5 Knit, Crochet & Yarn Trends for 2018

Home/Fashion & Style5 Knit, Crochet & Yarn Trends for 2018
Lion Brand Yarn

5 Knit, Crochet & Yarn Trends for 2018

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

We’re turning our imaginations toward the yarn trends for 2018, and we’re all heart-eyes for the trends coming our way in the New Year. We’ve gathered them here, and we hope they’ll call your name the way they’re calling ours! One thing is clear about the trends for 2018: they’re all about you doing you. Express your personality and style by riffing on the familiar, and taking it in a new direction. Whether it’s the shape, the feel, the details, or colorwork, there’s infinite opportunity in the New Year for you to celebrate who you are, with yarn.

The Yarn Trends for 2018

1 Loose and Easy

This look began to balloon in the Fall of 2017, and will only continue to amplify in the New Year. While bulky knits have been big for the past few years, the shapes are blossoming into gentle abundance. Think over-sized collars that stand up, swoop, and fold, sleeves that billow, and bodies with fullness & length. This look is a call to take up some space!

Loose and Easy

Photographed by Cedric Viollet for Jalouse

Treat yourself with the luxury of more material, celebrate abundance that is undeniable. The drape is everything. The nature of knitwear will keep the architecture gentle, making the looks gentle enough for everyday, but powerful enough for a bold statement. The bolder the silhouette, the more high-fashion the overall effect. For a Lion Brand look-alike, look no farther than the Knit Cozy Collared Pullover.

Knit Cozy Collared Pullover

Knit Cozy Collared Pullover

2 All-Over Texture

All-over texture has us feeling all the feels. This trend is another gesture towards abundance, but with a twist – abundant variety of textures! Multiple textures are a brave way to boast your personal brand, acknowledging all the complexity of one’s personal style. The key to pulling off a multi-textured look? The more, the merrier. The more different each added texture, the more they’ll all complement one another in their diversity. No aspect of your Out Of The Day will disappear as a staple, each piece presents an opportunity to highlight a facet of your individuality! For an OOtD-worthy piece, check out our Myrtle Beach Pullover (Crochet) below in Vanna’s Choice Aquamarine.

Think of it as a fabulous opportunity to wear novelty items more often, rather than saving them for special occasions. And as for novelty, now is the time to cast on those specialty fibers you’ve been saving for a rainy day.

3 Unexpected Details

Chances are you’ve seen this trend peeking out at shoulders and elbows as you’re browsing your favorite retailers online. ‘Unexpected details’ are stylish wake-up calls to traditional patterns – surprising moments that diverge from the norm. It might be about laying bare: a slit at an elbow, or a series of openings along the shoulder. Like our Curvy Girl Knit Tunic, in the center photograph below!

We’re talking so much more than the cold-shoulder look of 2017! Or it could be an unexpected pocket (or three!), a ribbon closure around the wrist, or an usual overlap. Change it up, break from routine, and stray from the herd. These details interrupt the traditional rhythm of any pattern, for a surprise that expresses individuality.

4 Yoke Sweaters

Yokes are traditionally a structural element of a garment that supports the material below – think yoke skirts of earlier eras. But in knitwear they present a purely decorative opportunity, one that frames the face and is infinitely personalize-able. To ‘yoke’ means to bring together, to join (in marriage, in a team), and this pattern is a chance to bring together unexpected colors to form a stunning design. For our timeless variation, see above, the Yoke Sweater Knit Pattern.

Image from Brooklyn Tweed

Image from Brooklyn Tweed

By circling the shoulders, this trend draws the eye up toward the face, like the picture-frame collars of Jane Austen’s day. The emphasis of the finished product is on the individual – both in how its shape highlights the wearer, and in how the pattern reveals the maker. Get inspired to get well-yoked in the New Year.

5 Intarsia & Color Blocking

These colorwork techniques are graphic and bold, bringing out the abstract artist in all of us. Since the 7th century, intarsia (‘to insert’) has been used by artisans to indicate luxury and prestige, because of the time and attention needed to work in this style. For ages, crafters have used it to create their own content. For inspiration, see our Color Grid Pullover (Knit) below, and create your own color palette.

