Every year around this time, I always wonder what will be the project that sets the style tone among knitters and crocheters. You know -- that must-make garment or accessory that has you making a mad dash to your favorite yarn shop for a pattern and the suggested materials!

In recent years, socks, infinity scarves, fingerless mitts, cowls and shawls have been, what one might call the "it project." Some years, there's actually more than one, of course. For instance, last year, it seems there were two that topped the list -- the three-pointed shawl which took on a more asymetrical design, and beanies that captured everyone's attention with big fluffy pompoms on top.

But to get an insider's perspective on the subject and a few predictions for 2020, I reached out to one of our longtime local yarn shop owners -- Bridget Dean, owner of "...have you any Wool?" in Berkley, who makes her predictions based on "hand-knits and crocheted items in runway fashion."

She said, "The trends start there and filter into real life where crafters can create their own versions of what they see. I think that stranded knitting and mosaic knitting will continue to be popular. Those techniques give the knitter lots of room to play with color and create something new and unique to him or her. People are interested in creating pieces that will not only please the eye, but that will be functional and withstand the test of time."

Here are a few more of her thoughts on current trends among knitters and crocheters: 

Q: What do you think was the most popular project(s) for knitters/crocheters in 2019, and will there be a repeat this year?

A: I would say the most popular were hats and cowls. I think that trend will continue because they're typically pretty quick to knit up, and the size is not like fitting a sweater to someone. You have a little more leeway. The pompoms were extremely popular, and I think they'll still be. I have pompoms in varying sizes and people have put them on ends of scarves. So, they're not just for the top of your hat. (However), it can really elevate your hat from wow to a great hat. 

Q.: Will wraps continue to be big among needleartists this year?

A. They're very, very consistently popular, and again, they don't have to fit, per se. I think a wrap and shawl are very versitile, and not only will they keep your shoulders warm, but you can wear them as a scarf or neckwarmer.

Q: What about sock knitting?

A: I've seen the sock trend kind of wane, but recently we've had people express an interest in learning to knit socks, so we'll have a workshop.

Q: Will wool continue to be the fiber of choice for most knitters?

A: I think it depends on the project, but I would say for the most part yes -- or (either) a wool blend. Wool is a natural animal fiber, so you get warmth without weight, and unlike plant based fibers, it breathes.

Q: What weight of yarn do you see being widely used in 2020? 

A: I think it's all project-dependent. As we led up to the holidays, people wanted chunky weight yarn for a quick result. But, if I'm going to knit a sweater, it's going to be DK or worsted weight.

Q: Will variegated yarn continue to be in high demand?

A: Yes. I think the dyers, right now, are so creative and talented that everything is fresh and new. When I sit down to knit a project, I ask myself 'is the yarn going to do the talking or the pattern?' With all the hats and shawls going on right now, you can do a pattern that will show it at its best. 

Q: Will you offer new or different classes in 2020?

A: Absolutely. I've sold out of two magic loop workshops. I think people are interested in learning and continuing their knitting education. When someone learns a new technique, we try to give them the vision to use that technique in future projects. 

Q: Will the number of people learning to knit/crochet continue to grow?

A: I think it will continue for a lot of reasons. Knitting is a very portable craft. You don't need a lot of equipment. It's very social, and you can knit while watching TV with friends, and people gather at coffee shops and bring their knitting. It's time spent together. 

Q: How has the knitting community changed since you opened your shop?

A: Over the past 15 years, I think the knitting community has gotten more knowledgeable in their technique. People are eager to learn, and I think I've seen all ages. When I opened my store, that was starting to happen. People are (now) coming in as couples -- whether they're friends or romantic couples -- one is the crafter and they pick the yarn together, so it's sort of a collaborative affect. 

Detroit News Columnist Jocelynn Bown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150, or

Contact "...have you any Wool?," 3455 Robina, Berkley at  (248) 541-9665, on Facebook or Email: 

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