Growing up in the Midwest, I experienced what one might think of as a “traditional” autumn. The air gets chilly, trees explode in reds, oranges, golds, and even purples, and the U-Pick apple orchards start advertising. Now that I live in southern New Mexico, things are a bit different. While it certainly does cool down come autumn, it usually doesn’t get chilly until December. Last year, we were even able to eat Thanksgiving dinner outside.
While I love the warmer weather of my area’s autumn, I do miss the explosions of color on all the trees. Now, there are certainly some trees out here that turn bright and beautiful hues. Most leaves seem to just turn yellow or brown before falling to the ground, though. There is, of course, still plenty of green everywhere as the cacti finish fruiting and lose any lingering flowers. The southern New Mexican autumnal palette is definitely different from that of the Midwestern fall I loved as a child.
This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy my New Mexican falls, quite the contrary. I look forward to October and November each year. I do miss the “traditional” colors of autumn being right outside my window, though. Fortunately, I can always bring those colors to my loom.
A few years ago for Thanksgiving, I wove a set of fall-themed towels. They invoke the palette of autumn I grew up with and the colors I associate with New Mexico. The towels had a golden, yellow-orange base that I still can’t describe accurately because they change color in the light. I wove chevrons side to side in deep maroon, copper, and brown, colors that made me think of the changing leaves. And then I added in some turquoise, a color that just “feels” New Mexican, plus deep green for the cacti and hints of purple for the color of the mountains during sunset.
I loved these towels. I gave one to the host of our Thanksgiving dinner and kept the other. Each time I pull it out of the towel drawer, I am taken back to fall, if only for a few moments.
This year I’m hoping to once again bring fall back to my loom and into my home, either by weaving a runner or some towels. I haven’t decided yet, but I still have a bit of time. (The nice thing about planning my autumn weaving this time of year is that I can get the yarn ordered, the loom warped, and the piece woven all by the time October rolls around.) I’m planning on travelling for Thanksgiving again this year. As with years past, I’d love to weave something for my host and something for my own kitchen, a constant reminder of a happy holiday spent with loved ones.
Weaving Patterns in Traditional and Modern Autumn Color Palettes
I always look to Handwoven for inspiration for these projects. In fact, I recently had the privilege of picking out my favorite fall-themed projects for our new Autumn Weaving Pattern Pack. For this collection, I chose weaving patterns full of “traditional” fall hues. But I also chose a few projects that have a more modern autumn palette.
Whether you want to weave a project in reds and oranges, or in colors more in line with Pantone’s autumn colors, there’s something for you. I know I’m leaning towards weaving Rita Hagenbruch’s lovely Halvdräll Runner (I am a sucker for Scandinavian weaves). I also love Kathleen Farlings M’s and O’s Towels. Just looking at the patterns has me craving hot cider, even though it’s well into the 90s today.
Whatever I choose, I know that when I pull it out later this year, and in the years to come, I will be brought right back to fall. Download the Autumn Weaving Pattern Pack and create an autumnal heirloom of your own!