Waiting for Autumn by Jeanne Long

Waiting for Autumn

February 2019
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
25 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette
US 4 - 3.5 mm
1300 yards (1189 m)
21 by 65 inches (54 by 165 cm)
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Aestivating is the mirrored pair of hibernating; with its roots in the Latin word for summer, the term means to go dormant during periods of heat and to return to life with colder weather. According to one theory, we haven’t found extraterrestrial life because it’s aestivating, waiting for the universe to cool so that computing power becomes more efficient. Most knitters can appreciate the idea of waiting for colder weather without even considering space aliens; so much of our art thrives in the winter that it can seem as though summer is just a long wait for knitting season.

Our Waiting for Autumn, an oversized scarf that converts into a poncho or shrug, is designed to be knit while you wait for colder weather and worn year round. Its simplicity (a rectangle worked in one piece) and materials (silk noil yarn that naturally cools in response to heat and warms in response to cold) lend themselves to summer knitting. The resulting fabric is light and breathable, making it perfect for summer wear, but the garment also can be wrapped close or doubled for warmth in winter.

Waiting for Autumn’s simple lines and lightly deconstructed lace pattern also are perfectly in keeping with the the piece’s summer-into-winter concept. In color and design, the piece reflects the shift from the heat and movement of summer to the cool forms of icy winter.

The shawl is worked in two colorways, one a riot of warm colors and the other a cool wheat. These colors transition in a meandering curve of simple intarsia that reflects the gradual cooling of summer into fall. The stitch pattern similarly shifts from stockinette to a diamond-and-fleurette lace motif that slowly grows from a few crystals to an all-over motif, in a design reminiscent of frost overtaking the last of the season’s blossoms.

Removable button cufflinks easily transform the oversized scarf into a poncho or shrug.

The fabric and garment are elegantly rustic, with untreated edges that curve gently with the silk yarn and no unnecessary adornment, for a pure evocation of nature and the cycle of seasons.

Yarn and Yardage: Essence of Autumn’s Gossamer, a 100% silk noil yarn with rustic elegance and soft luster. One skein each of the Flaxen colorway and the Rust and Blooms colorway. Or, approximately 1200 total yards of fingering weight yarn, 900 of Color A and 300 of Color B.

Notions: Two stitch markers and a tapestry needle.

Techniques: Basic lace, basic intarisa.

Instructions: The lace motifs are only charted. The increases and decreases are worked only on the right side; wrong side rows are purled.