Autumn, Fall, whatever time of year you call it in your part of the world. I love it! It’s my favourite time of year, when the days wake up later but are still long enough, the wind has a crisp feel to it, and dawn is all dewy and sparkly and the air clear. Dawn is cool, the afternoon hot and the evening chilly. Bliss!
I think it’s a happy time of year for the whole world really – when Spring visits the Northern Hemisphere, bringing sunshine and flowers to cheer hearts after the long, cold, dark days. And for this part of the world, the Autumn cool brings welcome relief from hot, sticky, dry days.
The markets bulge with Summer’s final harvest – the berries are ending, but there are apples, plums, apricots, pears, fat fresh vegetables, creamy potatoes and an amazing array of squash and pumpkin… The cicadas sing their loudest, and the moon shines her brightest. Summer’s long, lazy days of seemingly endless trips to the beach, the barbeques, the river swims, the warm nights out on the deck, all seem tiresome now. On to something new!
For most knitters, the cool change brings fresh galvantisation to get out those needles and whip up the hat/mittens/pullover that have lurked at the back of one’s mind all summer.
Even though I didn’t put down my needles over the warm months, this is the time when I start to re-order my priorities – do I really need that extra jumper? When I haven’t got a single hat that I like (or that doesn’t bring my forehead out in a rash), and it’s my sister’s birthday coming up and she hasn’t got any gloves? Summer I think, is fun knitting time – for the stuff you want but don’t need, or that technique you’ve wanted to try but haven’t had time to experiment with. Winter brings necessary knitting – for the things you suddenly remember you actually need.
It’s the time of year I eye my stash and wonder if it isn’t time for a bit of a Stash Enhancement Exercise (SEX). What should I like to play with this season?
I am very attached to my TWC possum merino, but I haven’t experimented with the new Zealana Tui Chunky Weight Yarn yet. With 70% merino, 15% NZ cashmere and 15% possum, this is a slightly different experience, and it’s a chunky yarn, as opposed to worsted. At NZ$18 a 100g ball, it’s not too pricey… The tension isn’t specified on Knit World Studio’s site, but 5.5mm needles are mentioned. With 111 metres to a 100g ball, this sounds like it will fit most chunky weight yarn patterns. That nice Red Pepper red is looking quite tempting.
The chunky yarn will probably be best in a smaller project, I think. I flick through my patterns… I do also need to make a birthday present for my youngest and very hip sister. It’s too warm where she lives to need a heavy jumper, but some kind of accessory to keep off the chill would be good. There’s a cabled cowl in the Holiday 2009 issue of Designer Knitting that looks perfect! It only requires 400m of yarn. That’s four balls of Tui. Hmm. The pattern calls for a yarn that’s not available in New Zealand, and which contains wool, linen and alpaca – accounting for the slightly stiff look of the cowl. But Tui will be nice and soft and squooshy, and will look even better than the picture! I might have to put that down on my wish list.
There is the matter of that pair of gloves for my other sister, but I shall use some dark alpaca that I already have in my stash.
What else can I use that’s new and exciting and will give me an excuse for my SEX? I check out my favourite online store in the world – WEBS. Ooooh. Madelinetosh Tosh DK is looking rather tasty. It’s variegated, but in lovely toning colours, and look at the variety of colour!! It’s US$19.20 per 100g hank, and I’m unlikely to want to use a garment quantity which will give me a discount. Sadly, I have to turn that away, as the shipping to New Zealand will also make it too expensive, unless I’m going to buy a large amount at one time. Which I won’t be.
Ashford Tekapo Foxglove and Forest are looking very nice though. It won’t be as soft and lovely as the Madelinetosh, but it does have pretty colours. I haven’t used Ashford yet. A quick check on Ravelry reveals that no one has mentioned pilling, although the scratchiness is mentioned by some. But I knew that already. Perhaps I should give it a go for the cropped wrap top I’m eyeing up for my 10 in 2010 list. It won’t be worn against the skin. I have marked a couple of other yarns for that project though, and I do have quite a bit of DK. Feeling bleh.
But wait – here’s something new! Naturally has a 10ply called Naturally Aran Tweed. I haven’t come across that before. I do further investigation. Yes, it is indeed a new yarn, fresh off the blocks! It’s 95% NZ wool, 5% merino. Very interesting! The price isn’t too bad at NZ$9.80 per 50g ball. 92m per 50g. And there are nice colours! It’s a single ply, softspun yarn with wool knops through it. So it won’t be very hard wearing. But it could be very soft. And hopefully, it won’t shed too much?
Well, that’s torn it. I’m just going to have to go into the shop and investigate!
Horray for Autumn, the time of new things!