As a child I had a piano teacher who kept a potted lemon tree in her house, which somehow always bore fruit in December. Consequently, all winter long the surfaces of her living room were covered in crystal bowls full of lemons. These were not the ordinary lemons you would see at the supermarket, but some exotic variety of carrribean lemon - small and round and a vibrant pale yellow. As the snow swirled outside and the winter light streamed through the frosted windows, the citrus fruits glistened like baubles in the otherwise darkened living room - an improbable and delightful spectacle that accompanied the sounds of the piano.
Funny how certain colours and textures can bring to the surface these snippets of old memories. When I picked up a skein of Apple Oak Fibre Works Stockholm yarn in the Lemongrass colourway, this memory came up, and I was immediately inspired to knit something that reminded me of my piano teacher's winter lemon bowls. The result was this reversible neckwarmer, which I think I will call Winter Fruit.
There is a particular style of neck warmer (or cowl, or snood, if you will) that is popular in northern parts of continental Europe, and was especially popular when I was growing up: The collar is knitted high and fairly neat, while the base fans out dramatically, like a sweater yoke. This way, the entire neck and upper chest are fully covered, with no gaps between skin and fabric for the cold and wind to get in. The lower edge tucks elegantly into coats and sweater neck openings.
Overall there is a somewhat Victorian, or even 17th century Flemish vibe to the whole look. I have not come across a name for this specific neckwarmer construction style, so if anybody knows please tell me!
In the meanwhile, I am writing up the pattern - which calls for just 1 skein of chunky yarn, such as the AOFW Stockholm (100m/100g), but can be adapted to other yarn weights as well. In the chunky yarn, the neckwarmer took me 2 hours to knit, so this really makes for a very quick knit when you have limited time.
If you are looking for a fun project over the holidays and are interested in trying Winter Fruit based on written instructions (as opposed to a finished pattern), email me! Offer is open through the end of this month.