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2018 Trends: Loose & Easy, + 18 Free Patterns

Home/Crocheting2018 Trends: Loose & Easy, + 18 Free Patterns

2018 Trends: Loose & Easy, + 18 Free Patterns

If you’ve been following along with our trend-casting for 2018, you probably read about our 5 knit, crochet & yarn trends for this year. The time has come for the first installment of our trend-specific posts, and we’re thrilled to bring you Loose & Easy ideas to craft with all year long. From Lion Brand patterns (18!), to tips & tricks from our design team, we’re here to help you make this style all your own, and integrate it seamlessly into your wardrobe.

Loose & Easy

A high-fashion example, photographed for Jalouse, and our Lion Brand pattern-dupe: the Knit Cozy Collared Pullover.

The Idea

We know how much time you dedicate to all your crafting, so while we keep a close eye on ‘trends’, we prefer to think in terms of ‘style’. Style is lasting, infinitely personalize-able, and reflects a deeper appreciation of fashion. With this in mind, loose & easy oversizes silhouettes have been in style since the beginning on time. At Lion Brand, we love loose & easy shapes because they’re fun & easy to make, and are the perfect canvas to let your stitch work shine.

From over-sized sweaters to ruanas to ponchos, you can show off a stitch you love, or let a self-striping yarn do the colorwork for you. Since the shapes are simple, they’re perfect for crafters who haven’t ventured into sweater making yet. With minimal shaping, such as set-in sleeves, you can focus on the simple joy of stitching.

The Patterns

Cardigans to Knit:

The Long

The Quick Flattering Cardi (Knit) and the Westchester Cardigan (Knit) are excellent opportunities to stitch simply for a big effect! The Quick Flattering Cardi uses our Fast-Track Yarn for a 6 Super Bulky weight, a cozy addition to any outfit. And the Westchester Cardigan received a 5-star review from Tha, who said “The pattern was easy to read and follow. I really enjoyed making the Topper. I’d like to make another one soon.” Thanks, Tha!

Cardigans to Knit:

And the Short

These three shortie cardis will be a big hit whenever you wear them! The Easy Cozy Cardi (Knit) comes in a kit, or as a free pattern download, and works up in customer-favorite Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. The Licorice Cardigan (Knit) works up in Vanna’s Choice & Shawl in a Ball for a jacket-like structured shape. The Milton Harbor Cardigan (Knit) is quintessential loose & easy, working up easily in our Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Bonus Bundles.

Cardigans to Crochet

The High Street Cardigan (Crochet) features fun open-work stitches, and proves that loose & easy isn’t just a wintertime trend! The Long Luxe Cardigan (Crochet) looks beautiful in Shawl in a Ball, but we dare you to dream it up & substitute in any color that inspires you! The Sideways Cardigan (Crochet) is an adorable Scarfie project, and the pattern does all the colorwork for you.

3 Pleasing Ponchos

Three fabulous ponchos, one knit & two crochet. The Dyker Heights Poncho (Crochet) features a simple color blocking, and this is the perfect example of a loose & easy pattern showing off your stitchwork. The Portland Poncho Pattern (Crochet) also features colorwork, and is for our more experienced crocheters (Level 5). The Textured Stitch Poncho (Knit) is a beautiful Pound of Love project, and the array of colors for that yarn give you plenty of options.

Pullover Patterns

We chose these pullover patterns to highlight the fun necklines possible with loose & easy styling: bateau, turtleneck, and a deep v-neck. The Breezy Mesh Pullover (Crochet) is another openwork pattern, and it features a lovely wide neckline. The Curvy Girl Crochet Tunic (Crochet) has an adorable cowl-y turtle to it, with stylish side-vents. The Deep V-Neck Pullover (Knit) is a vision in Mandala & Color Waves, but any 3 Light weight yarn will do.

Shrug it Off

A key element of the loose & easy trend is a loose & easy vibe to go along with it! A shrug is a casual statement piece that adds easy elegance to any look. The Simsbury Shrug (Knit) features a bolder sleeve & some simple color work. The Boho Shrug (Crochet) is a fun alternative, with granny squares pieced together for a youthful, relaxed look! The Date Night Shrug (Knit) is a Shawl in the Ball project that comes together so beautifully.

The Tips

The fit of a loose & easy garment might be intimidating, but it’s a lot easier to work with them since they flatter a variety of figure types! They make fabulous layering pieces, and can be belted for a more structured look.

To avoid unwanted bulk, here are some design tricks:

Play with proportion: Try either a wide cropped shape, or an extra long length.
We like asymmetrical hems where its slightly shorter in front and longer in back.
Try a thinner / shorter sleeve to offset the wide body. Or remove sleeves altogether!

Find your loose & easy style with us.

We hope you’ll embrace the amplitude and simple abundance of this trend, and the invitation to enjoy a looser & easier vibe. Let us know which of these patterns jump out to you, or if there’s another Lion Brand pattern you’re casting on that you think exemplifies this trend perfectly. We’ll be sure to cover all our 2018 trends, so stay tuned for more ideas!

Written with Adina Klein, from the Lion Brand design team.

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  • Looking for the pattern of a white cable sweater that was in your all over texture patterns for 2018, it showed a picture of it in an e mail I got at the end of Dec. 2017 teilling about the up coming trends & yarn for 2018, also had pics of the yarn colors for each month of 2018. I have been trying to find the pattern for awhile with no luck , thought I’d try this to see if you could help. Thank you.

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