I have nothing but admiration for career knitwear designers. It is hard work. I enjoy design, but I know that I’m not efficient at it. And if I’m not particularly efficient at it, then I tend to procrastinate. And that’s what happened with this particular design.
Generally for each TNNA trade show, I’ve designed a pattern to accompany one of our yarns and they are distributed on the first night of the show at the Sample It event. Since last June, I’ve known that I needed to design a pattern for the January kit. And I did a lot of planning, worked out a lot of sketches and swatches, but just kept delaying on making any decisions. Was it going to be one yarn or two? Single stranded or held together? Two colour stripes? Or maybe stripes in two different base yarns. When your creative choices are completely wide open, it’s incredibly difficult to make a decision. Plus, I wanted it to be just right. I put way too much pressure on myself, sometimes.
So it took me a while to sort out my plan and knit the first piece. In fact, I finished knitting the sample on the Sunday before TNNA. Then I wrote the pattern on Monday… and I was sorely tempted to just publish it without tech editing or test knitting. But I’ve learned my lesson the hard way before, so I called upon one of our fastest and most dedicated test knitters, Fiona Ballard, who knit through my pattern in a single day AND contributed several key fixes. She test knit all day Tuesday, then submitted changes to me on Wednesday. I took photographs, fixed the pattern and uploaded it to Ravelry on Wednesday, flew to Long Beach on Thursday, and we offered the kits on Friday. This is a miracle that it worked out, but *mental note* this is not how I want to do things next time. Brigid Zurock, another super fast test knitter worked through my sock design and caught some errors in the stitch counts too. I am so grateful that these women are so willing to help out and ensure that these patterns are as close to error-free as we can possibly make them.
The shawl is a half-pi design, starting out with just a few stitches at the top neck edge and then rapidly increasing to make a semi-circular shape. I love this shawl shape because it’s so easy to knit. There are a handful of rows where all the increasing happens, and then the rest of the rows are purely straight knitting. It’s the kind of knitting I like to do… simple but effective. And I do love the lace stitch — it waves back and forth, giving the feeling of “swish” and movement to the colours.
The socks are knit from the top down with a modified version of the lace stitch. The modifications make the lace into a soft ribbing, so that it adds elasticity to the socks. I originally wrote the pattern with both medium and large sizes, but because of the stretchiness of the lace, I only published the women’s medium size. The pattern could easily be up-sized by adding another pattern repeat.
Both the Rushing Tide Shawl and Rushing Tide Socks are knit in our CashLuxe Fine yarn. It’s a cashmere-blend fingering weight yarn that works beautifully for both bouncy soft shawls or luxurious socks. And the colour is Spruce, our gently variegated emerald blue-green colourway from earlier this fall.
The pattern is available now on Ravelry for purchase:
And between now and March 31, 2013 you can use the code RUSH15BLOG on Ravelry to get 15% off one or both Rushing Tide patterns.
Happy knitting and I hope you enjoy the pattern!