Thursday, October 1, 2009

Placid, and full disclosure



Here I am, starting the day off right: With my knitting, the New Yorker, and a cup of coffee on the deck of our cabin by the lake at the Sherwood Forest Motor Inn near Lake Placid, NY. There were ducks and herons, and we went canoeing every day while we were in town for a friend's wedding. (A certain quantity of maple-nut fudge was also consumed.) It was a timely break, falling as it did in between submission of my written qualifying exams and my oral defense, the last stage in the qualifying procedure for my PhD. I passed my orals last week, and am pleased and relieved to report that I have now advanced to candidacy. Yay, me!

So, that at least partially explains the long gap between posts. That, and the fact that it's STILL getting up into the 90s around here. Knitting must be done indoors, and even then anything bigger than a sock will give you a seriously sweaty lap. I have, however, been kind of cranking them out lately--I finished the Vera-scarf-inspired Adelaide in time for Amy Singer's visit to The Knitting Nest (OK, all except for two buttons. Which I finished day before yesterday--that still counts! Final FO pics coming soon for that.) I think that pattern's just about ready for posting now, too--we'll unveil it for the Hill Country Yarn Crawl. Maybe get a KAL going for it or something...

I also finished Myrtle 2.0, with improvements made to the all the little things that bugged me about the first one. I mirrored the lace panels on either side of the front and back, inserted more lattice panels where I had ad hoc stockinette sections before, simplified the shaping, and worked out a more reliable way to keep the stitch count right on the set-in sleeves, which was difficult originally because the stitch count for dayflower lace changes pretty much every row. I even worked up the chart for the lace pattern, so I'm about halfway done writing up the pattern for multiple sizes, too. Whew. But that's not all! I've also written up instructions for Agatha and charted THAT lace pattern, too (getting to be an expert at this here charting stuff). Which leads me to my most exciting update...

FULL DISCLOSURE: Agatha will quite likely be the next pattern I release--and the first one I release as a sponsored knitter, with yarn support from KnitPicks! I was approached by a representative of the company several weeks ago with this generous offer--and after I got over my initial conviction that they must have me confused with someone else, I was thrilled to accept. It's probably clear from my Ravelry project page that I'm already a KnitPicks fan (especially of the oh-so-soft Alpaca Cloud: there's the shawl I made for my MIL, and the Laverne sweater I just finished for my pal Lisa--plus a dozen or so hats for friends in the late, lamented, lovely Panache, which they don't sell anymore). So it's not like I'm compromising my values here. In fact, I think KP really helps me knit in harmony with my values--for instance, I chose Shine Sport as an alternative for Decimal because it was a way more affordable option than the Rowan Cotton Glace I worked the original in. Life's too short to knit with cruddy yarn, but when you're talking about shelling out $100 for materials just for size XS, you know you're going to be pricing a lot of people out across the entire size range. And they have organic cottons, too!

Not all my future patterns will feature KnitPicks yarns. I support my LYSes faithfully, and those who know me know I'm powerless to resist good fibers, whatever the source. When I do design with KnitPicks in mind, though, you can be sure of two things: 1) I truly think that it's the best yarn for the project, and 2) KnitPicks was generous enough to provide me, an independent designer, with the support I needed to make it. Thanks, KnitPicks!

8 comments:

KAES said...

Congratulations on your sponsorship from knitpicks. They are one of my favorite online knitting stores. I'm almost done knitting "laverne" for my mom's birthday. I look forward to casting off today and starting the sleeves.

stephig said...

That's great, Snowden!
I love hearing all the good things you've got going on, you deserve 'em. :)
See you soon!

Laura Sue said...

That's wonderful! I've noticed a "trend" of late to be a bit embarrassed of Knitpicks. I even heard one podcaster call them the "Walmart" of knitting. I find this reprehensible. I shop at Knitpicks regularly. I can afford to buy yarn and needles there. Their yarn and needles are cheaper because they have eliminated the middleman, not because they have exploited foreign labor. Sheesh. I'll be really looking forward to your future with Knitpicks. You have a lot of talent.

TT820 said...

Wow, I hadn't heard that "Walmart of knitting" analogy before, but I couldn't disagree with it more. And I am one snobby knitter, as I will be the first to admit! At the very least, whoever originally made that comparison must have been thinking only in terms of market-bottom pricing, and as you point out, Laura Sue, that analogy is shallow at best and misleading at worst about the basis of KP's pricing structure.

There totally IS a Walmart of knitting--I won't say who I think that is, but I will say it wouldn't be any company whose yarns so frequently contain silk, merino, baby alpaca, and organic cotton. And are so soft, and come in such pretty colors. Also, their needles? Totally pointy. I heart them, to the max. KP rules.

Yarnhog said...

Congratulations!

I love Knit Picks. I buy yarn lots of places, but they consistently have nice yarn at great prices and excellent customer service.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! :)

KAES said...

What yarn would recommend from knitpicks for your Laverne pattern?

TT820 said...

Hey KAES,

Any of the laceweight stuff should work fine with Laverne (or Shirley, for that matter)--they'll give a slightly different effect, since they won't be fuzzy mohair, but I made a Laverne for a friend of mine in Alpaca Cloud and it came out beautiful--nice drape and a silky hand. Just check gauge first (but you knew that already!)

Vicki Designs (Schnorkiemom) said...

I can't seem to find your Agatha sweater on the KP site - only a link to the yarn used.