Pattern Previews for Textured Knits
Paula Pereira's Textured Knits is a thoughtfully curated collection of contemporary and timeless handknits. The book includes sweaters, cardigans, shawls, and a pair of socks. The 20 fascinating patterns feature a variety of inventive ways to combine different textures, such as cables, colorwork, and embroidery
Alen is a laid-back sweater that symbolizes the pleasure of knitting. The folksy stitch pattern is one of many used in traditional Alentejo blankets from Portugal. It is perfect for beginners and lovers of stranded colorwork alike. The color possibilities are endless — swatch with leftovers from your stash, swap the colors so that you have a darker shade as the main color or even knit every section in a different color.
Paula Pereira loves the idea of universal symbols found in different cultures. Some elements from The Balaio’s colorwork can also be found, for example, in traditional Fair Isle and Norwegian knitting patterns. In Brazil, similar motifs can be found in beautiful, traditional basketry! Balaio is a large basket in Portuguese, but it is also commonly used to describe a place where we can add all sorts of things.
Brocado, meaning “brocade” in Portuguese, is another garment mixing knitting with different crafts. The Brocado sweater is Paula’s interpretation of brocade fabrics, and it combines knitting and delicate hand embroidery. The short-sleeved design has an all-over lace stitch pattern with a distinctive, almost three-dimensional effect. With a contrasting color, you embroider a few stitches to enhance the delicate texture even further.
Yarn: Grace by Sonder Yarn Co.
Looking at hand-embroidered pieces, it is possible to see how, stitch by stitch, someone added a unique beauty to the fabric. It can be really fun to embroider while knitting, by combining knitting and crochet techniques. Using a crochet hook, you can make elongated loops while you knit, creating the cutest little flowers — this is what is done in the toe-up Caliandra socks.
Cestaria is a comfy and relaxed cardigan with long sleeves and beautiful details. Paula loves how the biased stitch creates an angle on the fabric that organically forms the shoulders and pockets! Cestaria means basketry in Portuguese — an ode to the fascinating panels of slip stitch cables that mimic the textured patterns of Brazilian basketry.
Textured knitted fabrics created by mixing different stitch patterns are fascinating! Something Paula loves to freely create stitch patterns that evolve from the previous one — no rules, only connecting textures. Cidreira’s yoke resembles vegetation, where every leaf has its own unique texture and shape but somehow they look connected. Knit and experience the flow of stitches of this sweater!
Yarn: Alvor by Rosarios 4
The Cobogó cardigan combines the comfort of a boxy shape with the warmth of a dense cabled fabric worked in stranded colorwork. Choose colors with medium to high contrast — pick two neutrals or go for brighter, bolder tones! The name Cobogó comes from a traditional Brazilian architectural element that can be assembled as either a full wall or part of one. Its geometric openings let sunlight through, creating amazing patterns.
Diamantine is a seamless top-down sweater with an all-over intuitive diamond cable pattern and a beautiful, ribbed neckline. Paula’s inspiration was to create a highly textured fabric for a construction so many knitters love — the top-down raglan. Diamantine, which in Portuguese means diamond, will be a garment that you will treasure for years to come!
The colorful Espedito sweater, knitted with textured stripes, was inspired by the work of Mestre Espedito Seleiro, a Brazilian artist famous for his leather shoes, bags, saddles, and jackets. Espedito is a great stash-busting project, as you can use as many or as few colors as you wish. Another interesting variation would be to combine not only different colors but also different textures.
Florada features a colorful and textured pattern on both the circular yoke and the sleeves. The name means flowering in Portuguese, and the design combines two types of colorwork — a delicate dance between two yarns! A blend of suri alpaca and mulberry silk was used for a captivating effect.
Franzidinho features a textured yoke created by playing with different needle sizes. The beauty of simplicity! The yoke stitch pattern looks like a gathered fabric, franzido in Portuguese. The sleeve cuffs and the hem are folded and sewed, adding a finishing touch to this versatile top. Franzidinho can be worn all year long, on its own or layered for colder weather!
Lina’s marled effect is created by the soothing and intuitive alteration of two colors. The sleeves have another motif, also worked with the same two colors. The inspiration for Lina was the Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi, and the glass and concrete easels that she created to display pieces in the São Paulo Museum of Art. In my mind, Lina truly is the go-to sweater for every knitter because of the simplicity of basic stitches that create colorful, textured motifs!
Yarn: Peerie by Brooklyn Tweed
Paula wanted to create a cozy shawl that can be comfortably wrapped around your shoulders and arms, and that would also be a pleasure to make. Knitted with a dense, textured fabric, the construction makes Lygia a quick knit. It is a highly textured shawl inspired by the work of the magnificent Lygia Pape — a Brazilian visual artist, sculptor, engraver, and filmmaker, and the co-founder of the 50s and 60s art movement Neo-Concretism.
Yarn: Vovó by Rosa Pomar
Manacá’s flower details on the yoke look like a necklace made of delicate flowers. The inspiration for this design was manacá, a fragrant Brazilian flower. The manacá trees also grow in Rio de Janeiro, where Paula was born. She remembers walking back from school, picking the flowers that fell off the trees onto the pavement. The memory of their shape has stayed with Paula ever since.
Yarn: Tibetan Cloud by mYak
In Portuguese, the word mesclado is used to describe things that are mixed together — and a marled fabric is just that! Two light, neutral colors were used for the sample, but you can also choose two colors with more contrast. The construction and shape of the Mesclada sweater make it the perfect canvas for a marled and textured fabric, created by different placements of the simple knit and purl stitches.
Paula loves mixing textile production techniques with knitting! This was also her starting point for Milhazes. It was inspired by the art of Beatriz Milhazes, Paula’s favorite Brazilian contemporary artist, and her breathtakingly colorful circular shapes. Using a tapestry needle and an airy yarn, you weave into a loom created with yarn overs. For the sample, same-colored mohair yarn was used but feel free to play around.
Musgo means moss in Portuguese. The combination of Musgo’s cozy and soft bouclé yarn and the cabled pattern remind Paula of mosses — both visually and the way the delicate, squishy fabric feels. The wide cables, with their lines and twists, create a unique movement in the garment. If you are into reversible knits, Musgo also has a different, equally beautiful, texture on the inside.
Yarn: Boucle by Julie Asselin
Hélio Oitica is another of Paula’s favorite Brazilian artists. He was a painter, a performer, and above all, an artist who fought against the oppressive military regime in Brazil. He created a series called Metaesquema that are a real inspiration — especially the small spaces between geometric shapes, where light can get through. The Oiticica sweater is an invitation to mix fibers in a garment. Use any fuzzy fiber or color as the contrasting yarn.
Rendado’s stitch patterns look intricate, but all of them are knitted with basic and very straightforward stitches and techniques. The light shawl is worked in two different directions: the first section is knitted sideways, with an ensemble of delicate stitch patterns alternating eyelets, knit and purl stitches. The second section is worked from the top down with big flowers made with a crochet hook. Rendado in Portuguese means lacy, or lace-trimmed.
Picot is an element that is used in textiles in different handcraft traditions, adding a beautiful, delicate texture. Viana is a blank canvas that gives this cute detail room to shine. It is knitted top down with raglan sleeves and a henley front opening. Picot details are added to the sleeves and the neckline opening — a simple and beautiful way to make this top unique!