Winter warmers

At this time of year I always find myself longing for autumn, my favourite season. I get homesick for the countryside – cosy nights by the fire hearing the rain and wind on the window panes, smelling woodsmoke and wet leaves on walks outside. I love the shorter days, the autumn colours and (when we’re lucky) the crisp bright mornings. But I also really love the autumn clothing – lovely knit scarves, jumpers, gloves and hats (of course, hats, this is me we’re talking about). I’ve never been much of a knitter but I just love making things – and I especially love it when you can take something like a ball of wool and turn it from a long thin bit of nothing to a piece of clothing – something that can be worn, something practical, something with a purpose. It’s the same kind of amazement I get from turning a felt cone into a blocked hat, that alchemic moment when it becomes something other than the separate parts, and as if by magic it’s transformed into one single object.

So I’ve picked up my knitting needles once more and tried to progress from something other than a scarf in the most basic knit stitch, which is all I’ve ever managed in the past, and began a couple of projects – one of which I’ve finished (but is top secret at this stage as it’s a gift for someone). This is what I’m going to start work on for myself soon – working with circular fixed needles, so a bit of a leap!

The pattern is by Rowan, and I’ve bought two balls of the most beautifully soft green Rowan wool for it, so I can’t wait to get started.

I’ve also always really loved knitting patterns – not the actual pattern itself as until very recently they seemed to be written in a complex code that made no sense to me at all. No, I really really love the styling and photography in these patterns, like the one below from Rowan:

Here’s one I’d love to try, by Sublime, complex as it looks, but I’d perhaps make it a bit longer and wear belted around the waist:

They remind me of Mori girls – a really lovely Japanese style genre. Normally Japanese styles are a bit too full-on for me, plus I’d find it difficult to commit completely to only one style, day in and day out – I prefer to be a jumble-sale of a girl.  But Mori girl style is really beautiful and wearable in an everyday sense, and probably the one I’d choose if I had to stick to one style for the rest of my life. It apparently means “girl of the forest” and they tend to dress in lots of vintage-y style knits, checks, soft natural fabrics and antique lace.

Spoon magazine

And this one, because it’s just beautiful and theatrical and brilliant:

Here’re those pictures and many more knitting patterns. The first lot are Rowan patterns and can be found here, and the white background ones are by Sublime available to buy here. Mori girl pictures linked above.


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