Have you seen it yet? ‘Black Panther’ just passed ‘The Avengers’ to become the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time! Whether you’re a classic comic book ‘nerd’, or a newly-minted fan, the excitement is real. It has a stellar cast of known & newer stars, and all the excitement we look forward to from our superhero stories. If you’ve seen it, you know the style is one of the most memorable elements. Drawing inspiration from traditional and contemporary African fashion, designer Ruth Carter crafted a stunning world. To create some ‘Black Panther’-inspired knitwear of your own, read on!
For her inspiration, Carter had a vision board with four words: Beautiful, Positive, Forward, Colorful. And from these guiding principles, and an enormous amount of research, the world of Wakanda was born. From a profile by the Atlantic, “the result is a dramatic look that makes clear that Wakandans use clothing as an important form of self- and community expression, to honor their ancestors, and to maintain a progressive social order.”
We were thrilled to welcome Josh Bennett, member of the Marvel Club, to Tea with Shira. Josh was inspired by the story of the Black Panther, T’Challa, who is a regular (albeit royal) human being, until he gets turned into a superhero. Josh used this storyline to create three knit pieces for T’Challa, which you can see in our video below:
Below are images of the three sweaters Josh created for ‘Black Panther’, which will be sold in limited editions on his website. You’ll see the Panther Habit, a v-neck with texture through the body. The Vibranium Ombré is a gorgeous pullover with stripes & unique cables. For the Okoye Hoodie, Josh was inspired by T’Challa’s relationship with the female fighters in the film, who are his equals in the world of Wakanda. These sweaters are beautiful for everyday people, but also help to subtly tell the story of the film’s hero, bringing the details of these knits to life in a powerful way.
You can visit Josh’s website, www.joshbennettnyc.com, to see these beautiful sweaters and his other projects (including knits from ‘Thor’). You can also find & follow Josh on instagram & twitter, & keep up with his current work.
If you’re inspired by Josh’s work, and would like to create your own, we’ve got the patterns for you!
Our Custom Classic Pullover (Knit) is infinitely customizable. It’s already got the v-neck, and you can create many textured variations in the body to achieve your Panther Habit look. The Midnight Glamour Pullover (Knit) features amazing texture through the body of the sweater, and you could opt to lengthen the sleeves to your liking.
The Exaggerated Raglan Pullover (Knit) has some geometric shaping through the pattern, and an interesting slight handkerchief hem. You could work additional texture into the front panels. Our Simply Constructed Pullover (Crochet) is one of the best options for those working with hooks, and you could always opt to skip the collar.
We love the cables of the Vibranium Ombré sweater, and these are our favorite look-alikes. The Raglan Cabled Pullover (Knit) could be made for gentlemen or ladies, and the chunky cabling through the body and sleeves is delicious. Our Cable Peplum Pullover (Knit) is a decidedly more feminine take, and it’s a beautiful fit! The Gossamer Cowl Pullover (Knit) offers a bit more in terms of ribbing along the hem & sleeves, and a cozy cowl.
Our sleeveless Hoodie: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is worked up in the same berry-red of Josh’s Okoye design, and you could definitely add sleeves for your own. The Cabled Pullover and Cowl (Knit) may not have the hoodie featured, but we couldn’t resist the beautiful red, powerful cables, or the unique details of the cabling all the way up the cowl or the distinct lack of ribbing at the hem. Our Saturday Morning Hoodie (Knit) would be wonderful worked up in a red.
‘Black Panther’ designer Ruth Carter has been tweeting in response to many requests for more information about the character Nakia’s beautiful green shawl. A whole Ravelry group has blossomed to share pattern and color ideas inspired by the look! To create yours with Lion Brand, check out our patterns below:
Our Open Mesh Shawl (Crochet) is a pretty dead-on dupe for Nakia’s beautiful shawl! It’s worked up in Shawl in a Ball in Metallic Graceful Green, a perfect description for Nakia’s character in the film. The Barbizon Shawl (Crochet) is a bit fuller, which would give a great sense of the versatility of the shawl Nakia wears. It’s also Shawl in a Ball, but this time in Prism. You could keep that look, or substitute for the Metallic Graceful Green if you prefer. Same goes for the Openwork Shawl (Crochet), another beautiful option.
For any of these patterns, you could substitute for our Shawl in a Cake in either Jade Pool or Sun Salutations.
If you’re a knitter, or looking for some variations on this lovely shawl, look no further! Our Artemis Super Scarf (Knit) has those same beautifully earthy tones, but offers more in the way of the texture Ruth Carter was aiming for by including four different yarns. Color Waves is used for the pattern, in several colorways, but we’re particularly fascinated by Cactus Flower or Green Apple for this project. Karin’s Wrap (Knit) is a more unique style, in keeping with the total originality of the film’s designs. It uses Heartland Yarn, which is a Medium 4 Weight, so you could absolutely swap for any of the Shawl in a Ball or Shawl in a Cake colors mentioned above! Check out the Taos Tunisian Shawl (Crochet) above if you’ve been dabbling in Tunisian Crochet.
‘Black Panther’ is inspiring crafters everywhere, in so many ways. One mom even made a Shuri-inspired Barbie doll with yarn-hair for her daughter! Has the film inspired you? Are you planning to create one of the projects above, or have you seen something else on social media that caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below how the film has inspired you, or if there’s another movie that’s got your imagination working!