Crossing Over To The Other Side: Knitting

Preparing For Fall

I love making my own clothes and accessories, and even though my primary medium is sewing, I also knit. Not surprisingly, most of my friends that sew also knit. When summer begins to wind down, my mind always turns to starting new knitting projects so I can finish them in time for the fall and winter months. Admittedly I am a slow knitter, so I need all the lead time I can get!

Gemini Cardigan by Katya Frankel.
 Gemini Cardigan by Katya Frankel.

Honeycomb Jacket by Laura Grutzeck.

Honeycomb Jacket by Laura Grutzeck.

Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti.

Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti.


As I was leafing through the Fall issue of our sister publication, Interweave Knits, I started thinking about how much cross-pollination there is between my sewing and knitting. I am attracted to similar design elements in both crafts-I love simplicity mixed with a clever twist and special design details. So I borrow design ideas from knitting and apply them to my sewing and vice versa.

Personally, I’m way too impatient to knit an entire garment with an elaborate stitch pattern. The comparative speed of sewing has spoiled me forever! But I love knitting a sweater with simple stitching in the main body but accented with textured stitches on the collar or hem border for a special design touch. The Gemini Cardigan is a great example of this-simple knitting with well-placed detailing. It’s the same way that I like to sew-taking classic shapes and personalizing them with fun design details and finishing.

Sometimes an unexpected twist on a timeless silhouette intrigues me enough to want to make it. It doesn’t always have to be complicated to be interesting. Take the Honeycomb Jacket-a great twist on the classic cardigan. The asymmetrical closure and double-knitted hems and bands offer subtle design interest. And you can easily see how this idea could be applied to a sewn jacket as well.

Drawing attention to a focal area is another way to approach designs in both mediums. I routinely buy specialty fabrics in small amounts to use as a focal panel on the back of a jacket or the front of a shift dress. I like knitting projects that use this same idea, plus I get to stretch my knitting skills in a focal area while still keeping the project manageable. I love the knitted lace panel in the back of the Dahlia Cardigan. It’s a great layering piece with awesome drape, and the panel makes it supercool to make and wear. It’s definitely going on my fall knitting list!

If I could take my sewing machine with me everywhere I go, I would. But since I can’t, my knitting projects keep me going when I’m sitting in airports, doctor’s offices, and hanging out with my family during the holidays. And even though it’s still warm outside, I have no problem knitting by the pool! So let us know in the comments what other crafts you do and how they inspire your sewing and have fun planning your fall projects!

Happy sewing,


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