Color Grid Pullover (Knit)

LB Color Grid Pullover (Knit)

No idea is too wild, too fanciful. Each new color or shape introduces a motif, like in music, and creates a complex visual rhythm with which the eye moves around the piece. If the yoke sweater pattern creates a visual rhythm to frame the face, then intarsia and color blocking are like jazz. This trend invites improvisation, whether you’re venturing into the unknown to create your own pattern & design, or subtly swapping a suggested color for something more you.

Bring it all to the crafting table.

You Do You

Whichever trend calls your name for the start of the New Year, we hope you’ll follow it boldly! We’ll keep you updated as trends change, and keep the patterns coming to keep your Works In Progress fashion-forward.


Share this post


  • Interesting! Thanks for the update!

  • It’s not clear to me… Is there a pattern available for the striped, knit pullover shown to the right of the Myrtle Beach Pullover in this post?

  • I have been so frustrated by Lion Brand’s new approach to marketing. It used to be that the patterns were all free downloads. Now, about the last year, the patterns are only available in a kit, like Mary Maxim’s marketing strategy. I have lots of Lion Brand yarn in my stash. Having a new pattern may send me to buy the appropriate yarn. Not being able to download the pattern makes it unlikely that I’ll be buying more yarn.

    • Hi, Diane – Thanks for your feedback! We do try to offer roundups of free patterns frequently (like our most recent post about our Top 10 Free Patterns of the Year). I’ll share your feedback, & Happy New Year!

  • All the Modern Baby yarn colors for the Color Grid Pullover have been discontinued. Is there another Lion Brand yarn that you can suggest?

  • I wish there were more crochet items. I’d love an LB pattern for a “loose and easy” oversized crochet cardigan.

  • I normally love Lion Brand Yarns and the Craftsy site. Looking at the coming knitting trends there are some nice looking things but the almost all off white cable stitch sweater looks as if ones insides are oozing out. No doubt a real challenge to knit, but why would one. And, the super sloppy, pink turtle necked thing looks as if an incompetent knitter didn’t know when to stop!!!

    • Hi, Kaaren! The high fashion examples are certainly… extreme! Hopefully, this post will serve as an inspiration, and we’ll work to create future posts with patterns that are more… wearable. 🙂

  • Where can I find a pattern for the all over textured sweater?

    • Hi, Karla! If you mean the Knit Cozy Collared Pullover, you can find the pattern here. Let us know if you work it up!

  • I don’t like the way oversized looks…I mean, I like the boyfriend or grandpa sweater and have one of those patterns in my queue but the sweaters falling off and that are bulky just look big and sloppy to me. I love the yoke sweaters and have one on my needles and two more in my queue and I love intarsia…Actually, I love all colorwork sweaters. Not a fan of fussy or frilly or girly sweaters but that might be a product of being in my 60’s, smile.

    • Hi, Nanci – thank you for writing! Glad you’re seeing something you like, we hope there’s something for everyone. 🙂 I’m hoping to co some colorwork this year myself!

  • Good post but a little disappointing that there aren’t more crochet patterns.

    • Hi, Angelia! We’ll be working on putting together some follow-up posts for each trend, which will definitely include knit & crochet patterns. 🙂

  • What is happening? Big yarn. Bold texture. Super cabled. As an older knitter/crocheter ….Ugly!! Lately I find nothing of interest to me in your patterns. I do like a nice “ski” sweater. IMHO.

    • Hi, Janice – it’s true, the ‘bulky’ look as been in for a couple years! Hopefully we’ll continue to offer patterns throughout the year that appeal to all tastes.

  • Any pattern for the white sweater in unexpected details

    • Hi, Patti – Thanks for the feedback! Nothing quite like that, but I’ll pass your feedback along to our design team, and we’ll see what we can do!

  • I really like the yoke sweaters. They can be challenging, but the end result is spectacular.

    • Hi, Janet – we couldn’t agree more! Definitely tricky, but totally worth it. Happy New Year!

  • Looks like the 80’s are making a comeback!

    • Hi, Lynn – funny to see how things come around! 🙂

  • Are there any crochet patterns for a more fitted sweater something nice not bulky and for teens which is what I keep seeing???

  • What happened to the free patterns which were so helpful??? That was the reason I joined…very disappointed. Please bring them back.

