Hi all! I hope you’ll take a moment to read this lovely post by Alex. She’s joined in the Passport Mitts knitalong on Ravelry and has already finished her first pair of mitts! The next pair is in an orange colorway, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. Alex is a wonderful knitter and blogger; enjoy her post! 🙂 Thank you for the shout out, Alex!!!
Salishan Cowl: A Look into the Design Process
The Salishan Cowl is another pattern which lends itself to a look into the design process. In this case, it was a matter of being immersed in a place as well as spending time pondering the building blocks of knit design, the stitches.
I’ve lived in Oregon for 25 years now, and have known of the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort since shortly after we moved here. I’ve driven by it numerous times, but it wasn’t until last August that I finally stayed there.
When I arrived, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I found that the grounds were quiet and peaceful. The room was spacious; there was a choice of restaurants and the food was delicious. The atmosphere was that of a mountain lodge even though the ocean was within walking distance.
This was to be one of my retreats at the beach, where I spend time knitting, resting, designing. I spent the first few days knitting, taking walks and puttering around. I threw a bunch of yarn (collected over the years) on a table, hoping that color combinations would jump out at me and inspire some designs:
The yarn led me down dead end paths. Perhaps they were dead end at the time and may yet lead to new designs. Time will tell.
As it turned out, though, the inspiration came from the place itself.
The resort is situated so that the lodge, restaurants and accommodations are on the east side of Highway 101. It’s about 1/4 mile walk from the rooms to the highway, which you cross to the golf course, spa and shops.
There’s even a lovely yarn shop in The Shops, In The Wind Yarns. It was new to me then, but now it’s a must-stop place whenever I go to the Coast. I love to visit and see all the new things they are working on and what new yarns they’re bringing in. There’s always something fun going on!
But I digress! At last I was going to explore the Salishan Spit, which I had always been curious about. Viewing across the Siletz Bay from Highway 101, there is a thin slice of land with houses on it. How does one get there? During my stay, I learned that The Spit is accessible by car only to residents of the gated community or to guests of the resort. Otherwise, it may be accessed by foot on a trail which begins next to the shops and golf course.
It’s a long hike to traverse the length of the spit. As I approached the end of the spit, I turned a corner and was shocked to discover that we had black (or dark gray) sand on an Oregon beach! It was one of those amazing moments when you find something completely unexpected. I had absolutely no idea we had a dark sand beach in Oregon.
You can see the dark sand over the light here:
And these organic shapes and lines:
It was all hauntingly beautiful.
The building blocks:
Also during my stay at Salishan, I spent time poring over my stitch dictionaries. One stitch in particular, the Japanese Feather, struck me as very beautiful and elegant. An added bonus: as far as lace stitches go, it’s pretty straightforward and easy. And it’s apparent to me that my subconscious zeroed in on that stitch pattern as a representation of all the lovely lines and shapes I had seen during my wanderings – even including that “S” in the Salishan signs.
The process and the pattern:
During the next six months, the impressions from Salishan and the thoughts of that stitch remained with me. Sometime in December of 2014 or early January 2015, I found the perfect edging for the cowl: the Herringbone Stitch. It would create a pleasing contrast of a highly structured edging with the organic shape of the Japanese Feather. Additionally, it was a stitch that wasn’t being used by a large number of designers, so it would create a unique look. And finally, it’s a fun stitch to work, albeit time consuming.
The pattern also includes the option of working a Seed Stitch border. It is easier and quicker than the Herringbone Stitch border, and it still creates an elegant look.
Worked in Malabrigo Silky Merino, this cowl just floats! It also is lovely in Rowan Felted Tweed.
This design is really one of my favorites. Not only do I feel like a million bucks whenever I wear this cowl, but I have the treasured memory of finding this beautiful and unexpected, somewhat hard-to-reach beach, which I hope to visit many, many more times in the future.
A New Pattern and a Knitalong
Passport Mitts, my new design, is now available on Ravelry. This pattern was originally written as an exclusive design for Tangled Purls’ Passport program. The exclusivity period is now over and so I am able to offer the pattern for sale to everyone.
The mitts are long and elegant with details that make them a great additon to your fall wardrobe. They make a perfect project for your holiday gift giving! The pattern is written in two sizes.
To celebrate, I am offering a discount to readers of this blog. For 20% off the $4.50 purchase price through September 30, 2015, use the coupon code PMblog20. Click here to purchase the pattern now, and enter the coupon code at checkout. You do have to belong to Ravelry to purchase patterns, but it is free and easy to join, and it is an amazing website with a huge database of patterns (among other fantastic features)!
We’re also having a knit-a-long (KAL) in my Ravelry group starting October 1st. A KAL is great fun. We discuss our progress, ask questions, post pictures – and at the end, there are prizes. I’ve found some gorgeous yarns that will be the KAL prizes. Winners are chosen from among the finished projects randomly. We truly have so much fun! I hope you will join us! You can sign up for the KAL here.
Some of the Prizes:
Thanks for letting me share my latest design with you!
What’s in the Hopper
Hi everyone! It has been a busy week as I’ve been working behind the scenes getting the Passport Mitts pattern ready for general release.
I’ve been working with the large size to get that motif centered on the back of the hand, and I’m very happy with the solution. Now to finish up the rewriting and to send the draft to the tech editor tonight.
I will announce the release here as well as on Ravelry. I can’t wait!!! We’re also having a knitalong in my Ravelry group starting October 1st. Look for more information here in the days to come!
Although it has taken a backseat for a few days, here is the progress on the Colorwork Tee:
This weekend I will be playing with numbers, measurements, calculations, and ordering some more Sunday Knits yarn. I can’t wait to move ahead with this!
I hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll catch up with you soon!