ready for autumn

The leaves are turning.

In the hedgerow, just a few berries remain . . .

. . . and there is a decided nip in the air.

But I am ready for Autumn. I have a new hat . . .

. . .and mittens.

These lovely things were not knitted by me, but by my friend, Sandra Manson. I know Sandra from Jamieson & Smith, and she is a legendary knitter and designer. Sandra has an amazing feel for pattern, and a superlative eye for colour. Over the past year or so, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, and swatching with, the rich and varied palette of Jamieson & Smith Jumper weight, testing out interesting combinations, permutations, and encountering its many intriguing, mercurial or troublesome shades. Sandra has been knitting with Jamieson & Smith jumper weight for many years, and she knows its palette forwards and backwards. I feel we speak the same knitterly language. On my last visit to Shetland, I had the pleasure of seeing several of Sandra’s swatches and finished garments — some of which really blew my mind. I find something almost thrilling in seeing one shade working alongside another in unexpected combination, and Sandra clearly feels the same. I could rattle on about the potential of this shade and that with her for many hours — I suppose, put simply, we are both colour nerds.

I love the swirling raised crown decreases and the pleasing solidity of that mid-green (which is shade 118, for those who are interested). Sandra said that, when she’d finished knitting, the patterns and colours reminded her of Easter eggs and picket fences. I can see exactly what she means.

One of the (very minor) frustrations of designing is that I am often unable to wear my samples (if I want them to stay looking their best). But this Autumn, I shall wear Sandra’s hat and mittens with pride!

Thankyou, Sandra x

44 responses

  1. Such a lovely gift!

    I especially admire the thumbs on those mittens, And the decreases on the crown are remarkable…there’s so much going on, but in a very clear and deceptively simple-looking way.

    Expect to have your head closely examined when you are wearing this hat ;)

  2. I really appreciate that unusual crown. I am knitting the first one I ever designed – a five-point, and it is throwing me lots of surprises – not all of them bad.

  3. Oh, such a lovely hat and mittens!
    Getting nippy around here too ~ the leaves are changing color and the little squirrels are collecting their stash for the season. Got my hair cut short recently and realized how much hair keeps the head and neck warm ~ I’ll be knitting some hats for me for the winter!

  4. Do you know if this a pattern that will be for sale? It’s really beautiful! Or are you the lucky owner of a unique hat and mitten set?

  5. I love the colour combination of the hat and mittens – makes me think of blackberring expeditions, or maybe that’s your shot which did that. Particularly effective on the crown of that hat… really lovely.

    It’s so interesting getting an insight into someone else’s colour choices – I think we all fall into colour habits (good ones, of course!), and it’s interesting to have them challenged occasionally.

  6. It’s so exciting to be a Color Nerd!! The hat and mittens are beautiful. Good luck on your possible move to Glasgow–at least as fiber artists we can always pack up our stuff and move on to another location. Congrats to Tom also.

  7. Oh, I have hat envy again! Choosing colour combos seems the hardest, and most important decision in a project. I’m in admiration of anyone who can do it so well!

  8. Not only do I love the unexpected dark berry colour alongside the mid-green, but I also love the trim on your coat, what little of it I can see from the photos. And I know what you mean about not wearing one’s own designs–I’m holding off wearing a couple of mine so they’ll look great at Rhinebeck next month. Any chance you’ll make it across the Atltantic sometime soon?

  9. Those colors are stunning together. Both are equally strong, beautiful colors. Call me a color nerd too, I love those. And I love to think about putting colors together, examining yarn at the yarn shop, or at home, seeing how they would look together. Those colors are really worth superlatives.

  10. I meant “clean SIMPLICITY,” of course. As a friend of mine once wisely said, “How come the computer does what I tell it to do, and not what I want it to do?”

  11. Lovely that you get to WEAR a knit. I know the problem of not wearing samples, although I’m wearing one right now because it’s perfect for the weather. I tell myself it’s testing the yarn in everyday use. But still, I need to be careful.

    That’s a fantastic hat. Both warm and cheerful!

  12. Lovely and cheerful ! You see, now that you have the Knitting Celebrities knitting for you, that makes you one of them ! I am still dying to see your new collection. I thought for a second, upon first glancing, that these mittens&hat set was part of it, but I was tricked ! ;)

  13. The colors are wonderful and surprising. Is the dark color a sort of prune color – i.e. darkish maroon? That seems to me the most surprising of the colors, but looks wonderful with them.

  14. I have always loved a swirl on the crown of a hat, but never thought to highlight it so beautifully. The colors are fantastic and are so you! I am still learning my way around the Jamieson and Smith color palette. Perhaps a field trip across the pond would expedite the process?

  15. I returned from a fine long weekend in the mountains to find TWO new posts – a happy surprise.

    Sandra’s palette for the hat and mittens work beautifully with your jacket. Well done!

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