Cozy Fall, Cozy Knitting

There’s a chill in the air around here, and the leaves have been turning rusty shades of sun-kissed orange and red, and a switch has flipped in my brain.  I’m knitting cables.

I picked up a gorgeous skein of Fleece Artist Blue-Faced Leicester Aran on sale at a local yarn shop in the summer.  It’s just brown… but oh! What a brown!  When I finally got around to winding it into a ball (by hand, off the back of a kitchen chair), I discovered that there are depths of warmth and coziness in the colours.  As it ran through my fingers, I fell in love with the texture.  It is soft and squishy and velvety, and I’m in love.

Here’s a little sneak peak of the pattern I’m working on, which, although it was inspired by this yarn, will probably be written for a worsted weight instead.  We’ll see.

 

I find that my favourite designs come out of experimentation, not premeditation.  Maybe that’s weird.  I will sometimes dream and imagine all the things I’d like to knit, but the reality of those dreams doesn’t always work out.  When I sit down and just get started, playing with the yarn as I go, I often end up with something very satisfying.  Cables can be especially lovely for that, since they can travel around at will as I go.  Hats make a great canvas, since they are small and easily re-knit if things go horribly wrong.

Have you ever sat down and played with a hat?  Here’s a glimpse of what I do:  Cast on something in multiples of ten, with appropriate-sized needles for your yarn, and just go for it.  Throw in some evenly spaced cables, then let them travel around when you get bored.  Maybe I’m strange, but I find that to be a fun and stimulating exercise.  The first hat I cast on ended up being too small, so, about halfway through, I ripped it all out.  The second hat was just right (since I had looked at my stitch count on hat number one before ripping it out to see how many more stitches I’d need).  I had some nice, mindless cables at the beginning, then I started to get tired of them.  Where can they go? I wondered.  So I sent them travelling to see what would happen.  I knew from previous experience knitting other peoples’ patterns how to move a cable around (most recently the Knotty gloves, of which I have made three pairs), and I knew I could always rip things out if I had to.

As I decided on one possibility, others were discarded or filed away in my brain for later.  Maybe this will turn into more than one design for a hat, or maybe there will be matching mittens.  Or leg warmers!  (My one love from the 80’s.)  Who knows?  The point is that knitting is fun, and I can go on adventures in my own kitchen, with Yo-Yo Ma playing in the background.  What a great life.

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