I don’t know what has happened to my knitting. You’d think that with January’s dim light and grey palette I’d be longing for colour, but somehow, all I want to do is knit teeny tiny cables in neutral wheat and putty shades.


These two swatches were knitted with two of my current favourite yarns. The swatch at the top of the post was knitted in Sue Blacker’s Swan DK – a rather lovely, smooth and very well-spun Falkland Island merino with a bouncy hand, good stitch definition, a pleasing matt quality, and a lot of life and spring.


The second swatch was knitted in Baa Ram Ewe’s delicious Titus — a wensleydale, BFL and alpaca blend that is so popular that it keeps selling out!


Titus is, in many ways, the complete opposite of Swan — drapey and fuzzy with a slight honey-coloured sheen. While cables pop right out of Swan, they flow through, and merge into Titus. Very different effects, but both are equally pleasing.

There is something so quiet and meditative about these netural shades, and I am really enjoying knitting with them. I think these swatches might want to be designs. We’ll see.

38 thoughts on “neutrals

  1. Neutrals are lovely too. I will be knitting my Deco with a taupe colored yarn. The Titus looks scrumptious (going to the website now…).

    1. Hey, I am an Alexandra from almost Bavaria – western part of the Allgaeu. Just thought I’d leave you a message when I saw your name an your region.

      1. Hi Alexandra, Thank you for your message! We have been getting quite a bit of snow today, perfect for knitting :-). I just purchased the Titus for a pair of fingerless gloves.

  2. Titus is lovely to knit with, a pleasure to use, and worked up beautifully in SheepHeid with the Spindrift Naturals. I have a skein and a bit more left, and delighted to see you working with it now, hope a new design appears shortly

  3. Very pretty photos. I have had exactly the same impulse lately. Maybe it’s just inspiration from the soft neutrals of winter.

  4. I really like the look of the Swan, I shall investigate Sue Blacker’s website, and hope for an interesting cable design soon..

  5. No matter the colour, cables are IT! But I have been tending toward greys lately, like dying my shocking pink wedding coat dress (WHAT was I thinking? OK it was the 60’s) a lovely charcoal grey.

  6. I think the bottom swatch looks like a pleat….and I can see a (lined) swingy skirt…. cream matt silk blouse and black wool tights.

  7. The yarns and the swatches in this post almost perfectly match the foggy morning that is slowly evolving into daylight here in Seattle, a tad south of you. The sun is officially slated to rise in about six mintues. Your little cables and precise stitches certainly fit with a contemplative time of year. I am eager to see what comes of this!

  8. Love the twisted stitch cables. Maybe a tam? I have a tendency to be drawn toward neutrals, but unlike you, this is time of year when I really need colour. It could be our Canadian winter that makes me want red. That, and the fact that my hair is turning grey!

  9. I am glad someone is having fun with neutrals (and producing really nice cables). I planned a grey jumper around now, but all I want to knit is GREEN.

  10. I think those swatches want to be a jumper for Tom. The fact that my beloved is of similar physique has nothing to do with my fervent wishes that you’ll design some really cool men’s knitwear….
    ps Still in awe of your knitwear at the Woollybrew, can’t wait to get started on a Norhmavine….

    1. There was a quilting magazine article I read years ago that talked about the elegance and joy of MUD. Colors with grey/brown in them, adding depth and richness. MURK would do as well for a concept.

  11. What great links, I’ve spent hours looking at all the fabulous yarns…. thank you Kate and good luck with your imminent anniversary.. .. .. best wishes. Rosey

  12. Yesss, please make them into slouchy sweaters, perfect for a Norwegian cold winter, minus 18 yesterday!
    You saying the Swan is from the Falklands, does that mean the sheep are reared and the wool actually produced there? If so, very interesting for my neverending cushion producing for my bed’s winter dressing. Have made what we call a “sheep fell”, i.e. a huge throw made of 6 fleeces sown together and block printed, very old Norwegian tradition, along these lines; (a 40 year old dream come through!)

    Keep up the good work!
    Sincerely yours,
    Eli Wongraven, Oslo, Norway

  13. I love these colours for this time of year too! Those swatches are very intriguing, indeed. I just went and pre-ordered some of the Titus yarn, it is so beautiful!

  14. Catching up on your posts….being a knitter, quilter, rock collector, gardener, and harper…half if not more of the love of these activities is because of the…textures!!!!!! Doesn’t surprise me a bit that you are loving the neutrals, the better to show off the texture my dear.

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)