Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Let's Get This Indie Party Started

Ok, everyone - the sign-ups are now complete for the 2015 Indie Gift-a-long, and yours truly has made it to the list of participating designers ... along with approximately 279 of my fellow independent knit and crochet designers.

I'm going to kick things off with the first of many individual designs that are new to my shop (although they've been previously published elsewhere) that will be a part of my Gift-a-long offerings. A few of these (like the cowl highlighted today) will also be part of my fall/winter collection, due out in about a month or so. 

With that, I present one of the most wonderful cowls I've ever had the pleasure of making, using all handspun alpaca yarn - it's my shop's version of the La Coeur Cowl. 

Back in mid-summer, I asked my online friend Kathryn at Alpacamundo if she might be willing to provide me with some hand spun alpaca for a cowl I would make for her. I think most people don't realize that many who regularly work with fiber don't always have the time to work designs up for themselves. Since I still get incredible joy from using my hooks and sticks regularly, I thought Kathryn might like something handmade for herself made with her own handspun fiber. 

Kathryn didn't hesitate, and sent me a mix of handspun fibers - some bulky natural-colored alpaca that had been handspun for her and donated from a most beloved, and now former, alpaca in her small flock, Keyla - as well as some darker worsted weight alpaca that she had handspun. To the worsted weight I added some hand spun I had in stash from my other alpaca-loving friend, Andrea over at Wonder Why Farm, and created this colorblocked ode to hand spun alpaca awesomeness.

Look at the wonderful, tweedy effect of the
two worsted weight hand spun fibers held
together in the darker color block.

This cowl design, which is amazingly easy and so quick to work up, came alive in this combination of hand spun fiber. It's rustic yet refined, warm as all get-out, and simply a delight to wear. When my model slipped it on, she instantly said she loved it and wanted one. 

I love the colorblocking. It's going to be difficult to recreate the gorgeousness of the hand spun with commercially made fiber, but I'm going to give it my best effort because my model will be getting one of her very own. It seems the least I can do.

My sincere thank you to Kathryn and her flock of wonderful camelids over at Alpacamundo. I can only hope she might consider giving me some hand spun tibetan mastiff fiber to work with.

Hey, a designer can have a wish list, too. 

Do put the Indie Gift-a-long sale on your calendars - this year it starts on November 19th and runs through the end of the day, November 27th. I'll have 20 different designs in the sale, each at 25% off the regular pattern price. This is the best time to pick up designs for all the gift-worthy people on your holiday list, as well as support independent designers.