FROND Wrap by Jane Thornley


April 2010
One size fits most
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This pattern is available for $20.00 USD
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Go green! Knit a big lush leaf in organic lace!

What is organic lace? It’s any project that uses a lace component (stitch sets usually known for the regimented adherence to patterns and charts) mixed liberally with other stitches, various yarn types, needle sizes and a free-range, no-mistake approach.
Imagine wearing a giant frond enveloped in a verdant embrace – all soft, silky and lacy. This I had to have, create, and bring to fruition.

All right then, want to knit a frond? Here’s the thing: it’s easy. The very first thing you must do, however, is promise not to obsess over stitch counts and getting the ‘right’ number of stitches in every row as you increase and decrease from tip to stem. Believe me, my leaf is very organically contrived and not each side is exactly even. Can you tell? Of course not. This means you can relax and enjoy your nature child knitting without being pestered by left-brain task-mastering. If you’re short a stitch anywhere along the row, just make a stitch and if you find you have one too many, knit two together. Though technically lace, it’s very free-range lace with all the latitude the style offers.

As with all free-range knitting, you’re in control of sizing. Since this wrap expands by casting on one stitch at the beginning of rows, you can make it as wide as you want. Mine measures 60 inches/150 cm in length and 20inches/51 cm in width at its widest part.

Size 5 mm/US 8, 6.5mm/10.5 US, and 9mm/US 13. Begin knitting with the smaller needles while gradually climbing needle size to the highest size you are comfortable with and then moving to a smaller needle near the end (leaf base).

I searched for a certain shade of green here, a true verdant hue with a lighter meld into sunshine-on-leaf-tips yellow. Plus, I sought yarns that could be doubled for a warmer wrap or used as single ply for balmier climes or for those who crave a lacier leaf. I’ve found two sources: Blue Heron and String Theory. Blue Heron offered exactly the desired hues. If you’re not familiar with Blue Heron, you are in for a treat. Their colors are visionary ( and inspired by the natural world. My food of choice: a light-weight merino/silk which I use doubled. Blue Heron has four luminous green combinations ranging from light to dark. It’s a lovely choice.

On the other hand, String Theory’s merino/silk blend is softer, at a DK weight and more luminous, I’ve asked them to dye colors especially for this project. These yarns are available in kit form for the Inspired Knitters Club members only but Karen and Tanis at String Theory will try to supply hanks of the same hue to non-members once members place their orders. But, of course, half the fun in this style is in the foraging.

For FROND, I used 1 hank each of Blue Heron Silk Merino in Sea Turtle, Sea Weed, and Blue Spruce but, since each hank contains 375 yards and I mixed in other players, I had plenty left over. You could easily make the whole wrap with just two hanks (one light, one dark) worked doubled and still gain the light into dark, green into yellow effect. Of course, the more yarn variations you have in the same color family, the more interesting it gets. String Theory requires less yardage because the yarns don’t require doubling meaning three 280 yard skeins, one in each of the three colors, will work beautifully.

This pattern is part of a 30-page evocative guide called Leaf Lights which includes a kimono (Leaf Lights) and scarf (Blade). Check them out, too.