Pattern Previews for Echoes
Echoes: 24 Modern Knits Inspired by Iconic Women features knitwear patterns dedicated to incredible women — both real and fictional — who have influenced the designer Susan Crawford’s life. This versatile collection features a variety of styles, techniques and garments.
All the designs are knitted with Susan’s own yarns, but most of them are standard weight and can be easily substituted. The meterage required for each size is included to to help with this task.
Virginia Woolf’s novels have been part of Susan’s life since she was a teenager and in turn, Virginia’s tragic life became a fascination too. The Virginia vest was inspired by a coat worn by Virginia Woolf in several photographs, made of a dark fabric that has a repeating woven pattern on it in a paler colour. This pattern became the starting point for the all-over colourwork motif featured on the vest. The corrugated rib at the welt, neckband and armbands adds an interesting detail to the design. Virginia is worked in the round from the bottom up, and steeks are added at the armholes and front neck. It comes in two colourways and three body lengths.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Excelana North Fingering Weight (75% Cheviot and 25% Bluefaced Leicester, 174 yds / 159 m per 50 g) in shades Virginia (Yarn A), Limestone (Yarn B) and Damson Wine (Yarn C) for colourway one and Charcoal (Yarn A), Alabaster (Yarn B) and Dock Seed (Yarn C) for colourway two.
The Beatrix vest features an all-over textured pattern that is intuitive and pleasant to knit. The vest can be worn by itself or together with the Potter cowl, which features the same twist stitch pattern. Beatrix is knitted from the bottom up in the round with steeks added at the armhole divide. Finally, neckbands and armbands are picked up and knitted. The vest is inspired by Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) – an author, farmer, shepherd, entrepreneur, and activist, passionate about maintaining traditional ways of life in the Lake District where she lived. It reflects the practicality and simplicity of Beatrix Potter’s way of life.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Barn (100% British wool, 246 yds / 225 m per 100 g) in shades Plum Jam and Puddle.
The Potter cowl, inspired by the life and work of author Beatrix Potter, is a cosy textured cowl perfect for keeping you snug on a chilly day, with the double layer providing added warmth. The simple twist stitch — also used in the Beatrix vest — creates an intriguing surface pattern. The cowl is knit in the round and commences with a provisional cast-on to enable the work to be joined into a tube. As the main pattern is worked, needle sizes are changed to create shape without having to add or remove stitches.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Barn (100% British wool, 246 yds / 225 m per 100 g) in shades Plum Jam and Puddle.
Sayer is inspired by the character of Rose Sayer from the movie The African Queen, played by Katharine Hepburn. The primness of the character was cleverly emphasised by her high-necked Victorian-style blouse, with a layered, deep ruffled yoke. The shape of the blouse is reflected in this turtleneck sweater, with bands of coloured slip stitches replacing the lacy ruffles. Sayer is knitted in a heavy worsted-weight yarn, and the extra-long sleeves have a soft fullness to them. The sweater is worked from the top down. The work is divided at the underarm with the body and sleeves knitted separately.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Wold Worsted (100% British wool, 174 yds / 159 m per 100 g) in shades Limestone (Yarn A), Trefusis (Yarn B), Foley (Yarn C), Swimming Pool (Yarn D), Tannin (Yarn E), Fitzroy (Yarn F) and Orlando (Yarn G) for colourway one or Grace (Yarn A), Garnet (Yarn B), Trefusis (Yarn C), Red Sky at Night (Yarn D), Moss Covered Wall (Yarn E), Edy (Yarn F) and Orlando (Yarn G) for colourway two.
The English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810–1865) wrote about social issues affecting the working class and created strong female characters. This all-over cabled cardigan dedicated to her reflects the knitwear of the late 1800s. Unshaped, with low shoulders and a shawl collar, this type of cardigan was designed as menswear, but women quickly adopted it for themselves. Gaskell comes in two lengths, with the longer version also including pockets and a deep welt. The body is knitted in flat pieces before being joined at the shoulders. The boxy shape, dropped shoulders and deep sleeves make Gaskell perfect for layering over other pieces.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Barn (100% British wool, 246 yds / 225 m per 100 g) in shades Foggy Morning (grey) and Tannin (yellow-brown).
