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

48 comments:

  1. What lovely knits! And how nice to see you posting. :o)

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  2. Wow, It is always fun to find out about a talented group of people. I love this shawl and will definitely have to make it. Thank you for sharing,

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  3. This looks like an amazing book. The shawl is lovely.

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  4. Lovely shawl pattern. You know I have to knit all.the.things!

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  5. How stunning! Love the story about Folly Cove.

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  6. Glad I found your blog through the tour. I'll definitely be coming back :).

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  7. Glad to see you posting! Thanks for the opportunity to win the beautiful book.

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  8. Diana (dianac on rav)January 27, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    beautiful pattern, and I love the samples of the original prints!

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  9. Thank you for the lovely posting, look forward to the rest of the tour.

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  10. Beautiful shawl - simple and classy!

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  11. This is fun - I've never done it before. What an entertaining way to preview the book AND discover great blogs. Bravo!

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  12. So many shawls are just too small for larger women, but the Meteori Shawl appears perfect for the woman with wider shoulders and it's not too lacy. I would love to knit this for myself!

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  13. This would also be great as raindrops in a watery varigated blue, I love it. Thanks!

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  14. Beautiful - It would look lovely in a pewter or blue grey

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  15. A lovely shawl - classic lines.

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  16. I like the shawl. What a great idea for a book!

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  17. I love those prints! The pictures sent me scurrying to my bookcase to find Virginia Lee Burton books. I look forward to finding out more about the Folly Cove groupl

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  18. I think this is my favorite in the book!

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  19. Beautiful shawl, thank you for sharing
    Ruth (calendula25 on rav)

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  20. Beautiful shawl. Hope you are safe and warm with no snow or wind damage.

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  21. Beautiful shawl. Hope you are safe and warm with no snow or wind damage.

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  22. like the shawl and your blog thanks for all the help with our knitting
    eizabeth firey threads on Rav

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  23. like the shawl and your blog thanks for all the help with our knitting
    eizabeth firey threads on Rav

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  24. I would love to knit this shawl. Those strong parallel accent lines of lace really make the look.
    atreidesb on Ravelry

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  25. This shawl is truly stunning! And I love the choice of natural undyed wool.
    I am enjoying combing through your blog at random and reading posts.

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  26. Thank you for sharing such interesting background on these designs. What a beautiful shawl!

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  27. Thanks for sharing this wonderful book!

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  28. This shawl is my favorite of all her patterns. I'm glad to have found your blog. Your Icelandic Star pattern is high on my Must Knit list.

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  29. This is a beautiful shawl, thanks for sharing!

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  30. The shawl is really pretty, perfect color for it as well! I love those fabrics, I'd never heard of Folly's cove, it's intriguing, gonna have to investigate! Other patterns in the book look great too!

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  31. I've been on the hunt for a gorgeous triangular shawl. This is one is lovely!

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  32. I've been on the hunt for a gorgeous triangular shawl. This is one is lovely!

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  33. Beautiful shawl design. Would love to make one of my own.

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  34. thank you for the history lesson!
    And the shawl is gorgeous :)

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  35. The Metiori Shawl is my favorite in the collection -
    thank you so much.

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  36. After attending BU, I lived in Rockport, which is only a stone's throw from Gloucester, and never knew about the Folly Cove Designers. This new pattern collection keeps the fire of creativity burning. Kudos to you, Julie, for the excellent post and to Julia for a brilliant new collection of wonderful patterns.

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  37. Love the shawl and would love to have the pattern. Thank you.

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  38. The shawl caught my eye but the text of your blog captivated me. I'm hooked.

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  39. What a beautiful shawl! Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

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  40. Thank you Julie, what a nice introduction to the book!
    Julia deserves it!

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  41. Some great patterns in this book! I love the shawl!

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  42. How lovely! I'd be thrilled to win this.

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  43. I love the geometric effect of the meteors falling in this shawl. The yarn sounds intriguing, too. And the hat on the cover of the collection is way appealing!

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  44. I love the geometric effect of the meteors falling in this shawl. The yarn sounds intriguing, too. And the hat on the cover of the collection is way appealing!

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