Wednesday, December 09, 2015

hillier hearts cap

Oh, this poor neglected space! To think I released a knitting pattern last week and have only thought to mention it here now. Instagram really has won me over, but still, this blog is a dear, old friend. Ten years ago this past summer, when I was in the middle of my maternity leave with Sadie and feeling super productive, I wrote my very first post. That's a pretty long commitment in this ever-changing world of ours, right? But before I start equating the length of my blog relationship with how much older I must be, I'll stop and get to the task at hand: a new knitting pattern!

After tackling my first ever colourwork project (the Baa-ble Hat), I tried Diana Walla's Laurus Hat which was part of Karen's #fringehatalong. Quickly I knit two of them, and realized that I needed to keep practicing colourwork. So over a summertime baseball game I sketched out and tried a simple 3-colour pattern of hearts. Then I tried it a second time. And a third. And then in a different size. And by then I had a pretty solid hat pattern that I was REALLY having fun knitting. I knit another two hats, gathered all my notes and measurements and decided this could be my first "official" pattern - a pattern I took seriously and had tech edited, test knit and photographed by a real photographer. Not because I'm looking to trade my day job to be a knitwear (or sewing pattern) designer, but because I have these ideas I just love developing and sharing. Truthfully, I'm very happy to knit from patterns, but I simply can't stop myself from creating my own. And out of respect for the hard work and awesome talent of the knitwear designers I admire and purchase patterns from, I've decided to focus on my own production quality and place a value on the end product (vs. providing the patterns for free). It's a small step, but hopefully one that contributes to the overall karma of the fibre community.

And so here it is, the HILLIER HEARTS CAP! The pattern is available on Ravelry and it's a quick knit with just enough colourwork to be entertaining without being overwhelming. Great for small amounts of worsted weight yarn, this is the kind of project that most knitters can make from their stash although I do highly recommend Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (among many other reasons, combining three colours from that thoughtful palette is pure joy). Oh, and the name background is this: each year we spend a week in Prince Edward County, Ontario, and it's the one week my mind winds down, allowing all sorts of creative thoughts to start connecting. It just seems fitting to name my patterns after the villages, townships and hidden gems of a place that so significantly inspires another year of making. 

And because it's Yarnalong day, here's a very quick recap of my Canadian-heavy reading from the past two months: The Birthday Lunch by Joan Clark got deep into the characters and I will forever remember the opening paragraph (what a way to start a story!); Sweetland by Michael Crummey was everything I'd hoped for from Crummey - an intense exploration of the geography of a remote island in the Atlantic, as experienced by the man bearing the same name (and oh, how I cried at the loss of one of the characters!); Man by Kim Thuy was lyrical and such a treat to read, though the style actually influenced my interpretation of the main character, and I kept thinking of her as quite detached; and then finally The Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, which took me on a fairy-tale like journey through Paris with an orphan, her quirky guardian and some lost, but adventurous children. It wasn't Canadian or even meant for adults, but Sadie recommended it to me and I was charmed by the girl with "hair the colour of lightning" and touched that she believed her mother was still alive and waiting to be found. 

Knitting and reading, truly the very best of companions, right? For more stories of knitting and reading visit Ginny for today's Yarnalong.