Bienvenue (Welcome) Guéret de Fonty!
Earlier this year while on a yarn buying trip in Germany, I met with a French yarn company, Fonty, whose history and yarns impressed me so much that I knew that I wanted to bring them into the store.
Filature Fonty’s history dates back to 1880 when its spinning mill in Rougnat, France was established along the Le Cher river. Rougnat, located in Creuse, is close to the low mountains where sheep are raised.
Unfortunately in 1997, the last member of the Fonty family passed away, and business declined. In 2017 Benoit de Larouzière acquired the mill and is committed to restoring its prestige.
Today Fonty is known for the high-quality yarn it produces from wool and plant fibers of natural origin. These include Merino sheep, Peruvian and Bolivian alpaca, Mongolian yak, Gobi Desert camel, Mohair goat, Angora rabbit from France, Indian silk, cashmere, linen from Normandy, Asian cotton, and bamboo from Portugal. All the fibers are carefully selected with some of the wool coming from local or regional farms, but more generally from France, Europe, Central Asia, or wool producing countries.
The Fonty factory has a laboratory that develops specific dyes for every kind of fiber that goes into their yarns. Depending on where the wool comes from and on the type of fiber, the colors will take in different ways. Test skeins are kept for comparing the colors at the end of dyeing as well as to have a reference for future dyeing of the same product.
Given Fonty’s concern for the environment, they use only the exact amount of pigment required for each dyeing cycle so that none is left over in the water at the end of this step. They also have an ecological treatment plant. Wastewater flows from tank to tank as sand and reed roots filter out pollutants leaving the water flowing back into Le Cher cleaner than it was when it was drawn out of it.
Our first yarn from Fonty, Guéret,
is named after a town in Creuse known for its woodland areas and sheep farms. Guéret
is a machine washable (delicates please!) 100% extra-fine Merino wool. This soft and versatile yarn is wonderful for all ages and comes in a spectacular range of colors.
Because of Guéret's softness and easy-care, baby patterns are a perfect project for this yarn. My friend Sue knitted Lil Kimonos by Julie Partie as a shop sample for us. The little wrap is knit in one piece from the top down. Closed with two little ties, this baby kimono will allow you to use your most beautiful ribbons to make a sweet heirloom. Lil Kimonos comes in sizes from Newborn to 24 months. The matching booties are included with the pattern which has instructions for sizes 0/3 months and 3/6 months.
Two more sets that are adorable knit in Guéret are Charlie’s Day Set by Along avec Anna and Mavis Baby Set by Oomieknits.
Charlie’s Day Set by Along avec Anna.
Mavis Baby Set by Oomieknits.
Another pattern from Julie Partie is Thistle which is an adorable pullover for toddlers through size age-10. Thistle features simple and neat lines that are spiced up by fake seams and slipped stitches. It is knit seamlessly from the bottom up. Stitches are picked up around the armholes, and shoulders are shaped with short rows to create a nice sleeve cap.
And finally, Marieke (Little) by Along avec Anna features a colorwork yoke and is knit from the top down. The pattern can be knit with a main color and one, two, or even three contrasting colors.
Adult sized project ideas for Guéret
would have to include the French Cancan
of course. This lace shawl from Mademoiselle C includes both charted and written instructions.
Caine from Monie Ebner has been a store favorite and would also be beautiful in Guéret. Caine is knit from the top down. After the shoulder width is completed, the armholes are knit in rows. Then, the front and back are joined again. It is a good project for the advanced beginner knitter.
If you are looking to knit a beautiful fall Rhinebeck inspired sweater, Giverny by Olgano Putano Designs, would be a perfect choice in Guéret. You can make it with 2 colors or be truly colorful and use 10 or more shades of Guéret!
The motifs on the yoke, at waist and sleeves are inspired by beautiful water lilies. The top down, in the round construction allows for you to try on your sweater and modify it as you work. The colorwork looks intricate but it is an accessible knit.
Do you need a quick refresher on how to do a Slip Slip Knit (SSK) or a Left-Slanting Make 1 (M1L)? Do you want someone to look over your project every now and then to see how you are progressing, or even some structured time to complete a project that has been on your needles for much too long? Our new help sessions may be exactly what you are looking for. Our next help session will be Tuesday, October 3rd from 9:30-11am and will cost $15. This is a great opportunity to ask the 5 minute (or less) question. Please email or call us to reserve your spot.
If you need more in-depth help, such as learning to knit or needing us to read through an entire multi-page pattern, you will want to take advantage of private lessons that are now being taught at the store. Classes are $20 per half hour and $35 for a full hour. Please ask us for more information and to schedule a time for you to meet with one of our instructors.
Wednesday Morning Knitting and Crocheting:
Wednesday mornings at 10am.
Knitters and crocheters of all levels are welcome at our Wednesday morning sit and knits. There is no charge, but we request that you use yarn purchased from Wasatch and Wool Yarns.
We love when visitors drop by for our knitting get togethers. If you are working on a project from home, let us help you find a souvenir that you can bring back from your trip to Park City.
Happy Knitting and Crocheting,