Posted in colorwork, colorwork knitting, inspiration, Knit Equals Joy Designs, knitting pattern, sweater pattern, The Creative Process, The Design Process

Finally. The Willamette Valley Tee.

It’s quite interesting to me, designing knitting patterns. Not only in the ways you might expect: the conception of an idea, the swatching and trying out the different possibilities, even working out the most logical way to lay out the instructions. But also in this unexpected way: my sense of responsibility to my audience – the knitters who will be following my instructions and expecting beautiful results.

This sense of responsibility can and does cause anxiety.  It is the reason that it’s taken more than 3 years to go from conception to publication for the Willamette Valley Tee.

The very first post about this sweater was published on August 9, 2015 (What I Learned from the Swatch).

Then followed Colorwork Tee Progress (Aug 23, 2015), Yes, I am still working on the Colorwork Tee! (Oct 23, 2015), …and we have color! (Jan 20, 2016), Colorwork Tee Update  (Feb 4, 2016), Winter Ramblings  (Feb 19, 2016), and Sweater Surgery, or How I Cut Into my Sweater and Lived to Tell About It (May 5, 2016).

Finally, I threw in the towel with The Creative Project from H-E-Double Toothpicks (Sept 26, 2016). Well, maybe I didn’t throw in the towel, but I put the sweater away for a bit (a year plus!), hoping that the ideas might ruminate for a while and finally coalesce into a pleasing organic whole.

You just don’t know which events will give you the confidence to give something a try. Last year, our local yarn shop, Tangled Purls, hosted a series of customer trunk shows. It was a lovely way to create community and to allow us to appreciate the talent of our fellow local knitters. Toward the end of the series, they graciously invited me to participate. I included the old version of the Colorwork Tee in the tubs with my other knits, not really thinking it would be displayed since I didn’t use a yarn that the shop carries. However, they did display it, and people responded very positively (thanks, guys!), causing me to reconsider and to think that it might be time to give it the old college try once again.

During this year’s February week of vacation, I reconstructed the neck, shoulders, and sleeves, changed the palette slightly, and loved the result. Finally, I had the sweater I had dreamed of.  In the writing of it, though, I was not able to make it work in many sizes, as I had the Color Bliss Sweater.  So, this pattern is currently available for Ladies Small (32-34 in.) and Medium (36-38 in.) at bust.  If there is interest, I will continue to work to come up with a different construction that will work for more sizes.

Here are the pattern deets:

This wearable piece of art is a delight to make and wear. Using ten colors to create a beautiful interplay of pattern and light, this sweater would also look lovely in just two or three colors. Or experiment with stashbusting to create your own unique work of art.

This sweater is designed to be worn with 1 1/2 to 5 3/4 inches positive ease at the bust. It is knit top-down, with no seaming necessary.

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Yarn:
The sweater shown was knit using Sunday Knits Yarn in 3-ply (light sport weight) (50 grams/approx. 246 yards), (20 grams/approx. 98 yards), in three interchangeable bases, Angelic, Eden, and Nirvana in the following colorways:
A. Bronze (Eden) 2 50g skeins.
B. Teal (Angelic) 2 50g skeins.
C. Lagoon (Eden) 1 50g skein.
D. Aqua (Angelic) 2 50g skeins.
E. Rain (Nirvana) 1 20g skein.
F. Ocean (Nirvana) 2 50g skeins.
G. Espresso (Nirvana) 1 20g skein.
H. Pickle (Nirvana) 1 50g skein.
I. Celery (Eden) 1 50 g skein.
J. Khaki (Angelic) 1 20g skein.

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Needles:
Body: US size 4 (3.5 mm) 24 in. (60 cm) and 36 in. (90 cm) circular needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Sleeve: US size 4 (3.5 mm) DPNs (set of 5) or appropriate needles for small-circumference knitting.
Neckband: US size 3 (3.25 mm) 24 in. (60 cm) circular needles.
Optional, for single-color sections: US size 3 (3.25 mm) 36 in. (90 cm) circular needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Discount:

Introductory Special: Use the coupon code WVT25 for 25% off through September 30, 2018 (Pacific Time).

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NOW, finally, I am so thrilled to be able to offer this pattern to you.  It truly was a labor of love, and I am grateful and pleased that it has, at last, become the design it was meant to be.

Knit Equals Joy

xoxox

Posted in Color, inspiration, Nature, Oregon, Oregon Coast, Pacific Northwest, Salishan, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos

woodsy-1024x768I loved this little bit of undergrowth alongside the trail to the Salishan Spit. When I find chaotic spots of color and texture like this, it inspires and informs my knitting designs – and makes me happy!

See more chaos here: Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos.

Posted in Color, inspiration, Oregon, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

As a designer of knitting patterns, I’m always on a quest for inspiration. I find it in nature, in beautiful things, in the repetition and movement of architecture, and in color. The beautiful vibrancy and subtle nuance of color found at a farmer’s market in Ashland Oregon satisfied a quest for inspiration. Just look at that riotous color! Ah! It sends me following tenuous wisps of dreams of new possibilities.many-tomatoes-1024x683

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Posted in design, inspiration, Oregon, photography, Salishan, The Coast, The Creative Process, The Design Process, Wordless Wednesday

Beach. Texture. Love.

If you have followed my blog for long – or read my “about me” page – you know that I LOVE the beach. Part of what draws me to the beach is the endless variety of texture to be found there.  Especially here on the rugged Oregon Coast, the objects to be found on the beach are richly varied, always interesting.  I’m always looking for something unusual, something new, something lovely or striking.

barnacles

Texture strikes me.  It draws my attention.  It is beautiful in its order and in its variety. Visually, as light moves over the surface of an object or vista and the eye detects changes in line and shape, this is texture.  As light plays over differences in density within an object, and we see these differences, we see texture.  And when the eye travels over a surface and, along the way, discovers changes in the nature of that surface, we recognize this as texture.

Ebb pattern by Susan B. Anderson

The pictures in this post were originally published in a Wordless Wednesday in August 2015. There were reasons for choosing these specific photos, so I wanted to revisit them  – and to think about the nature of texture.

During a ridiculously long walk along this section of the beach in Newport, which I paid for later with complaining, swollen ankles and aching muscles (note to self: no more beach hikes wearing flip flops!) I was the winner in finding amazing textures, such as those in the barnacles and driftwood above.

And what about these wind shadows?  I found them enchanting – sand protected from the wind by small items on the sand blocking the movement of air.  This interesting textural phenomenon was all around that day.sand shadows

Fascinating: an object masquerading as something quite different in nature from its own nature.  shell as leaf

And finally, when I was heading back on that Newport hike, I came upon this impromptu sand and driftwood sculpture.  Well worth the price of admission!

Squirrels

I finally explored the Salishan Spit in August 2014, after having been curious about it for years.  It can be seen across the Siletz Bay from the highway, but I had never been there – I couldn’t even figure out how to get there! Finally I did my research, took the eight mile hike, and was mesmerized the entire time. There was something new to discover every bit of the way, from the dark sand (called “tar sand” by some locals) to a desolate “tree graveyard” filled with sunbleached, craggy remnants of an ancient forest.

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Lovely, delicious, intriguing, ubiquitous texture:
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When I returned to Gleneden Beach the following February to photograph the Salishan Cowl for the completed pattern, I was reminded again why this place had inspired this design.  The organic, curved shapes were everywhere, from the clouds in the sky to the patterns in the sand.

Salishan Cowl

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As my eye finds textured nuances like these, they are filed away in my brain under “inspiration.”  And some day, hopefully, bits and pieces of them will reconnect and reemerge – as a new and pleasing design.