For someone who loves color so much, I have a ridiculous number of beige sweaters. They really are all different, of course: some are cream, some taupe, ivory, tan… you get the idea. Designers are staging a color intervention for people like me–from yarns that pop to patterns that create a knitted kaleidoscope of color, there are endless ways to brighten your closet. Our fall classes and KALs will inspire you to tackle various colorwork techniques–take the plunge with me!
Hues on First
When I first saw Rowan’s new fall yarns back in the spring, I was thrilled by their spot-on choices for fibers and colors. Lima Colour is a soul sister to the hugely popular alpaca/merino blend Lima, with soothing gradations of clear jewel tones. Purists will appreciate Alpaca Colour, a yarn with similar personality in DK weight, 100% alpaca (Compton shown below).
Angora Haze is a dream come true for fans of romantic, vintage-inspired knits. This fingering weight blend of angora, wool and nylon gives you the signature soft halo you expect from angora, with body and durability to spare. Martin Storey has created a breathtaking collection of feminine looks, including Audrey, below.
Stripes and stripe variations are an easy and satisfying way to mix color according to your mood. The Evening Breezes Shawl by our own Sherri Matteo is classically chic–join her in experimenting with different striped shawl styles at our Striped Shawls for Fall Knit-a-Long, starting September 29. The Kashmir Scarf Wrap (Rowan Magazine 54) blends shades of Kid Classic in an elegant palette of intersected chevrons.
Feeling playful or subtle? The choice is yours in the Kaleidoscope Cowl by Susan Barstein (SknitsB). Self-striping sock yarns such as Bergere de France Goomy, or sport-weight Liberty Wool Light from Classic Elite, take the guesswork out of color combinations–or you can alternate multiple self-stripers for a “more is more” approach!
Strand, Twist, Pop
Traditional Fair Isle is fresh and fast when you supersize the yarn for a bold scale pattern. Origin’ Merinos from Bergere de France is a deliciously squishy and vibrant worsted merino, and the Nordic Snowflake Tuque (VK Ultimate Hat Book) is a modern spin on the ski hat. The Arrowhead Cardigan in Imperial Yarn’s aran weight Columbia puts Ralph Lauren’s rugged aesthetic at your needle tips.
For haute refinement, look to stranded designs inspired by Old World-opulence: think luxurious brocades, intricate tapestries, and delicate Venetian lace. Aida (Rowan Magazine 54) is sublimely graceful and I can imagine the bliss of watching the motif develop as you knit. Linea Hat from Classic Elite is a more contemporary color pairing, but no less charming in Fresco. Gradient by Jill Zielinski strikes a beautiful balance between sporty and feminine.
From Elsa Schiaparelli’s bowknot sweater (interpreted by Lisa Stockebrand) to a child’s beloved storybook character, a single graphic element can make your knitting pop with wit and charm. Intarsia motifs are back in the fashion pages, and Rowan Magazine 54 (Christine shown below) and Vogue Early Fall 2013 translate the look with high style. Laura will help you master this perennial technique–as well as stranded colorwork–with her Curious About Colorwork class on September 29. The class project is this sweet cuff, a pint-sized canvas for your favorite color duo!
I love how essentially the same motif takes on a totally different sensibility depending on the silhouette and color. Take a forested stroll under a moody autumn sky with Dhurrie in Felted Tweed Aran (Rowan Magazine 54); throw a wink to posh punk style with the outrageously oversized #10 Houndstooth Vest (Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2013); embrace a slouchy nonchalance with Checks + Balances by Boadicea Binnerts (Knitty.com).
Red, White & Blue
You may already know that Uncommon Threads is a collection point for Knits for Palo Altos Veterans Hospital. In preparation for their next collection on Veterans Day, I’m dedicating the next three Small Project Saturdays to items that will suit the courageous men and women at the Palo Alto VA. Try these patterns out for yourself or for a gift, and please consider donating a finished project to this wonderful local organization. On Saturday, September 14, I’ll be working on Head Huggers (Ann Norling #55)–an easy ribbed hat in several gauges. Upcoming projects include bed socks and fingerless mitts; as always, feel free to work on any project you like, knit or crocheted!
Please note that the shop will be closed on Monday, September 2, in observance of Labor Day. We’ll also finish up our summer Fresh Picks in September with some versatile, multi-season yarns–bring your market basket and enjoy 10% off!
September 5 - Classic Elite Soft Linen
September 12 - Rowan Summerspun
September 19 - Misti Alpaca Pima Silk
September 26 - Rowan Wool Cotton