    • Hi, Ginny – You could check out one of our most recent blog posts, Top 10 Free Patterns of 2017. We try to do free pattern roundups frequently, to give crafters a chance to use yarn they already have in their stash!

  • As with most fashion, fitness and beauty advertising, the youthful demographic gets the attention. The Lionbrand ‘Colors of the Year, while lovely, fail to show versatility to the remaining demographic just waiting for classy, yet funky knitted and crocheted designs to create. (Maybe Lion brand needs to explore stretching their imaginations to items that don’t just include sullen models wearing intricately knitted, oversized garments. Come on Lionbrand we know that you can do this. Vogue has some really classy pieces, so does Tahki Stacy Charles!

    • Hi, Berle! Thanks for your feedback. While these posts feature images drawn mostly from the high fashion world (hence the young, slim, sullen models pictured), we hope they’ll serve merely as inspiration, & a jumping off point for the year. We plan to continue with follow-up posts featuring our own patterns & images, which will hopefully be more relatable & immediately useful to our crafters. We’re proud, too, that the images from our ‘Colors’ photoshoot will include models of many kinds, who look pretty happy to be there! 🙂

  • Please include more crochet sweaters. I feel cheated ;’). Could you design a printed yoke winter sweater too please.

    • Hi, Cheryl – thank you for your feedback! This is merely an inspirational post, and more detailed posts will follow with patterns for knit & crochet. We won’t leave ya hanging! Stay tuned. 🙂

  • Does the Yoked sweater trend mean we are going to start seeing yarn gauges slim down? I’m really tired of ALL the new yarns being bulky and up. I want to see d’s and sock yarns! (Ps- sockease is such an incredible sock yarn. Can we get it in more colors?)

    • Hi, Kat – thank you for your feedback! The slim-down seems possible, doesn’t it! 🙂 I’ll pass along your feedback regarding Sockease – so glad to hear you like it!

  • Hello from Serbia!
    Thank you for this article. I love over-sized collars and sweaters, actually. Also, I love colors.
    Happy New Year and best wishes!

    • Hi, Milena – thank you for reading us in Serbia! Perhaps our farthest-reaching comment. Happy New Year to you!

  • I have a few suggestions…
    Embrace the fact that most women are size 12-14. Present images that apply to the larger sizes.
    Show separate knit vs crochet. They may both be fiber arts…but you don’t see water color and oil painting grouped together.
    Make a larger effort toward southern knitters! There’s a huge knitting population in the southern US that would like pattern to make & keep for ourselves.

    • Hi, Debra – thank you for this feedback! We’ll continue to post about these colors, but thankfully, we’ll be using images from our own photo shoot which will feature many more body types. These images are drawn from high fashion, so it’s difficult to balance that type of image with the lack of diversity on runways. But we’ll strive to do better! Our follow-up posts will also include more patterns, knit and crochet, as this was more of an inspirational post. We’d love to hear your feedback about ways to include more Southern knitters – let us know how we can better serve you!

  • Southern knitting would include lighter yarn usage-Since it doesn’t get so very cold down here (except for right now!)
    Patterns including palm trees, sun even native indian theme design for the south western knitters.
    Home decor – pillows, light throws, placemats, etc
    I knit a LOT of socks since everyone needs them with shoes.
    I’m very sure your design crew can come up with lots of ideas!

    • Hi, Debra – I really appreciate you taking the time to share your ideas. They’re great! Since we’re based in NYC, it’s easy to think of wintertime as the prime time for big yarns, bulky knits, etc. But you’ve inspired me to keep writing in these months for our crafters in different climes, thank you!

  • Most are just weird or bizarre. I am not impressed at all with more than 50% of these designs. They have no class, gracefulness, or sizing! I sure wouldn’t want to make them or try to gift them to anyone.

    • Hi, Linda – thank you for your feedback! Followup posts will include more of our patterns, which will be a bit less ‘high-fashion’ and hopefully more practical!

  • Looking for the texture white cable sweater you show in the picture top left

  • Leave A Comment

    You must be <a href="https://blog.lionbrand.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.lionbrand.com%2Fyarn-trends-2018-you-do-you%2F">logged in</a> to post a comment.