Five Knitting Trends for 2019

What will be the five big trends for knitting in 2019?

In this episode I share what I think will be the five top trends for the hand knitting world in 2019.

Based on what has gone prior and general observation of content and social media, I have picked out the following as things to watch.

1) Intarsia

We’ve seen brioche come and get overcooked. Twenty-eighteen was definitely the year of the colour work yoked sweater. Intarsia is the next logical step in this progression for me. As certain techniques get more popular and more patterns become available, what was once seen as a ‘tricky’ technique, starts to feel more achievable. The more mainstream that designs using these techniques become, the more people try them and it becomes a feedback loop.

The yoked sweater trend has been paralleled on the High Street in the UK, along with a lot of intarsia designs, which haven’t (as yet) been seen as widely in hand knitting indie patterns. I think that will change in 2019.

Bonus: Beads will be big in 2020/1 I reckon.

2) More Commercial Yarns

People will be combining hand dyed with more off-the-shelf, mass produced yarns in classic palettes and colours to tone down the speckled yarn crazy. The popularity of wildly patterned yarns for the past 12-24 months has left a lot of people with yarns that are hard to use or match up with each other. Couple this with economic uncertainty over the political situation and reports of reduced consumer spending running up to Christmas, I believe knitters will turn to more affordable (if less exciting) mass produced yarns.

Holiday knitting stash

3) More Emphasis on Knitting What You Have

To be clear, I’m not talking about stashing down or cold sheeping necessarily (they get done and abandoned every year). Rather, it’s a growing awareness of impact and sustainability in general. The mainstream media has had a lot of coverage in 2018 regarding single use plastics, sustainability and environmental impact. Lots of people are actively seeking to reduce the waste they produce, via reusable products, making do and mending and minimising food waste. This will expand to knitting and encourage people to use what they have over wanton procurement.

4) Purchasing One-Offs

The buying will continue at a lower rate than previously. Personally, I think consumers will focus more on the luxury, one-off and single farm type yarns that are special, over mass buying of run-of-the-mill yarns. Those who have focused on building a strong brand will be the winners in 2019. This will be especially so for those who have focused on the sustainability angle previously.

5) The Death of the Shawl

I think the one skein shawl dying a death for a long time, since its height of popularity in the first half of the decade. Firstly, there are too many patterns. Secondly, people have just knitted too many of them. Additionally, looking at the top name designers, very few, if any, are producing single skein shawl patterns. There is a definite shift towards garments and bigger shawls that use 2, 3 or many skeins in one design.

You only need to look at the popularity of the fade designs, multitude of brioche patterns and marled knitting to see people are embracing using multiple skeins in designs and their choice of knitting patterns. This means there will be less demand for the one skein shawl.

What are your predictions for 2019?

What are your predictions for 2019? I’d love to know!

5 comments on Ep129 – Knitting Trends for 2019

  1. Angela Dent says:

    Have you thought about a Slack channel for group chatter? I am a member of a couple of groups and it is a very easy and accessible site. Love that you are back! Missed your wit and now catching up!

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Oooh this could be a good idea. I like Slack and use it for work, the ability to organise the channels might work well too. Thanks!

  2. Clare Farren says:

    Hi Jo, so much to say in response to this episode – I listened as I took the Christmas decs down and found myself saying “yes” to nearly everything you said as I packed away my baubles ( not a euphemism!).

    On finding a new home for group chatter, I’d love it if you found a new home for the group. I came off FB last autumn as I increasingly disliked it and I haven’t looked back – apart from missing your group. I’ve never liked Ravelry as forum for chat as I’ve always found it a bit clunky to use.

    Two of your knitting trend predictions really struck a chord with me: firstly the intarsia prediction; I attended a talk with Bristol Ivy at Pom Fest in 2017 at which she said it was her life’s mission to bring back intarsia. The popularity last year of Sue Stratford’s Volt sweater was a sign that intarsia is on the up – I seemed to see them everywhere on social media and at yarn shows.

    The other prediction I completely identified with was buying less and Knitting more from stash. This episode came days after I’d announced to my BKFF that 2019 was the year I was going to plan my knitting projects using my stash as my starting point, rather than finding patterns and then buying lots of new yarn because the multiple single skeins I already owned didn’t add up to a sweater that I would want to wear (unless I decide to adopt Timmy Mallett circa 1989 as my fashion muse). The prompt for me to make this decision was moving out of my house for 5 months over the summer whilst we underwent a huge building renovation project. All our belongings were packed away in storage and it was only when we moved back in an unpacked that I realised just how much yarn I had accumulated. It was the first time I had seen it all out in one place and. I was genuinely taken aback. I love my yarn collection and it’s full of beautiful skeins, so I have no guilt about what I’ve bought, but I do think those gorgeous skeins need to be shown off in knitting projects and not hidden away in my storage baskets. I also question whether I really need 35 pairs of hand knit socks from all the (mostly Countess) sock yarn….

    I have my own knitting prediction for 2019: I think we will see much more made of the connection between knitting (and craft in general) and our health and well-being. It’s been talked about for a long time, and knitters are very well aware of the positive effects our craft has on wellbeing, but I think this year we will see it much more in the mainstream – particularly as it has a natural link to greater consciousness about consumption, the environment and generally doing things which we feel good about..

    Thanks for another cracking episode.

    Clare x

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Thanks for such a considered reply, Clare! Completely agree on the Volt pattern – it really was everywhere and I definitely have my eye on making it. In fact I am considering ripping out something else to make it! Intarsia can totally be done in a tasteful way I reckon – I might well have to see if Bristol fancies coming onto the show to talk about it!

      I like your prediction for 2019 and am inclined to agree with you. I think it will be a combination of conscious choice to do something physical with the hands and indulge in the making side, as well as a return to ‘cheaper’ pastimes in response to economic uncertainty. Either way, more knitters is always a good thing!

      1. Clare Farren says:

        Have you seen the new edition of The Knitter mag? A double page spread about a community enterprise in Exeter which starts small knit groups, facilitates them for a few weeks and then, once established, leaves them to carry on as they wish – all with a view to building community links, building peoples’ confidence and increasing a sense of well-being.

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