Knitwear made a big splash on the fashion scene last week with the release of the Missoni for Target collection – and if you weren’t lined up outside a Target store at 6 AM on Tuesday last, you had little chance of getting any of it for yourself. Fights broke out, police were called, and items started appearing on eBay at 3 times their retail price within hours.
Why all the fuss?
Missoni started out in the 1950’s as a little family-owned company in Italy, making wool track suits. They released their first fashion collection in 1958 and quickly became known for their knitwear designs featuring colorful stripes, geometric motifs, and abstract florals. By the 1970’s they had become celebrated fashion icons for their imaginative use of color and their unconventional ways of reworking traditional knitwear construction.
“It was about ten years ago that the Missonis raised the simple householder’s work of knitting to something similar to art. Their dresses are collected by ladies all over the world who live for fashion and by those who could not care less for fashion but love beautiful things.” – Bernardine Morris, New York Times, 1977.
Over 50 years later, Missoni is still a family-run company and their iconic chevron pattern is recognized around the world. Missoni clothing and housewares go for top dollar – so people leapt at the chance to get a piece from these fashion giants at an affordable price.
Didn’t get any for yourself? (Yeah, me neither.) Well, we knitters have an advantage. We can make it ourselves!
Now, a 1960’s chevron romper may not fit into your fall fashion plans (c’mon, who doesn’t need a chevron romper?) but you can get some Missoni style into your fall knitting plans! A quick browse through Ravelry provides plenty of inspiration.
First up, Kelly Kingston’s Missoni Inspired Chevron Blanket. This stunning piece uses 12 colors of DK weight yarn – I can see knitting this up in Berroco Vintage DK for yourself or a lucky (and stylish) baby. Check out the Ravelry projects for this – there are some gorgeous variations done in worsted and fingering weight too.
Want something on a smaller scale? Rachel Henry’s Wibbly Wobbly Cowl uses self-striping sock yarn (or use up your sock leftovers and make your own stripes!) and will appeal to fashion and Doctor Who fans alike.
I love the Chevron Love Mittens by Julia Vesper! I’m already thinking of color combinations to knit up in the St. Denis Nordique that we just got in. There’s even a matching Chevron Love Hat! Love it!
Kirsten Kapur’s Ida’s Kitchen is another great project to inspire your color creativity – this one uses 7 colors of sport or DK weight. Not sure what colors to put together? You can always check the Pantone Fashion Color Report for ideas! (Or, y’know, I could write a post about color selection, if you want.)
For something a bit simpler, try the La Parisenne Beret by Caroline Dlugy-Hegwer – you’ll need just 2 colors of fingering weight yarn for this one. Go subtle and tonal or bold and contrasty – tres chic!
Will Lisa Bruce’s Favorite Scarf Ever be your most favorite scarf ever? Take a look at the Ravelry projects on this and you’ll be inspired to knit lots of these!
Stephen West’s Creekbed Scarf takes chevrons in a different direction – this is another great project to play with color in as it really changes the feel of the finished piece.
Last but not least, the new Deep Fall issue of Knitty brings us the Mathematix Shawl by Susan Luni – a clever combination of lace and chevron patterning. Pretty!