Yarn Pairings - Observations: Knits and Essays from the Forest
Seeing as we are on a bit of a jumper kick lately and especially a stranded colourwork one, I thought I would delve into Observations: Knits and Essays from the Forest by Lotta H. Löthgren and see what colourwork delights it has inside. I shall be taking a closer look at some of the designs as well as recommending some great yarn choices.
Observations is a collection of essays and knitwear designs which celebrate a connection with nature through the seasons. Lotta writes about her relationship with the natural world through her explorations of the woodlands around her home in Sweden. These evocative essays punctuate the knitting patterns and conjure up images of a deep relationship to the natural world. This makes a book that is not only a knitting book but one with a touch of magic in it. It will slow you down and give a different perspective on the world, much in the way that knitting does as we work with the natural materials in a slow and methodical way.
There are nine designs inside which include jumpers, a cardigan, a pair of socks, a waistcoat, a shawl and a hat. They all echo the natural world and the stories inside. I'm focusing here on the four colourwork designs for this yarn pairings post but you must definitely check out the others. We are really excited because Lotta H. Löthgren is coming to Knit With Attitude on the 28th October with a Trunk Show of the designs from Observations. You can meet her and all the garments in person. This is a free event and open to all and you can reserve a place through our Eventbrite page. For now though let's look at some yarns.
Dragonfly Sweater - Knit from the bottom up with a split hem, this drop shoulder jumper has a bold colourwork design that is inspired by dragonfly wings. What I really like is that the colour work stops at the underarms and then this is echoed by working the colourwork motif at the top of the arm under the drop shoulder seam. The colourwork on the sleeve highlights the drop shoulder construction. It is a large colourwork design where two or three colours are worked on one row. Don't let this daunt you though as the design has a short repetition (only 6 stitches) meaning you will easily fall into the rhythm of knitting this. I would love to see this knit in Tukuwool DK, especially an autumnal combination of Lungo (pictured here) with Sake and Repo.
Dawn Top - Worked from the top down this short sleeved top starts with the circular yoke. Featuring a simple series of arrows that get bigger as they move away from the neck. This draws its inspiration from the arrow formations of migrating birds. I really like colourwork designs that incorporate purl stitches and this adds a little dappled effect underneath the arrows. A light t-shirt like design which would be great for a cool spring layer. It can also be knit cropped or or longer depending on the fit you prefer. It's knit in a merino/silk blend so of course it has to be Fyberspates Scrumptious. This cool blend of silk makes it great for wearing when the weather gets slightly warmer.
Badger Sweater - This top down yoked jumper combines elements from both the Dragonfly Sweater and Dawn Top, arrows and chevrons merge together using two contrast colours to striking effect. It almost reminds me of the reflections on water. The deep yoke with wide ribbing at the neck creates a relaxed fit. Cosy and comforting, ideal for autumn and winter. It's knit in a mohair combo holding one strand of The Fibre Co Cumbria (seen here in Saddleback Slate) with a fluffy yarn. For the fluff I would choose Fyberspates Cumulus.
Mushroom Sweater - This seamless raglan jumper is worked top down with the simplest of colourwork repeats. Using two colours the repeat is only two stitches and combines purls and knits for extra texture. I like designs like this that have a small all over colourwork repeat. They can look very different depending if you choose high contrast or low contrast colours. The deep ribbing at the neck adds a nice juxtaposition between the small repeats of the pattern. It's knit in the Fibre Co. Lore, one of my favourite yarns. I really like its woollen spun plumpness.