Oct 9, 2014

Meet The Bowerbird Wrap from Graphic Knits

The Bowerbird Wrap was the sixth pattern I wrote for my book, Graphic Knits.

After finishing Finch, I began feeling a little more in control of my book schedule. I was only 2 patterns behind now, and starting to get an inkling about what I could do to fix my Rook design.

When I sat down to write this pattern Christmas was just around the corner. I had a much-needed one-week vacation planned to visit family in Oklahoma for the holidays. The consummate planner, I looked through my design proposal and found a few things that would be great vacation knitting, and this scarf was at the top of my list.

Here's the sketch I did for my design proposal:

I wrote the pattern and wound up all the yarn weeks before I had to leave, and felt so smug about that. It was all packaged up in my suitcase like a little present from Santa, just waiting for Christmas morning.

Vacation knitting should be something like a little present, don't you think? I enjoyed the anticipation of a deliciously easy scarf after the demanding knitting schedule I had subjected myself to. Bowerbird was the perfect project to keep in my bag and mindlessly work away on while chatting with family by the Christmas tree.

At this point, I was getting really good at strategically planning my projects for the book. I say this was pattern number 6, but the lines are really pretty blurry on that. I actually had about 3 patterns in progress at all times.

To maximize my time I tried to have at least one design in the swatching phase, one in the pattern-writing phase, and another one in the sample-knitting phase. After the sample was done, I liked to completely finish the pattern, doing my final tech editing and schematics before beginning a new project.

One of my greatest delights was to print out a finished pattern, fold up the garment straight off the blocking board, and put it all in a nicely labeled package inside my ever-growing “Finished Box".

This sounds kind of regimented, but it didn't feel that way to me. At first I thought I needed some kind of grand strategic vision, but the process quickly evolved into something way more organic.

When it was time to work on something new, I would pick-up whichever design from my proposal that I liked most that day, do it whenever I felt like it, and use whatever colors were speaking to me. It sounds a little disorganized, but this is how I managed to stay excited about a 2+ year book project! My only real scheduled thing was my publisher's imposed goal to finish half the designs in the first 6 months–my “half-deadline," then finish the last half of the designs by the end of the year.

I dragged out my Bowerbird project until my “half-deadline" date got very, very close. I really enjoyed having a hassle-free super-relaxing project around, so I didn't rush through it. Sure, the 1x1 rib was tiresome at first, but by the time I reached the first stripe, I didn't even think about it. It was as easy as working stockinette. The intermittent cable cross rows and color changes kept it just interesting enough to keep me moving forward.

I also had a lot of fun figuring out how to make those quirky little twisted-cord fring-ies! I included detailed instructions for this weird cord/fringe technique at the end of the pattern. I keep thinking of other things that I would love to add this kind of cord to. Maybe I'll use it as a tie on an earflap-hat, or a fringed edging on a boxy top. And FYI girls, I've been seeing a ton of fringe in the trend forecasting presentations see at my day-job. Just sayin'…

While working on this project, the Malabrigo Silky Merino yarn became one of my new favorites. I loved it so much that I even ordered more of it for my Tanager Shrug design (in the second half of my book). Later, I used the leftovers from both samples to create my Brewster Pullover design. The texture is so soft, shimmery and almost weightless. And the gorgeous colors really seem glow, somehow.

Bowerbird was a pure delight from start to finish! For more information about the design, check out the pattern page here.


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