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ONE DARK BLUE NIGHT
This hat is the third in a series of patterns inspired by teachings in Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run with the Wolves. This time, I drew inspiration from Estés’ retelling of a Japanese tale, Tsukina Waguma or “The Crescent Moon Bear,” in which a young woman travels to the cave of an incredibly intimidating and ferocious bear. She makes several journeys to the cave, leaving food and quickly retreating, until “one dark blue night,” she musters the courage to stand her ground and ask for what she seeks–one hair from a moon-shaped patch on the bear’s chest–which she is granted. The young woman returns, triumphant, to the old healer who has sent her on this quest. She believes this single hair is the magic ingredient in solving the problem that plagues her. She holds it forth, but the healer tosses the hair into the flames. The young woman is in despair until she realizes the true lesson of her quest: that using her determination, courage, and patience, as she did with the crescent moon bear, will help her to confront the challenge at hand.
The moon phase motif of this colorwork hat is meant to capture the magic of a dark blue night–when the moon shines brightly overhead, the frosty air sparkles with possibility, and we succeed in summoning accumulated wisdom from deep within ourselves so that we can apply it to our own healing. Choose colors to conjure a wintery night sky, or select a palette of your signature colors.
DEEP IN THE FOREST
This cowl is the second in a series of patterns inspired by teachings in Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run with the Wolves. Estés tells us to rely on our instinctive nature, and uses the story of Vasalisa’s visit to Baba Yaga to illustrate this counsel. Vasalisa has journeyed deep into the forest to find the witch’s enchanted hut. Pausing before it, she summons her inner strength in order to face the menacing ways, shifting whims and wild life force of Baba Yaga. Determined, even though she is afraid, Vasalisa makes her request for fire and persists until she masters Baba Yaga’s peculiar list of domestic tasks. Vasalisa holds her flame aloft as she emerges from the forest, having acquired some of the fearsome Yaga’s wisdom and power. She returns home with a sense of knowing, which she can rely on when she confronts future challenges and decides whom she can trust. The story of Vasalisa and Baba Yaga reveals to us what can happen when we grow to depend on our wildish intuition.
With bands of alternating color and a highly-textured pair of mushroom motifs, this cowl begs to be knit up in yarns of rich, autumnal color. The pattern includes instructions for knitting in two different weights, so that you can customize this accessory to wear on crisp fall days or during the deep chill that signals winter’s approach.
These socks are the first of a series of patterns inspired by teachings in Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run with the Wolves. Renewing our connection to the wild woman within is a kind of journey, so it makes sense to begin with our feet. One step, then another. This is the way to reclaim, rekindle and renew.
Designed to be knit from the toe up, these socks feature a watery motif created by simple cable twists. If you have ever wanted to attempt cables without a cable needle, this is the perfect opportunity. With a fleegle heel, you never have to pick up heel stitches, and you will be pleased with the way the gusset resolves into the leg of the sock without any gaps or holes.
When I see a scattering of cones beneath the trees along my favorite paths, I slow my pace and breathe deeply, savoring the scent of the woods and the crisp autumnal edge to the air. Pine cones are fall’s flowers: their petals are dark, fragile—a harbinger of the coming months of cold. This sock design, with a petite fir cone lace pattern on the instep and narrow cable at the back leg, was inspired by autumn walks and the wonders of the forest floor. It features cuff-down construction, a traditional heel flap and heel turn, and gussets on the sides of the foot. The pattern includes directions for a ribbed band at the arch and a gently tapered toe with a grafted closure.
This pattern for a close-fitting beanie begins with several rounds of twisted rib. The large colorwork motif features a pair of stylized goldfinch and additional symbols from fraktur art. Known alternatively as a distelfink or “thistle finch,” the goldfinch is prominent in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and represents happiness and good fortune.
This pattern may be purchased through Distelfink Fiber Co.
Venus & Cupid
Myths and stories of the ancient Romans are endlessly instructive and entertaining, as their deities possess an array of quirks, foibles, rivalries and jealousies. Enter Venus, goddess of love. Given a much broader sphere of influence than her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite, Venus is the deity associated with love, sex, and beauty as well as fertility, victory, and even prostitution. Her fiery romance with Mars resulted in the birth of Cupid, who possesses qualities of both his parents.
God of desire and erotic love, Cupid is often portrayed as a chubby winged child who wields a bow and arrow with which he can impose feelings of uncontrollable desire on his chosen target.
Inspired by Venus and Cupid, and celebrating love in its many forms, these socks feature side by side cables set into a panel—one elegant, elongated cable and one cherubic little cable. This is the ideal opportunity to try working cables without a cable needle. Included in the pattern are several techniques to intensify your romance with sock knitting, including an eye of partridge heel with a double gusset, a ribbed arch, and anatomically-shaped toes.
A delightful ascending pattern of wings adorns these fingerless mitts. These are the perfect accessory to knit with a skein of farm yarn from your local mill, farmer’s market, or fiber festival. These mitts are especially nice for handspun yarn, as they were designed to accommodate yarns ranging from sport to light worsted weight. Knit from the cuff up, they feature simple cable stitches and a sweet skep motif on the thumb gusset.
Apian imagery from Greek and Roman mythology reveals a belief that bees routinely traveled between human and divine realms. Today, we continue to be fascinated—even mystified—by bees. These socks are a knitted tribute to the small but mighty pollinators that do important work on our planet. Your pattern purchase helps to support Heifer International’s endeavor to supply honeybees to farmers in agrarian communities. Humblebee socks will keep you humming as you knit a simple cabled texture on the front and a charming column of bees on the back. This pattern includes several techniques for a secure heel fit and a ribbed band at the arch to keep your feet feeling energized all day.
In Roman mythology, harmony is represented by the goddess Concordia. She is often depicted wearing a cloak and holding a cornucopia, a symbol of abundance. Inspired by the harmony created when natural fibers from different continents are blended together, this capelet features a luxurious cabled neckline and a simple, yet graceful transition between colors at the yoke. Concordia settles around your shoulders like a warm hug on cool days or chilly nights. Choose two yarns with high contrast and enjoy working a bit of stranded colorwork and a few cables as you knit to create elegance and harmony. The cabled opening can be positioned at the center of the garment or to the side for a fetching look favored by goddesses.
Yarn: Foster Sheep Farm – Concordea
BRAIDED BERRY HAT & MITTS
These pieces combine rich, beautiful texture with the smooth elegance of stockinette stitch. Knit in versatile DK weight yarn with a split brim and cuffs—plus pompoms for a touch of whimsy—this hat and mitts are quite fetching accessories for spring or fall.