Miller is a slouchy beanie with an eye-catching colourwork pattern and two colourways to choose from. It is the perfect accessory for colder days and long walks. Miller is knitted from the brim up in the round, and you can choose between a single or double-layer brim. The hat was named after the photographer Lee Miller, who in 1939 became a war correspondent for British Vogue, resulting in some of the most iconic and powerful images of the Second World War. Lee paved the way for other female photographers to follow her into a male-dominated field.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Excelana North Fingering Weight (75% Cheviot and 25% Bluefaced Leicester, 174 yds / 159 m per 50 g) in shades Land Army Green (Yarn A), Herb Green (Yarn B), Sweet Chestnut (Yarn C) and Alabaster (Yarn D) for fingering weight version.
Spencer is a stylish sweater knitted in fingering-weight yarn, making it perfect for everyday wear. The front panel as well as cuff and shoulder details are created using smocking stitch. The sweater is knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armhole, after which the front and back are worked separately. It is inspired by Lady Diana Spencer and her feminine and romantic style that owed much to the work of designer Laura Ashley. The sweater is influenced both by Ashley’s love of smocking, and also early images of Diana, dressed casually in a floral skirt or capri pants, paired with a softly shaped sweater.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Byre (100% British wool, 436 yds / 400 m per 100 g) in shades Room of My Own (red) and Ragwort (orange)
3 (3, 3, 4, 4) (4, 5, 5, 6) skeins.
The two colourways of the Gertrude vest were inspired by the work of Gertrude Jekyll, a garden designer who from 1881 until her death in 1932 designed more than 400 gardens. She pioneered the use of different colour schemes to create moods and atmosphere. Gertrude is a classic fitted vest featuring a Fair Isle-style pattern to the front and a corresponding check pattern to the back. The front neck has a low, round contour, reminiscent of 1970s tank tops. The vest knitted in the round from the bottom up. Steeks are added at the armhole and front neck.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Byre (100% British wool, 436 yds / 400 m per 100 g) in shades Heather (Yarn A), Dry Stone Wall (Yarn B), Clay (Yarn C), Moss Covered Wall (Yarn D), Room of my Own (Yarn E), Ragwort (Yarn F), Undergrowth (Yarn G), Sunset Over the Bay (Yarn H), Plum Jam (Yarn J), Glimpse of the Sea (Yarn K) and Night Sky (Yarn L) for colourway one and Denim (Yarn A), Jack ’O’ Lantern (Yarn B), Rusty Tractor (Yarn C), Loam (Yarn D), Sunset Over the Bay (Yarn E), Glimpse of the Sea (Yarn F) and Fence Post (Yarn G) for colourway two.
The Vita cardigan embraces this vision of an English country garden: the variety of colours mixed with methodical planting schemes. It is a long-line, drop-shouldered cardigan, featuring the same stranded colourwork pattern as the Gertrude vest. Vita comes in two lengths: a cosy cropped version and a snuggly long version with inset pockets. The cardigan is knitted in the round from the bottom up. A centre front steek is worked throughout with additional armhole steeks added. The pattern was inspired by the author and poet Vita Sackville-West who, along with her husband, created stunning gardens in Sissinghurst Castle where they lived.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Byre (100% British wool, 436 yds / 400 m per 100 g)in shades Heather (Yarn A), Dry Stone Wall (Yarn B), Clay (Yarn C), Moss Covered Wall (Yarn D), Room of my Own (Yarn E), Ragwort (Yarn F), Undergrowth (Yarn G), Sunset Over the Bay (Yarn H), Plum Jam (Yarn J), Glimpse of the Sea (Yarn K) and Night Sky (Yarn L) for colourway one and Denim (Yarn A), Jack ’O’ Lantern (Yarn B), Rusty Tractor (Yarn C), Loam (Yarn D), Sunset Over the Bay (Yarn E), Glimpse of the Sea (Yarn F) and Fence Post (Yarn G) for colourway two.
