a blue and white striped blanket with the alphabet, numbers, and simple symbols knitted into it

All images © Rüdiger Schlömer, shared with permission

Rather than build the letter “A” or “R” through digital layers, Rüdiger Schlömer constructs the alphabet, numbers, and basic symbols stitch by stitch. The Zurich-based designer devised Typeknitting, a project that interlocks two distinctive creative forms into a methodically constructed, tactile hybrid. “Typographic knitting to me is a process of translation between two very different fields, hand knitting structures and type design. This is what makes it so interesting to me,” he shares.

Schlömer first melded the two practices when refashioning soccer scarves. He knitted team colors, phrases, and the occasional mascot into long wearables, a process that taught him to pair the mediums. He learned that “patchwork knitting works better for large-scale pixel designs or modular typography. Mosaic knitting has a lot in common with geometric Kufic calligraphy and works better for small letterforms and repeat patterns.”

From that came his first typeface, Knit Grotesk. Taking cues from the san-serif Futura, the design features squares that evoke a low-resolution pixelation and is made for slip stitches rather than the characteristic “v” of the basic knit stitch. Schlömer adds:

When developing a typeface for knitting, I constantly change in between analog and digital. This is important in order to not get stuck in the logic of either medium. Some details might look great on screen but turn out to be problematic or boring when knitted. It’s a kind of cross-medial prototyping between the screen and knitting needles.

Since publishing his first book Typographic Knitting, Schlömer has leaned into teaching and will lead workshops in May for Zurich’s Craft Week and another in July with the Berlin Letters Festival. He also released a pattern for the blue-and-white striped alphabet blanket above on Ravelry, inspiring several knitters to take on the project. “Knowing how much work this takes, this means a lot to me,” he says.

Next up is designing a typeface accessible to beginners who might be trying their hand at lettering or knitting for the first time. Keep an eye out for that release and news about upcoming workshops on Instagram. You also might enjoy these stitched CMYK studies.

 

five orange and white striped knitted squares with the letter r written in them

a blue and white striped knit with the alphabet

three knitted squares, two are blue and white striped with the letter a and other letters and the other is orange and white with the letter r

strips of white and blue knits with text

a small white and blue knit square that reads type

a blue and white knit square with text

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