Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Designer spotlight

This was going to be a post about my adventures at TNNA  in Long Beach, but it makes no sense telling you what I saw at this tradeshow, without first explaining why I was there.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with TNNA, it is the National NeedleArts Association which is a trade association for professionals in knitting, needlework, and stitching.  Each year they have two trade shows for members and it is huge! For our purposes, I'll only discuss the knitting side of things.  If you are a yarn store owner, a TNNA tradeshow is the perfect venue to go check out what's new in the industry, place orders with vendors, meet designers, etc. 

So lets get back to why I was there.  My dear friend Laura is a very talented designer and a member of TNNA.  She graciously asked me to attend with her so she could meet with yarn companies, show them her patterns, and hopefully gather enough interest from them to possibly design some patterns in their yarn.   It's really a win/win situation.

One of the items I was wearing on the 2nd day we attended was a pair of socks that she designed that I failed to post about when I finished them in November.  I'm going to remedy that problem right now because this is a pattern I definitely would like to show off!

 Pattern:  Candy Wrappers by Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams
Yarn:  Socks that Rock Lightweight in Rose Quartz
Needles:  24" circular 2.25 mm (US 1) and 2.5 mm (US 1.5) 

Modifications: I cast on with the 2.25 mm needles to work the ribbing and then switched to the 2.5 mm needles to knit the rest of the sock.  I didn't do this because of any problem wit
h the pattern, but because I was too lazy to swatch & realized when I completed the ribbing that I better go up a bit in needle size if these were going to fit.

I also added an extra 1/2 repeat of the pattern on the leg because I'm somewhat strange and always like my socks a bit longer than any pattern I've ever knit.  It seemed like a good idea at the time until I figured out that I had to shift my stitches on the needles to work the heel flap in the pattern stitch.  It took some math skills on my part to make it work, but I think I executed it fine.  

Notes:  The cabling technique in this pattern is beautiful and very unique and something I've never ran across before.  I was unable to figure out how to do it without a cable needle, but when I knit this pattern again, my goal is to figure it out.   That is, unless someone does it for me first, which would be wonderful.

I don't recall ever knitting this type of toe decrease before, especially since I usually knit all my socks toe-up, but it's so pretty I felt it needed its own close-up.  At TNNA I got compliments left and right every time someone saw these.  In fact, the VP of Brown Sheep Company was practically gushing over them and said if they weren't on my feet she'd steal them.  The glint in her eye at one point led me to believe that she may indeed be serious.

As can be the case with some patterns, you have to be careful as to what yarn type and colorway you choose, so that the stitch pattern doesn't get "lost".  I think this skein of Socks That Rock showed off the pattern very well, and I was very lucky to win this skein in a blog contest awhile ago from Tiennie Knits.  

The pattern is written top-down (cuff to toe), on dpn's, but I found it extremely easy to modify it for two circular needles.  Dare I say that it would be just as easy using the Magic Loop?  

Now if this fabulous sock isn't enough of a designer spotlight, I'll tease you a bit here by showing you her current design that I'm test-knitting.  It's called the Garden Party Shawl, and with all the beautiful flower and leaf motifs, I can definitely see why.  Some of you may remember her last design, Pacific Islands, which can be knit into a shawl or a scarf.  It got quite a bit of attention when Wendy Johnson (Wendy Knits) test-knit it for Laura, and the pattern went flying out of Laura's online store.  I suspect the Garden Party Shawl will too ...  once it's available.

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At 1/15/2008 8:52 PM, Blogger Laura said...

GF, you make me *blush*! LOL :-)

At 1/15/2008 11:27 PM, Blogger Hasbu said...

Laura sure is talented, the socks are beautiful and the shawl is looking lovely, too.

At 1/16/2008 3:09 AM, Blogger Micki said...

Those socks are amazing! Into my queue they go.

At 1/16/2008 3:20 AM, Blogger Angelika said...

We might not be as popular as Miss Wendy, but I sure hope that we generate enough interest for this shawl too. I love the design and it's everchanging pattern keeps me motivated to get to the next part.

At 1/16/2008 4:06 AM, Blogger Carole Knits said...

It's great that you have such a talented friend!

At 1/16/2008 4:40 AM, Anonymous pat said...

WOW - some fun test knitting for you! The Garden Party Shawl looks intriguing and beautiful so far!

At 1/16/2008 4:40 AM, Blogger SJ said...

Wow, I'd steal those socks off your feet, too! Laura is clearly a very talented designer. How lucky you are to be able to test knit for her and to get a preview of such gorgeous patterns!

At 1/16/2008 6:08 AM, Blogger Brena said...

I love the sneak peek at the Garden Shawl, it's gorgeous! I can't wait to see it finished!

I'm glad you had a such a good time at TNNA!!!!

At 1/16/2008 6:26 AM, Blogger abby said...

Both patterns are really lovely! I'm glad you made it out of TNNA with your socks on!

At 1/16/2008 7:11 AM, Blogger jillian said...

That IS a gorgeous sock. I don't think I've ever seen a stitch pattern quite like it! What a great friend to invite you along.

At 1/16/2008 11:24 AM, Blogger KeanaLee said...

Just bought the pattern--love it!, printing it out right now! Thanks!

At 1/16/2008 2:54 PM, Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

You are right--the variegated yarn doesn't overpower the pattern, which is LOVELY!!!

At 1/17/2008 5:29 AM, Blogger Julie said...

How cool that you got to go to the TNNA trade show.

Those socks are beautiful and the shawl looks like it's going to be gorgeous, too!

At 1/17/2008 9:35 PM, Anonymous tiennie said...

The socks turned out so pretty! Lovely lovely work!

At 1/18/2008 8:51 AM, Blogger Yarn It said...

I really love the socks! What a unique pattern! I think I like it more than all the lace patterns out there so I may have to actually try to knit this one.

I think Laura has amazing designs. I bought the South Seas Stole pattern and am knitting it for my mom. I am only about four rows in though!

At 1/20/2008 9:36 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

trade show priveledges, I am so happy for you.

I LOVE your STR win. Gorgeous colors.

I wish you'd post more. I love your posts. No pressure though.

At 1/20/2008 6:08 PM, Blogger Viva Scrapper! said...

Those socks are totally rad....man I have a pair I NEED to finish but I made a mistake ripped back while watching Law and Order...got way to into the Order part and ended up ripping back WAY further than I needed to...I cried had a glass of wine then stuffed them under the couch in the WIP's of shame section and cast on a baby hat that unless I fall asleep or somthing I'm pretty much guranteed not to muck up

At 1/22/2008 9:15 PM, OpenID amandacathleen said...

now those are some beautiful socks! I love that cable pattern!


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