I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know the colors of Cumbria and Cumbria Fingering in late 2015, when I designed and knit the pieces for my collection with the Fibre Company, the Bristol Ivy Collection. I absolutely fell in love with the yarn in the process. It’s the perfect combination of softness and strength, and the luminous mohair sheen and complex and saturated tones of the wool make it a delight to play with. Once my pieces for the collection were complete, I had several skeins and lots of odds and ends of Cumbria remaining, and the wheels in my brain started turning. I wondered how Cumbria would do with colorwork!
At TNNA in June of last year, I sat down with Kate, Courtney, and Megan and we shuffled and moved colors around the table until we had a perfect combo. With the new color Nutkin as the main color, I brought most of the colors from my collection and one additional color in as the accent color to create a final combination that is vivid, fun, and a joy to wear.
But the best part of colorwork for me is the open canvas that it creates. I never consider the colors in a colorwork piece to be the be-all-end-all; instead, they are just a starting place. We had based the colors of my original Cumbria collection on autumnal tones, so the finished sweater, called Second Grace, was very warm-toned and saturated. Now that the weather has turned colder and the colors of my home in Maine are desaturating and going monochromatic, I wanted to take some of the colors I saw around me and see how other Cumbria colors and the Second Grace chart would look with a winter palette. Using the hem and cuff chart as my playground, I went to work! I love the result, and I hope I get a chance to reknit it in one of the new combinations. I personally see the warm-toned winter combo fitting very well in my wardrobe! How would you change up the colors in Second Grace to make it perfect for you?
From left to right:
Original colors: Nutkin (MC), Appleby Castle, Buttermere, Castlerigg, Helvellyn, Scafell Pike, and Windermere.
Two-toned winter colors: Dodd Wood (MC) and Yew Tree.
Warm-toned winter colors: Scafell Pike (MC), Eden Valley, Hadrian’s Wall, Helvellyn, St. Bee’s Church, and Yew Tree.
Cool-toned winter colors: Scafell Pike (MC), Eden Valley, Hadrian’s Wall, Windermere, and Yew Tree.
Have you knit a Second Grace, or are you planning to knit one? We'd love to know what color combos you're dreaming of, tell us in the comments.