By Lizzie Sexton
Custom, handmade knitwear right here at SMU.
Though the weather is finally starting to look up, with the spontaneous weather we see in Dallas around this time of year, it may be smart to invest in some layerable clothing. Luckily, sophomore Abby Baden has got you covered. Abby has been hand-crocheting her own hats and knitwear out of her dorm room for quite some time now. Though the ice storm days are behind us, it’s never too late to reach out to Abby for your own unique pieces for summertime crochet.
“I learned how to crochet in sixth grade during an exploratory class called ‘Hook and Chatter’,” Abby told me.
She went on to explain that, since that class, she’s been on and off with the activity. Abby also learned how to knit in middle school, but prefers crocheting.
“Crocheting really stuck with me and I recently picked it back up this school year,” said Abby.
All of Abby’s pieces are crocheted and they were quite a hit at the snow day parties–or “snarties”–that took place a few months back thanks to the school-closing ice storm that swept the Dallas area. She brought several of her crocheted hats and balaclavas, a form of headgear designed to expose only the eyes and mouth, to the snarties for friends to try on and within minutes they were gone. Abby said she looked around and multiple boys had taken the designs for themselves and were happily sporting them around the party.
Abby Baden modeling her handmade crochet hat. Photo: Ella McDonald @ellahmcd
When staying up to date on trends, it isn’t uncommon to look towards our European influences for style inspiration. Following Copenhagen Fashion Week in 2022, Abby noticed crochet items taking over the Scandinavian runways.
“I also came across a TikTok of a 15-minute balaclava tutorial and knew they would gain attention as the Winter/Spring transition was starting,” Abby explained.
After taking a minute to reteach herself her old techniques, Abby discovered how to make her own patterns for headwear and created a bunch of balaclavas in her own bedroom. Sure enough, Urban Outfitters introduced a line of “funny” hats, bright-colored scarves and a balaclava collection to their shop windows a short while later. However, Abby was the first to this trend.
Photo: Ella McDonald @ellahmcd
Where can you get one?
As Dallas starts to heat up and with Spring Break just around the corner, there’s no doubt that knitwear and crochet accessories will be the next big item for this summer. Though Abby has yet to sell her pieces, the budding designer says she would consider the idea.
“I would want to get better at it first,” Abby says. “I know a lot of people that like my hats and I would probably start there, but I’m currently working on a crochet cover-up dress for spring break and summer!”
Looking for one-of-a-kind items that don’t break the bank is nearly impossible; however, Abby found a way to create her own accessories, and even clothing, in a truly unique way. Combining an old skill with her love of fashion she produced popular results. I know I’ll be commissioning a piece from Abby Baden Knitwear for this summer.
“I totally think crochet and knit pieces are a multi-seasonal style,” said Abby.
Who knows, maybe my new crochet hat will take me into the Dallas ice storms of 2024.