Like all of the hues on our Colors of the Year list, Clay is more of a spectrum than a single shade. And it’s one of the most ambiguous of the bunch. Is clay pink, with a hint of taupe? Or more of a brown, with tones of beige? You could even make a case for orange, with a touch of charcoal! Maybe it’s all of the above. While we all see this color a little differently, we couldn’t NOT include it on our list. For more about this elusive colorway, including our yarn list and pattern suggestions, keep reading.
This chameleon-like color just had to make an appearance on our list. It’s been dominating store windows, fashion collections, and the wardrobes of stylish New Yorkers for months. Part of its mystique is that it can be so hard to pin down exactly which color it is. In fact, Apartment 34 recently penned a blog titled ‘Clay is the New Gray’, and here’s what they had to say: “It can be feminine without being girly, neutral without being boring, strong without being brash, bohemian without seeming retro.” But one thing is certain, we just can’t get enough of it, in all its varieties.
There’s something refreshing about about a color that captures both the vibrancy of middle-summer, while grounding us in a season that’s all about being outdoors. The more coral aspects of clay’s spectrum have us thinking of big blooms, chilled desserts, and fruity beverages. At the same time, the earthier undertones feel natural, whether we like spending time by the water or relaxing in the shade. Midsummer is the perfect time to craft with clay.
One of our newest colors of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, Spice Market, is a gorgeous example of the whole spectrum of clay. As the Apartment 34 blog describes, clay takes on a more neutral role. It acts as a backdrop for some of our other Colors of the Year, including Marigold, Plumwood, Persimmon, and Antique.
We created the long silhouette of the Galena Vest With Hood (Knit) to showcase all the facets of this beautiful yarn, from hood to hem. Because the pattern calls for 10 of our Bonus Bundles, you’ll get on a roll with your stitches and have fewer ends to weave in along the way.
While a long, hooded vest might not be quite right for this season, it’s a perfect project to craft now & wear later. Since clay has become a staple of the fashion world, it won’t go out of style any time soon.
For a project you can wear sooner rather than later, take a look at our Shaped Shawl (Knit). Shawls not only make great travel projects, but you can wear them on rainy days or cooler summer nights. Once you get the hang of the stitches, you can take it on the road. And because it calls for only two skeins, you’ll still be able to pack light!
The two yarns you’ll need for this shawl are Shawl in a Ball in Moonstone, and Vanna’s Style in Tomato. The Moonstone captures the earthier side of clay, and also adds a subtle sparkle. In contrast, the Tomato yarn brings out the brightest side of this month’s color, running through this shawl in cute eyelet stripes.
Another celebration of multifaceted earthiness is our Boxy Cropped Pullover (Knit). It calls for our Homespun Yarn in Sierra, which gives you many options for styling. Bring out one of the pinker tones, as pictured at left, or focus on the darker hues by pairing this top with dark jeans.
As a Level 2 pattern, this pullover is as easy to make as it is to wear. Plus, the style is very on-trend this year. If you’re worried about pulling off the boxier silhouette, then choosing a higher-waisted bottom can help. You’ll also want to make sure you get a nice fit through the shoulders, so the boxiness feels intentional, rather than sloppy.
This easy, Kimono-styled cardigan will wear well through all four seasons. Our High Street Cardigan (Crochet) will be the topper you reach for no matter the weather. The vivid pink of our Heartland Zion makes for the perfect pop of color. You can wear it with an equally bright palette in the summer months, or even all black if you dress for winter like a New Yorker! In addition, the open weave will be breezy when it’s hot, so you can layer it over a tank or tee. Or you could layer over longer sleeves, or even a thin sweater, for extra coziness.
It’s truly the perfect year-round piece!
Any of our solid clay yarns will blend beautifully with other colors – especially if there are hints of the solid in a multicolored or self-striping yarn. So if you can’t find just the right color variation, try holding a couple strands of different yarns together for your project. Ultimately, as with any aspect of style, the most important element is finding what makes you happy! When you’re working with a color that just makes you feel good to have on your hooks and needles, that feeling will never go out of style.
Written with Adina Klein, Creative Director at Lion Brand.