new pattern: frost flowers

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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 1part 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.

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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.

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moments

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Hello, October. I’m glad to see you. We’ve been in Montreal not quite three weeks now, and while in some ways we’re starting to get settled in and find our new routines, in other ways I still feel stuck right in the middle of The Transition. We are waiting on the majority of our things to arrive from Norway, and I think once it does and we can really start unpacking, that will help a lot. I had forgotten how long it could take to find your stride in a new place, especially with such a big change.

I started a semi-intensive French course this past week to try and get my long-hibernating French skills up and moving again, which gives me a place to go every weekday morning at 8:30. That’s been beneficial. I have a backlog of design work I want to get to in the afternoons, though it’s been really slow trying to get back into the work groove. In the meantime, I did cast on for the Circlet Shrug I mentioned in August, and that’s been pure pleasure to work on. I’ll be going to Rhinebeck this year (my first!), and I would love to be able to wear it there, but with only twenty days left the possibility seems slim…

I am trying to pull my camera out and take pictures throughout my days. When I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed or a bit listless, I grab my bag and go for a long walk around my new neighborhood. I love the tree-lined streets and the unique architecture here, so just like in Norway, a good long walk is a great way to calm my mind or lift my spirits.

I thought I’d share a few photos of the past few weeks – from my walks, working on my knitting projects, and welcoming the first rainstorm since our arrival. I think October is going to be a good month.

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