The best time to make and wear beautiful hand-knitted items is during the darkest days and the longest nights of mid-winter.
These projects are the perfect opportunity to play with some truly sumptuous yarns and fibres: mohair, silk, and deep hand-dyed merino wool. Using worsted-weight yarn and knit at a looser gauge, both designs can be knitted up surprisingly quickly.
Mid-Winter Knits is a collection of cosy accessories inspired by the starry sky at Matariki, the Maori New Year. Enjoy knitting simple textures, and combine your favourite colours to show off in the mohair stripes of the Bundle of Stars shawl.
The motif of an elongated V resembles twinkling stars, and is created using a slipped-stitch pattern: no stranded colourwork is involved. Plump garter rib adds depth, and both projects are trimmed with a rounded i-cord border. The Starlit Night mitts make a perfect gift – if you can bear to part with them!
Mid-Winter Knits, or, Stargazing at Matariki
This collection was designed in collaboration with Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knits. Together, we created 4 original designs inspired by the practice of stargazing at Matariki – the Maori New Year at the Winter Solstice.
Francoise is a Franco-Maori knitwear designer based in the USA. She uses design as a method to educate others about Maori culture, as well as explore her own heritage.
Watch my interview with Francoise about her design influences and processes:
I chat about the collection more in Episode 52 of The Crimson Stitchery.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about this project, click here to read more about my annual Winter Solstice design collaboration.