Tag Archives: posted by Caroline

Introducing: Herriot

As I warned you yesterday: please sit down before reading any further. I know from experience that there’s simply too much wonderful contained in Herriot for an ordinary knitter to resist. It’s named, of course, for James, whom we invoke so frequently in our farming lives that he might well be our patron saint.

Back in February, when the UPS man dropped off the box from the mill, I had to use a wheelbarrow to get it into the house, it was so overwhelming. When we showed it off to the attendees of our Lizzy House Quilting Workshop– “Wanna see what awesome things we’re working on for fall?”– they were knocked flat, then begged us for some. Our test-knitters went nuts over it. It stopped traffic on the floor at TNNA.

You heard it here first: Herriot is going to be a kind of a big deal. What is it, exactly?

Herriot is a DK-weight yarn made of 100% baby alpaca that comes in 10 natural shades (ie, undyed, never-gonna-bleed, straight-off-the-alpaca gorgeous). The colors are:

Talc, Bullrush, and Heartwood,

Walnut, Ghost Fern, and River Birch,

and Eucalyptus, Sycamore, Travertine, and Granite.

Have I gushed enough about this yarn?

Well. Let me tell you about the knitwear collection.

It’s a collection of 14 patterns designed by Pam Wynne and myself. The only guideline Susan imposed was that she wanted a colorwork book– we were otherwise left to our own devices, completely free to design what we wanted. I’d never designed a collection in collaboration before, but Pam was great to work with, and I had lots of fun planning the whole thing out with her. After grouping our ideas into chapters, we realized that our designs were arranged in increasing complexity.

That is to say: if you begin with the first pattern in the book, and knit straight through, cover to cover, the designs in this book will help you build your skills as you work until you are just about the most skillful, competent, amazing colorwork knitter this side of the Andes (the Peruvians, in my opinion, take the proverbial knitted cake).

I could go into crazy detail about the genesis of each design, or tell a cute story about what happened in each photo on the shoot, or maybe talk about how much I like the pants that a certain sweater is styled with, but that would be a bit too much birth story, and I have a feeling you’re pretty eager to see what we came up with. For now, I’m going to let our designs speak for themselves.

Egbertine hat and cowl, designed by Caroline Fryar, test-knit by Jennifer Britton and Jessica Dunsmore (respectively), modeled by Emily Karasz.

 Bessie, designed and modeled by Caroline Fryar, test-knit by Melanie Clark.

Herbie Hat and Mittens, designed by Pam Wynne, test-knit by Helen Elston and Erin Lucido (respectively), modeled by Emily Karasz.

Edie, designed, test-knit, and modeled by Pam Wynne.

Cora, designed by Caroline Fryar, test-knit by Marci Lavine Bloch, modeled by Caroline Fryar.

Here are all three of us sitting on a fence, swathed in alpaca and tweeds, as one does in the first week of June.


Amy & Emily, proving just how strongly beauty runs in the Karasz family.

Hattie, designed by Caroline Fryar, test-knit by Krysta Harty, modeled by Emily Karasz.

Ida Mae, designed by Pam Wynne, test-knit by Gail Defendorf, modeled by Amy Karasz.

Vera Marguerite tam and mittens, designed by Pam Wynne, test-knit by Nancy Harrington and Elizabeth Vores (respectively), and modeled by Emily Karasz and Pam Wynne (respectively).

 I’m allowing myself to gush (and use multiple photographs), because these last two are our capstone pieces. This is Maeby, designed and modeled by Pam Wynne, and test-knit by Eve Ramos & Daisy Blinn.

You look at it and think,Oh, wow, what great colorwork! And elbow patches!

and then you turn around and the sweater’s like,Bam! Drawstring funnel neck! Kangaroo pocket!and it’s everything you ever wanted in a sweater, ever.

I’ve already cast on for this sweater, because I want it something fierce.

Okay, and, lastly, this is Esther, designed, test-knit, and modeled by Caroline Fryar.

It’s a double-knit coat done in a traditional Swedish brocade pattern. There’s loads of i-cord trim, and an attached fair-isle scarf that grows out of the left lapel and wraps around the front to become the collar.

 Did I mention? The whole coat is double-knit!

And, just in case some of you live in some crazy dreamworld where there isn’t ample time to knit not one, but two coats (when it comes to double knitting, there’s the rub), the scarf is also offered as a stand-alone pattern. It is named Margaret.

