Aug 11, 2016 :: by Leila Raabe
As knitters we work a lot of thought and planning into knitting "to" each season. For some, summertime knitting (which we've been in the thick of here in the northern hemisphere) means choosing projects of a lighter weight, easier to work on in the heat and the months of full sun. For others this also means going with a non-wool choice of yarn—in the Quince realm, supported nicely by our organic linens Sparrow and Kestrel, as well as our cotton Willet. These plant fibers tend not to stick to plenty-warm working fingers as much or cause one to feel sweaty or bothered by wool (and other animal fiber)'s inherent ability to insulate, be fuzzy, cling. Some of us just grin and bear it, knitting with wool year-round, cheerfully admitting that, no, it may not always be comfortable but we'll do it anyway.
Whether one finds joy in working with wool in decidedly less "knitterly" times of the year or not, the point arrives when the earth pivots away, the welcome return of knitting season is again upon us, and we dream of wooly warmth, and heaps and heaps of gorgeous, comforting knits.
But, it doesn't happen in a quick flash, all at once. There are in-between days that perplex us and thwart our careful checking of the weather and clothing choices for the day—leaving us to wonder where the sun went, or where all these crisp gusts of wind came from. How nice it would be to have something we can just throw on if and when we need to.
With these shifting moments in mind, we offer a new collection: Summer Ebbs, by talented designer Paulina Popiolek.
The four gorgeous shawls comprising the Summer Ebbs collection cover just about any transitional time of year or climate, each so perfectly suited to the characteristics of the yarns they are worked in. At this time of year, with the choir of crickets on the wane and humid afternoons belie the chill riding the far edge of that lazily darkening horizon, we can't help but carry these seasonal impressions into deciding on the next work for our hands and new projects to fill our laps.
Paulina's accompaniments to these ebbing summer days are just. so. right:
Palmetto: The lightest of the collection, in our laceweight Piper. So delicate, gauzy, yet warmer than plain wool given the pairing of superfine merino with superkid mohair. This shawl is all about that gorgeous lace border, its undulating serrations and pointed lace looking far more complicated than the stitches actually are to work.
Butterfly: In Finch—the lightest of our core wools, a fingering weight—with its crisp, neat little stitches creating well-defined little motifs and faggot framework, this half-circle shawl is airy but warm.
Breaking Waves: Flowing, graceful garter stitch and a wavy lace border in this pretty crescent shawl, bestowed a satisfying drape via Tern's wool/silk stitches. A fingering yarn like this elegantly straddles the line between between light and substantial, and its versatility can float away in either direction.
clockwise from top left: Holt in Owl, color Hemlock; Palmetto in Piper, color Laredo; Butterfly in Finch, color Fox; Breaking Waves in Tern, color Stonington
These lovely designs are available as an ebook or as single patterns. We may be biased, but to us they belong together. As these late summer days flow by, we notice that one day, we favor one shawl for this reason or that; then the next day arrives and a shift in the weather dictates that oh, really, it's that other kind of shawl which now seems most appropriate, and wouldn't it be nice to have something like that to wrap up in. Paulina's collection has us covered. We love each piece's own understated beauty.
Seasons change, nature continues its course, and we can count on finding ourselves back once more at this time of year before we know it, wondering how it is that its return was so quick. It's easy to end up being a little wistful about the passage of time and feel the need to be more conscious of our navigation through it, sometimes in vain. Sometimes, not. Deciding to make things with our hands, stitch by stitch—which isn't quick or instantaneous—allows us to make the most of these fleeting days between the seasons. Or at the very least, have something to show for it.