By Andrea Swedberg
photography by Paulette Phlipot
Winter is upon us. We’ve made our way through the inspirational changes in Mother Nature’s color wheel—farm-fresh yellow pairing with Montana sky blue, and perfect avocado green transitioning to bittersweet brown and aubergine (psst—these colors are going to come in handy later).
Coincidentally, the other night I started a “Collection of favorite things in no certain order” list. I realized that my wide range of favorites really signified the season’s change; warm jackets and cozy shirts in the perfect shade of the perfect color ... for me, the changing of seasons also means the exciting change of wardrobe options.
There’s something to be said about spicing up the winter drabs by putting a fun twist on our own usual pieces. But let’s be honest, ladies—wrestling the above colors into winter accessory creations can seem out of our reach. However, with some simple materials and patterns, crafting our own garb is not nearly as difficult as it may seem. Then, when paired with your favorite boots, tights, and skirt, even an ordinary trip to the post office becomes a party!
ADVANCED: Boot Toppers
If advanced knitting seems daunting, recruit some friendly instruction from the ladies at Knit on Pearl in Jackson or search the web for YouTube videos that illustrate techniques from simple stitches to complex patterns. Still not sure? Then flip the page for some easier fashion pick-me-ups.
1 skein 50g yarn in two different colors (I used the Rowan "Lima": 84% baby alpaca, 8% merino wool, 8% nylon)
1 set double-point needles US #5
1 set double-point needles US #7
1 place marker
• k: knit (1,2,3, etc)
• DPN: double-pointed needles
• p1: purl 1
• k2tog: knit 2 together
• m1: make 1. To do this, bring the yarn forward, over the front and to the back of working needle (making a loop over the working needle, then bringing the yarn to the back). On the next round, knit through the BACK of the made stitch (knitting through the back of the made stitch eliminates a hole that might otherwise be created if knit through the front).
• ktb: knit through back of the stitch
• *: repeat pattern between asterisks
Cast 70 stiches, DISPERSING EVENLY, onto three #5 DPN needles.
Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist your stitches. Place marker.
Rows 1-3: K1, p1 rib pattern, with yellow yarn.
Row 4-17: Change to #7 needles and knit with yellow.
Row 18: K1 yellow, k1 blue, *k4 yellow, k1 blue*, repeat pattern 14 times to last two stitches.
Knit the last two yellow stitches together (k2tog).
Row 19: *K3 blue, k2 yellow*, repeat pattern to end of round.
Row 20-25: Knit with blue.
Row 26: K3 blue, k1 yellow, *k4 blue, k1 yellow*, repeat to end of round.
Row 27: K2 blue, k3 yellow (note: make one blue, if needed, to obtain the following pattern: 2 blue, 3 yellow).
Row 28: K2 blue together (k2Btog), m1 yellow, k3 yellow.
Row 29-30: Knit yellow to end of round, knitting thru the back of each MADE stitch.
Row 31: K3 yellow, k1blue, *k4 yellow, k1 blue*, repeat to end of round.
Row 32: K2 yellow, k3 blue.
Row 33: *K2 yellow together, m1 blue, k3 blue*, repeat to end of round.
Row 34: K1 blue, m1 blue, *k3 blue, knit through back (ktb) of next stitch*, repeat to end of round.
Row 35: Knit with blue to end of round.
Row 36: K3 blue, k1 yellow, *k4 blue, k1 yellow*, repeat to end of round.
Row 37: *k2 blue, k3 yellow*, repeat to end of round.
Row 38: *K2 blue together, m1 yellow, k3 yellow*, repeat to end of round.
Row 39: Knit yellow to end of round.
Row 40-43: Switch to #5 needles. With blue, *k1, P1*, repeat to end of round.
Row 44: Loosely cast-off, in rib pattern (k1, p1). Weave in loose ends.
INTERMEDIATE: Pom-Pom Earrings
2 wool or acrylic pom-poms (your yarn & color choice), trimmed down to between 1 and 1.5 inches
2 shepherd hooks (or other style of earring closure)
2 1- to 1.5-inch posts with flat ends (¼ inch longer than the thickness of the pom-pom)
2 flat-bottom beads (make sure the hole in the bead is only big enough only for the post to
fit through; this prevents the pom-pom from slipping off the post)
I pair needle-nose pliers (Small bead-working size.
Not big ones! Dainty work here, folks…)
pom-pom maker or cardboard
embellishments (i.e. beads, wire, chain)
Step 1: Make the pom-poms. If you need help, watch THIS.
Step 2: Pass flat-bottom post through your bead.
Step 3: Pass the post up through the bottom of the pom-pom, centering it as much as possible. (Tip: orient the pom-pom so that the tie in the middle is horizontal.)
Step 4: With the needle-nose pliers, make a loop at the top of the post, leaving it open just slightly to attach it to the earring closure. Add beads before making the loop for extra flair.
Step 5: Connect the earring closure and get your fun on!
BEGINNER: Wrist Cuffs
1 pair scissors
1 sewing needle
old shirt with embroidered pattern or
Step 1: Cut design out of shirt to fit your wrist (approximately 3 inches wide).
Step 2: Hand-sew a button to the underside end of one cuff.
Step 3: Cut a buttonhole about 1/4 inch long on the other end of the cuff. Give it a clean edge by hand-stitching the edges of the hole.
Step 4: Fit the cuff around your wrist, fasten the button, and you’re done!
Originally from the Bay Area, Andrea Swedberg cherishes her life in Teton Valley, saying it has helped shape her as a mother, a chef, a gardener, and a lover of cake and the mountains. She’s a firm believer that our hearts are a revolving door of the universe and trusts that when it gets hard, keep going because we all deserve to be better than we were yesterday!