For the Tuscan Tweed collection, I was inspired by the yarn, the colors and textures of this wool, viscose, and a tiny-amount-of-mohair blend. I started out thinking about tweedy traditional British knitwear and wandered into the rock and roll culture of the UK in the 1950s and 60s.
‘Ted’ or Teddy fashion evolved as a DIY counter culture in post-war Britain. Working class urban teenagers sourced second-hand Edwardian garments from thrift and charity shops, then modified them into elaborate fashions that paid homage to Edwardian dandies and American rockabilly with their own unique twist. The fashion was a rejection of the extreme austerity of the post-war period in the UK. For boys, this meant drape jackets and drainpipe trousers with bolo ties; for girls, tight pencil skirts and velvet collars. They tried out bold experiments with shape and proportion, especially when it came to the dramatic pompadour hairstyles.
The Teds developed a reputation as dangerous—an association that probably only made them more alluring to teenagers, and as the movement, grew it also evolved. In the 1960s, they became the Mods and the Rockers and influenced the growing British music scene—bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who all had signature styles reflective of their Teddy Boy aesthetic. They places they shopped, stores along the Kings road in Chelsea, became a hotspot for Swinging London. As the look evolved, the colors got bolder and the prints became psychedelic, but they continued to blend old and new, with vintage William Morris Liberty of London prints being made into tailored suit jackets. Edwardian dresses were shortened into modern minis.
With these images in my head, I designed the six pieces in the Tuscan Tweed collection—a mix of classic shapes and with just a touch of dandyism. We styled our model Emily with fun pompadour hair and lean rock-inspired silhouettes and hopefully inspire you to pick up the needles and enjoy crafting these patterns for yourself. To see Booklet 380 Berroco Tuscan Tweed and the yarn in person, use our handy store locator to find the shop nearest you. Our Tuscan Tweed knit- or crochet-along starts next Friday!