It is easy for knitters to get caught up in knitting. Yarn choices, patterns, techniques – there are almost too many things to learn about, and ways to improve your products. Because of this, it is also easy for knitters to forget about the non-knitting population. What does knitwear mean to the non knitter? Somewhere between the scratchy feel of their grandmothers’ acrylic afghans, the tragic-comedy that is the ugly sweater and the common questioning of the necessity for hand-knit-anythings, they seem to be missing out on something.
However, luckily enough for them this trend seems to be changing. Now there are options to buy hand knit sweaters and other pieces at all different price points. You can contract independent knitters online, you can find ready made and designer pieces on Etsy, there are new high end boutiques like &Daughter and Needle. There are $200 sweaters, look books, sexy photos and seasonal colors to be had by all.
Knitters, too, don’t seem to be missing out on this knitting fashion trend. While there has been the innate promise of trendy patterns from Vogue Knitting, gorgeous patterns that meld traditionalism and modern flair from Rowan and seemly infinitely searchable one-off patterns on websites such as Ravelry – trendier options are now riding in on the waves of Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and the like. Wool and the Gang is one of these stores. They offer ready made knits as well as the patterns and yarn to make them, all while sourcing materials with care and stressing the importance of environmental sustainability.
There is also Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, that showcases (and sells) an idealized knitter’s word of… well, yarns and teas. If that weren’t enough, their store is located on a quaint Washington island.
So what does this mean for the knitters and those who love knit wear? The internet presence and communal atmosphere for knitters are there, certainly. We are also getting quality, variety and an quantifiable sense of “being in.” Those who buy boutique hand knit sweaters benefit from us benefiting from these things too, and they benefit without needing to care about the larger picture. Some folks just like knitwear. If people want to knit to be trendy, awesome. If I can personally propagate sustainable fashion while doing what I love and wearing the clothing I like anyway, great. Count me in.