If you look at Glenna C.’s page in Ravelry, you will see that she lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Then, when you look at her knitwear designs in Classic Color, you will appreciate the undercurrent of functionality.
Over the centuries, all sorts of knitting stories have developed. Many revolve around the traditions of two-color or stranded knitting. The pragmatists insist that it was all about essentially giving the wearer two layers of warm. That’s certainly a theory worth considering when you look at Glenna’s Cedarwood Mittens and Hat knit with Wool of the Andes Worsted. Two layers of quick-to-knit worsted yarn means that hands and head will be toasty warm during a Canadian winter.
Let’s say a birthday or Christmas sneaks up on you. That doesn’t mean you can’t channel your practical knitter and whip up Glenna’s Dogwood Cowl knit with Cadena. I appreciate warm cowls during the transitional periods of late autumn and early spring. A hat is too warm and mittens might look a bit overzealous. A cowl is cozy warm and can be used as a hat if the weather gets a bit out of control. So, it is understandable that stranded knitting is a practical method for providing extra warm, but if that were the whole story, we wouldn’t have such beautiful traditions as Fair Isle and Norwegian and Icelandic designs. I’d say our knitting forebears also wanted to have a bit of fun with their knitting.
Glenna uses seven colors of Knit Picks Palette to achieve the lovely pattern bands of her Spruce Grove Vest. There are a couple of technical aspects to this design that I particularly love. First, the vest is knit in the round with shaping and steeks used to form the scoop-neck and the arm openings. Second, Glenna has added a new element to her graphing that makes it so much easier to keep track of the color(s) you are using in each round.
Cardigans are a classic way to blend functionality and beauty. Glenna draws on Norwegian traditions for the details of her Sugar Maple Cardigan using Wool of the Andes Sport. The sweater is knit in the round with the sleeves and body joined to finish up with the yoke pattern. Then the front is steeked and cut before adding the button band. That means easy knitting around and around for most of the sweater. And, if you prefer a pullover, just leave off the extra steeking stitches and you are all set.
Lately I’ve been seeing several patterns for knitting socks using worsted weigh wool like Swish Worsted. As I’ve gotten older, I find that I seem to be cold a lot. My feet seem to be the worst culprits in terms of letting my body heat drain away. Glenna’s Trailside Socks would knit up quickly plus they have a little bit of stranded detail to make them pretty to wear. This is important because worsted weight socks would be too thick to wear with most of my winter shoes. That means they will be “house” socks. I will enjoy looking at the colorwork details as I watch football games or read a good book.