Thistles have a reputation for being prickly, tough and aggressive, yet their beauty is undeniable. The power of their seed has long been known by wise women for its ability to support and even aid in regeneration of the liver. More recently, this power is being recognized by mainstream science. In the 1970s, scientists in Germany began to explore why this may be, and by the 1980s had discovered that this tiny seed contains a flavonoid called silymarin that is believed to have antioxidant properties. According to the Mayo Clinic, continuing research on thistle seeds show that they may lower blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes, may improve symptoms of indigestion, and, most importantly, may have a beneficial effect on liver disease such as hepatitis C and cirrhosis. I love that though Thistle may present herself as determined to take over a field and poke anyone who dares to challenge her, she holds within her the power to heal, to regenerate. I write this as the mother of two teens, and Thistle reminds me that even prickly people carry healing seeds within.


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The Deets:

Craft: Knitting

Suggested yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Chunky, Brooklyn Tweed Quarry

Some Notes on Yarn: The samples were knit using 1/2 skein each of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry. Other yarns used in the test knit include Malabrigo Chunky, Lion Brand Color Made Easy, Red Heart Hygge, and The Fiber Co. Tundra. All required just under 100 yards.

Yarn weight: Bulky (7 wpi) ?

Gauge: 14 stitches and 22 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette knit flat

Needle size: US 9 - 5.5 mm, US 10 - 6.0 mm

Yardage: 95 - 100 yards (87 - 91 m)

Sizes available: One Size. The hat fits a head 20-22 inches but the size can be adapted to fit a child or an adult with a larger head in three ways: by adding or taking out seed pods (multiples of 4 when casting on), adding or eliminating rounds within the seed pods (making them shorter or taller), or by adding or eliminating a whole set of pods (more useful for a child size hat). If a multiple of 8 is added or eliminated there will be no changes to the decrease portion of the hat. If a multiple of 4 is added or eliminated, the first purl stitch in the round will need to be slipped over to the end of the round at the end of the body section in order for the decreases to line up.

Notions: stitch marker for beginning of round, optional stitch markers for each pattern repeat, darning needle to sew in ends, optional pom pom (I got mine from Honey Stitch Co, and love it or if you have yarn left you could make one to match!)

Thistle Seed Beanie