Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Seventh Wave Cowl or My First Humble Forays into the Design World. . .


So a funny thing happened after attending a knitting retreat. . . 

Back in February I was in Manchester for a weekend of knitting workshops, talks and general socializing with lots of creative and fun people.  One of the workshops I took was given by designer Karie Westermann and it was about publishing patterns in magazines.  I wasn't really that interested in the actual designing process but curious as to how the magazine industry worked. About two weeks before the retreat, we were assigned homework: to pitch an idea for a design around the theme of Romantic Beachcomber and send it to her ahead of the workshop.

I got some good feedback on my pitch and shortly after, LoveKnitting put out a call for submissions on - surprise, surprise - a coastal theme.  On a whim, I tweaked my homework and sent it in and to my shock, it was accepted!  Now came a strong learning curve - I had a few weeks to write up my first pattern, knit it and take some photos. Oh, and for some reason I had submitted a design in laceweight!!!!



I was kindly supplied with some yarn, a skein of Portland Lace from the Yarn Collective. It's merino wool and the colours are curated by designer Melanie Berg. They are very subtly but beautifully tonal.  I used a colourway called Morning Rain (pictured above)  but I'm in love with most of the shades in the collection, Washed Denim and A Day in the Woods in particular (well worth a look at the links above).  The yarn was smooth and soft, very pretty and easy to work with.  I'd definitely knit with it again.

And so after a few weeks of knitting almost non-stop and then grappling with excel and various layouts, the pattern for the Seventh Wave Cowl was born.  It's a free pattern available for download from the Love Knitting website as part of their Coastal Adventures Anthology and their Indie June promotion. There's a link to it also from Ravelry.  It's suitable for beginning lace knitters and for more experienced ones, it's an easy repeat to memorize so this may be the first lace pattern you can knit while watching telly (at least it was for me).

The Liverpud kindly agreed to take some photos and we headed to Formby trying to get that coastal vibe with the sea and the dunes as background. Unfortunately, it was so, so windy that it was really difficult to get a decent shot.


This was the best of the lot but I wasn't completely happy with it. 


And so to Plan B.  As we were walking around our neighbourhood, I spied the wall of a new restaurant recently painted a duck egg's blue.  As the deadline was looming, I decided that the wall, plus a striped top would have to suffice to create a sense of the seaside.  Am I anywhere close? Maybe I should have been holding an ice cream cone too.



I learned an awful lot from this process and while I won't be quitting the day job any time soon, I have been bitten by the designer bug and would like to try something new in the future.  Problem is, there are SO many patterns by other designers that I'm itching to knit first.  Still, nothing ventured. . .
Watch this space.   (And thanks so much to the lovely knitters who have sent me supportive messages on Instagram and ravelry  - I think it will be very strange, but very marvellous to see this knitted up by someone else).

The knitting journey continues. . .

4 comments:

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Congratulations! How exciting! I've gone to Ravelry and added it to my favorites. Can't wait to get it in the queue!

Blithe Spirit said...

Thank you so much - you are very kind. I hope you enjoy knitting it.

Katherine said...

It turned out soo beautifully Maylin! If I can finish a few things up (ha!) I'd love to try to knit this ... I'm thinking it would be really fun to try Brooklyn Tweed's new lace yarn in your pattern!

Blithe Spirit said...

Thanks Katherine - yes, I think Vale would knit up really wonderfully. Keen to try that yarn myself, there is a nice, muted palette of colours that I really like.