First Frost is Here

I have made no secret of my love of folk art. Functional art that tells a story is one of the most fantastic ways to get to know a culture. Every part of the world has its own folk art traditions from ceramics to carvings, from paintings to textiles. My senior thesis in college found me visiting small, dusty, well-loved museums all over New England to interview curators and learn about folk history in that corner of the world. Junior year found me in Sweden, where I fell in love with folk art all over again. The colors and patterns in Scandinavian art are vibrant and engaging, just the thing to take the edge off the long, dark winters they experience.

First Frost by Lucinda Guy

Lucinda Guy, the author of First Frost: Cozy Folk Knitting shares my love of Scandinavian colors. She writes:

"The typical Nordic, Baltic, or Scandinavian folk palette consists of colors that were considered to be protective, symbolic, and important. Northern peasant life traditionally revolved around seasonal celebrations of growing and producing food; the colors considered highly significant and representative of nature and renewal were used prolifically: berry reds, natural white, bright sky blues, golden corn yellow, fresh leafy greens, and forest greens.

The most popular of these color combinations is red and white. Red was thought to symbolize the sun, fire, youth, and life, and white was associated with purity. When used in combination, red and white were considered portentous and were important for ritual celebrations such as marriage.

The natural tones of sheep’s wool were used in combination with dyed yarn. Moss, bark, leaves, berries, lichens, and toadstools, readily available in the fields and forests, were used regularly for dyeing. In all of Northern folk art, woodlands and forests were held in great esteem by country people, and often closely associated with folklore and all things magical.

Over the past two hundred years chemical dyes that produce consistently clearer, brighter colors began to replace the local plant dyes, and distinct new color and pattern combinations emerged. These vibrant combinations are now universally associated with Northern folk knitwear."

Elfur Socks from First Frost by Lucinda Guy Elsa Sweater from First Frost by Lucinda Guy
Elfur Socks Elsa Sweater

This new book is full of colorfully engaging knits for every man, woman, and child in your life. The patterns are fun to make whether you're new to colorwork knitting or are a seasoned aficionado, and there is a good mix of bigger and smaller projects. There are so many different combinations of texture and color coming together to make vibrant finished pieces.

Matti Gloves by Lucinda Guy from First Frost Stig Spring Cushion from First Frost by Lucinda Guy
Matti Gloves Stig Spring Cushion

As a great bonus, the eBook of First Frost contains 3 additional patterns from Lucinda’s Northern Knits Gifts. And with the 'Tis the Season Sale happening now, there's no better time to get this fantastic, colorful, inspiring book to start your winter knitting plan. We got our first hard frost of the season in Colorado this week, winter is indeed coming, and with it so many wonderful knitting days!


Knit happy,


Post a Comment