolution, remember that they are not iron-clad rules – if you don’t manage everything you set out to do even though you tried, that is fine too.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Knitwear trends for this winter

If you are planning some on trend knitting projects for this winter you would do well to keep the three Bs in mind – big, bold, bright.
A browse of the catwalk pictures and the fashion blogs will show you that designers have been favouring large or multiple cables on sweaters, bright colour combinations and colour block designs influenced by sportswear. Others are combining what are being described as “grandad knits” such as fair isle slipovers and of oversized cardigans with glamorous fabrics such as velvet or silk.

Vlad cabled sweater by Spencer Vladamir; Oversized cardigan in space dyed yarn by Missoni; Ader sportswear inspiredstripes and colour combinations; Erdem sweater combined with eveningwear

We’ve been looking around for some patterns to get us started with our fashion knitting.

Ramblin Woman by Caitlin Hunter really fits with the “grandad” knits trends and would look fabulous with a pair of Katherine Hepburn trousers or over a velvet skirt. 

Sylvi by Mari Muinonen is something of a knitting pattern classic but its time has come again showing how to make a statement with cables. 

For a great example of colour blocking check out JeannieChin’s Patchwork Pullover which also use a variety of textured stitches. If these strong colours are too much for you, try shades of the same colour.

If you fancy the idea of an oversized scarf, take a look at rectangular wrap patterns in aran or chunky to give you plenty of volume. The Snowfall onthe Bowery Wrap by Alexandra Tavel is ideal and you could crochet extra rows in the plain sections if you want more length,  

Whatever you decide to knit or crochet this winter, we hope you enjoy it. And don't forget to share pictures on our social media with the tag #knitprosinaction.