I’ve got a new pattern out today: meet Frost Flowers! I thought I’d tell you a little bit about how this design came to be.
A month or so after we moved to Montreal, I went to an in-store Julie Asselin event hosted by Espace Tricot (where, incidentally, I am now working two days a week). Julie is a yarn dyer located a few hours outside of Montreal, and she’s also one of the sweetest humans on the planet. Espace Tricot carries several of Julie’s yarn bases, but she’d brought along a few bases to sell that the store doesn’t normally carry, one of which was her Nurtured: a lofty but smooth woolen spun yarn in a worsted weight, unusual for an indie dyer. I’d first heard about this yarn when Tolt Yarn and Wool started carrying it while I lived in Seattle, but this was the first time I’d really taken a close look at it.
Most indie dyers purchase undyed yarn in ready-made bases, which is part of why so many of the bases are so very similar. Julie, on the other hand, has her bases spun for her, and Nurtured is even more unique since she dyes it in the wool. So in the case of Nurtured, she sources the wool from the US, dyes the unspun wool itself, and then sends the dyed wool to Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont to have it spun into yarn. She outlines this process in a series of blog posts, which are excellent – you can see them in part 1, part 2, and part 3.
Flash back to the event at Espace Tricot – I was perched quite close to the Nurtured on the table as Julie talked about her yarns and answered questions, and I definitely found myself drawn toward one color in particular: the icy light blue color called Through the Looking Glass. When viewed up close, this is a gently heathered shade, with bits that are icy blue and bits that are almost light grey/natural and a few little blips here and there of a more saturated, darker blue.
A skein came home with me and once I had it, the idea for the overall palette took hold. I procured two more skeins of Nurtured, one in a heathered grey (Fer à Cheval) and one in a natural, undyed white (Natural), and started charting my colorwork ideas. It’s no surprise that I gravitated toward this combo, because it encapsulates winter to me – I even knit up my personal pair of Hearth Slippers in a similar combination.
I loved working with this yarn and I’m sure I’ll use it again in the future. I’m also looking forward to trying more of Julie’s yarns (I love her sock yarn, Nomade, which I used to knit my Amalia socks last year). Frost Flowers went live on Ravelry today, and you can check out the pattern page right here. It feels good to have a new Paper Tiger pattern to share – I didn’t do very much self-publishing while I was working on my degree in Norway, since most of the time I had for designing went to my third-party work. I’m excited to start publishing more Paper Tiger patterns again this year, and I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve been working on with you all.