Have you ever spent hours to hand knit a sweater only to not want to wear it?
Are you excited and inspired to knit a pattern that is super popular and trendy but then you don't feel it is “you” and so it sits on a shelf?
This has been a problem for me in my knitting journey: finding patterns I truly feel reflect my personal style. Its part of the reason I wanted to start designing knitwear patterns and it is my goal in going forward with designing. I’ve learned that as a designer there is a fine line between drawing inspiration from the world around you and just doing more of the same old thing. It is easy to be influenced by what is trendy, and more difficult I’ve found to stay true to what really speaks to me personally. Going forward I am working to be more intentional about how I design so I can build a handmade wardrobe I really love and want to wear myself and I hope these new designs will resonate with my tribe as well!
I want the things I knit to fit well into the wardrobe I already have, to compliment my clothes so they actually get a lot of use. Having had 3 kids in a 4 year span, and being home all day with them means comfort is important to me. So I knit and design with style AND comfort in mind. I LOVE leggings. I wear leggings pretty much everyday. Considering this I am working to make patterns that go great with leggings: cropped and tunic lengths that are great for layering.
The goal in knitting a pattern is to have an item that you LOVE and want to wear all the time. I would like to share some of my own tips on knitting for your own personal style. At the end there is a set of worksheets you can download to go more in depth and personalize for yourself!
1. First think, really think, about your style.
This is probably the hardest part. Not what you want to like, not how to fit into a group that you think is cool, or to be part of the latest trend. What REALLY speaks to YOU in clothing? What do you want to feel? How do you want your clothes to feel and fit your body? Do you want to feel pretty, romantic, funky, fresh, modern, outlandish, silly, fun, classic? I love boho chic style, feminine details, comfortable, and easy to layer pieces.
2. Be intentional about colors and fibers.
What colors look great on YOU? What colors make you feel good, happy, or calm? Again really think about this. Maybe you really just like grey and blue and thats all you will realistically wear, thats ok you don't have to knit an entire sweater in mustard if its unlikely you would ever wear that color in real life. Do neons make you happy or make you cringe? Also think in terms of fiber, what are the fibers that you love to knit with and wear? You are spending hours making a sweater or shawl why work with a fiber your hands don't like to knit with or that itches you? What fibers make sense for where the climate you live in? I am getting more comfortable embracing my love of neutrals. I love wool, silk, linen, and cotton. I have tried knitting neons but end up HATING actually wearing them. I also am not the biggest fan of wearing super wash wools.
3. Find a designer or yarn company that you resonate with and follow them.
Once you have a good sense of your style you can start looking for specific designs or designers who have that kind of feel or flavor. Use key words as you search on ravelry for silhouettes and fabric characteristics. Maybe you are lucky enough to have already found that designer who you feel is your kindred spirit! Awesome! Maybe, like me, that was harder for you, but no matter what your style, there is someone out there that you will resonate with more than others. A few companies I love the aesthetic of are Brooklyn Tweed and Shibui Knits. A few of my favorite designers are Norah Gaughan, Michele Wang, and Jared Flood.
4. Think in terms of your whole wardrobe
How will the designs you choose to knit fit in with what you already have? How will it layer with your clothes, over shirts and the style of pants you wear? How will the colors of your wardrobe compliment your projects? Will it match or clash with the boots you wear in the winter? You can even go as far as to think about how a knitted piece can pair with your jewelry. As I mentioned before I like sweaters that work with leggings, and pieces that are good for layering.
Want to explore more of what knitwear designs fit your own personal sense of style?
Click on the links below to download 3 free worksheets with LOTS of more specific idea generators to help you define your personal knitting style!
Check out my post on tips for pairing shawls with your summer wardrobe HERE