At the time of year, my mind often turns to spring/summer knits. But if I’m being brutally honest with myself, my style of rotation knitting means it’s unlikely I’ll finish any large summer-y projects in time to wear them this season — and fall and winter garments and accessories are really my favourite knits anyway. So this spring, I’m thinking of skipping my dalliance with warmer weather knitting altogether, and working ahead on some projects to wear next autumn. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, spring can be a great time to snag some deals on Aran weight wool — we’ve got several jumpers-worth of Jamieson & Smith Shetland Aran, for instance, on sale for just £2.40 a ball! And of course, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are starting to feel cooler temps, perfect for knitting something thick and cozy. Here’s five knits I love that would look great in J&S Aran, Something to Knit With Aran, or any other Aran weight yarn of your choosing!
The Yellow Wagtail Scarf by Sarah Hatton
I didn’t manage the wonderfully squishy masterpiece that is Sarah Hatton’s Wagtail Scarf when it was first released as part of A Year of Techniques. I’m not normally a scarf knitter, but this is a scarf to change my mind! It’s got gentle shaping as well as those wonderful cables to keep your interest, but plenty of garter as well — I imagine it would work up surprisingly fast in the J&S Aran the pattern requires. You’ll need 7 balls of J&S Aran (meaning you can knit it for a mere £16.80). Or you could work it up in Something to Knit With Aran to coordinate with May’s Boost Your Knitting pattern, the Totally Tubular Mittens, also designed by Sarah, for a beautifully textured winter set!
Tundra Jumper by The Petite Knitter
This pattern jumped straight into my queue when it was released in March — I just love the yoke patterning! I think it would be stunning knit in three shades of J&S Shetland Aran and can also envision a really cheerful version in Something to Knit With Aran to brighten up a grey winter day. The Petite Knitter has also designed a matching hat, the Tundra Toque, which would be a great small project to check gauge and colour combinations before tackling the jumper!
Saltwater Bay by Amy Christoffers
I have a real weakness for stripes in reverse stocking stitch, and this relaxed open cardi/jacket (available as a free pattern from Knitty Magazine) offers so much scope for playing with colour! I can imagine throwing this on as a light jacket on crisp autumn days, and getting loads of use out of it as a snuggly cardigan all winter long!
The Lovable Sweater by Sylvia McFadden
For lace lovers, I think you can’t beat Sylvia McFadden’s beautiful “shweater.” The pattern comes in a great range of sizes and uses a worksheet format to make sure you end up with a sweater that fits the way you’d like. J&S Shetland Aran and Something to Knit With Aran both have wonderful stitch definition which would allow the bold, geometric lace of this seamless jumper to really shine!
Ruby Port by Thea Colman
Thea Colman (another Boost Your Knitting designer — look out for her pattern later this year!) consistently comes up with garments that combine interesting textures with really wearable shapes, and Ruby Port is no exception. I love the drama of the back cables and the simplicity and ease of the simple, open cardigan fronts. I think a version in Something to Knit With Aran in Ginger would be perfect for fall, though it’d also look stellar in J&S Shetland Aran (Auld Gold anyone?) The pattern also includes options for short and long sleeve versions!
Cables, colourwork, lace — all my knitting bases covered for this fall — the only challenge is choosing where to start! Do you have any favourite patterns for Aran-weight yarn that I should be adding to my queue?