Fall is upon us...

I know it's not quite September yet and in many places summer is still in full swing, but I can't help but notice the slight bite that the morning air has had of late which means the warm season is winding down. As a knitter, I always get so excited for fall. It's a season of wearing layers and a time to retrieve my hand-knits from their summer home in the cedar chest. A time to think about what new knits I want for the coming winter, and getting excited for tea and knitting beside the fire. I'm not going to lie, I absolutely love fall and winter, and even if it means shorter, darker days, I relish the excuse to stay inside, cook delicious comfort foods and knit to my heart's content. I guess I am a bit of a homebody that way.

There are lots of other things I love about fall besides more knitting time (I'm not really that single- minded, I swear.) I love the harvest and prepping my spoils for the winter. This year I'm particularly excited about my first ever crop of sunchokes and fingerling potatoes. I'll also be putting in my cool-weather crops soon like root veggies, onions, and broccoli, yum!

Fall foods are my absolute favorite. Soups, stews, and home-baked bread. Hard squash in particular is my favorite food on the planet--butternut, acorn, delicata (prepared just like this), pumpkin, blue hubbard, kobacha, you name it, I'll eat it. In fact, lately I've been craving one of my favorite dishes, Pumpkin or Squash Gnocchi with a Sage and Butter sauce. I actually blogged my recipe for this about three years ago on Marinade Designs. (Please forgive my awful photography if you do choose to check it out.) I'll probably have to break down this week and make this sweet potato version I just found on Pinterest. (Pinterest is seriously the BEST for finding new recipes!)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Bacon, Balsalmic, and Apples
Doesn't that look and sound amazing? I'll let you know how it is. :) By the way, feel free to follow the Jimmy Beans Wool Boards on Pinterest. I pin all kinds of food inspiration and plenty of other stuff too.

But seriously though, let's get back to knitting, shall we? With the coolness in the mornings around here as my inspiration, I've been planning out my winter knitting for the season, and the list keeps getting longer and longer! I have a couple of items I want to finish up from last year, and a few new projects to undertake. First, I'll start with the WIPs I want to finish:

1) The Corinne Cardiagn (FREE from Knitty) in Tosh DK- Spectrum. I'm about halfway done with this project and am on a mission to finish it soon. It's fantastically easy knitting with basic short rows and seamless construction. Plus, it's all garter stitch! LOVE!

2) Jared Flood's Smokin' Jacket from Debbie Stoller's Son of Stitch and Bitch book for my hubby in Katmandu Chunky Tweed from the Queensland Collection. I think this yarn is discontinued, or at least the color I have is, as I got it on sale last year sometime. My hubby and I will have been married for three years in September and I have yet to make him a sweater! I absolutely have to finish this in time for Christmas. No matter what! I keep promising him a sweater and it's about dang time I finish one. (To be fair, I was knitting him a sweater right after we got married, which I got about 75% complete before I realized that I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish the project. A novice mistake, I know, but I accidentally calculated the yarn for a too-small size to begin with. C'est la vie!)


3) Vitamin D Cardigan in Tosh Pashmina- Ink. I'm not nearly as far along with this project as the others above, but I plan to work on this as much as I can this winter and get it finished by the spring. It's one of those cardigans that can be worn year-round, so for some reason I'm not feeling the rush with this one as much, other than I really want to wear it. It's such a great pattern design and I am enjoying the leisurely stroll.

Vitamin D
I started all three of these projects last winter/spring and I am determined to finish them in the next 6-8 months. When you design as much as I do, it can be tough to squeeze in personal knitting but I just have to make some time for these, don't you think?

Next up, we have the lovely new projects I want to start. There are so many great new patterns out there, and I just keep falling in love every day with something different. This time, it's winter accessories that has me enamored. Here is what's on my "wishlist."

1) Austin Boot Cuffs and Mitts by Pam Powers. Holy cuteness! I am a big time boot wearer I can already imagine myself sporting these all winter long. I need some in cream, and gray, and blue, and...well, you get the picture.

Boot Cuffs
2) Moonkoosa Boots. I've already made the short booties and plan on getting some serious wear out of those this winter, but I want to make a tall pair as well and already have yarn set aside for them. I've chosen the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Deep Charcoal which I think will be great for not showing a lot of dirt. I love this pattern. It was a surprisingly quick knit too!

Moonkoosa Boots

3) Ysolda's latest pullover design, the gorgeous icelandic "Strokkur" sweater is absolutely gorgeous and would totally fill a gap I have in my winter sweater wardrobe. Picking out yarn for this beauty would be fun but so tough. So many color and yarn options!


4) The Nepal Wrap by Kate Davies from Rowan Knitting Magazine #54 looks both simple and stunning. I love the tassels on the end and the fact that it wraps fully round your torso. It seems like the perfect winter warmer accessory and a great excuse to knit with the yummy Rowan Fine Tweed.
Nepal Wrap

5) Joji Locatelli's "Tourist Sweater" is totally adorable and uses my all-time favorite yarn, Malabrigo Worsted Merino. I'm tempted to cast on for this right away, but I think I'll refrain until I've finished one of the WIP's listed above. That will give me plenty of time to day dream about which of Malabrigo's many gorgeous colors I want to use. :)

Tourist Sweater
So that is my list...what is on yours? I would LOVE to hear what you are planning to make to wear for the cooler months ahead. Feel free to post a comment and link to the pattern on Ravelry to share with the rest of us! I am so excited to see what is getting YOU excited for tea and knitting by the fire this coming fall. Or, if you don't have your knitting list together yet (I don't blame you, it's still pretty warm out), tell me your favorite Fall recipe. Bonus points if it uses squash! Yum!!!

Happy knitting (and all other crafty goodness),

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Vitamin D


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