Maple Leaves

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions people have of those of us who work for Interweave Knits is that we get to spend a lot of time "knitting on the job." I must confess, there is some of that but not as much as you might think. I was knitting today in a meeting; sometimes I prepare samples for the magazine, but I think overall, I knit less since I started working for Interweave than I did before I started. Why is that? I suppose there is a little knit fatigue, being surrounded by and thinking about knitting all day, it is harder to escape to knitting on my off hours. Mostly I think it is that I have less free time and that I am tired at the end of the day. Many days I'm not up to challenging knitting and simple, comfort knitting doesn't beckon as loudly. It feels like the days are shorter.


And, shorter days make me start thinking about fall and fall makes me think about . . .


Can you guess? Yes, many wonderful things (apples and pumpkins and crisp days, and crunchy leaves, and back to school), coupled with a few complaints, like where did my summer go?

But of course, it's the Interweave Knits Fall 2011 issue.


In this issue, I did get to do some knitting and this time it was more challenge knitting than comfort knitting. Challenging enough that I had to call in for some support to get all the knitting done on time. We reviewed Shetland yarns and for that review I designed a Fair Isle maple leaf sample. I drew up the design and knitted one of the samples and then we hired Karen to knit the other 3 samples for us. The interesting thing about having someone else knit for you is that you really have to carefully plan everything out in advance, even something as simple as a rectangular sample. You also realize how each of us has a slightly different approach to knitting. For example I knit my sample in the round with a steek. Karen knit back and forth, flat and incorporated my steek stitches as border elements. The samples come out very similar with different nuances. Here are some close ups of those samples.



Above is my original sample.


All the rest of these were knitted by Karen






As you can see, Karen did a fabulous job and I was so grateful to have her assistance. Remember that part about often being too tired for challenging knitting? While the knitting isn't hard per se, you do need to be awake enough to pay attention to all the color changes. I'm really please with the way the maple leaves turned out, so here is one more picture:


And do you see the paper chart in the upper left? That is what I gave to Karen along with scattered verbal instructions and a little magic hand waving as I tried to explain all the notations I made on the chart.


And here, my friends, with a little help from the technical staff at Interweave is a chart of the color pattern for you. Incorporate it into your next project. If you check out the Fall issue of Interweave Knits, we provided a nice roundup of Shetland yarns you could put to work. I've charted how I elected to change the colors but change the colors any way that suits your fancy. Pick any 4 colors and assign MC as the primary color of the leaf motif, CC1, CC2, and CC3 are the contrast colors and form the main background color of each section of the rectangle as well as the color of the patterned motifs within the leaf.

Click here for a PDF of this chart or look below for the list of attachments.



I didn't get a chance to talk about my other Fall issue challenge, my first published pattern (Solstice Jacket). All of that work happened so long ago, it is hard to believe it has only just now been printed. I finished knitting that piece before spring break. Perhaps another time I can talk about how a pattern gets prepared for publication here at Knits.

Up next though, knit.wear is wrapping up and you should have that in your hands by the time I post my next blog entry. Very exciting!

Enjoy your fall. I hope it is full of wonderful yarn and knitting,



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