Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Quince & Co: A New Collection & News on an Old One

Flying Geese, Peg Blechman
Scarves, etc 5, © Pam Allen

Last week Quince & Co. released Scarves, etc 5, their annual collection of scarves, cowls, shawls, etc made with a full variety of Quince & Co yarns. My favorites this year are the colorwork cowl, Flying Geese by Peg Blechman and the light and lovely Paperless stole by Leslie Anne Robinson.

 Paperless, Leslie Anne Robinson
 Scarves, etc 5, © Pam Allen

I often choose one neutral color when I make a two-color piece like Flying Geese.  (In fact, the colors used for the design sample remind me of one of my own colorwork design projects.)  Two colors, two colorwork patterns, deep and snuggly, in the warm heathery alpaca/wool blend that is Owl, what's not to love?

My favoriting the Paperless stole took me by surprise... What I really appreciate, in addition to my love for the light & beautiful mohair/merino yarn, Piper, is the variation in stitch pattern on the side and bottom edgings. I have often used such a distinct edging (as in my Love and Prayers Scarf). 

But a stole? I have never worn a stole. And yet if you look at the photos, you might find yourself wanting one, as I do.

True disclosure: I submitted a design proposal for Scarves etc 5 made with two colors of Piper yarn. It was for a smallish scarf. I believe that there were some good ideas in my proposal. But, truth be told, before I sent it in, I did not have a lot of time to consider the 4 edges. I mean, I did show or suggest what the edges would be, but Paperless did it so much better.

Since the day that I first learned that my own design submission for Scarves, etc 5 had been rejected, I was very much thinking about making a much larger rectangular shawl (a stole?) with the same yarn and with a more distinct bottom and top edge. Now I can see a stole as being something that I could actually wear and I am inspired.

I recommend viewing the gorgeous Scarves, etc 5 Lookbook (find link on this page). For this one, Quince includes designer descriptions and inspirations. (Interesting that Paperless was inspired by an embossed paper towel.) The ten patterns in the collection are available at Quince & Co for $5.50 individually, or just $19.00 for the collection.

And now the News on an Old One:  The patterns in the first Scarves etc, now named Scarves etc, 2012, have just been collected into a bundle. Formerly these patterns were available only individually for $5.00 each. Now you can purchase all twelve for just $22.00. The Scarves, etc 2012 Lookbook is also quite beautiful and worth a few minutes of your time (find link on this page).

I am still rather proud to have a pattern in that collection.

  Jonna, Carolyn Kern
 Scarves, etc 2012, © Quince & Co.

Jonna is now available as part of the Scarves etc 2012 bundle. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Oops, I Did It Again

Yesterday, I cast-on for a new sweater just for me.

I was NOT supposed to do that.

I have more than enough knitting for now with a magazine project on the needles that is due in early February. I have a couple of sweaters (I wish to blog about) that need finishing. Some pattern writing and formatting are weighing on me as well.

Casting-on for a new sweater was an easy trap for me to fall into...

First I saw this blog post by Sally Rainey in praise of both the pattern and the yarn. The pattern was designed by Julie Hoover (my newest favorite designer). After I read the post, I bought Julie's Leigh pattern and her Hart pattern as well. (Check them out if you have a minute. Just. Beautiful.)

And the yarn! Sally used the same yarn Julie wrote the pattern for, and it is one that I enjoyed swatching with at a "Shibui Yarn Tasting Party" at Gosh Yarn It! last year. Shibui Pebble [48% recycled silk, 36% merino and %16 cashmere] is a marvelously tweedy, light as air, lace-weight yarn that is held double when knitting Leigh. I bought eight skeins of it in the 'ash' coloway during the Gosh Yarn It! year-end sale (the day after I bought the patterns).

I had the yarn. I had the pattern. Yesterday, I swatched and cast-on for Leigh, and I knit a good inch or two.

I was NOT supposed to do that.

At some point during one of my daughter's visits over the holidays, we were in a car together and talking about knitting. (I can't remember why we were in the car, or why we were talking about knitting.) I said to my daughter, "I think I have reached a point where all of my future knitting will be my own designs... even sweaters. I don't think I will ever use any other designer's patterns again." 

In Julie Hoover's recent blog post she says she was obsessed with Pebble in 2014 when she wrote several patterns for it. She says she is still obsessed, and she was about to cast-on for a Cohle (also beautiful) as part of a KAL she is hosting. She referred to the project as her "pleasure knitting". Note: It is something she will enjoy knitting, but it is her own pattern.

Sadly for me, I must stop and think about NOT making this Leigh. I would enjoy the experience of knitting one of Julie's designs, but as a designer myself, I know that I really could make a sweater of my own design using the Pebble.

I keep thinking about what my daughter said to me in that car after I said what I said. She said, "Those are fight'n words!"

I guess I will be frogging that little bit of Leigh. It has been a fight for me to decide that.

And I thought that she was just joking!