Portrait of Sierra Roberts
by: Sierra Roberts

A warm welcome to fall

It’s always amazing to me when I wake up the morning after Labor Day and suddenly I can’t deny it anymore: fall is in the air.  Here in Maine leaves are just starting to think about changing from the lush greens of summer to the fiery reds, oranges and yellows of autumn.  While squirrels and chipmunks are busily stockpiling their winter provisions, I have a similar compulsion to get my own nest ready for the long winter months ahead.  I consider myself truly fortunate to have a warm home to hunker down in, and since I don’t need to search for nuts and berries I’m able to spend this season reacquainting myself with my love of making.  But first, I have some summer projects to finish up – not to mention some stash busting to make room for new yarn!

Speaking of stash busting, these adorable knitted leaves are a good place to start.  The Little Leaves and Tiny Ivy patterns (found in Alana Dakos’ Botanical Knits and Botanical Knits 2, respectively) are available as free downloads on Ravelry – click here for little leaves, and here for tiny ivy.  I made these leaves using yarns that have inspired me to get my fall knitting under way.  Let me tell you all about it!

 

Botanical Knits  Botanical Knits
Botanical Knits 2  Botanical Knits 2

This fuzzy leaf was made from Heirloom Romney Yarn.  Consisting of 100% American Romney wool, Heirloom is lofty, warm and ruggedly soft.  It knits up to a range of gauges: use US 8 needles for a dense fabric more suitable for outerwear, mittens or slippers; go up to a US 10.5 for a looser, more comfortable fabric that fills in beautifully after blocking- perfect for sweaters and blankets! I can’t help but daydream about which lovely heathered color I’d use for the Neck Down Men's Hooded (Hoodie) Pullover by Knitting Pure and Simple in this yarn.  That or the Diagonal Detail V-Neck Cardigan, which has ribbing details on the sleeves and body that would showcase the texture of this US made yarn.

 

Heirloom Romney Yarn Heirloom Romney Yarn
Neck Down Men's Hooded (Hoodie) Pullover  by Knitting Pure and Simple  Neck Down Men's Hooded (Hoodie) Pullover by Knitting Pure and Simple
Diagonal Detail V-Neck Cardigan  Diagonal Detail V-Neck Cardigan

It’s too bad you can’t reach out and feel a photo.  The above leaves were made from [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] .  This is a newer addition to the shop, and we love it!  Stratus is an ultra soft blend of wool, yak and alpaca with a little nylon thrown in there for stability.  The softness of these fibers is shown to its full potential in this chainette constructed yarn; chainette yarn is just what’s needed for maximum loft and surface area without sacrificing too much strength.

 

[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
 [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]

I liked this yarn so much, it inspired me to design the Fortitude Ponchette Pattern.  This reversible accessory is surprisingly warm, even when worn over a t-shirt or sleeveless top.  It’s big enough to layer over your winter coat, and the side openings allow you to move your arms freely.  Each bottom flap is worked back and forth to the shoulder, then the pieces are joined to be worked in the round to finish.  An I-cord bind off gives a tidy finish to the neckline.  This project requires 5 balls of [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] and a 24″ circular needle, size US 9.

 

Fortitude Ponchette Pattern  Fortitude Ponchette Pattern

Speaking of soft and squishy… Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed Yarn is a luxe blend of wool, silk and cashmere.  Although it’s  subtle in the color shown above, this yarn is the best tweed I have ever worked with.  Its soft, durable and the tweed flecks stay in the yarn, not on your lap.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from Jo Sharp!  One of my favorite Jo Sharp patterns uses her Aran Tweed – the [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] .  What a warm, comfortable jacket that would be.  We have a very old sample of the [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] here at the shop, and its excellent condition is a true testament to the sturdiness of this yarn.

 

Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed Yarn Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed Yarn
[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
  [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
  [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
  [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]
  [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock]

These well defined leaves are made from Norumbega Yarn.  One of our tried and true Signature lines, Botanica is known and loved for its unique pearly ply.  This special twist makes for a yarn that is immune to pilling and strong, strong as can be.  Available in a wide variety of colors, Botanica is an easy go-to for most worsted weight projects.  I recently used this workhorse yarn to design the Auditorium - Knitted Backpack Pattern, a bag for all ages.  Knit on size US 6 needles, the fabric is dense enough to not require lining.  And believe it or not, this project just uses one skein of each color!

 

Norumbega Yarn Norumbega Yarn
Auditorium - Knitted Backpack Pattern  Auditorium - Knitted Backpack Pattern
Auditorium - Knitted Backpack Pattern (Download)  Auditorium - Knitted Backpack Pattern (Download)

Last but certainly not least are these colorful little leaves made out of Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn.  I’ve often compared Malabrigo to butter because of its incredibly soft, smooth hand.  Rios is a super versatile superwash that’s been kettle dyed to perfection.  If you’re looking for a simple, smaller project I strongly recommend our Cowl Two Ways pattern.  This textured cowl is great for both men and women.  The variegated colors and washability of Rios are of course also well suited for kid’s projects like the Basic Vest for Children by Knitting Pure and Simple or the Children's V-Neck Down Pullover by Knitting Pure and Simple.  For a broader range of ideas, you can also check out Malabrigo Book 10 - Rios.

 

Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn
Cowl Two Ways  Cowl Two Ways
Basic Vest for Children by Knitting Pure and Simple  Basic Vest for Children by Knitting Pure and Simple
Children's V-Neck Down Pullover by Knitting Pure and Simple  Children's V-Neck Down Pullover by Knitting Pure and Simple
Malabrigo Book 10 - Rios  Malabrigo Book 10 - Rios
Cowl Two Ways - Pattern download  Cowl Two Ways - Pattern download

While summer may be over, we knitters will have plenty to keep us occupied in the upcoming months –  whether busting our stashes, making gifts or planning some cozy new additions to our wardrobes.  I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to get busy!

 

Related items of interest: • Knitting BooksOur yarnsMedium weight yarnsWool yarnsKnitting Patterns

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