I barely know where to begin with the thank-yous.

Susan came up with the yarn in the first place. Pam was a joy and an inspiration to work alongside, from inspiration photos to styling the garments on the shoot. Alison was a phenomenal technical editor. Caro kept us laughing throughout the several days she shot the garments. Our amazing team of test-knitters created each and everyone one of these garments, and our beautiful models sweated it out in their alpaca without a word of complaint. Zac anticipated our every need. Lauria helped us hold the whole thing together. Michelle gracefully put up with a thousand nick-of-time revisions, and made the book look super nice. And everyone who put up with me while coat-knitting reduced me to a shriveled and embittered husk of my usually-nice self– you know who you are.

Here you go, world. Here’s Herriot.

Introducing: Marlowe

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that we’re big readers of poetry here at the farm. Nor should it surprise you, then, to learn that we’re fans of pastoral poetry in particular, and that we award special bonus points to any poem that uses the word “Shepherd” in its title.

I’d like to share one of our newest yarns with you: Marlowe.

It’s pure poetry in yarn form. A worsted-weight merino/silk single– pause for a second and consider how soft that is– its beautiful and gentle variegations float from one color to the next like notes of a song. Thanks to the silk content, the yarn absolutely glows, and has a very satisfying weight and drape. Named for the poet, we chose similarly musical and pastoral names for the ten gorgeous colorways.

Madrigal, Melodious, and Riparian,

Carpe Diem, Stanza, and Arcadia,

and Georgiana, Allegro, Garland, and Sylvan.

We were so over-the-moon thrilled with the Sabine collection that Marie Grace designed for us this past Spring, we asked her to design another collection for us, this time using Marlowe.

The Marlowe collection she designed for us is just as pretty, feminine, cohesive, and wearable as we knew it would be– thank you, Marie Grace! Each of the projects requires 3 balls of Marlowe or less, so they’ll knit up quickly. The lace patterns were all kept deliberately simple in order to best complement the variegated yarn. I’d say that this collection is utterly perfect for knitters who’d like a fun taste of lace (and other fancy stitchwork), but who might not want to tangle (yet) will full-on lace knitting in a laceweight yarn.

The Cypress Accessories Set– a cowl, hat, and fingerless mitts in two lengths– in a mock-cable rib, test-knit by Debbie Palmer (the cowl, hat, and shorter mitts) and Beverly Katz (the longer mitts, pictured), modeled by Lisa Richey.

(Puppy not included).

Blaine, a lace-edged shaped wrap, test-knit in two different colors by Jen Kelley and Marie Grace Smith, modeled by Emily Karasz.

The Daphne Accessories Set– a hat, cowl (not pictured), and a long infinity scarf– in a traveling diagonal rib, test-knit by Susan Swanson, modeled by Emily Karasz.

Kenna, a simple lace-edged shawl, test-knit in two different colors by Chaitanya Muralidhara and Jennifer Bohlig, modeled by Amy Karasz.

Seneca, which can be worn buttoned-up as a cowl or left loose as a scarf, test-knit by Rachel McKinney, modeled by Amy Karasz.

Terra, a beautiful cowl in a honeycomb cable pattern, test-knit by Ainslie Hodges, modeled by Emily Karasz.

And, lastly, we have Sorrel, a scarf edged in lace, test-knit in two different colors by Marcy Jones and Marie Grace Smith, modeled by Amy Karasz.

Also, I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t share the extra-special something extra that’s included in this pattern book. See, since the creation of the yarn line, we’ve wanted to make sure that the yarns and books reflect us– the way we work, live, and knit at the farm. And you know us– we love to cook only slightly less than we love to eat, which is why we’ve paired this collection with 5 of our most-requested farm recipes.

It’s highly likely that you, like us, are happiest sitting down to knit when there’s a pot simmering on the stove or something delicious baking in the oven. This wonderful trio of yarn, patterns, and recipes should keep you warm and cozy straight through the winter. You can find all seven designs on Ravelry, here.

Marlowe and the Juniper Moon Farm Marlowe pattern book should be available at any of these stockists starting in September. If you don’t see your LYS listed, ask the owner to bring it in by getting in touch with his or her KFI sales rep.

