Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thorn and the Common Cod Fiber Guild KAL

Back in March, during the Common Cod Fiber Camp, we had so many designers and their patterns for inspiration, and a number of us admitted the need to add Thorn to our wardrobes. Thorn is a shawl pattern by Bristol Ivy, she wore her's during the fashion show and we fell hard for the unique drape and fanning rows of stockinette. Here is an image of Bristol displaying the shawl at Fiber Camp.

Bristol Ivy and her Thorn shawl, Fiber Camp 2014
So, there is a tale behind this knit. A couple of overlapping tales actually. First, I have a knitting girl crush on Bristol Ivy. I love her design esthetic and her ability to make such interesting patterns. I was fortunate to meet her in person when she attended the Common Cod Fiber Guild's Fiber Camp fashion show.
Meeting Bristol Ivy at Fiber Camp was such a treat.
Among the many designs modeled that day, I found seeing Thorn in person made me crave it for my own. I had added it to my Ravelry Favorites back when the Brooklyn Tweed Wool People look book 4 first came out, but seeing how gracefully it draped and flattered made it an irresistible project to knit.
Loft Yarn, fingering weight
The other tale involves my curiosity about the Brooklyn Tweed fiber. Bristol's Thorn was so airy and draped beautifully. Loft is an American sourced and processed yarn. It is a two ply, fingering weight yarn with 275 yards and 50 grams. There are so many beautiful colors that selecting Almanac took some time.
At the beginning...
I have wanted to try Jared Flood's yarns but none of the LYS carry it. As a gift to myself on Mother's Day, I went to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas online store and placed my order. What an experience! I urge you to visit their page and peruse some of their kits and patterns. So many delectable images to enable anyone who can't find something they MUST knit! Like any of us have THAT problem! My package arrived quickly, the yarn was enveloped in lilac colored tissue paper. There was a note card for me to use and a hand written note from the person who picked and shipped my order. I will definitely shop there again.


Pattern: Thorn, by Bristol Ivy From Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People, Vol. 4
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed, Loft in the Almanac colorway on size 4 needles

As for the Thorn project, the Common Cod Fiber Guild is doing a KAL (knit along) for this pattern. If you are interested in joining us, look at the thread and post a photo of the yarn you choose to use.  Create a Ravelry project page and use the tag CCFGThornKAL.

The CCFG Ravelry thread will close on August 31. There will be random number generator picks for the prizes including a skein of Dirty Water Dyeworks, a project bag from my KnittinginBeantown Etsy shop and a Bristol Ivy pattern of the winner's choice. The prizes will be given out at our September Common Cod Fiber Guild meeting (or they can be mailed to you if you don't attend the event). We will feature a show and tell before Amy Herzog's lecture to the group so you can see the different shawls we will have created. Please, join us in this KAL!

Lifelines
Thorn is not a difficult pattern to knit but it is a commitment of time. Here are my suggestions for smooth knitting.
  1. Plan on using a lifeline after each section. I found that if I wasn't mindful I made silly mistakes. Tinking back was easy enough, but replacing the central marker was problematic because it shifts on every right side row. In using the lifeline, I found it served as incentive to get that section done and looking back over my progress, I could see the sections clearly marked by my thread. 
  2. Read your knits and purls as you go. When doing the evenly spaced increases, I sometimes got a bit distracted and knit the purls and purled the knits. Some remain, but I got better at checking where I was and my mistakes became fewer.
  3. Use a lace needle with good tips to make the purl through the back loop parts easier.
  4. Count stitches at the end of each section before putting your lifeline in. I also found counting as I went helped me. I am a distracted knitter most of the time.
I am at the end of my third skein and nearing the part where I will pick up almost three hundred stitches to make the border.  I have spent a few hours each day working on it and I am enjoying the summer vacation freedom to do just that.

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