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!