Again, an enormous thank-you, and congratulations on a job well done to our knitters (named above, with their garments), test-knitting coordinator, photographer, editors, models, stylists, and to everyone else who helped us bring you this collection. Putting together this post really has re-warmed my heart towards this collection and everyone involved in bringing it to life– I feel like shouting, look what we did, everyone!

Tomorrow’s collection– well, just make sure you’re sitting down when you read the post. It’s that good.

Findley Fall/Winter 2012

We’re very pleased to announce that Findley, our super-popular laceweight yarn, will be released in 10 gorgeous new colors this fall!

May I present:

Oyster, Dove, and Cocoa,

Garnet, Tyrian, and Mermaid,

and Rappahannock, Tiger Lily, Malachite, and Menemsha!

This makes a total of twenty-two solid colors (plus the eight variegated shades of Findley Dappled) from which you can knit your next lace project. I hope you love the new colors just as much as we do!

I’d also like to share with you the four free patterns that I’ve written to go along with the yarn. I wanted to design approachable, wearable pieces, but I also wanted to challenge my own ideas about what could be done with a laceweight yarn. I think you’ll find this collection fun to knit and lovely to wear– please enjoy!

Springer, a zip-up jacket in men’s and women’s sizes, worked in a slip-stitch pattern using Findley held doubled, test-knit by Gina Assetta.

Download the pattern here.

 Gambrel, a visually striking colorblocked cardigan that’s got a surprise to share– a ladder of dropped stitches down the spine!– test-knit by Sue Isenhart.

Download the pattern here.

Gable, a large rectangular wrap in Indian Cross-Stitch, test-knit by Deb Terrio. It’s a stunningly simple stitch pattern that, when used in a mass like this, really makes the Findley shine.

Download the pattern here.

and Coulter, a two-color reversible slouchy beanie in a dead-easy basketweave stitch, test-knit in two different sizes by Sarah Lebel van Vugt and Jessica Nelson.

Download the pattern here.

The biggest of thank-yous to our swift-stitching test knitters, lovely test-knitting coordinator, talented photographer, endlessly patient technical and general editors, beautiful model (my sister, Charlotte), sharp-eyed stylists, and to everyone else who helped us bring you this collection.

Now, what are you waiting for? Queue them up on Ravelry, download them here, and then get knitting!

Tomorrow, we’ll be showing off a brand-new yarn and a fun collection of accessories to go with it. Make sure not to miss it!

The Love Song of J. Equus Coconut

You’re going to have to forgive this bit of self-indulgence in advance, please.

But first, a bit of backstory:

Coconut is terribly in love with Daisy. Daisy, well, she just wants to be friends, thanks. More than one person has suggested that we hold a donkey wedding, but, before you fire up the ol’ Pinterest board, Coconut needs to ask Daisy whether she’d like to be made an honest minidonk.

And thus:

“Let us go then, you and I,
when the evening is spread out against the sky
like a goat, sleeping sprawled along the haybale.”

“Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For grazings and grass-lazings which a minute will reverse.”

“I should have been a pair of ragged hooves
Shambling across the hills of empty pastures.”

“And it would have been worth it, after all.
To have squeezed the universe into a ball,
To roll it toward some overwhelming question”


“I have heard the donkeys singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.”

Garden Update

The only thing more incredible than all the garden’s changes over the past two weeks is how little I’ve noticed them.

The cowpeas have taken over the whole bed!

The turnips, beets, carrots, and rutabags have all come up and need to be thinned out– it’s also almost time to plant the other half of the bed with the same crops.

The Hungarian Paprika peppers are ripening. We tasted one the other day– the flesh is super-sweet, but the seeds inside are kicky. They might be my favorite new pepper, especially after we smoke them.

Cabbages! Cabbages!

Barely even human!

I planted only two flats of brassicas, but that translates to a lot of broccoli/brussels sprouts/cabbages, especially since each plant requires at least a foot of space around it. I’ve been tucking them anywhere I can find room– the best ones are growing, believe it or not, in the shade of the quite-large pepper plants. It was, of course, a total accident, but I do like when my ideas work out.

A few weeks ago, Zac dug up all the horseradish to make, um, horseradish, for himself. You’d never know it, though, because they’re back, and they’re more and stronger than ever. I think the people who warned us about growing horseradish knew what they were talking about!

In other condiments, we’re also growing a bed of mustard. I have a feeling that it might winterkill, in which case, at least we’ll get to eat the greens!

