Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hi! I'm Your Friendly Neighbourhood Pattern Designer!

Howdy! I'm Alyson, and I designed the Reims Stocking pattern that you received with your shipment this month! I wanted to drop in and post a little greeting and talk a bit about my inspiration for the pattern...and maybe gush a little about Roxanne's yarn (like y'all don't know.)

I'd not worked with Zen Yarn Garden before Roxanne contacted me about a pattern. (How had I missed this glorious stuff? Heaven only knows...) Once I had the yarn in my hands and had squeezed and squished it half to death, I spent some time thinking about all the elements there were to play with. I knew I wanted something that would look good in both a semi-solid (my favourite yarn to work with) and a variegated, so that it would be equally complimentary to all of Zen Yarn Garden's wonderful yarns. I also knew I wanted something that would fit in with the arts and that was a little "zen". I started perusing some of my books and in one, I spotted a lace pattern, called Gazebo Lace, that had an element that reminded me very much of the flying buttresses and architectural elements of the great cathedrals of Europe. (And I couldn't help thinking that few things were more "zen" then centuries-old cathedrals!) I even recalled a photo I'd seen of Reims Cathedral in France - and I was set, with all my elements satisfied! I was really excited about playing with the pattern - the bobble cast on creates peaks reminiscent of the peaks and spires of Reims, and is a fun alternative to the standard ribbed cuff. The heel flap even evokes the tall, grand doorways of the European cathedral!

I was even more excited when I saw that Roxanne was inspired by colours in nature that really played up to the Reims pattern, with a look that could almost seem marbled and like stone, just like that same cathedral I'd used as the inspiration!

It's been a real joy designing this pattern and working with Zen Yarn Garden (which is definitely one of my new favourites - both yarn and person!) I really look forward to seeing what you create, and if I can ever be of any assistance whatsoever with pattern support, please feel free to contact me. My email is alysonknitsATgmailDOTcom, my blog is The YoYo Knits, and my Ravelry name is YoYoKnits. I'd love to hear from you!

Happy knitting!

Monday, October 22, 2007

October's Yarn Spoiler

I see a lot of you are receiving October's yarn so yay, I'm posting a spoiler. Do not click on the photo unless you want to see it larger! And as some of you have described the colour as "serene", I think I'll go with that description instead of "moody"...you guys say it so much better...thank you!

Are any of you going to use the surprise with your either of the colourways so far? I think I'm going to...I already have my skein in a cake waiting to be cast on when I'm ready! As an added bonus, we will have the sock pattern designer Alyson dropping by in the next day or so and writing a bit about the pattern and herself...how fun is that? If you have any questions at all for her, she will be available for pattern consultation too...yay!

Wow, November is coming quickly too and that'll be the 3rd of 3 shipments already! Time flies so quickly. I am planning on opening up the club again to begin for another 3-month membership in January of 2008. I hope you'll consider joining me again. More details will follow in November. In the meantime, looking forward to seeing all your creations!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October's Inspiration

Some of you may have received the yarn already if you're in Canada but most of you should get it toward the end of this week. I thought I'd show you the inspiration for this month's colourway in the meantime. I don't think I'm giving away the colours - you just never know what I chose from this picture...LOL Ahhhh, so tranquil and so peaceful this picture.

Where we live in Ontario we are lucky enough to be very close a large body of water and it's just so beautiful! Can't wait to see how everyone likes this "moody" colourway and the surprise! :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

October's Colourway

Everyone ready for October's shipment? It's on its way on Monday!

Just a little background on the colourway this month - it's an interesting one...LOL I found my inspiration in nature and most of you will know what it is when you see the colourway name but let me elaborate a little here. Last month I did tonal variations in the yarn with different colours that work in harmony with each other - for this month, I wanted to try a different idea when it comes to semi-solids so I chose a colour from my inspiration in nature and did various shades/blends of that colour. It produced an interesting effect that's for sure. Last month's yarn was "cheerful" and this month's yarn is "moody" as a result of the blending throughout the skein. I don't know about you but I think colours can evoke emotion so that's why I use these terms. I hope you like it!

I've used a new base yarn again this month and I'd love to hear your feedback on it - it has a nice sproingy-ness to it too.

Have a great weekend everyone and see you next week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's almost time for shipment #2!

I can't believe how quickly the time flies but the yarns for October's shipment are being prepped and soon I'll be in the dye pot! I had a flash of inspiration for colour on the way across the border to Michigan just a week or two ago and said to DH - "that's definitely my colour for October's semi-solid club!"...he agreed it'd be cool too! Yay!

I also have a surprise in store for everyone with this shipment...I thought it wouldn't be until November but it's here early and well, yay! We'll have a guest on the blog to talk about it too...how fun and stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Here are the finished cuffed socks from Favorite Socks modeled by my daughter and her dragon friend.

This was an easy knit. I modified the pattern to be toe up, used sz 1 Addis with magic loop.

Can't wait to see what the next shipment will bring!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Keeping up (for now)

Well, I've managed to finish my first pair of club socks before the second installment shows up. As far as I'm concerned, that counts as "stash" progress in some convoluted knitterly way of thinking.

Anyhow, here they are:

The pattern was very easy and works well with this yarn. If you decide to knit this one yourself, my only recommendations would be that you might want to take some time to figure out how you're going to do the last three leg decreases before you get to them and you might want to reconsider the toe. This toe is one of those spiral things (I'm too lazy to look up what it's called), and I don't think that type of toe fits as nicely or looks as finished as the traditional toe that you find in most sock patterns. Just my two cents. . .

Can't wait to see what all of you are doing with your yarn. I'm also looking forward to the next installment of the club. Thanks, Roxanne, for making this first skein such a winner.