The last piece F / W Collection is another brand-new accessory pattern: the Cairn hat. As with the other items in the collection, it will be available for download later today (!!!), Friday, November 13th.
Cairn is knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rustica, a hearty Columbia wool made entirely in the Pacific Northwest, produced by Imperial Stock Ranch and hand-dyed in amazing colors by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Additional details on the yarn and pattern can be found on Ravelry.
When I was sixteen, I hiked a trail called Six Ridge. It was an unremarkable hike for the first three or four miles, a steep incline and a glacier lake at the first of its peaks, and after lunch and refilling our water bottles at the lake, we pushed on, leaving the established trail behind. Within minutes, the trail turned from a wide swath of rocky dirt into a skinny, meandering footpath through woods so dense they blocked the daylight. As the afternoon drew on, the forest thinned, and the trail evaporated into long slopes of grass and wildflowers punctuated with islands of brush, nothing but tiny orange flags tied on the odd branch to mark our way.
As darkness fell, the friendly orange ribbons faded into the same murky grey soup as everything else, so we made camp, ate a hasty dinner, and fell asleep. The next morning, we woke early, rediscovered the flags, and continued on. As we hiked, the landscape changed again and again, from thick, grassy meadows criss-crossed with hidden rivulets of water, to flats of mud and dead trees and air choked with mosquitos. We found a few signs of other people - a burnt coffee can here, a discarded tent pole there - but other than that, we were alone.
Midway through the day, we came upon a fork in the road: the way was either up a steep rock face, or it was through a shaded path along a small ridge. We chose the path. At the top of the ridge, the path opened up into a rocky outcrop overlooking the valley, surrounded on all sides by steep, grassy hills, a black bear nuzzling the far hillside as we approached. There was no way forward, and although there had been lighthearted talk of being lost in the hours before, the word had grown heavier in our throats as the day wore on, our precious reserve of daylight growing smaller and smaller with every minute. In all my time in the wilderness, that moment was the first and only time I've ever felt truly lost.
In the end, we turned back. We retraced our steps to the fork in the road, back to that sheer face of rock - but this time, we saw something we all had missed before, in our haste to keep moving forward: a little stack of round stones, neatly stacked from biggest to smallest. A sign of human intervention, a message without language. It's safe. Keep going. I made this for you.
Ten minutes later, we were at the top of a cliff, with an elevation signpost and a breathtaking view of the small blue world below. It was exhilarating and wonderful, but it's not what I remember. What I remember is the feeling of that gentle nudge in the midst of loss and fear, that little reminder that you and I are in this together, even if we are separated by place and time.
What I remember is the cairn.
Happy Friday, friends.
Model & Styling: Nicole Hood
Designer, Photographer & Styling: Cory Ellen Boberg