Winter Solstice

December 21st, what a perfect day to reflect on the Winter Light.  We’re lucky to have clear skies and cold temps outside today, I’ve already been out admiring the purples and smoky pinks of the clouds and have delighted in the tiniest bits of morning alpenglow…at 11am!

The low angle Winter light is one of my favorite things about living in the Northern Latitudes.  The dynamic nature of it, the extremes, the dramatic change in the angle, the light on the peaks, the way you have to go looking for the light in the winter; either by getting out of the mountains’ shadows or climbing up above the neighboring ridge lines.  The light could be just a backdrop, something to overlook,  but this time of year it stands out, it is remarkable.

The Winter Solstice is always bittersweet to me, signaling an end to the dark shortening days  and the impending return of the long days of nearly endless light.  I’m probably one of those few people who favors the darker half of the year over the brighter half, but I can’t help it, I love the depth of winter.  I do feel in good company, knowing that one very accomplished local painter, shares my predilection.  That would be David Rosenthal, a master at capturing the dramatic low angle light playing off the landscape.  In addition to capturing landscapes of Cordova, David has spent four austral winters and six austral summers living and painting in Antarctica.  Here you can see a sampling of his stunning  collection of paintings.

This past month or so I had the good fortune of hanging one of David’s paintings in my house….on the dining room wall for a bit while I contemplated colors and then propped in the studio while I mixed dye, trying to match yarn to a painting.  This painting in particular:

A painting by David Rosenthal

Sheridan Lake Sunset, a painting by David Rosenthal

Isn’t it lovely!

I came up with three colorways  meant to echo David’s painting and encapsulate the feel of the Winter Light. At this high latitude the long stretching rays of the sun cloak the world in a beautiful pearly shimmer for long hours at sunrise and sunset.  David’s painting captures this light beautifully with the lavenders and pinks reflecting off the blue ice, the greens in the glacier and the rusty browns and olives on the hillsides.

Winter’s Light: 
The colors of “Sheridan Lake Sunset” distilled down to just a few shades of lavender, smoky rose and greyed out blues.

Winter's Light on Cashmere Silk Blend

Winter’s Light on Cashmere Silk Blend

In honor of the epic ice skating of early season, that draws David, like so many of us out to explore the ice.  This is not the ubiquitous turquoise of the frozen lake, but the minty aqua light reflecting back out of the glacial ice, you just might catch it, out of the corner of your eye.  Look deep between the ice bergs on the painting and see if you can find this pistachio light.


Glide on Cashmere Silk Blen

These muted corals, golds and cantaloupe colors cloak our mountain peaks every clear morning and evening during this special time of year.  This color is not pulled from this painting but rather from the glow off the snow capped peaks surrounding town.   It is the archetype of the Winter Light for me.


Alpenglow on Cashmere Silk Blend

If you’re interested in having any yarn for yourself Dotty has written up the details of what’s available with pricing.  You can find it over here: The Net Loft

Here’s a few shots of the yarn at the shop, waiting to be picked up, and brought home to start a new project.

Shop Display

Here’s Alpenglow & Winter’s Light in one of my favorite bases: Latouche.  A lovely 100% BFL DK weight yarn



And a close up:


Here’s all of the Cashemere Silk Collection.  Those skeins look small but that yarn goes far.  That scarf pictured below measures 6″ x 58″ and I still had 1/4 of an ounce left on the ball once I cast off!


As hand dyeing yarn is hardly an exact science there is some color variation between bases and individual skeins.  I try to use this to my advantage…and it works, most of the time.  Winter’s Light & Glide pictured below on a superwash base, Knight, underwent more color breaking than other bases and turned out fantastic.  The colors are a bit more vivid, as they usually are on superwash, but I think they are some of the most intriguing of individual skeins.

ImageThere are some wonderful bulky weight yarns in Hinchinbrook and Montague, you’ll see some pictured in the basket below.


I’ll be back in the next few days to share more about the 3 new patterns I wrote to accompany these yarns and some fun pictures from our this outtake!

Season's Greetings!

Season’s Greetings!

Hope you enjoy the new Yarn!

Happy Solstice Everyone!

5 thoughts on “Winter Solstice

  1. I enjoy your blog. I think I’ve only started to notice winter colour as I’ve got older – it really can be stunning, and it is so important to stop to absorb and enjoy the colours! Have a great 2013!

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