Something any spinner would appreciate

A Scandinavian winter filled with natural wool

Lacy Sweater and Gloves with Ruffled Edges from Shades of Winter.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of Interweave's new book Shades of Winter: Knitting with Natural Wool by Ingalill Johansson and Ewa K. Andinsson. The book offers patterns designed to showcase the beauty of natural wool. The designers showcase the subtleties of natural wool by creating clever garments packed with texture. They use cables, lace, and creative patterning that let the natural texture and color of the yarn sing—something any spinner can appreciate.

Lately, after years of candy-colored roving and batts, I have become fascinated by the subtle colors of natural wool. I purchased some colored Romney this summer from a farm in Kansas that is the loveliest chocolate-brown with a hint of silver. It is so subtle and so gorgeous. I instantly started dreaming of winter knitting and what it would someday become. And that was just the start of my natural wool collection. The Romney was shortly followed by some glowing white Lincoln and heathery gray Icelandic.

Lace Dress from Shades of Winter.

Thumbing through the book I was smitten with a number of projects that would be perfect for my wool. As a spinner, I'm excited to be able to spin yarn that will be a good fit for the design and maybe choose springy crimpy wool for the textured stitches and cables and long smooth wool for the lace. I've already swatched and started knitting a textured vest with my springy Romney.

As the days get shorter and winter is on its way, this book creates the perfect mood for snuggling in and knitting for a night. Filled with Scandinavian ice and furs, it creates the perfect vision of winter.

As an aside, the book was photographed at the Icehotel in the Swedish Sami village of Jukkasjärvi. Fascinating in and of itself, it is built totally of snow and ice. After every summer, artists from all around the world create and rebuild the hotel from scratch.

Spin on,

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