Debbie Harry with her band Blondie was one of Susan’s idols when growing up, and their album Parallel Lines was rarely off her record player. Therefore it seemed only right that this inspirational album would be the source for these socks, which feature a series of vertical columns on each side. The Parallel Lines socks are knitted from the cuff down with a fun construction. They are designed to be worn with the reverse stocking stitch on the surface: to make the knitting easier, they are first worked inside out. These easy-to-knit socks feel good on the foot — and look great too.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Lock ( 75% Lonk, 25% Nylon, 414 yds / 378 m per 100 g) 1 skein, shade Campbell (rust), Tide (blue) or Le Ferre (yellow).
Weatherhouse is a simple triangular shawl featuring a bold, striped pattern and multi-coloured tassels. Commencing with a garter tab, the shawl is worked from the centre top with increases at either side of the spine and the side edges. After stocking stitch stripes are worked, an eye-catching striped slip-stitch pattern follows and, finally, a striped garter stitch border. The shawl uses only 25 g of each shade, making it a great way of using up small amounts of yarn. The shawl was inspired by a book of the same name, The Weatherhouse by Nan Shepherd, first published in 1930.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Bluem Sock (75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% Nylon, 109 yds / 100 m per 25 g) in shades Hay Bale (Yarn A), Apple Blossom (Yarn B), Undergrowth (Yarn C), Baling Twine (Yarn D), Rock Pool (Yarn E), Farm Gate (Yarn F) and Room of My Own (Yarn G).
Susan Crawford Lock (75% Lonk and 25% Nylon, 103 yds / 94 m per 25 g) in shades Le Ferre (Yarn A), Lydia (Yarn B), Asheham (Yarn C), Orlando (Yarn D), Tide (Yarn E), Malus (Yarn F) and Red Sky at Night (Yarn G).
Siddal is a loosely fitting sweater with a gathered yoke neckline and fluted sleeves, knitted in worsted-weight yarn for a quick and gratifying knit. It is worked from the bottom up with two body lengths available. The reversed 3x1 rib pattern transitions from a lace border. The neckline is finished with a garter stitch edging in which a cord is threaded. The pattern was inspired by Lizzie Siddal (1829–1862), known as the muse and wife of Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti — but also a talented artist in her own right. Many paintings show Lizzie in medieval-style dresses, and Susan has referenced this style in a contemporary way.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Bluem Worsted (100% Bluefaced Leicester, 165 m / 180 yds per 100 g) 5 (6, 6, 7, 7) (8, 8, 9, 9) skeins in shade Serge de Nimes (blue) or Morrel (brown).
Diamond Kite is a striking pair of colourwork socks featuring a repeating motif and a contrasting heel and toe. You can choose from the two lengths: a low calf or a boot-length sock. The socks are knitted from the top down with a twisted rib cuff and an hourglass heel. The foot is adjustable for length. The Diamond Kite socks were inspired by a song of the same name by Kate Bush – one of Susan’s heroes from her youth. The small diamond motifs represent tiny kites.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Bluem Sock (75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% Nylon, 109 yds / 100 m per 25 g) in shades Dungarees (Yarn A), Lime Mortar (Yarn B), Night Sky (Yarn C), Foggy Morning (Yarn D) for colourway one and Farm Gate (Yarn A), Lime Mortar (Yarn B), Loam (Yarn C), Fence Post (Yarn D) for colourway two.
Garnett is a floaty, diaphanous top with a softly curving neckline and deep dropped shoulders. It is worked with large needles and two fine yarns held together, creating a delightful open texture. A lace panel is worked up the front and on both sleeves. The top is knit from the bottom up, first in the round and then the front and back separately. The top was inspired by the artisan and businesswoman Annie Garnett, whose experimental fabrics were some of the first to have metals woven through them. Garnett is knitted with two strands of different fibres to mimic, in a simple way, these innovative techniques.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Fenella (100% British wool, 129 m / 141 yds per 25 g) 5 (5, 6, 7, 8) (8, 8, 9, 10) skeins, shade Columbine (lilac) or Rannoch (orange) AND Susan Crawford Mist ( 72% mohair and 28% silk, 420 m / 460 yds per 50 g skein) 2 (2, 2, 2, 3) (3, 3, 3, 3) skeins, shade Heathcote (lilac) or Clockwork (orange).
