A breath of spring

Today’s post is, by far, the most exciting of the year to date. Yes, I know 2013 is only a week old, and that I only have one blog post to reference against, but I promise, it’s pretty exciting nonetheless. Here’s the short version: the Spring 2013 issue of Knitscene is out and the featured designer is none other than yours truly!

Here’s the more detailed version: Last summer, Lisa Shroyer of Knitscene contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in doing a collection for the spring magazine (yes, these things get scheduled well in advance). I’d published several patterns previously with Knitscene, and I’ve always enjoyed working with them, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity. We decided the collection would focus on accessory pieces, perfect for transitional spring weather.

I had a few goals with creating the collection. First, I wanted pieces that really felt like “spring”: lighter fabrics, looser gauges, a fresh color palette. I also wanted to give each piece some small, special detail, reminiscent of the small peeking promises that abound in spring, when the winter cold is fading away and shoots of life are tentatively poking out everywhere. The week or so where I had to brainstorm ideas also happened to coincide with a period of cool, foggy weather, and I spent a lot of early mornings out walking the beach near my home–that cool early morning feel definitely worked its way into my brain as I was designing:

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We finally decided on four pieces, and I’m so excited to finally start sharing them with you today. It’s really hard sitting on this kind of news for months. Because I want to give each piece its due, I’ll actually be splitting into two posts, one today for two of the patterns, and one next week for the second two.

The first piece in the collection, Seafoam, is a sideways tam built around an open mock cable stitch pattern:


As you might guess from the name, Seafoam is very directly inspired by my morning beach rambles, both in color and in texture–the stitch pattern reminded me of strands of seaweed washing up in the surf. The tam is shaped using short rows and then grafted together. A button closure on the brim adds a nice finishing touch.

Continuing with the nature theme, the next piece I put together was this hat, Chinook:

The shapes for this piece is fairly basic: fitted toque, fingering weight yarn. What makes it special is the little lace insert worked in a contrasting color on both the mitts and the hat. I’ve always been fascinated by knitting with depth and wanted to create a sort of multi-layer look here, without actually knitting two separate layers.

If you’re an intarsia hater, you’ll be relieved to know that this piece uses no intarsia! The stockinette portion of the hat and the insert are knit in two separate phases, and the insert is then sewn in. Isn’t it pretty? I think of it as a knitting take on stained glass.

I’ll be back soon to show off the last two pieces in the set, the Morning Glory tam and mitts. In the meantime, you can check out all the pieces in this issue of Knitscene by taking a look at the preview. There is LOTS of great stuff in there!

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