Monday, 3 December 2007

Knitting challenge: knit basics for '08, care to try?

For the past week, I've been looking at my stash, my patterns and the knitting and colour trends for 2008. With my master scheme of stash diving and clearing my knitting decks, so to speak, I thought that we could have a theme going.

First, though, let us take a look at the colour trends for 2008. The colour palette seems relatively cool, rather Scandinavian with its varying tones of grey tinting the greens and blues, and surprisingly, a pink that looks more like a dusky coral. I've read that the materials veer from organic to futuristic, and the clothing is more structured.

Based on the montage of fashions on this page, and the prolonged reading of magazines both online and in hard copy, I've identified four pieces of knitwear that will be a nod to the trends, but will suit me. That's the trick, your knitwear should suit you, and I'm coming to the conclusion that as much as I like my fair isle, and acrobatic patttern designs, my style favours the unobtrusive and stark beauty of the stocking stitch.

Also, just looking through the European knitting pattern books has been a revelation. For example in the Phildar books, the yarn is knit with needles 1 size smaller. It makes the fabric firm, adds structure and the garment is less prone to pilling. A dollop of acrylic to wool and cotton adds to the durability of the knitted garment. Reverse stocking stitch is quite lovely, and doesn't seem to be as prone to pilling as straight stocking stitch.

The criteria for your knitting basics should be as follows:

  • It must fit your wardrobe. Make knit pieces that you will wear. If you suit scoop necks (like yours truly) don't knit crew or v necks. You won't wear the garment, ask me how I know.
  • It must suit your lifestyle. As much as I like structured knit jackets, I won't wear them. I'd rather wear structured cloth jackets. My style seems to be slouchy minimalist, so I can see myself wearing my rendition of the yellow Chloe cardigan above.
  • Try and pick colours that suit you and your wardrobe, but don't play it too safe. I've discovered that I have enough green/teal yarn to make three full garments. I'll do it too, but I'm not buying any more green for now. No more browns, either.
  • The garments must be able to drift across two seasons. This is to make sure that you get as much wear as you can from the knitted garment. For instance, if you make a cardigan, you can wear it on a cool spring or summer's day. If if got chillier, you can pair it with a knitted vest for additional warmth. If you make a vest, you can wear it over a long sleeved garment to keep your back and shoulders warm, but can shuck it off as soon as the weather gets warm or you walk into a heated room.
So, with this in mind, my four key garments/ knit basics for 08 are:

  1. A scoop necked vest. I'm unsure of the colour, to be frank. I'm veering towards the red orange yarn in my stash, because it will give a splash of colour to whatever garment I'm wearing. It will be done in double weight yarn because it won't add bulk to my frame or garments.
  2. A cardigan. Probably two. One is definitely Central Park Hoodie, but I don't have the yarn for that yet. So far, I'm looking at Anna Bell's Cherry, a cardigan from Phildar and a slouchy cardigan ala Chloe. I might have to do evil design math, or ask a fellow raveller for help, but we will see.
  3. A short sleeved vest: This might be in a heavier yarn, but I can wear a long sleeved top underneath and still keep warm.
  4. A summer top. Something simple and pretty, but I haven't stumbled on what I want just yet.

Then, I'm thinking of accessories. Two years ago, I did two pairs of fetching gloves from and I've worn the heck out of them ever since then. I need to add those. So, I am hoping to do:
  • Long arm warmers. They are useful for having warmth under your coats
  • A lace triangular scarf or a long rectangular stole. The scarves are good for traveling and will be lighter than my cloth scarves as well. I can literally stick it in the side of my bag when it gets too hot.
  • A snug cap that's long enough to cover my ears.
That's it, really. I'm toying with making a knit along, for anyone to join in their own time, or do a group on ravelry, but I don't have the discipline to mod or cheer the troops on, so to speak. If anyone gets to do this idea before me, feel free to do so, just give me credit where its due, and please invite me to the knit along!

What do you think?


Karin said...

Hi cranberry,
KarinMT here.
How are you?
I like your blog a lot. I'll be checking back more often!
Thanks for changing your picture.
Love the new one.:)
All the Best to you!!!

mooncalf said...

I love this post. I've been trying to get something similar together for this summer using the Pantone trend charts (they don't have one yet for Fall 07-08)

I'm also trying to combine it with de-stashing which adds an extra challenge.

If you're planning a scoop-neck pullover knit-a-long I'm totally in!

mooncalf said...

I like this pattern:

michou said...

Funny to read this: For about three weeks or so ago I wrote about my Knitting Commands - some of your rules could be mine, too.
Using all the colours which suit you, choosing the style that is becoming (u-neck,yes - raglans, no) and find patterns you love for more than one season. :-)

JayJay said...

That's a lot of good advice! It's so easy to knit things because you love the pattern, not because you'll wear it. For those things, it is necessary to find gift recipients. ;)

Marce (BrownBerry) said...

I agree 100% and your last list of 3 accessories are exactly what I want for myself for this year. Spot on!