Fashion has a way of creeping into home decor. But when it comes to cable knits, it's more like it's crashing the party.
This season you'll find cable knits ?on sweaters, scarves and slippers, but also on pillows, lampshades and Christmas decorations.
You can plunk a cable-knit beanie on your head or toss a sweater-wrapped hot water bottle in your bed. Even bath towels, table runners and picture frames get the cable touch.
"Isn't it amazing how these style elements transition from clothing fashion into the home – on blankets, throws and even ornaments for that ultimate preppy tree decor?" said Marybeth Hallmark, a local image consultant.
Preppy, yes, and the cable-knit trend also fits into the retro '80s trend right now (think sweater dresses) as well as all those ski holiday-inspired looks in fashion and decor.
Ivory cable-knit pillows and throws in a wintry setting that includes pine cones, twigs, burlap and faux fur? They're a natural.
So, too, are the recycled cotton cable-knit blankets and throws for babies and adults from In2green. These throws, made from pre-consumer industrial textile scraps in natural colors, are available at Malabar, 6466 W. Quaker St., Orchard Park.
"They're made from new T-shirt clippings that are refiberized and respun into new yarn for knitting and weaving," said Julie Jones, owner of Malabar.
Yet it's in fashion where cable knits really shine – often literally when embellished with beads, sequins or shimmering yarns. And while traditional hues are easily found, brights – and combinations of brights – offer an alternative.
Michael Kors, Derek Lam and Stella McCartney were among the designers who showed cable knits on the runways during the fall 2012 fashion previews earlier this year.
And members of boy band One Direction wear cable-knit pullovers while cuddling puppies on the cover of the current Wonderland magazine, published in London.
It comes as no surprise that knitters are wrapped up in the trend as well.
Cables are very "in" right now for sweaters, scarves, hats, pillows and blankets, in every color of the rainbow, said Rebecca Lennox, owner of the Elmwood Yarn Shop, 1639 Hertel Ave.
Rope cables are especially popular, she said.
"Those are everywhere. They are fairly easy to knit, which is nice, and they can be very chunky. You get a lot of texture and shadow play. That is what cables do because they are raised up, so the lighter the color the more the cables are going to show," she said.
In addition to rope styles, there are many other cable-knit pattern possibilities.
"There are as many as there are knitters; it's almost infinite possibilities with cables. They can travel around. They can go in circles. They can make squares. They can make just about anything," Lennox said.
The variety of patterns shows up in ready-to-wear as well.
Like the traditional wool styles originally hand-knit in Ireland's Aran Islands, bulkier styles that aren't close-fitted can be found. So, too, can fitted styles – especially in the juniors' department.
Cotton cable-knit sweaters for tennis, golf and cricket may also be coming into the forefront for men as well as women because of the interest in English royalty and the British Isles, Hallmark noted.
Hallmark offered these tips for wearing cable knits, via email:
* A cable knit adds an interesting texture to an outfit. But don't over-cable.
If you want to wear cable tights, let that be your feature. Wear the tights with a flat knit skirt.
* Consider your body shape. Know that cables visually add weight and bulk.
"If you are slim, I like the look of a sweater-knit dress, with cables running from shoulder to bust (otherwise you will add bulk). Wear with tights – not cable if your dress has cables – and a high boot," she said.
* If you love the look of elegant cables, aim for a narrow gauge sweater, knitted in a more luxurious fiber such as angora, silk or mohair-blend.
* Consider the amount of cable on the garment. You may get your cable fix with narrow cables only near the neckline. Or a pair of cables set on either side of a cardigan.
* Accessories such as scarves or gloves are an easy and inexpensive way to get your cable vibe on throughout the winter, Hallmark said. Another option: cable-knit trouser socks for men and women.
Finally, even dogs can follow the trend. "If you want your pooch to be ultra-cool, Orvis online sells a cable-knit dog sweater. Time for a puppy play date," Hallmark said.
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The popular cable-knit stitch shows up in home accessories, including on a lampshade and holiday decor from Targe. top. A classic wool cardigan in driftwood heather from L.L. Bean's Signature collection (llbean.com) will keep you cozy.