The Brontë shawl is Susan’s love letter to the Brontë sisters, the novelists Emily, Charlotte and Anne. The Brontës lived in the 19th century, at a time when shawls were a staple outer garment in a woman’s wardrobe: everyday shawls would be knitted from hand-spun wool and made large enough to wrap around the body. The Brontë shawl is reminiscent of this type of large triangular shawl and uses different techniques, such as traditional lace stitch patterns, stripes and colourwork. Tassels add a decorative, luxurious flourish to the shawl.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Byre (100% British wool, 436 yds / 400 m per 100 g) in shades Rock Pool (Yarn A), Undergrowth (Yarn B), and Red Sky at Night (Yarn C) for colourway one or Moss Covered Wall (Yarn A), Plum Jam (Yarn B) and Ragwort (Yarn C) for colourway two.
There is a book Susan reads every year, in the quiet days between Christmas and New Year: I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. It follows the trials and tribulations of the impoverished Mortmain family and their seventeen-year-old daughter Cassandra. She has very few belongings and values them greatly, and Susan wanted her Mortmain sweater to reflect this by being long-lasting and timeless. It is a quintessential yoke sweater that is simple to knit, with two sleeve options and a body length that is easy to adjust. Mortmain is worked in the round from the bottom up. The sleeves are knitted separately before they are joined to the body.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Excelana North Lightweight DK (100% British wool, 252 yds / 230 m per 100 g) in shades Trefusis (Yarn A), Virginia (Yarn B), Sheffield Steel (Yarn C), Snowdrop (Yarn D) for colourway one and Virginia (Yarn A), Trefusis (Yarn B), Sheffield Steel (Yarn C), Snowdrop (Yarn D) for colourway two.
The Dodie cardigan was inspired by the author Dodie Smith (1896–1990), and it can be worn on its own or as a twinset with the Mortmain sweater for maximum vintage appeal. Dodie is a traditional yoke cardigan knit in the round bottom up with a centre-front steek. The lower body is knit first up to the armholes, then both sleeves are knit, and finally the body and sleeves are joined together to form the yoke. On a number of rounds at the centre of the pattern, three colours are worked on a round. These rounds can be worked either by knitting with three colours, or duplicate stitch can be worked after the knitting is finished to add the third shade.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Excelana North Lightweight DK (100% British wool, 252 yds / 230 m per 100 g) in shades Virginia (Yarn A), Trefusis (Yarn B), Sheffield Steel (Yarn C), Snowdrop (Yarn D) for colourway one and Trefusis (Yarn A), Virginia (Yarn B), Sheffield Steel (Yarn C), Snowdrop (Yarn D) for colourway two.
Susan has long been a fan of knitted underwear and nightwear patterns that can easily be updated to work as outerwear. The Weldon pattern is inspired by an old booklet called Dainty Undies, published by Weldons Practical Needlework in the early 1940s. Weldon is a close-fitting, lacy garment that comes in two versions: a cropped vest and a stylish dress. The easy lace and garter stitch panels provide a great introduction to lace knitting, and the simple shape makes this a fun and surprisingly quick knit. Both garments are knitted from the bottom up.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Lomaria (alpaca, silk and cashmere, 437 yds / 400 m per 100 g) in shades Snowdrop (dress) and Dealbata (top)
The Emmeline beret features a bold central petal motif and colourwork bobbles, providing an interesting texture to the design. It is knitted in the round, commencing with a corrugated rib using two colours throughout. Increases are then worked to create the archetypal beret shape. From this point instructions are provided on charts, first for the body and then the crown. The pattern was named after the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst who founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903. Purple, green and white were chosen as the colours of the movement, and the beret borrows from this palette.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Excelana North Fingering Weight (75% Cheviot and 25% Bluefaced Leicester, 174 yds / 159 m per 50 g) in shades Land Army Green (Yarn A), Plum Jam (Yarn B), Saharan Sand (Yarn C) and Nile Green (Yarn D).
Vanessa Bell is perhaps best known as Virginia Woolf’s older sister, but she was a talented artist and craftswoman in her own right. As a young woman she was expected to wear formal Victorian-style clothing, but Vanessa wanted to dress in a more organic way, wearing long, loose layers.
