Exclusive: free knitting patterns worthy of a supermodel

Cara Delevingne, Lily Allen and Harry Styles love it: knitting is officially cool. Join us with five free knitting patterns for beginners and beyond, from the knitwear brand of Lily Cole and Katherine Poulton

THROUGH Rachel Dove | September 21, 2014

Lily Cole is the founder of knitwear brand The North Circular

soothes the troubled mind, and neither does it hurt the quiet mind,” knitting godmother Elizabeth Zimmermann wrote in her 1971 guide.
Knit without tears.
In the years since, knitting has had moments of fusty association with WI dating and shoddy Christmas sweaters, but Zimmermann’s knitting philosophy is now being revisited by a new generation, looking to escape the pressures of a hectic life.

Take Cara Delevingne, 22: the feisty model is known for busting out her needles in the middle of a busy fashion week schedule. Or
Lily Allen
29, the singer famous for her controversial lyrics, who was knitting cushions when she “retired” in 2011. Even the singer
Harry Styles,
20 years old, started knitting on the
A direction
tourist bus to help him relax.

Cara Delevingne wrote “Knitting is the BOMB” under this photo she posted on her Instagram account during fashion week
(Photo: Instagram

They are not the only ones. “How to knit” was Google’s fifth most searched “how to” term in 2013, while there has been a 250% increase in people searching for “knitting for beginners” in the last five years. At
Wild region
Charlbury WI’
s knitting workshops are very popular, and
British hand knitting company
lists over 620 UK knitting clubs on its website, including one on
baa ram sheep
a cool knitwear shop in Headingley, the student center of Leeds.

Knitted looks from Sister by Sibling Spring/Summer 2014 and Fall/Winter 2014 (left and middle) and Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2014. (Photo: Rex)

With the help of fashion heavyweights like Stella McCartney, Missoni and Alexander McQueen, knitwear is now not only a stylish staple, but a fashion week staple as well. “We love tradition,” says Cozette McCreery of the hip London knitwear collective
Brother and sister
– although the bold womenswear designs of its secondary brand, Sister by Sibling, are anything but traditional. Think Lurex knit skirts, intarsia skull cardigans and pom-pom dresses that will satisfy young, hip knitters with modern twists on conventional patterns.

A Good Yarn, by model and co-founder of The North Circular Katherine Poulton

Now models in their twenties
Lily Cole
and Katherine Poulton take their turn. They co-founded the
North circular
knitwear brand, which uses the skills of “grannies, daughters and a few strong men” to create cozy scarves, hats and gloves. Right here
brings you some of our favorite patterns from Poulton’s new book,
A good thread,
to ease your mind on those cooler fall evenings.

READ – Interview with Lily Cole: “I’m not necessarily beautiful…”


Free knitting pattern: click here for the chunky stripe beanie from The North Circular

Bold stripe hat by The North Circular (Photo: James Moriarty)

We like this hat in navy and natural to give navy stripes, or with jet and navy stripes for a more masculine look. But it’s really where your imagination can bring your favorite color palette. The hat is oversized allowing the back to be pulled down for a loose look. This humble beanie graced the pages of “Teen Vogue” in these nautical stripes. When she appeared in British “Vogue” in a chunky plain wool knit, the model loved it so much she kept it. So beware, once you’ve put all your love into it, it’s an irresistible hat!


Free Knitting Pattern: Click here for The North Circular Moss Eternity Scarf

Foam Eternity Scarf by The North Circular (Photo: Hayley Brown)

Simple stripes of seed stitch create a firm texture for this eternity scarf – a sculptural knit for wrapping up against the cold. Garter stitch is simple for the complete beginner – just alternate knit and purl stitches to create a great reversible stitch that holds its shape.


Free knitting pattern: click here for houndstooth gloves from The North Circular

Houndstooth gloves by The North Circular (Photo: Emir Erlap)

Houndstooth is a traditional Scottish pattern for woven wool, translated here into these bold knitted gloves. You can use a bold color scheme to create striking contrasts in the mosaic pattern. We like jet black and red, but also black and yellow, or blue with red.


Free knitting pattern: click here for the Narwhal Blanket from North Circular

Narwhal cover by The North Circular (Photo: Kyle Books)

The magical unicorn horns of ancient times inspired awe and wonder, now we know they belong to the magnificent narwhal. The mesmerizing lines of the wiring of this luxurious throw evoke the waves of icy oceans that narwhals dive beneath while we snuggle beneath, daydreaming by the fireside.


Free knitting pattern: click here for Aaron hand warmers from The North Circular

Aaron hand warmers by the North Circular

Aran knitting comes from the rocky islands near Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland. Now world famous for their intricate cables, these chunky textured patterns were originally designed by island women to dress their men. This graphic Aran pattern features twisted ribbing, with zigzagging garter stitches on opposite diagonals, to create symmetry. A simple thumb hole and open fingers make these gloves simple and perfect.

Patterns from ‘A Good Yarn’, by Katherine Poulton (Kyle Books, £16.99), available from Telegraph Books at £15.29 plus £1.95 p&p

Follow Stella magazine on

To read more of Stella’s articles, visit

About Tracy G. Larimore

Check Also

18 Adorable and Cozy Fall Knitting and Crochet Patterns for All Skill Levels

Photo: Image bank by GOFFKEIN.PRO/ShutterstockThis article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, …