There’s never been a better time to take time out and find comfort in objects and clothing that is naturally grown, hand-made and eco-friendly. As an increasing number of us are spending more time at home, many are discovering new hobbies or reviving old ones.
The Woolmark Company has brought together five International Woolmark Prize alumni to release a series of exclusive knitting, crochet and cut-and-sew patterns, which can all be created form the comfort of your own home.
PITCH #1: How to knit your own wool beanie with KYE
Known for innovative and extraordinary designs, Seoul-based fashion label KYE delivers fun, humour, wit and a sense of optimism through bold colours and patterns. Here, designer Kathleen Kye offers a free knitting pattern for the label’s best-selling signature item: a retro-style ribbed beanie.
“It’s fairly simple to make so could be a great gateway knitting project to start during a time like now,” says Kye. “Try personalising the front with your own initials too.”
PITCH #2: How to knit your own super scarf with Strateas Carlucci
Melbourne-based label Strateas Carlucci has a long-standing history using Merino wool. As part of our At-Home Knitting Series, Strateas Carlucci delivers a free knitting pattern for its Python Scarf. Measuring 4.3 metres in length, this Merino wool super scarf uses an open-coarse knit and is great for social distancing.
“We love how it wraps and stacks around your neck,” says Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci. “We also love it because it’s knitted from Australian Merino wool, which is temperature regulating and really soft on your skin and a great natural fibre. It keeps you nice and warm as well.”
PITCH #3: How to knit your own tote bag with CMMN SWDN
With more and more cities banning single-use plastic items, such as the dreaded plastic bag, Swedish-based fashion label CMMN SWDN is offering a free knitting pattern to help you live your best plastic-free life, using Merino wool, naturally.
“As designers we have long been champions for a sustainable fashion industry,” says Bakir and Hedlund. “During this unprecedented time, it’s more evident than ever that we all must adapt to a more sustainable way of life. For the Woolmark Knitting Series we wanted to create a sustainable option to the single-use plastic bag. The tote is easy to knit in the comfort of your own home, using Merino wool which is 100% natural and biodegradable.”
PITCH #4: KNITTING IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Knitters have long acknowledged amongst themselves that knitting is an excellent form of therapy – the repetition is meditative and fuses function with therapy, improving the mental health and wellbeing for those who practice this ancient craft. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute found that knitting lowers the heart rate, by an average of 11 beats per minute, and induces an ‘enhanced state of calm’.
Another study, from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, also found knitting has significant psychological and social benefits, which can contribute to wellbeing and quality of life – proof that knitting can indeed make you happier. And when using super-soft Merino wool, nothing can make you warmer, or cosier. Afterall, putting on a handmade Merino wool jumper or scarf is like a big warm hug.
PITCH #5: How to crochet your own hat with i-am-chen
Reminiscent of a swimming cap from the Bauhaus period, i-am-chen’s modern interpretation is part cap, part beanie and crocheted using 100% ultrafine Merino wool yarn.
“The reason why I chose Merino wool is because it’s warm, healthy and a gift from nature,” says designer Zhi Chen.
PITCH #6: How to make your own cushion covers with Teatum Jones
London-based womenswear label Teatum Jones is renowned for creating fashion from human stories. By following this simple step-by-step guide, you too can create a Teatum Jones-designed cushion cover that stitches together your own personal story. Choose either a cut-and-sew pattern or patchwork pattern.
“Zero-waste is a really important part of our business; it’s part of our mission,” says 2016 International Woolmark Prize-winning duo Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones. “We have a motto that is ‘no scrap is too big or too small’. Everything we create gets used and nothing gets thrown away.”
All patterns can be downloaded at www.woolmark.com/knitting-patterns
PITCH #7: READY, SET, WEAVE
The Woolmark Company has also partnered with renowned textile artist Natalie Miller to produce an online tutorial which teaches how to weave a wall hanging. While the basics will get you started, the end result is yours to define: choose a colour palette that suits your home and your mood.
Discover the how-to weaving guide.
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