Two weeks ago, when preparing to release the new colours of the Autumn Collection, I was captivated by how the colours I have found in natural dyes mirrored those found in the turning of the leaves of our Grandmother tree. As I have previously written, standing in the middle of our ‘world’, you cannot avoid her telling of the changes of the seasons. Enjoying the richness of the turning of the leaves I had fun taking pictures of the golden, bold tones on the ground as well in the leaves that were still holding on, and how they brought out the same elements in the yarn.
Two weeks later our Grandmother tree couldn’t look any more different. Soon all her leaves will be gone, uncovering the lichen dancing along her branches. But the colours, they are still all there, just in a different way. They are softer, calmer and while less golden, I feel like it is the dusty browns and greens are being celebrated.
I feel like at this time of year, when things seem to get so crazy in the run up to the holidays, it is ever more necessary to be present, and don’t blink, for you will miss the changes.
…Who knew they could be combined?
Although I love each colour of the recently released Autumn Collection, the soft yellow dyed using the leaves from our rhubarb patch called out to me when I was deciding upon which colour to dye two skeins of fingering weight yarn. In the hopes of getting to know this 100% wool yarn from a farm near Bodega, CA, rather than my usual ‘testing’ of dying and knitting a up swatch, I decided I wanted to work on something that had a purpose, and headed over to good ol’ ravelry to enter “fingering” and “800yds” into the pattern browser. I never even got to the second page of patterns listed, for right in the middle of my screen was the Low Tide Cardigan, a pattern I had already spied and admired, ready and awaiting my needles.
Constructed by working the bodice panels first, I headed into this project with quite some pace. The lace pattern is simple but impressive, the best kind of knitting. After only two short evenings I had the back and two fronts off the needles, onto waste yarn and blocked to size, which is recommended before you continue. After seaming a few stitches at the shoulders I went on to pick up stitches around the bottom of the bodice, preparing for 12 inches of… well, nothing. No shaping, just a two row repeat, with a few yo’s and k2togs thrown in. To avoid the burn out of monotony, as happens so often when I’m faced with miles of stockinette stitch, I told myself that once I got through the first ball of yarn I could knit the sleeves. Not only was this meant as a reward, but it also made sense as I have exactly the amount of yarn that is needed for my size, and in knitting the sleeves first I won’t have to worry about running out of yarn – I will just finish the body when I have no yarn left!
The two little sleeves we’re fun, short, and knitted pretty much entirely using short rows. My go-to shadow wrap technique, as always, produced a clean and smooth finish, and I love the curl of the stockinette stitch.
So on I go, I have about 5 of the 12 inches of body left. I’m loving the yarn, although I know already that isn’t for everyone. It produces a very real, wooly and rustic fabric, that is light and warm. I’m really excited to finish this cardi, to get it blocked and ready to wear, for there is something about the colour that is going to keep me golden in fall, and sunny in spring. A win-win.