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Casting Onto the Latest
Knitwear Trends

Photographed by Quinn McCaffrey of Lauren Fulk

By Lauren Fulk

Knitting has been around for over 1,500 years, yet knitwear still stands in the fashion industry to this day. You may be asking yourself, “isn’t knitwear a fall/winter thing?”. Knitwear can be worn in warmer seasons too. Knit/crochet wear can be worn comfortably all year round if the garments are made with breathable yarns such as cotton, silk, bamboo, or linen. A bathing suit, for example, can be knitted out of these yarns, but I recommend that a fabric lining be sewn on for extra comfort.

Generation Z has taken it upon themselves to create an entire subculture of knitters and crocheters. The pandemic has inspired many to take on new hobbies, such as knitting and crocheting, as doing these activities helps relieve stress through repetitive motions and proudly ending up with a functional garment. For example, I started crocheting in 2020 and have been obsessed with all things crochet and knit ever since. Not only is crocheting and knitting a joyful experience, but it is a hobby that brings people together. There are many other talented knitters and crocheters at CMU to connect with and to share patterns with.
If you do not have the patience or time to take on knitting yourself, do not fear. Check out some of these small knitwear brands that will have you unraveling with excitement.

Prices: $50-$150
From: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
ABLE is a brand committed to empowering women and sustainability by producing slow fashion and using materials such as certified organic cotton, Tencel and linen. The brand began when they were selling hand woven scarves by Ethiopian women who were coming out of the commercial sex industry. ABLE has provided jobs for these women and has been dedicated to sisterhood ever since. They sell basic garments that are easy to style and will stay in your closet forever.

Prices: $50-$200
From: Los Angeles, California, United States
Reformation started by selling retailored vintage clothing in LA in 2009 and expanded to making their own clothing with a focus on sustainability. Reformation uses wool that helps restore the Earth and promotes regenerated farming. The brand is very intentional about producing garments, as they put out limited-edition collections every week and they keep an eye on what’s selling and what’s not when restocking. Reformation has a variety of breathable basic knits perfect for the upcoming Spring/Summer season.

Prices: $50-$250
From: Los Angeles, California, United States
SoSquish is a knitwear brand that I stumbled upon while browsing on Instagram. Shannon Strutenroth, a freelance filmmaker, is the sole designer of SoSquish and has started their brand as another creative outlet. Everything is handmade from recycled materials sourced from thrift stores and flea markets and/or reworked. Every piece by Strutenroth is incredibly unique and colorful. She utilizes different yarns, ribbons, fabrics and combines knitting and crocheting to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

Vexnot Studio
Prices: $100-$300
From: San Francisco, California, United States
Vexnot Studio is another knitwear brand by an independent designer, Hollis Crowder. If you cannot afford Crowder’s handmade pieces, she also sells patterns that are rigorously tested before releasing them, so other knitters and crocheters can wear her designs at a much more affordable price. Vexnot Studio is committed to creating size inclusive patterns and using a variety of natural and artificial materials sourced from local yarn stores.

Soft Shell Knits
Prices: $15-$200
Soft Shell Knits sells handmade accessories, garlands and sets perfect for summer days. Jaynell Aggrey, a multimedia artist, is the sole designer of Soft-Shell Knits. She focuses on sustainability and takes pride in customer satisfaction by offering custom made pieces and repairs if needed.

I encourage all of you to check out these crochet/knit brands, whether you are looking for inspiration or something to purchase. If you cannot afford garments from these brands, take on knitting or crocheting yourself! Making your own garments is incredibly rewarding and inexpensive, as you can thrift yarns or unravel old sweaters to create stylish pieces. Although, if you do not have the desire or time but still wish to be fashionable, commission someone you know who knits/crochets. Having something made by a friend makes a garment so much more personal.

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