Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Linen Rib Tank aka Weltie!

I wanted to tell you about this design when it came out in early spring, but life had other plans. Better late than never, as they say! This gets wordy, so bear with me. I guess all the blog silence has left me with a brain buildup.

About a year ago, I got a call for designs from knit.purl magazine, the new version of knit.wear from the Interweave folks. I've admired this publication since it first came out in 2011, so it's been a little dream of mine to have a design accepted in this magazine. Each issue has inspired me with its interesting and artistically-structured garments, smart styling, and great information. 

The Spring 2015 design call included four themes, but the request to use ribbing and welts together topped the list for me. I have an overindulged interest in playing around with ribbing, especially ribbing and cables. I had also recently been intrigued by welting, even though I had not, as yet, designed with them.

Picturing the play of ribs and welts, I grabbed some DK cotton/silk blend from my swatching yarn bin and did some sketching.
Then I worked out some small-scale numbers and cast on.

Before I knew it, I had a tiny doll crop-top!

I envisioned the ribbing parting ways at front and back center just as the armhole shaping begins to allow for a section of welting at the front and an open V at the back. The adverse action of the contracting rib and the expanding welting create a slight drape with the use of the right yarn. My swatching yarn did a pretty good job of providing this characteristic, so I continued on with it.

I prepared all the documents and sent them off, releasing them into the world to do what they wanted. Unfortunately, I had sent them into the wrong direction of the world, because the Interweave offices had changed location just weeks before all of this business and addresses had not been updated on correspondence. The package got stuck in a meaningless loop between Denver and Loveland and then finally to Fort Collins, CO, where it should have been all along. And since the Interweave folks are always so on the ball, I was in communication with someone about it the whole time. So nice. Of course, this entire fiasco caused my submission to be late, so my hopes were cut to about 10% at this point. Still, I kept my thoughts upbeat.

But I was still happily surprised when Lisa Shroyer, editor, contacted me to tell me that the Weltie had been accepted for the Spring 2015 issue of knit.purl! Yarn was decided upon and ordered, I received said yarn, and I started right up...

...only to be rewarded with aching hands and bad drape. The yarn was just not right. Not only did I not enjoy working with it, the fiber was creating a heavy, unpleasant fabric. After making a six-inch ribbed tube, I gave up and sent Lisa a request to switch to Quince & Co Kestrel, the yarn I should have chosen initially. The yarn was ordered, I received it pronto, and I even more happily plunged in. 

The design is so basic and the yarn is so perfect that this was honestly the easiest garment pattern I've ever had the pleasure of writing and knitting up. I added a few notes to the e-mail when sending, got a quick thank-you from Joni Coniglio, tech editing queen, and then never heard from her again. That is a freelance designer's dream. I can't tell you how many times I've had to cram my brain into whatever the heck I was thinking back several months earlier when I wrote stressful, deadline-frenzy-compromised pattern draft when the poor tech editor has had to write asking what the heck I did mean (and they always ask nicely, is the thing). Thank goodness not this time did Joni even have to ask. 
She just worked her magic.

After a few quick shots of the finished garment in our unglamourous dining room...

Well, almost finished...I see some ends to tidy!
...I sent her in and felt good about it all. It was on time and everything--despite all the glitches.

Months later, I received another e-mail with the galley to look over and lo and behold, although Joni had not needed to contact me with any questions, she had made my pattern so much better! All the confusing parts had been ironed out and some of the maneuvers had been much better explained and reorganized. Pure expertise.  

Then in late March, the digital version was released and they sent me this picture to promote the design. So  nice!

Linen Rib Tank, knit.purl, Spring 2015

Then the hard copies started arriving in April and I received my complimentary issue. 

You can still grab one, too, because this issue is still on the newstands. If not in your area, you can always order one from the Interweave store. After that, it will be available as a single pattern from the same place. I hope you'll try the Linen Rib Tank, and if you do, I highly recommend the Quince & Co Kestral. It's 100% Belgian linen in a ribbon yarn and gives a beautiful fabric that is cool to the touch. Perfect for hot weather!

Thanks for taking in this long design story. I'll be back in a couple of days with a report on one of our local yarn crawls. Fun!

Monday, June 22, 2015


I am here with a quick apology and a sincere promise.

It was early May before I noticed that April had swooped by with no word from me here. Since the plan was to post at least a couple of times a month, I set up two posts with images...and then they sat there...waiting.

This week I promise to add the words to the numerous images already loaded and tell you about what happened during those two months! Well, not everything, but at least about two very yarny happenings.

The non-yarny things include...
...finally finding this place and its great treasures...

...and finding these and cooking so many wonderful dishes!

That stack went on my wish list.

We grew and harvested our first radishes! The rest of the garden is going great, too!

Otherwise, there was a scarf pattern and a shawl pattern that had me so perplexed that I had no more words with which to blog. 
two scarves and two shawls
The scarf pattern is ready to release except for pictures, the shawl pattern is with the tech editor, and the testing will probably get started this week.

Pssst...I could use another tester for this shawl, too. Let me know if anyone's interested. It takes 740 yds of fingering on US size 4 needles and has a light cable (seen above) and eyelet stitch pattern that merge and flow against one another. The edging is worked as you go. No finishing!

At present I am deep into lots and lots of squares. This is in preparation for a new Fundamentals pattern that will have tutorials and will be great for stash usage--even tiny bits!

Happy Summer Solstice (yesterday) to you and I hope all your projects are going well.
I'll be back in a couple of days with those long-overdue posts!