Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A trip to Folly Cove

The Folly Cove Designers, a group of 45 Gloucester, Massachusetts craftswomen, spent over 30 years creating exquisitely wrought designs cut into linoleum blocks and then printed on fabric. All glory to their splendid textiles! 

Gloucester by Eino Natti, 1969
Much like a medieval guild, the Folly Cove Designers worked on their own and then gathered monthly to exchange ideas and offer critiques. 

As a wannabe New Englander (alas, I am a Marylander), I love the Folly Cove Designers' work as it reminds me of my annual treks to my happy place, as my aunt who spends every summer on Cape Cod so aptly puts it.

Home Port by Louise Kenyon, 1948
Into my New England appreciation sails Julia Farwell-Clay, my friend and Massachusetts knitwear designer. While she may have born too late to participate in the creative endeavors of the aforementioned craftswomen, Julia honors their work with her first book, From Folly Cove, published by Classic Elite Yarns.

As Julia writes, "I have a long standing appreciation of their work, and for how those women (for the most part) fit art and craft into their lives alongside family and practical concerns of life on Cape Ann during and after the Second World War. As a designer, I often see the potential for knitting in beautiful things, and this collection is precisely that. Every pattern in this book is inspired by the work and personalities of these women, and together they are an homage to their legacy of design and collaboration."

From Folly Cove includes a hat, two pullovers, two cardigans, a skirt, a dress, a vest, and a cowl. Julia's designs are uniformly lovely and innovative, but I'm going to tell you about the Meteori Shawl, a gorgeous lace shawl made with Classic Elite's Mountain Top Mohawk Wool.

Spun with natural undyed fibers, Mohawk Wool is a sportweight blend of  lustrous merino, lofty romney wool, and durable nylon. Available in seven natural colors, Mohawk is truly the perfect yarn for Julia's airy design.

Julia found inspiration for Meteori from a painting in Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton, founder of the Folly Cove Designers. As the Amazon.com description says, "Burton's art and text tell the history of earth from beginning to present day." I'm guessing there are multiple meteors in there, too.

The Meteori Shawl measures 62-wide and 28-inches long, but like many shawls is knitted from the center point outwards, so you could easily make this shawl larger and longer by just continuing to knit in pattern.

As part of a celebration of this collection, I'm participating in Julia's blog tour and am giving away a free copy of the Meteori Shawl. To enter, just leave a comment below by February 3 and I'll choose a winner at random.

But there's more! From Folly Cove is 10% off on Ravelry this week; enter the code FFC10 at checkout for your 10% discount on any purchase of patterns or the entire e-book. At the end of the week, visit the Classic Elite Blog for a chance to win yarn for the project of your choice from the book.

Tomorrow, the From Folly Cove blog tour continues with Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne from Mason Dixon Knitting