Knit and crochet patterns transition wardrobe for winter

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, 8:57 p.m.

Despite this week's delay of game, the time is quickly approaching for knit and crochet sweaters, skirts and dresses.

These cozy items are a perfect choice as the weather chills and winter approaches, fashion experts say. They keep you warm and often appear hand-made — even if they aren't.

“We are seeing lots of interesting knits that bring texture and subtle patterns to a garment,” says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director. “These knits give a sense of authenticity. And we live in such a modern world that it is nice to own something that looks like it was done by hand, even if it wasn't.”

Such garments are wonderful transition pieces from fall into winter, Andrews says. They can stand on their own now, and then, be worn under a jacket or blazer as the temperature plummets.

Tunic-length styles are great because they are easy to wear and look good over a slim pant with a pair of boots.

“And there you have a great outfit,” Andrews says. “But it is also one that is still really comfortable. Add jewelry, a scarf and heels, and it can take you from day to night.”

Every color works from neutrals such as ivory and oatmeal to deeper tones such as oxblood and deep green, he says. Expand your wardrobe with knits that have a metallic-like coating for a new and interesting look.

The trend this fall consists more of an open-weave or looser knit, says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People Style Watch.

“It has the feel of crochet, without being homespun and looking like grandma knit it for you,” Rubin says. “It can also give the feel of a little bit of a hippie. It looks nice layered over a tank for fall.”

The fun thing about crochet and knits is mixing and matching textures, says Lindsay Huggins, senior fashion-market editor for Self magazine. From Fair Isle novelty knits to tweed styles to those with metallic threading, it is about having fun with these fabrics, Huggins says.

In the winter, a good knit is practically indispensable, says On the surface, one-piece knits appear as basic as get-up-and-go wardrobe essentials. But complementary pieces and high-impact accessories can elevate a knit sweater from elemental to en vogue, says.

Loose knit or open-knit sweaters are this season's perfect layering staple, says Marie Kojitani, style editor for

Adding a dose of texture just makes a fall ensemble a lot cozier and interesting, she says. Printed sweaters are also a great way to add dimension.

“These look best when done in a slightly oversized, relaxed fit,” Kojitani says. “You can easily throw them on over a bright camisole for a pop of color or a button-up shirt for a more covered-up option. The overall look is effortlessly cool and very easy to pull off for all body types.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

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