Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Knitting together a community

For the past several years, I've had the honor and super-fun task of producing a hand-knit item for our school's silent auction. I started with a modified pi shawl straight fromElizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac, then got really ambitious and made a Knit, Swirl jacket. Bearing in mind that I was making something from an established, published pattern, I reached out to Sandra McIver, and was rewarded not only with permission, but with an autographed bookplate and several promotional postcards.

In 2013, I spent the long high school search process (especially the auditions) working on a rectangular shawl of my own design that incorporated a lozenge pattern from the Joy of Sox, then in 2014 did two disparate items (teal cowl and small magenta silk, heart-shaped shawl). Last year, my first fall with three kids in three different schools, I kept it simple with handwarmers, a scarf, and a cowl that all incorporated a similar cabled design and were all in the same beautiful blue-green yarn (they weren't meant to be sold together, but what the heck)
This year, with the commute to Lehman offering a lot more knitting time, I wanted to make a beautiful lace shawl, and I was browsing for patterns just as the Deep Fall Knitty issue went live. Wings for Nightbird jumped out at me, as much for all the variations featured as for the charming story.
Since I know knitting designers work hard and it's discouraging to have their patterns copied willy-nilly, I shot off an e-mail to Teresa, the pattern's creator, telling her my plans.
I received her sweet reply greenlighting my project this morning,
That is so wonderful, totally OK with it! 
Actually not just OK, it's so honorable ^^ 
Thank you for sharing your significant plan with me Maria!!! 
I can't wait for auction day! :)
so I can now get ready to cast on.
I've got two lovely lace-weight yarns, both in my stash for years, and though I originally hoped to do the entire shawl in the variegated, I think the top bit could be a creamy white and still look classy. If it seems strange, I also have a lovely brown cashmere laceweight, but part of the appeal of going with someone else's design was to not have to tweak it, much. The bottom chart will be in the variegated, and we'll see where we go from there.
Now, to cast on 293 stitches.

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