Featured Colourway: Bala Cranberry

As I have been slowly getting my feet under me with the business and the website, I have managed to get myself a bit of a blog schedule together. The first of these weekly features will happen every Monday, and this will be my featured colourway series where I tell you a bit more about each colourway, what I love about the colour, why I thought it fit the name, some photo inspiration that makes me think of the colourway and maybe even some projects in the colour (as more pop up on ravelry) or some patterns that I think might rock in this colourway.

Some Mondays, it will just be this standard blog post, and some Mondays there might be a new colourway or collection released that day. Monday can feel like such a drag for some people, so we decided that a pop of colour is what you needed for a Monday morning.

To me, Bala Cranberry was a really obvious place to start. Not only am I a really regimented and organized person, so starting at red and working my way down this list made sense, but as well this colour was the very first I dyed and determined my dye recipe for. 

Also, if there is a colourway that is most universally relatable to people, this might be it. You may not know where Foley is, or what a fiddlehead is, but odds are you have heard of Bala and its truly awesome cranberry marsh.

Take a hike down to the marsh during the summer or the fall at Johnston's Cranberry Marsh. Image courtesy of Explorer's Edge

Take a hike down to the marsh during the summer or the fall at Johnston's Cranberry Marsh. Image courtesy of Explorer's Edge

Every October around the middle of the month, we are guaranteed one terribly rainy weekend. That weekend, without a doubt is the Bala Cranberry Festival. However, this does not deter people clad in rain boots, coats, umbrellas, and heavily laden shopping bags from making one last trek up to Muskoka to enjoy in great fun, food, and shopping.

Candied Cranberries ... does anything sound more delicious? Image courtesy of Explorer's Edge

Candied Cranberries ... does anything sound more delicious? Image courtesy of Explorer's Edge

To me, this is a really special part of Muskoka, not only this festival weekend celebrating the cranberry, but also this really unique industry here in this part of the world. We have two very productive cranberry marshes, the Iroquois Cranberry Growers and Johnston's Cranberry Marsh & Winery. Who knew that while you are flying up Highway 400 to your cottage that you are passing these neat little and incredibly industrious businesses.

We all go a little cranberry crazy around here in the fall. Image courtesy of Pure Muskoka.

We all go a little cranberry crazy around here in the fall. Image courtesy of Pure Muskoka.

When I was starting out with dyeing the collection, I wanted to be able to get the four signature colours that are represented in the logo: red, gold, green, and dark blue/black. I started with red, and to me a rich red had no better inspiration then Bala Cranberry.

Now what to knit with this great colourway? I have a few ideas to say the least. For me, red is easy, it is fun, vibrant, can be worn in any time of garment, works year round, and I don't think I have ever heard someone say that red doesn't work for them.

Circe Sock Pattern by Cookie A. Image courtesy of Cookie A.

Circe Sock Pattern by Cookie A. Image courtesy of Cookie A.

So lets start with socks. If socks are the standard knitting project, then Cookie A is queen. I don't think you can talk about sock patterns without her name and collections coming up. For this colourway, I have selected a pattern that isn't as known, primarily because it isn't available until this coming October... perfect for celebrating Cranberry Festival time, the Circe Sock. 

The monte rosa pattern by Isabell Kraemer. Image courtesy of Solenn Couix-Loarer. 

The monte rosa pattern by Isabell Kraemer. Image courtesy of Solenn Couix-Loarer. 

This pattern was released as part of her 2013 sock club. Every other month subscribers get a skein of indi-dyed yarn, two sock patterns, and two cookie recipes. I always look forward to getting my package. The lace pattern and travelling arch design of this sock would be a perfect compliment to the slightly darker and richer colour of Bala Cranberry in Kilcoursie Fingering.

Looking for just a touch of cranberry in a project? Look no further than the monte rosa sweater pattern by Isabell Kraemer. This sweater is sitting really high up on my to do list. Any of our more neutral colours would look great with a cranberry accent. Hennessy Aran is a perfect yarn pairing for this sweater.

And finally for those with just a bit of Cranberry left in either Pengallie Fingering or Kilcoursie Fingering and wanting a fun little holiday project, I present Balls Up ! a free pattern by General Hogbuffer. Perfect for a little gift or for a tree that your little kids want to decorate, the whimsy of these colourwork knitted Christmas balls just tickles my fancy. So maybe pick up a skein for a pair of socks and then use your leftovers for some of these.

So now you know a bit more about our Bala Cranberry colourway and a the story behind what inspired it. We are all desperate for some bright spring knitting on these cold and dreary "spring days" but maybe some red is worth considering.

To help you make the choice to pick up some Cranberry I am going to offer a very special offer... for the next week all items in the colourway Cranberry are $2 off per skein. Go and check it out... but don't hesitate, next Monday there will be a new featured colourway and perhaps a new sale.

Balls Up ! pattern. Image courtesy of General Hogbuffer

Balls Up ! pattern. Image courtesy of General Hogbuffer