Whywoolis a winner to turn up the heat at home; Wool is not onlyweaving its magic on the catwalk, but also in rooms. Gabrielle Fagan sources homeware to stylishly 'knit out' your home.
IT MIGHT seem like a yarn but it's time to get knitting if you want your rooms to look chic.
Chunky wool knits are dressing furniture, floors and accessories - and it's not just a great way to stay snug this autumn but also the perfect way to celebrate Wool Week, which 'knits' off on October 11.
The event is part of an initiative for Campaign for Wool, led by the Prince of Wales to re-ignite Britain's love affair with all things woolly, highlighting the fact that it's fashionable, eco-friendly and durable.
A flock of companies have also given their backing including Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, while sharp-eyed fashionistas, always ahead of the pack on trends, will have spotted Pringle and Dior embracing a knitted look on the catwalk, with pieces such as oversized woollies and long, winding scarves.
But a growing collection of woolly homeware will make it easy for the trend to move seamlessly out of the wardrobe and into your rooms.
A STITCH IN TIME Woolly garments are turning furniture into cuddly cocoons, and just one piece would be enough to demonstrate your superior style credentials.
"I've always been inspired by knitting techniques and you can experiment so well with colour and pattern in wool," says designer Melanie Porter, whose knitted collection includes chairs, tables, lampshades and cushions, starting from pounds 75.
A former fashion designer turned interior designer, she sources furniture from junk shops and antique markets, strips pieces down to their original frame and then gets knitting.
Woolly winners: Snuggle into Porter's Bob Chair, from pounds 2,000, which is a restored 1960s Egg chair wearing a cream, chunky buttoned cover. Or fly the flag with her Albert Vintage Armchair, in a red and blue cabled Union Jack design, from pounds 2,500.
A Jumper Chair, pounds 1,900, by designer Bertjan Pot, is slinky with a figure-hugging wool cover showing off its curves. It comes in a variety of colourways and is available from Established & Sons.
PULL OF THE WOOL It's traditional to turn autumn rooms into snuggle zones by layering beds and sofas with knitted throws, cushions, and of course, adding luxury for feet with sheepskin rugs.
"Softness and touchability are an overriding influence for the coming season, with texture in cashmere, wool and especially cable knit patterns featuring in all areas of soft furnishings for the home," confirms Kate Mooney, founder of Occa-Home.
Woolly winners: The White Company has sheepskin rugs, and cushions and throws galore. Grey Berwick Cable-knit Throw, pounds 250.
John Lewis's Vita Throw, pounds 80, and matching cushion, pounds 25, comes in a creamy porridge colour, while Marks & Spencer favours dark mocha for a Knit Throw, pounds 45, and Cushion, pounds 25.
Laura Ashley's Coniston Blankets, pounds 75 each, are in soft, feminine pastels, and Dunelm Mill wins on price with a Cable Knit Buttoned Cushion, pounds 12.99.
WOO WITH WOOL If you're hesitating about being seduced by the trend you could opt for a single witty touch.
Cast aside a chandelier and opt instead for a Granny Pendant Light, from pounds 251. It comes in two sizes and colours, off-white or raspberry, from the Aria shop. The wool's treated to make it fire-resistant and repellent, to ward off moths that might munch through your investment.
Rume has a wonderful Italian design knitted clock, a Gomitolo, which starts from pounds 235.
Pick a 'W' for wool from the knitted Luxury Love Letters cushion collection in lambswool, pounds 65, from Jonny's Sister.
No self-respecting hottie bottie is complete without a knitted cover, but a Knitted Warmer, in lambswool cable knit, pounds 19.99, from Strawberry Fool, is a clever alternative. Its microwaveable wheat-filled insert is fragranced with soothing oils.
Knitted-look ceramics from Not On The High Street, including a cream vase, pounds 60, and beaker, pounds 29.50, are my favourites.
Woolly winners: Your style needn't unravel even if the bank balance is a little threadbare. Knitted Cupcakes, pounds 28 for a set of four, from Bombay Duck, could appeal to domestic divas, and just as sweet is a Hand Knit Hanging Heart, pounds 11.95, from Not On The High Street.
Relax by the flickering light of a wool-look wax candle, large size pounds 25, from Bougies La Francaise.
Alternatively, a knitted-style heart-shaped soap, can be bagged for the pocket-money price of pounds 3.99, from Not Mass Produced.
FURRY HEAT: Knitted warmer in classic cable pattern, with microwaveable wheat filled insert fragranced with essential oils, pounds 19.99, Strawberry Fool
FABRIC FANCIES: Four knitted cupcakes, pounds 28, Bombay Duck. Left: Faux fur cushion, pounds 19.50, folk flower embroidered cushion, pounds 35, chunky knit cushion in mocha, pounds 25, organic wave cushion in chocolate, pounds 15 (on floor) chunky knit throw, from pounds 45, all from Marks & Spencer SIT BACK AND RELAX: Albert, vintage chair in handknitted cabled Union Flag design, from pounds 2,500, from Melanie Porter TUCKED UP IN BED: Burlington waffle bedlinen, from pounds 12 for a pillowcase, Berwick wool-rich cable-knit throw, pounds 250, cushion cover pounds 80 and Grafton cotton knit throw, pounds 125, all from The White Company