Introducing Becket

My dear friend Bristol Ivy is just about to release a book called "Knitting Outside the Box." She's awesome, the book is awesome and you should totally pre-order it

But, for me, I prefer to design within the box. Or boxes as it were.

That is, I love working within constraints. I've always found that some of my best creative leaps have come from some kind of restriction, be it a writing prompt, moodboard, or budget limitation. The freedom to create anything can be overwhelming, so sometimes I like to place restrictions on myself. 

After I had designed Leading Bird and Paper Bird, I decided I wanted to do a whole series of shawls (that wide-open palette) within three rules: 

  1. It had to be inspired by a song with the word "bird" in it.
  2. It had to use a shape not in the series yet
  3. It had to use a Quince yarn not in the series yet.

So I had done a semi-circular shawl in Owl and an elongated triangle in Tern. I started by coming up with my favorite bird-referencing songs:

  • Cage the Songbird (which became the traditional triangle shawl, Tributary); 
  • "Top of World" by Patty Griffin ("I'm afraid I broke the wings/Off that little songbird;"
  • "Here Stand" by The Ballroom Theives "Well, here I stand/A bird in hand/One foot in sea and one on land" 
  • The entire oeuvre of Brown Bird

(clearly, I'm not done with this idea yet and if I allow myself to be a bit liberal with the "bird" definition, "Maybe Sparrow" by Neko Case would be on there too.)

And then my favorite band, Darlingside, came out with an album called "Birds Say" and I just had to make a shawl around the title track. 


My first bit of inspiration was from the way Darlingside performs - as four voices around a single microphone, which translated itself to four trapezoids around a central point in a shape that's half-scarf, half-shawl (a scrawl?). The fabric design was easy - an irregular rib based on the rhythm of the song.  I knew from earlier swatching experiments that Quince's springy Phoebe would let the ribs "pop," while the semi-solid coloring keeps the eye moving horizontally, like reading sheet music. 

All of that pulled together to become the Becket shawl (Quince picks the final names), part of their Marsh Collection

The pattern is available for $6 USD for the individual pattern or $19 USD for the whole Marsh Collection from the following online shops:   ||   Quince & Co.   ||      Ravelry

If you knit it and participate in social media, use #quincebecket to share and/or tag me @mscleaver !  

And here's one more song for the road (because I really can't help fangirl-ing)

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