Colorwork Challenging

It’s no secret that one of the most visible pieces in Double or Nothing is the Adenydd shawl — the magnum opus of that book in double-knit lace. What you may not know is that it was also one of the most enjoyable pieces to design and knit, and I’ve been wanting to play more with lace design ever since.

Each year, as I am able, I go to an event for guy knitters called the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat. It’s fun and relaxing with a great group of guys. One of the things they’ve been doing the past couple of years is called the “Colorwork Challenge”. There’s a bin of crayons, and you pull 4 or 5 out at random. Those random colors are your challenge — you can add a black or a white for contrast but you’ve got to stick to those colors. People do all kinds of things with them and it’s always fascinating to see the interpretations. This year, for the first time, I’m taking part. Here are my colors, and the yarn I chose:

I actually found the yarn on a field trip during the retreat! But I was in the middle of finishing my book at the time so I haven’t really had time to deal with the pattern I had in mind. Needless to say, it went through some permutations before solidifying into a fascinating double-knit lace pattern that I adapted from a lace pattern called “Sunspot Lace” in one of the Walker treasuries. I loved those concentric circles, so I added more and linked them in chains — and then nested them together. The resulting chart is actually impossible to chart intelligibly in a grid, so I’m finally making use of Stitch Maps to chart it. Will it end up being released as a pattern? I don’t know. But for now, it’s a great way for me to keep on my toes. I hope to be able to show you the real thing at some point soon, but for now here’s a progress shot of the prototype swatch, done in the same yarn I used for Adenydd. When blocked, the circular shapes become much more clear.

In other news:

My workshop season continues apace; having so many workshops in the northeast has understandably had an effect on my average class sizes. While this is a little frustrating for me, it’s nice for those who are taking my classes since they get more one-on-one time with me. However, in future years, I’ll probably need to be more careful about how many workshops I schedule in the same geographic area. It’s hard to remember sometimes that New England states are all so close together compared to the rest of the country, and people often don’t mind traveling across one or two of them to get to a workshop.

That said, I’ve landed another workshop in Maine! But it’s in September, so hopefully it won’t be affected by the phenomenon I just mentioned. I’ll be teaching 3 workshops at Fiber College in Searsport, Maine!

If you’re a last-minute scheduling sort of person, I’m teaching this coming weekend at WEBS! Two of the classes (an intro and a multi-color class) have plenty of room, so if you’re in the Western MA environs and have time and interest on April 1 or 2, I hope to see you there.

Speaking of this coming weekend, since I can’t be everywhere, I specifically can’t be at Interweave Yarn Fest this coming weekend. This has been traditionally one of my more popular shows and it’s too bad they didn’t book me this year. However, if you’ve been wanting to check out my book or patterns, they’ll be at the Wall of Yarn booth (#301).

Finally, another new appearance as of this morning, I’ll be vending my books and patterns at the Yarn Sellar’s Fiber Marketplace on April 8th in York Harbor, ME.

Find other workshops and appearances on my event calendar, updated as I finalize agreements.

Thanks for keeping up with me, and I’ll try to keep updating around the end of each month if not sooner.

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