So on Tuesday, something very exciting happened for me. A national magazine hit the newstands with my name on the cover (spelled right and everything)!! Way back in March I got a email from Lisa Shroyer, the Knitscene editor, asking if I would be interested in doing a collection as their featured designer for the Winter issue.
Would I?! And in the Winter issue none the less?? I think I thought about it for a minute before I said yes, yes and yes!
After about a week, I sent Lisa a packet of about six design proposals ranging from the simple to the complex and included four sweaters and two accessories, plus one more accessory I had submitted to magazine through the regular process. (Some of the "rejects" will likely show up as designs in the future too). We edited it down to three items, which I though was doable in the approximately 8-week knitting period.
Some yarn was ordered and fortunately some of it matched my swatching yarn, so I was able to get a head start on the math. As soon as my first yarn arrived, I start knitting like a crazy person. (Fortunately no repetitive stress injuries were obtained in the process of making this collection.) In end, we ended up with three designs that I'm very proud of.
The Willamette Coat (they named it after my alma mater) is my personal favorite in the collection. It's an idea that's been banging around in my head for over a year, and I was glad to finally get it out into reality. The big feature hear is the asymmetrically buttoned front with the dramatic cable panel and the matching cabled cuffs. I think the sample might have been a bit small on the model, because it can button (for example, dress form it's a size 35" sample on a 33" bust), but I'd recommend a minimum of 2" positive ease.
The sample was knit in Berroco Vintage Chunky an acrylic/wool blend that is probably my favorite machine-washable yarn ever. It comes in a bunch of great colors, is fairly inexpensive, and doesn't feel plastic-y at all (though the ends are a bit harder to weave in). I'm actually on my third project with this yarn now, that's how much I like it. If you're looking to sub, I'd recommend any bulky weight wool that shows cables well.
The Toulouse Pullover has been the big hit on Ravelry so far. Knitscene did some lovely boho-chic styling on this one, that I think has really attracted people to it. Which is funny as I considered it a much more 50s-style garment in my head when I was making it, but that just shows the versatility and timelessness of the bow-neck I suppose.
This item is probably the easiest knit in the whole collection. After you knit the collar/ties back and forth the rest is a super simple raglan with no body shaping. Again, I'm not sure on the model's size, but for comparison it's a size 34 3/4" on a 33" dress form in the center photo.
The yarn for this sample is Classic Elite's Mountain Top Vista, an organic worsted weight wool. It's got a nice hint of halo, surprisingly drapey, and is definitely sheepy. In the projects that are already (!) popping up on Ravelry a lot of people are subbing in Berrocco's Ultra Alpaca, which would be a really good choice too. Anything with a bit of drape and halo.
This is the only design in the collection I named myself, and like the mag says, they were inspired by Mareketa Iglova's character in once. They're your basic fingerless mitts, knit in reverse stockinette with a tulip-esque insert panel that's a combo of a bunch of sts.
This sample was knit in Shibui Baby Alpaca DK - a super dreamy yarn to knit with, though I'm not sure I'd call it a DK (these were knit on size 2/ 2.75 needles). The could easily be done in a fingering weight, and something with less halo would show off the stitch pattern a bit more clearly.
Where can I get these?
Right now the magazine is on newstands, or can be purchased as a digital magazine. There are several other lovely patterns in there, as well as a 2-page profile on me.
I've also got one signed copy of the magazine, along with a skein of Shibui Baby Alpaca DK in Artichoke (like the sample) to make your own pair of Marketa Mitts to give away. If you're interested, simply leave a comment below and I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner on Tuesday.