Aspen Muff by Virginia Catherall

Aspen Muff

by Virginia Catherall
June 2016
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
12 stitches and 16 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette stitch
US 4 - 3.5 mm
US 11 - 8.0 mm
750 - 800 yards (686 - 732 m)
One size: Outside of muff: 13” wide x 18” diameter after felting. 20” wide x 30” wide before felting. Inside lining: 18” wide x 17” diameter around center unstretched
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Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Aspen trees are clones originating from a single seedling: the colony grows by sending up root suckers to form new trees. Although a single tree can live from 40-150 years, the root system can live thousands of years. The oldest known colony is named Pando and is estimated to be 80,000 years old. Because the bark is rich in a substance similar to aspirin, it was brewed into a tea by American Indians and European Settlers to provide pain relief, soothe arthritis, and reduce fever.

The Identitatum Arborum collection of knitting patterns was created in conjunction with an art installation made for the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts in summer 2016 for the Natural Threads exhibition. In that art installation I explored the idea of identity using trees as a metaphor.