In a year dominated by unpredictable forces, both natural and manmade, its comforting to know that knitting remains a constant in our lives, an age old form of intertwining not only stitches across a needle but also connecting people and communities together though one shared passion. For some of us it may be a circle of friends sharing stories during a weekly knit ‘n’ chat, a charity group combining their stitching skills in an effort to help those less fortunate, or the privelege of guiding a tiny pair of hands as they cast on for the first time. The common element that draws knitters together is the calming rhythmic strokes of the needles as they click together creating something uniquely handmade, and letting us know that everything is alright in the world, at least for the time being.
Its time to shine the spotlight on the Top Ten Knitting Trends For 2012, and predict which ones will stick around and which ones have had their time in the sun-
10. DOWNTON ABBEY STYLE! This British drama series kept us hot-glued to our seats last winter on blustery nights as a knotted and jumbled storyline unfolded amidst a backdrop of lavish period costumes. It seems designers were also tuning in to the finer side of life, inspired by the intricate lacework in cardigans, collars and shawls. Rialto Lace Cardigan by Debbie Bliss (shown above).
9. GOING IN CIRCLES! Knitting stepped off the straight and narrow path, just as flowers were budding and birds were nesting, interesting circular patterns began to show up in knitwear. Vests and cardigans designed with a medallion motif in the back received rave reviews as knitters were on a quest for the next trend and ready to step up their skill levels. Sirdar Leaflet #9544 (shown above).
8. CROCHET REVIVAL! This year many knitters set aside their needles and became hooked on crochet, as the retro craft once again popped up on the horizon. Designers took notice and began to feature entire crochet collections while Noro went one step further introducing a hardcover book filled with enticing patterns for accessories and fashionable wear. Noro Crochet Tunic (shown above).
7. PRE-KNIT YARNS! Eyes were popping as knitters discovered hollow tubes of chainlike yarn suddenly appearing on store shelves, surprisingly light and airy, and ideal for knitting on big needles. Malindi Suntop by Katia (shown above).
6. CARBON FIBRE! This revolutionary new fibre made its way from the racing circuit into the hands of lace knitters, stronger than steel and lighter than wood, the new Karbonz needles from Knitter’s Pride quickly zoomed into the lead with Formula 1 speed. Available in sizes 1.00 mm to 3.50 mm in circular, straight or double points.
5. PONCHO TOPS! A hybrid emerged just in time for the first cool days of Fall, a pull-on style without sleeves, adding a layer of warmth without all the bulk. Beginners fell head over heels for this easy design knit up in one piece with minimal shaping. Sirdar Leaflet #9605 (shown above).
4. FRINGING ALL THE WAY! After a sensational season of ruffles and swirls, along came self-fringing yarns, making their debut in scarves, cowls, and cardigans. The suede-like allure of Manhattan by Katia adds an exciting new texture to handknit accessories. Katia Manhattan Cowl (shown above).
3. TRIM YARNS! Katia made waves this year with a cache of ribbons and trims that instantly entranced their global fan club. Like magic, what appeared to be flat bands of cleverly woven material transitioned from a conventional yarn into fabulous edgings or an entire garment by simply joining strips together. Katia’s Funny Shrug (shown above).
2. DOUBLE UP COWLS! These cosy coverings went the extra distance and became the ‘must have’ gift item for Christmas as shop owners reported a steady stream of knitters hunting for cowl patterns that had to wrap not once but twice around the neck. Noro came to the rescue with this cheery candy-coloured version, and offered the pattern as a free download. Shiraito Double Cowl (shown above).
1. FAUX FUR! The holiday season was wrapped up in plush elegance with the arrival of Lanas Stop’s faux fur line. Knitters had their pick of the litter with Mink, Seal, Koala, Rabbit, and newest darling-Felino. Cowls, scarves, hats and other cold weather accessories knit up in a flash with this innovative yarn that so closely resembles animal fur, its irresistible. Felino Wrap by Lanas Stop (shown above).
Wishing you health, happiness and miles of smiles from all your knitting projects!