Some things, however, never change. For instance, Mouse Melon Mania.

The leeks are also doing wonderfully. I made vichyssoise the other day, actually, and felt like the most self-sufficient person in the world (homegrown potatoes, homegrown leeks, and home-milked heavy cream! All we need is a salt mine and we’re set.)

This Morning in Pictures

Good Morning, Buster (or Cosmo? I’m ashamed to admit that I still can’t keep them straight!)

Alabama is saying something hilarious to Bennett.

I love how it looks like Milkshakes & her family are holding goat-court on their dais of hay.

Peaceful cows (and watchful Gnocchi! Just like his father.)

Love that pup.

And, by poplar request, a special appendix of photos of Luna & Stella

Misty Tuesday

I went out for a walk in the pastures very early this morning.

I don’t think the flock was expecting me.

I’m sure Cini wasn’t– I woke him up.

And I think Dora, at least, wasn’t sure whether or not she was camera-ready.

It’s so peaceful to watch the patterns they take as they graze, and to see the trails they leave in the dewy grass.

I’m not sure it could have been a more pleasant morning.

The look Cini’s giving me in this last one– I’m not quite sure what he’s saying, but I know it’s protective, calming, and reassuring.

Hopi Sunflower Dyed Yarn

You know that worried feeling you get after you’ve worked terribly hard and long at something– the feeling that it might not be worth it?

I’d been dreaming of a crop of Hopi Black Dye Sunflowers ever since last summer, when a good friend (hi, Susan Sam!) sent me a copy of A Dyers Garden. After looking at woad, then at weld, considering coreopsis and wondering if indigo really is as magic as they say, I decided, last winter, that we’d at least grow some sunflowers along the side of the house.

I spent hours working on that bed this spring. I worked in compost, collected and spread wood ashes to sweeten the soil, and logged lots of time on my hands and knees, weeding out quackgrass and prickly nightshade. I thought, as I worked, This had better be worth it.

After planting the meager packet of seeds, there came the work of worrying about the seedlings. In order to keep all your hard work from being a waste, you have to work all the more– and the thing, I guess, about caring for living things is that it can call be undone in an instant, and there is no coming back. Since the Virginia spring is a nightmare rollercoaster bit unpredictable, we rolled out the plastic sheeting for the sunflowers on more than a few nights. And I can’t tell you how many times I came to Zac, distraught: “Nobody watered the sunflowers today and I think they’re all dead!”, and, primarily, “The horrible geese have just transected every single plant and now they’re all dead!”

Nature laughed and the sunflowers bloomed anyway.

Every time I saw them, I thought, This was absolutely worth it.

It’s been about a month since their peak, and so the weekend before last I went out and cut off all their heads, so that we could harvest the seeds for dyeing. Zac mordanted a small batch of yarn, prepared the dye bath, and amazed us all:

With natural dyes, the main colors you can easily get are yellows and browns– brilliant and colorfast reds, blues, and purples are notoriously difficult to obtain. The entire wealth of Phoenicia, for goodness sake, was built on purple (it has a fascinating history, color. If you’re interested, this book has captivated more than one of our farmstay guests– I highly recommend it). To get a purple this rich from a flower that you grew in the yard is quite something.

If you’d like to get your hands on this super-limited edition of yarn, you can do that right here.

I’m so happy and proud to be able to share this yarn with you all. Just in case you were wondering: Worth it, 100%.

This Morning in the Pastures


I can’t tell which picture of Demi I like more, so here are both of them.

Charley and Churchill. I just noticed that the tufty tip of Charley’s tail is bright red!

Milkshakes v. Hannah. It’s hard to tell who’s going to win this one.

Brooks & White

Monroe, I think, is trying to insinuate himself into the Luna/Stella family. No word yet on whether this is going to work, but I’ll keep you posted.

Sagitta, laughing at something.

Our baby ducks are growing up, but they are still small enough that five of them can swim in a grain pan.

I love how wildly different from one another their markings are.

Sabine and Gnocchi seem to be sharing a joke.

Thursday Morning in Faces


Demi (full name: Demoiselle Crane)

Buster & Cosmo, Cosmo & Buster, sitting like a pair of bookends.


Feenat & Callum, mother & son.

Roquefort with a smirk.


Little Clark

Gorgeous Stella