I am looking ahead toward the winter, not because I want cold weather, but because I am thinking about knitting projects. Like so many knitters I embrace the fall because it brings with it possibility, choices, design, and all the potential pleasant hours quietly knitting. It is that emotive power of potential that stimulates the creative side of us. For some this causes us to not only want several projects lined up like mason jars filled with food, but a whole shelf, cupboard, or even closet full of yarn stashed like a doomsday hoard. Such a stash provides us comfort and the security of knowing that we will not run out of inspiration anytime soon.
As a dyer and yarn provider some of my clients are snowbirds. The process of choosing yarn for the winter is a summertime necessity, but it also can be difficult to think of what would please and delight the eye in the waning light of winter days at a time when the yellow Apollo sun is beating down full force. Do not underestimate the power of light to affect how we see color – a bright full summer sun can make the subtle fall colors we love look dull and lifeless, only to come alive in the cooler and less yellow light of fall and winter.
In the summer we may be quite content to have a cream, a cornflower blue or a deep pink on the needles, growing into a light accessory or garment. But fall brings with it a desire for depth, complexity, texture, and colors that say “I am complicated, don’t underestimate me.” As a dye artist I have to think about these things well before cooler temperatures begin to take over the evenings. Even when the days are at their longest I must develop my sense of what will please a few months ahead. Along with playing with the “color of the year,” vivid orchid, (a true jewel tone), it is necessary for me to develop deep chestnut, persimmon, forest green, and a red that will speak to you when you see them.
When I hit upon the right tone or shade, I have my own sense of satisfaction and achievement. My certainty reaches an even higher level when I hear someone say with instant recognition “Yes! That is exactly right!” This is what I am building toward right now, leaning over a steaming dye pot and plotting my next color.
New worsted weight Vashon works beautifully for the Churchmouse Ferry Boat mitts, a very quick project and simple too. I will be knitting them for presents, as they work for both women and men. I made up kits for this pattern with specially dyed fall colors for Yorkshire Yarns in Lakewood. The kit comes with the pattern and enough yarn for a pair. Making its debut is “Sonya’s Red”, a blue-ey red with pieces of dark and light that make for a multifaceted colorway.
What are the colors you look forward to knitting with this fall? Are you thinking about gift knitting and Christmas? Tell me what color you are dreaming of for the coming season.
A scoping project to establish a fiber company in Mongolia based on the principles of Fair Trade
A yarn and fiber company.
(and crochets, and stitches, and is otherwise generally crafty)
Award-winning Scottish publishing and design
Interweaving life with fiber arts! (Photograph by Carly Moskat.)