Now that the holidays are through, we can settle in to the winter rhythms of cold days, long nights and bright, chilly skies. I’ve mellowed toward winter somewhat since my move to the country. It’s a much cleaner and prettier affair in a rural setting compared to the salty, litter studded piles of gray snow that line the streets in the urban centers. No matter where you live in this great northern country, you simply must have a good coat, possibly more than one when you consider how many days in the calendar we spend wearing them. Out here in Prince Edward County, the overriding trend for coats is the slim, modified parka made popular by the Canada Goose Company. The streets of the cities are also teeming with this handsome, practical outerwear trend and thankfully, I’ve seen several excellent knock-off brands emerging. It’s no wonder; a standard Canada Goose parka for ladies can carry a sticker price of $800-$1000!
Which brings us to a piece of intelligence that every good Canadian girl knows: buy the best coat you can afford in a neutral color. The magic, then, is in the accessories and that’s where we, as knitters, can really shine in the seas of workaday black, gray and brown.
Rose Red by Ysolda Teague is one of my absolute favorite winter knits. I’ve knit this pretty little hat several times and in several colors, my enjoyment growing each time. Challenging and witty to knit, Rose Red is like the knitting version of a good book. I’m a little sad when it’s over. I’ve always used Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca for this project; in pure, unabashed hues, it provides the perfect shot of sophisticated color. It is worked from the center out and uses almost exactly one skein.
Craving a little stranded color work? How about this sassy little topper by my friend Kelly McClure? Glenora is a magical little hat worked in Cascade 220, heathers or solids, combined with leftover worsted weight yarns you may have in your stash. Create ombre or gradient effects by cleverly choosing your color sequence. Choose from Cascade’s rich, homey shade range for the backdrop and work the simple but addictive pattern. Kelly says it reminds her of stained glass and I agree!
Supposing your tastes run to the sophisticated and you have a longing to work with luxury yarns. Consider this simple, elegant beret by Mimi Codd. “Divot” is the perfect expression of the classic tam augmented simply with an easy textured stitch pattern. Knit this in Katia Concepts Cashmere 30 in color 205, Salmon, for a luscious knit and a glamorous finish. This pattern can be made in DK or Bulky weights; instructions for both are included.
That ought to keep us knitting through those long winter evenings! Cheers!