And, just like that, 2015 happened. This week I’ve been mostly sick, and with sickness comes time to reflect on what’s been happening: what’s good and needs to grow, what’s bad and needs to go.
2014 was a year of crazy. Kicking the year off with family health scares, gloomy horizons for my husband’s work, and a lot of The Black Dog; and then, it transformed. Moving across an ocean is not an easy thing, and while I’ve moved countries a fair share, this was the biggest, since the time difference ensures that keeping in touch with what made you feel at home is hard and/or non-existant.
Finding new EVERYTHING was hard. New places to shop, new routines to follow, new laws, new roads, new climates, new food, new people.
The people is one of the good things that needs to grow. I met a bunch of crazy knitters on my trip to Tahoe and I can count some of them as my best buds now. 2 of them, Rijel & Stephanie from www.pickandthrow.com are great friends, and great quality bullies, in a good way!
They bully me into thinking bigger and better. Part of their bullying had to do with some work backlog I’ve been dreading and putting off: releasing old magazine patterns in the way that you, my customers, are used to: bigger, better sizing, with clearer language and expanded tips and tricks.
When I finally put my ass into gear, I decided to release what I had envisioned as a long-term lofty goal in a short-term, manageable manner. It’s not the 15 patterns I wanted, it’s only 3, but it has definitely taught me a thing or 2 on how to manage workload.
Garment Workshop Vol 1 is a 3-garment step by step collection to get you from zero-sweater to awesome-sweater.
With sizing from 30″ to 60″ busts, charts AND written instructions, plus the clear rock+purl style.
Bubble Tea is your first garment. You want a sweater, sure, but you’re feeling so-so about your current skill set. Let me let you in on a secret: with patience and encouragement (from the Ravelry rock+purl group!) you can do this. Bubble Tea has cute feminine touches and an easy construction. It’s a loose top shape to layer up with anything: tops, shirts, dresses, skirts, you name it. I show it with a belt around the high waist for me, to create a breaking line on my upper torso.
Through the Dales is for the intermediate crowd. You know a fair bit about following a pattern and you want to dazzle with your garment. This is the garment I get most compliments on, because it’s so easy to style and wear! It is a truly elegant piece with couture-like elements that blend in without a sweat. You will follow a pattern while creating shaping into it and realize that simple texture can be as striking as the most complex of knits. It can be dressed up (white collar shirt shown in the photos) or down as a layer of warmth for a walk in the woods!
Wheatcrop is a piece I hold very dear. I got given absolute freedom to design this one, just the idea of the traditional fishermen’s gansey. I swatched texture, cables, lines, increases and shape. The result is fantastic (at least I think so!). It’s also the garment that kickstarted this whole collection, since Rijel & Stephanie both wanted to make it. With complexity in charts, I retained a simple shape to ensure the process remained pain-free. It needs no fuss in your look to appear beautiful, but it could also become a layering staple.
I’m starting QUARTERLY KALs in the Ravelry Group.
From January 1st to April 1st, Wheatcrop is the chosen pattern to KAL with. Alas, fear not if you’re not as advanced – any of the rock+purl garment designs can be knit to join in the fun weekly challenges (sorry, but not for the grand finale prize).
AND (yes, there’s MORE) when you buy Wheatcrop as a single pattern or Garment Workshop Vol 1 as an ebook, you will get a second document…. with a cool discount for Sweater Quantities of Rollins Sport, one of the yarns that Rijel dyes for her company, www.blackmarketwool.com