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Jane Thornley Winter Forest Evocative Guide No. 4 $20.00

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In summer it‘s challenging finding the forest through the trees. The high season stirs with distraction – birds, insects, creatures in the undergrowth, not to mention the rustle and sweep of leaves unfurled. A single tree gets lost in the clamor, her fine bones eclipsed by the finery above. And yet, a winter forest is a magnificent cathedral of sleeping wood, as hallowed a hall of reflection as any that exists. Deep in this world of natural quietude, the architectural beauty of branches, bark and stone offer us a chance to breathe. To think. To create.

Jane Thornley's book, Winter Forest Evocative Guide No. 4 is an ode to the reflective season and to forests without leaves. Though two main designs are featured Woven Woods and Thousand Branches Kimono, the real story lies in what you can do with knitting these stitches in fresh ways. Use Jane's designs as offered canvases or find your own by exploring subtle color flows with linen or ombre seed stitches. A vest, a cowlet and a kimono – perhaps you can unfold them anew.

Woven Woods Cowl & Vest

Woven Woods is a sturdy vestal creation perfect for wearing over a long sweater, tunic or smock in the chilly seasons and a blouse as the days warm. All its color interest keeps the eye moving topside while the length below sweeps clean lines away from bulges and lumps. Add your Bark&Lichen Cowlet to your neck and your texture rocks (along with the lichen and twigs).

The piece’s real raison d’ętre is to provide scope through which to play with ombre seed, an enticing and addictive way to pile texture onto color. Once you slip into the flow of layering hue upon hue, the urge to try this vest in other color schemes may take hold. Let it.

The Woven Woods vest is knit in three pieces – back and two fronts — with the linen stitch collar band and bottom edging picked up and knit afterwards. A shaped front can be fastened with a single button or worn open. Straight, unstructured armhole openings are roomy enough for wearing over even heavy sweaters. Make it any length you want, cropped or long. Extend you bands even wider to change the look or the size.

Thousand Branches Kimono

Typical of authentic kimonos, the design is composed of one large back rectangle with two shorter ones for the fronts. Here the fronts and back are knit as one. Once the main piece is completed but before the sides are sewn together, ornamental extensions consisting of long stitch and garter are picked up and knit along both right and left long edges. From these extensions, the sleeves are picked up and knit, too. The final finishing touch is the addition of a long front band extending around the kimono’s front edge and dangling below the hem in artful insouciance.

The design is easy to knit in seed, long stitch, and garter but a single challenging stitch is included for the experienced knitter. Newer knitters or those who would rather keep things simple can substitute the 4-row Thousand Branches Stitch for a 4-row band of garter or seed.

This is a design that will take nearly any type of yarn but, naturally, the heavier the yarn, the bulkier the kimono. Best to stay within the lace-weight doubled to DK (double knitting) weight, though thicker yarns in small doses can be used in small doses. Drape matters.  The main body of the piece, extensions, and front band are worked across size 6mm/10 US needles with the sleeves worked on size 9mm/13 US.

Jane Thornley Winter Forest Evocative Guide No. 4
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