My leaf obsession has come a little early this year.
Usually it starts when the first scent of Autumn drifts in on the breeze, when the air becomes crisp and the leaves begin to burn with shades of brown, red and gold.
I love leaves, the texture, shape and colour is so inspirational. The children and I love to pick up big handfuls and throw them into the air, collect baskets full to look at the colours and shapes. I find skeleton leaves totally magical; when you hold them up to the light, or find them shimmering with frost…
Around now, the Oak King is coming towards the end of his reign , preparing to relent his crown to the Holly King, stepping aside at Lughnasadh for the onset of winter. But, for now at least, it is still his time.
An inspirational friend has recently had a baby girl for whom I have made a little hat with an Oak tree theme.
I have been using leaves in my knitting quite a bit at the moment; my daughter’s Woodland Pixie Jacket from a pattern on Ravelry knitted with Araucania Ranco…
…A pair of wrist warmers with a little mohair cuff are a work in progress , and a fiery leafy shawl.
I am looking forward to see how the shawl turns out actually as it is proving tricky to maintain the leafy pattern while the shape grows.
The yarn for this is hand-spun from some shockingly soft baby alpaca fibre I bought at Wonderwool Wales this year. It was hand dyed by Manda Crafts (found on Etsy)and I could not wait to spin with it. I totally fell in love with the colours, they reminded me of bonfires, apples, low sunshine as it pools it’s golden light over the tree tops as they change colour…
I added the occasional, minimal amount of golden firestar to give it a little sparkle and add to the flames. It came out a little heavier than the intended 4ply, possibly more of a sport weight, but still fine enough that it looks like it will drape well.
Hopefully I will have just enough left over for a little pair of wristwarmers for those chilly Autumn afternoons!
*Lughnasadh (Lu-na-sa) is the pagan festival of the beginning of the harvest. It falls this year on July 31st during the month of the “wort” or herb moon. The days begin to grow shorter, the crops begin to ripen and swell in preparation for the upcoming harvest. A Corn King might be made from the first corn. It is a time of waiting, the last of the summer before the onset of the cold of winter.