Spring is coming around the bend – at least in these parts. Actually, it should be here already, but it doesn’t quite feel like it yet. I do love winter, but it’s been cold and grey for so long that I can hardly wait for spring. I can even feel a bout of startitis coming! Right now I am just yearning for warmth and color right now. That all my knitting recently has been white certainly didn’t help matters. So, I spend a lot of time on the internet, on Pinterest and Ravelry and countless blogs. Searching for spring knitting trends and looking at what kind of patterns are coming out and what people seem to like to knit right now. And adding a whole lot of things to my already overflowing Ravelry queue.
General Trends for 2018 and the Spring Season
As in the last few years, knitting as wellness and for relaxation still is very much in trend. So, I see a lot of easy patterns without intricate patterning. Comfortable knits in heavy yarns were everywhere in winter, and that seems to carry over into spring just with more suitable yarn choices.
Since knitting for relaxation is still so prevalent many of the currently popular patterns can be worked by beginners who have the basics down (knit, purl, increase, decrease, cast on and bind off, reading a pattern and chart) and want to try something a bit more exciting.
But where in winter there were a lot more dark tones and a lot of grey, bright color is now coming back again. Large color blocks and stripes are still very common but now in pastels and light colors. You see them a lot on sweaters, cowls, and shawls.
We will be seeing fewer cables in spring patterns now. Cabled knits are a little bulky and heavier – at least compared to similar knits with the same weight yarn without cables. They seem warm and comfortable but don’t usually create flowing and light fabrics. You might still see them for texture on laceweight projects knit with rather large needles for example or in the form of traveling stitches and in brioche patterns. But heavily cabled projects will likely become more and more rare with increasing temperatures. Similar things are true for stranded colorwork since they tend to be very warm.
Also still very popular are brioche knitting projects. I had knit my first brioche piece a year ago, and I can understand the appeal. It’s not as difficult to do as you’d think (once you find a good tutorial video) and the effect of multi-colored brioche is just stunning.
I would advise against trying brioche if you are a beginner. It isn’t that difficult to learn, but a bit of knitting experience helps. You should be able to follow a pattern and learn how to do something by watching videos at least. It would also help if you’ve knit with more than one color before (in stripes if you want to do 2-color-brioche) and maybe have knit a few more complicated stitch patterns, for example, some lace and cables.
- Sudden Bliss by Kristina Vilimaite
- Overture Cowl by Vanessa Ewing
- Summer Walk by Susanne Sommer
- Gaga for ewe by Julie Knits In Paris
Lightweight Accessories in Spring Colors
Shawls and cowls are still around during spring and even summer. But they don’t have to keep you as warm as during the colder months and are more meant to be fun and beautiful accessories. They are usually lightweight and flowing items now.
Whereas in previous years almost all I saw were complicated looking lace shawls, we now get much simpler seeming patterns and often a mix of texture, colorful stripes, and lace.
The great thing is that accessories like these are always great projects to learn new skills with. They are relatively small, and you usually don’t need to pay that close attention to gauge. So, if you’ve never knit lace or colorwork (or whatever strikes your fancy, really) before this is the perfect place to try.
- Columbina by Ambah O’Brien
- Ninfa by Carolyn Macpherson
- Trinket by Vanessa Ewing
- Inara Wrap by Ambah O’Brien
- Damhsa by Ciara Ní Reachtnín
Fade knits are still very popular – and still on my to-knit list. They come alive through the colors you are putting together. All of Andrea Mowry’s original Fade patterns are in fingering weight yarn (except for the Comfort Fade Cardi which is a DK weight) and so are still very nice to wear in spring. They are all relatively simple in construction and are great projects for beginners with some knitting experience. You get to be creative and play with yarn and color. They fit very well with the wellness concept that’s so popular right now.
Lightweight Cardigans & Sweaters
Of course, we get to see a lot of lightweight cardigans and sweaters as well. And many are simple in both patterning and construction and therefore aren’t just suitable for relaxation but also for beginners and more experienced first-time-sweater knitters.
Overall the currently popular sweaters and cardigans seem to be comfortable but often feminine with some simple lace or texture added in. Again many incorporate simple colorwork in spring colors. They are overall fun and light everyday pieces.
- Winterfell Cardigan by Katrin Schneider
- Barling by Jennifer Owens
- Separate Ways by Joji Locatelli
- Juniper Berries by Suvi Simola
- Rainier by Linden Down
- Maida by Alison Green
- Italic by Kate Gilbert
What will you knit this spring? Have you already knit or cast on for one of these projects? Which was your favorite pattern? Please let me know in the comments below.
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