For anyone who thinks knitting belongs to the realm of senior citizens and handmade scarves, Mary Pranica has a message: Knits can hit high-fashion notes. Pranica’s fashion line, Jittery Knittery, debuted at MNfashion’s Emerging Designer Showcase in 2012, and she hasn’t put the needles down since.
“There’s rarely a time I’m not knitting,” Pranica says. She didn’t learn the art until her mid-20s, having resisted her mother’s attempts to teach her as a child. Finally, at 27, she learned the basics: how to cast on, knit, purl and cast off. But her designs today go far beyond those simple stitches; for her most recent show, she knitted a full-length evening gown with hand-knit lace at the hem. The ornate details took weeks.
Pranica’s runway designs are all knit by hand; each is a unique creation that takes its shape from thousands of stitches. She plays with color and texture, sometimes taking her inspiration from the yarn itself.
Hand-knit garments are unique in the fashion world not only because yarn is an unexpected couture material, but also because each piece is so labor-intensive. “When I knit,” Pranica says, “I’m creating the textile, the garment and the fit all at the same time.”
She’s found her own knitted niche in local fashion. “The Twin Cities fashion scene is very eclectic. All of the designers have truly unique points of view.”
She hopes to share her vision and designs with a wider audience by publishing her patterns with Vogue Knitting or other outlets. A few of her coveted designs are for sale in the Jittery Knittery Etsy shop.
“They’re each one-of-a-kind,” she says. “So it’s hard to let them go!”
The Twin Cities fashion scene is very eclectic. All of the designers have truly unique points of view.Mary Pranica