The Vanessa jacket has an oversized fit, a soft, unstructured shape, deep pockets and simple fastenings — perfect for keeping off the chill in a cold artist’s studio! It is worked by holding two strands of yarn together, creating a subtle, tweedy finish to the fabric. The jacket is knitted in pieces from the bottom up with short grown-on sleeves. The back is knitted in reverse stocking stitch and the fronts in stocking stitch.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Excelana North (75% Cheviot and 25% Bluefaced Leicester, 174 yds / 150 m per 50 g) 5 (6, 7, 7, 8) (9, 9, 10, 11) skeins in shade Dock Seed AND Susan Crawford Mist (72% mohair and 28% silk, 460 yds / 420 m per 50 g) 2 (2, 2, 3, 3) (3, 3, 3, 4) skeins in shade Clockwork.
Lauper is a versatile accessory — a neck tie, head scarf, hair bow or belt that can be worn in a multitude of ways, adding personality to any outfit. It is quick to knit and uses only a small amount of yarn. Lauper is commenced with just three stitches, with a single lace leaf then knitted. This is left to one side, then a second matching leaf is knitted followed by a simple garter stitch length. Finally, the first leaf is joined to the end of the garter stitch strip. The pattern was inspired by the 1980s pop star Cyndi Lauper and her wild, eclectic and fun style.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Fenella (100% British wool, 129 m / 141 yds per 25 g) in shades Delicot (peach), Forget-me-not (bright blue), Sloe Gin (dark purple), Atomic Red (bright orange-red), Myrtle (bottle green), Verdigris (sage green) or Rhubarb (dark pink).
The Agatha mitts are inspired by Agatha Christie’s books – especially the amateur sleuth and knitter Miss Marple. These fingerless mitts are knitted from the cuff in the round, using a lovely repeating colourwork motif. Thumb stitches are placed on waste yarn whilst the upper hand section is worked. Finally, the thumb is knitted to finish. As the pattern only uses small amounts of yarn in each shade, it is perfect for using up all those oddments of left-over sock yarn!
Shown in: Susan Crawford Bluem Sock (75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% Nylon, 109 yds / 100 m per 25 g) in shades Hay Bale (Yarn A), Lime Mortar (Yarn B), Canopy (Yarn C) and Herb Garden (Yarn D).
The Dalloway sweater was inspired by the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Susan first read the book as a teenager with literary ambitions, and has returned to it many, many times over the years. Dalloway is a classic yoke sweater, using one strongly contrasting shade in the colourwork. The motif is inspired by a woven coat worn by Virginia Woolf. The sweater is knit from the top down in the round, and the neck is shaped with short rows. You can knit the lower body as specified in the pattern or choose your own preferred hem length.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Barn (100% British wool, 246 yds / 225 m per 100 g) in shades Dry Stone Wall (Yarn A) and Night Sky (Yarn B).
The large and comforting Cecily blanket comprises garter-stitch squares worked together in strips. Once all seven strips have been knitted they are then joined together. The simple shape and stitch pattern provide a canvas for the stunning colour combinations, making them the focal point of this design. A co-ordinating i-cord edging is added for the final finishing touch. The pattern was inspired by an old magazine published by Rowan Yarns that featured a fascinating fictional character called Cecily. One image in particular has remained in Susan’s mind: Cecily sits, knitting in hand, with her legs covered by a tartan blanket.
Shown in: Susan Crawford Byre (100% British wool, 436 yds / 400 m per 100 g)in shades Muscovy Duck (Yarn A), Glimpse of the Sea (Yarn B), Room of My Own (Yarn C), Plum Jam (Yarn D), Hidden Depths (Yarn E), Heather (Yarn F), Night Sky (Yarn G), Ragwort (Yarn H), Red Sky at Night (Yarn J), Fence Post (Yarn K), Rusty Tractor (Yarn L), Tannin (Yarn M), Jack ‘O’ Lantern (Yarn N), Clay (Yarn P), Dungarees (Yarn Q) and Berry Picking (Yarn R).