FireFlower’s Trend Report for Fall (with Free Pattern Links)

I am the first to admit that I am not exactly a style maven. I am a stay-at-home mom of young children, I don’t read fashion magazines, and I choose my clothing in large part for its ability to survive frequent washing. However, I do have a long-standing interest in fashion as a cultural phenomenon, and I do my own particular brand of trend-watch each spring and fall. I canvass several of my favorite online stores, and come up with what I see as the trends for the season. This season, I decided to match these up with some free pattern links and post them for the benefit of my readers.

Here is what I am seeing:

  • elbow-length and 3/4 sleeves
  • empire-waisted and babydoll silhouettes
  • sweater coats
  • short sleeved pullovers and cardigans
  • cardigans cropped to level of natural waist or bottom of ribcage

Cari’s latest design, Trilce, gets special mention, even though it is not yet available for purchase. This is a fun design which is exactly on-trend for this season. How on-trend? Well, look at this one from Nordstrom. I bet you can knit your own wool version for less than it retails for. I’ll update with a link to the finished design once it’s up for sale.

Free Patterns

(and a few special designs available for sale online)

Sunkist Cardi— a great 3/4 sleeve raglan cardi, which you can customize to fit. (Scroll down to find a link to the PDF file in the sidebar).

Summer Sky— a short-sleeved cropped cardi, be sure to get the errata here.

Reversible Lace Rib Shrug— you can use this pattern from to make your own out of any yarn between dk and bulky weight.

Lara Pinwheel Sweater with Crocheted Edges–another sweater from Elann. You could easily modify it to be a twin for this one. If you don’t crochet, you can be like Wendy and knit on an edging. See her finished version in this post. Her original edging pattern is available on her free patterns page.

Circular Shrug–an innovatively constructed vest or cap-sleeved cardi similar to this one from Anthropologie.

Anthropologie-inspired Shrug–quick, versatile, customizable, and it’s back for spring.

Cloud Bolero–a lovely cropped cardigan, see a photo of a finished bolero here.

Vino Cardigan–a great sweater coat pattern available for sale from Laura Chau of Cosmic Pluto.

Brennan Cardigan–a great shawl-collared sweater coat design, and the pattern is available for free.

Serrano–a lovely lacy cardigan pattern made with sock yarn, also by Laura Chau.

Stardust–a lacy cropped cardigan with a tie closure.

Something Red–a charming short-sleeved cardigan pattern available for sale from Wendy Bernard of Knit and Tonic.

Starsky–a shawl-collared sweater coat with leaf-themed cable panels.

Brompton–free sweater coat pattern with neat reversible cuffs you can fold down to keep your hands warm or fold up to keep out of the way.

Just as a bonus, here’s a new men’s pullover pattern from Tiennie, the Fog Sweater.


Trendy Accessories (and Free Pattern Links) for Fall

My camera has gone sadly AWOL, so no picture today.  I have about half of the edging knitted onto the Pi Shawl.  it moves slowly because the edging has patterning on both sides, and also because my nearly one-year-old son doesn’t like to let me knit much these days.  Not to mention being busy getting ready for the move to Vancouver…

Anyway, I’ve been noticing a couple of trends in accessories in the stores and online, which I thought I’d share with you.  The first is newsboy caps.  I am seeing lots and lots of newsboy caps.  These are really cute for almost any age person who cares to wear one, and they would make good gifts as well.  I have found a number of patterns online, mostly crocheted, but a few knitted as well.

Also, pashmina-style shawls.  Pashminas are traditionally made from cashmere or a  blend of cashmere and silk, but any soft fiber would be nice.  They usually measure 12″ x 60″ (large ones measure 28″ x 80″).  Traditional pashminas are woven, but there is no reason you couldn’t knit one.  The size is very versatile, as it can be worn as a scarf, a shoulder wrap, or a head covering.  Many rectangular scarf or stole patterns would be adaptable to typical pashmina dimensions.  Ideally you want something ranging between laceweight and sport-weight yarn so that it drapes nicely and can be worn single or double thickness, depending on the weather.  Now, this might sound like a lot of knitting, but you could make something really beautiful out of a few ounces of lace or sportweight luxury fiber yarn on size 6 or 8 needles (4 or 5 mm) in plain garter stitch with a lace edging or a fringe at either end.  In garter stitch, it could make mindless knitting for watching TV, listening to a compelling audiobook, or even while reading or studying if you were to prop your book open on a table in front of you.  Of course, using one of the many gorgeous rectangular shawl patterns available, it could also be an interesting challenge.

Here are some pattern links: