Category: design

Riverside Studio yarns

Photo May 21, 8 43 24 PM Photo May 21, 8 43 36 PM

Yesterday I came home to a splendid present in my mailbox – a package of yarn from Kathryn at Riverside Studios. Inside were two lovely skeins that will become the samples of the new sock pattern I am currently designing.

Here’s how the story goes:

Almost exactly a year ago, I was in Montreal for a conference. I wanted to pick up a skein of yarn while I was there, something that inspired memories of my trip and was preferably local to the area. I ended up with a beautiful leafy green skein of Kathryn’s merino single-ply fingering yarn that reminded me of the lovely afternoon spent hiking up Mont Royal the day I arrived in Montreal. Plus, Kathryn’s studio is located in Quebec and her yarns are all sourced from within Canada. I basically couldn’t get any more local if I tried.

I had saved the yarn, waiting for the perfect pattern to use it. I tried a couple patterns, but nothing stuck. Then a few weeks ago, I started working up my own design, inspired by my trip to Montreal and Kathryn’s beautiful yarn. When I had finished, I decided to take a chance and contact Kathryn to see if she would provide some sock yarn to allow me to write up the pattern for publication.

Photo May 21, 8 43 55 PM

And she said yes! My first ever collaboration with a dyer for my very own design. I’m pretty darn excited about it all. I asked for a skein of green similar to the one I had originally used to design the pattern, as well as an autumnal, golden yellow. Working with Kathryn was so easy and lovely. I would do it again in a heartbeat. She prepared the skeins for me in just a few days and she even worked to create a new corlorway for the yellow skein to be just as I requested. I’ve even been tasked with naming it. I have a couple ideas in mind… but I’m keeping them to myself for now.

I was so excited to get the yarn, that I immediately cast on the first sample pair of socks. They are working up so beautifully! I can’t wait to watch these socks and the pattern design progress.

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And Kathryn, if you are out there reading this, I’ve said it many times already, but thank you again! Thank you for taking a chance on a newbie designer like myself. Your trust and belief in me and my ideas are worth more than I can say.

May Mood Board

Slide1I’ve been collecting together ideas, colors, pictures, and patterns that have been inspired my knitting, and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things that have been on my mind lately.

For May, I’m totally smitten with the soft, delicate cherry blossoms that have popped (seemingly overnight) on campus. So I’ve really found myself drawn to pretty light pinks and other floral inspired hues. On my walk to the subway each morning, I pass a shop window featuring the beautiful pairing of sky blue and khaki tan, and I find myself loving that combination more and more each time I pass by. I’ve also found myself really enjoying the eyelet lace trend that seems to have popped up this spring in the knit-iverse. Spring is perfect for lace, and the eyelets bring an endless amount of possibilities for working modern looking, yet light and feminine, accessories.

You can find each of these inspirations, plus more, on my May Inspirations Pinterest board.

So, what are your spring and summer knitting inspirations this year?


Taking a step forward

This past week, I’ve been working on realizing a knitting goal of mine: designing my own knitting patterns. Pattern design is something I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at for awhile now, but every time I would spend any amount of time pondering the idea, I would talk myself out of it. It was something I wanted to do, but also a prospect I was completely daunted by.

I have designed and self-published several crochet patterns before (I even had two featured in a book several years ago), but making the leap in knitting just completely scared the crap out of me. I think part of it was that I hadn’t convinced myself that I was comfortable enough with knitting techniques to apply them in new ways or without the guidance a pattern provides. Another part of me felt afraid that I would have nothing new to bring to knitting, I wouldn’t have a voice anyone wanted to hear, I wouldn’t have designs anyone would be particularly interested in. After knitting up so many patterns from some talented and well-established designers, the prestigious world of knitting design just seemed so glamorous, polished, and out of my reach.

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But I really, really just needed to get over myself. Often it is the things that really scare us that end up pushing us to a better place. I’m not too shabby at knitting. I have ideas. And I change patterns for myself all the time. What am I so afraid of? Why not just give it a try? (Plus, I have you guys to help build up my confidence, right?)

So, I started charting patterns, I started swatching, and I started playing around with some ideas over the past couple of days.

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It’s still completely scary and I still find myself doubting my designs and ideas more than I would like. But I’m also stubborn. When I set my mind to an idea, I become a bit obsessed with it. It’s like I’m wearing blinders and everything else just falls away until I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do. When I get started on something, it basically drives me nuts until I worked to a level that I feel satisfied.

So I’ll keep reading up on design (the Ravelry group is, of course, great), stashing away stitch inspirations, and swatching until that crazy part of my brain is silenced. And maybe at the end, I’ll have a new pattern or two to share.